At the EURATEX Congress and the Istanbul Fashion Conference organized simultaneously, the future of the global fashion industry, sustainable economy and new trends were examined. 250 million-dollar sale is targeted in one thousand 500 B2B’s to be held between exporters and 50 global buyers on the second day of the conference.
Turkish garment and textile industry brought together two global-scale events under one roof in Istanbul. European Congress of Apparel and Textile (EURATEX) Istanbul Congress and 12th Istanbul Fashion Conference were simultaneously hosted by İHKİB, İTHİB, TGSD and TTSİS.
Speaking at the opening of the Istanbul Fashion Conference held with the theme ‘Better Together’ this year, the President of Istanbul Clothing and Apparel Exporters’ Association (İHKİB), Mustafa Gültepe, noted that Turkey is the world’s 6th largest apparel supplier with approximately 18 billion-dollar exports. Gültepe underlined that Turkish garment industry is a global player and continued as follows:
MUSTAFA GÜLTEPE: WE WANT TO BE THE THIRD BIGGEST SUPPLIER OF THE WORLD
“I won’t be modest; we are a country that has become a brand in manufacturing, and leader in fast fashion. We are able to deliver orders in 3 weeks. More importantly, we want to make at least 5 brands globally.
We came to this point with the solidarity of all stakeholders and the ‘common mind’. We aim to be one of the 3 biggest players in global competition with value added, branded production.
Our ready-to-wear apparel exports were 13.2 billion dollars in January – September period. In September, we are in 3.2 percent surplus. Particularly, our 31.4 percent increase in September in export to the USA, for which we aim USD 50 billion exports, is remarkable.
As industry components coming together for Istanbul Fashion Conference, we believe in this goal. We are backed by the support of the public authority. Industry 4.0 and sustainability will determine the rule of the game in the coming period. We have a strong infrastructure in terms of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. We are focused on the same goal as the private sector and the public authority.”
AHMET ÖKSÜZ: SUSTAINABILITY AND TECHNICAL TEXTILE WILL DETERMINE OUR FUTURE
Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters Association (İTHİB) President Ahmet Öksüz said in his speech that the textile industry is going through an important change and transformation process. Stating that İTHİB, which has more than 4,000 members, is following the process very closely, Öksüz said:
“We closed 2018 with approximately 8.5 billion dollars in exports. In order to further increase our market share, we have to keep up with the innovations, see the directions towards which the world is evolving, and produce projects accordingly. “Sustainability” and “technical textile” stand before us as the two important topics that will determine our future. “Sustainability”, which we closely follow, is important both for the efficient use of resources and as it takes the first place among the main arguments of trade. In this process, the information we will obtain from EURATEX Istanbul Congress and Istanbul Fashion Conference will shed light on our sector and enlighten our future.”
HADİ KARASU: WE ARE THE MOST READY COUNTRY TO LAUNCH GLOBAL SCALE BRANDS
Turkey Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TGSD) President Hadi Karasu said that they are holding the 12th Istanbul Fashion Conference with the theme ‘Collaboration’, and ‘Better together’ this year. He emphasized the cooperation made with 4 leading associations and NGOs of the sector as well as the European Confederation of Apparel and Textile (EURATEX) in the 12th Istanbul Fashion Conference in accordance with the theme. Karasu continued as follows:
“Turkey is one of the two countries that have equipment integrated with all sub-industries from buttons to zippers in the garment industry, and with a strong ecosystem. We also have a very strong infrastructure in terms of sustainability. With this strong infrastructure, we are the readiest country to launch new brands on a global scale. I believe that we will have more influence in the future of the world fashion industry than we have today. I am proud of Turkish Fashion Industry for its contributions to our country and to the world.”
AHMET H. TOPBAŞ: WE SUPPORT EVERY PROJECT THAT INCREASES ADDED VALUE
Turkey Textile Employers’ Association President (TTSİS) Ahmed H. Topbaş underlined in his speech that they have been facilitating the labor peace between employers and employees for 57 years across the country. Stating that they provide full support to all projects that protect the integrated structure in textile and ready-made garments and increase the added value, Topbaş continued as follows:
“’Social Compliance’, ‘Employee Rights’ and ‘Sustainability’, which the major brands we supply to are emphasizing today, also form the basis of the organized working conditions that our union has been advocating for years. Changing business models in our sector with the dizzying speed of technology, adaptation process to Industry 4.0, and new norms in working life require more cooperation in our sector. The EURATEX Convention and the Istanbul Fashion Conference are a good example of this cooperation.”
ALBERTO PACCANELLI: CUSTOMS UNION MUST BE REVISED
Alberto Paccanelli, Chairman of EURATEX, said that he is profoundly proud to be in Istanbul and to cooperate with the Turkish garment industry. Reminding that EURATEX has created a turnover of 180 billion Euros with 170 thousand companies and approximately 1.7 million employees, Pacanelli continued as follows:
“Turkey is the EU’s third largest supplier in textile and apparel. Economic and commercial relations between the two parties have been growing for the last 10 years. A strong partnership between the EU and Turkey is very important for the development of their economy. There is a Customs Union between Turkey and EU, but it is not sufficient in the present circumstances. An updated Customs Union can make for a new progress with mutual benefits in our relations. As the textile industries of EU and Turkey, we agreed that the fight against technical barriers to trade is a priority. However, we are sad that the political concerns on both sides have stopped this modernization process. We urge our leaders to put the economy first; it is the economy that produces wealth and creates jobs. Turkish and the EU textile industry have to work harder and more efficiently, and without restrictions.”
And the speakers participating in the conference session on “Trade and Industry” have made the following remarks on Turkish and world trade:
IAF PRESIDENT HAN BEKKE: TURKEY MUST FOCUS ON OPPORTUNITIES
The trade war between the US and China, the tension in the Gulf and the uncertainty of Brexit trigger instability. All these topics adversely affect the global trade. Especially if Brexit happens, Turkey is among the countries which will be most affected by the outcomes. There are opportunities as well as challenges ahead. Turkey can play a more effective role by focusing on these opportunities.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE US APPAREL INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION JULIA K. HUGHES: TRADE BETWEEN THE US AND TURKEY MAY INCREASE
Trade wars with China increase costs in apparel and many other areas in the United States. In this process, we prefer the production with a flexible structure that can deliver the most affordable and high-quality products in the fastest way. The current state may be an opportunity to improve the trade between Turkey and the US.
HEAD OF EU DELEGATION TO TURKEY ECONOMY DEPARTMENT BARTOSZ PRZYWARA: CU CAN BE UPDATED
The Customs Union has played a very important role in the development and deepening of economic and trade relations between the EU and Turkey. Updating the CU in line with the ‘win – win’ principle has been on the agenda for a while. However, there are some political steps that the EU expects Turkey to take first. We do not expect progress in full membership negotiations and updating of the CU unless the expected steps are taken.
B2B MEETINGS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO EXPORT WITH EXTRA 250 MILLION DOLLARS
The second day of the conference was devoted to B2B meetings as in the previous years. There will be about one thousand 500 B2B meetings between representatives of 50 companies who supply from Turkey annually with about 5-billion-dollar purchase and the representatives of exporting companies. The connections to be established in the meetings is expected to make additional contributions of an extra 250 million dollars to Turkey’s apparel exports.