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Textiles and clothing are among the most important sectors of the Turkish economy and foreign trade. These two sectors are the core of Turkish economy in terms of GDP contribution, share in manufacturing, employment, investments and macroeconomic indicators. These sectors had a 17.55% share in total export volume in 2018.
Turkey is one of the main actors in the world clothing industry. The Turkish clothing industry with a share of 3.4% is the 6th largest supplier in the world, and the 3rd largest supplier of the EU. It has a share of 3.92% in world knitted clothing exports and it ranks 5th among the exporting countries. With a share of 2.63%, Turkey ranks 10th among the woven clothing exporters in the world. The Turkish textile industry, which is listed 7th largest exporter in the world and is the 3th largest supplier to the EU.
In 36 years from 1980 to 2018, the production and export of the industry shifted from low value added commodities to high value added manufactured items and fashionable goods. With its qualified and educated human resources, design capacity, accumulation of knowhow, investment in technology, dynamic and flexible production capacity, advanced sub industry in clothing sector, concern about quality, health and environment; the Turkish textile and clothing industry has a significant role in world trade with the capability to meet high standards, and can compete in international markets in terms of high quality and a wide range of products.
Istanbul: City of Fashion
Istanbul is proud of its designers, fashion and shopping centres where it has kept its unique Occidental-Oriental, old-meets-new, and East-meets-West characteristics. Istanbul is becoming a leading fashion and shopping centre due to both foreign and local investments recently. The world’s largest shopping centers are opening in Istanbul. Many tourists have added Istanbul to their itinerary for shopping. As a global sourcing hub for both Asia and Europe, Istanbul attracts a number of international buying offices, trading houses, major retailers and department stores. Istanbul Fashion Week is organized twice a year to gain recognition for Turkish designers and brands in national and international tribunes where they present their latest collections. Since Istanbul is becoming a fashion and shopping centre, most of the companies have shifted their production facilities to the inner provinces. Izmir, Bursa, Ankara, Denizli, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Tekirdag, Adiyaman, Kahramanmaras and Adana are now major cities for textile and clothing production.
Turkish clothing exports have continued to increase even after the expiration of the global textile quota system at the end 2004, as agreed under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). The sector continues to maintain and enhance its competitiveness.
In 2018 the total value of clothing exports was US$ 15.32 billion. Approximately 80% of the clothing exported is cotton clothing. Knitted clothing and accessories, with an export value of US$ 9.05 billion, had a share of 59.1% in total clothing exports, and woven clothing had a share of 40.9% with a value of US $ 6.27 billion in 2018.
T-shirts and pullovers are the most important export products in knitted clothing sector. Exports of t-shirts and pullovers were US$ 2.80 billion and US$ 1.93 billion respectively in 2018. In addition, as the second largest manufacturer in the world, Turkey’s hosiery exports amounted US$ 1.15 billion in 2018.
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