By Aysu Bicer
ANKARA (AA) - The Turkish garment industry plans to make more than $20 billion in exports in 2021, according to the head of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) on Thursday.
In a written statement, Ismail Gulle said ready-to-wear clothing exceeded 10% of the country's total exports in 2020, adding that the sector had managed to increase its exports in eight of 12 months last year.
Exports to Canada rose the most by nearly 50% up to roughly $101 million.
This was followed by Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, and the US, with $221.4 million, $124.6, and $793.6 million worth of exports, respectively.
Gulle underlined that as they progress, vaccinations against the novel coronavirus will help strengthen the textile industry, as will a recent free trade deal between Turkey and the UK, the sector's third-largest export market.
"In the case of no-deal Brexit and WTO tariffs kicking in, the ready-to-wear sector would be the most affected with the $200 million tariffs. Today, this risk is no more."
The agreement, signed late last year, "eliminates uncertainties," he said.
"We began to see the aptness of the expectation that our country's role in global supply chains will increase," he noted, adding that buyers have started to diversify their supply in all sectors, not just ready-made clothing.
"At this point, in order to maintain our competitive edge, our focus on high quality and value-added production will enable us to acquire a much larger share in the global supply of ready-to-wear clothing."