Nalbant, in his interview with ITM 2020 News, mentioned that with regards to many sectors textile machinery industry is one of the few product categories that could realize an increase in exports and continued as:
“It has been observed that we achieved 750 million USD worth of exports in 2018 and 10% increase in exports sales in the first 10 months with respect to last year. In addition to that, the imports of textile machinery, which occurred as 1.9 billion USD in 2018, showed a significant decrease of 48%. National textile machinery suppliers are improving themselves every single day and advancing their international market share in the world. Our textile machinery industry, which is capable of trading with 180 different countries, has 3% market share in the global textile machinery commerce. Through market variety advantages and value-added, high-technology products, we believe that national textile machinery manufacturers will pursue their progress both in Turkey and in the world in the upcoming years.”
Textile industry, providing the greatest added-value and being one of the leading sectors that allows the financing of the current account deficit, holds a great significance in Turkey’s economy, industry, and exports. What are your expectations on the investments and exports for the textile industry in 2020?
Textile industry is one of the fundamental forces of the Turkish economy due to its contribution to employment, value-added product range, and its share in total national exports. Looking at the export figures of 2018, we observe 18 billion USD of Textiles and Clothing exports, in addition to 11 billion USD of Textile and Ram Materials exports. Therefore, we can remark a total of 29 billion USD textile exports. Taking into consideration that Turkey’s gross export amount is 168 billion USD, textile industry realizes 18% of it single-handedly. Moreover, the unit price per kilogram of the Turkey’s gross export is approximately 1 USD on the average, whereas the unit price per kilogram of the textile industry export is about 20 USD on the average.
The current global economic shrinkage that has been going on in 2018 and 2019, and the increase in foreign exchange rates adversely affected domestic production and exports. On the contrary of major industries such as automotive and construction, textile businessmen did not whine or mourn, but looked for opportunities to raise their productions and exports. This way, in comparison with the aforementioned industries, the textile sector maintained its strength both in domestic and international markets without a serious shrinkage.
After the shrinkage of national economy in the second quarter, recently announced third quarter growth data shows a 0.9% positive growth is achieved. This is acknowledged as a sign of recovery of the economy. Furthermore, the aim is to significantly overcome the shrinkage in 2020. We foresee a consistent growth in textile industry as a keen and dynamic sector of Turkish economy.
A first and very important event happened in the world in the beginning of last November. A 42-container 850 meter freight train leaving Beijing, the capital of China, passed under Bosporus using Marmaray and arrived directly at Prague, the heart of Europe. We can consider this as a comeback of Silk and Spice Roads after 500 years. In our opinion, these are the real reasons behind the trade wars in the world. The passage of power transmission lines through Turkey to the western countries, together with the connection of eastern countries, which are centers for manufacturing, with Silk Road and railroads to Europe, center of consumption, made our country even more strategic and important. Moreover, besides Marmaray, the railroad that is at the center of the large tube tunnel passage built on the 3rd Bridge will definitely enrich this line. At this point, it is important to consider the disadvantages as well as the advantages of this situation. Because, without using the risky areas such as Oceans, Suez Canal, and Mediterranean Sea, etc. the freight travel distance from Beijing to London decreases to 11 days instead of transporting it via sea routes from Far East to Europe with an expected delivery time of 30 to 45 days. China made agreements with 150 countries in the world for its zone road project started in 2013. In 2015, Turkey got involved in this project and made an investment of over 100 billion USD. This is a very important incident that will shape the future of the world. The new commerce roads together with e-commerce opportunities are in position to open up Turkey’s horizon. Therefore, all of our machinery manufacturers, textile suppliers, and the entire Turkish industry should analyze the advantages and the disadvantages here and position themselves accordingly.
Can you please comment on the developments in Turkish textile and textile machinery industries in a broad view in terms of 2019 figures?
Looking at the 2019 export figures for the textile industry, we observe that numbers close to the last year have been accomplished. There is a 0.3% increase in textile exports in the first 10-month period comparing with 2018. Having said that, considering the countries that textile products have been exported, there is a decrease in the export to EU countries, while there is an increase in the export to eastern bloc countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. As to the textile machinery industry, it is among our product groups that could achieve an increase in its exports with regards to many other sectors. It has been seen that we achieved 750 million USD worth of exports in 2018 and 10% increase in exports sales in the first 10 months with respect to last year. In addition to this, the imports of textile machinery, which occurred as 1.9 billion USD in 2018, showed a significant decrease this year. Moreover, the fluctuation in exchange rates, investments, and increase in the usage of domestic textile machinery relative to the past years show its effect on the subject. The imports of textile machinery showed a significant decrease of 48% in the first 10-month period of this year. We are expecting 800 million USD of exports and 1 billion USD of imports by the end of 2019.
National textile machinery suppliers are improving themselves every single day and advancing their international market share in the world. Our textile machinery industry, which is capable of trading with 180 different countries, has 3% market share in the global textile machinery commerce. Through market variety advantages and value-added, high-technology products, we believe that national textile machinery manufacturers will pursue their progress both in Turkey and in the world in the upcoming years.
The ITM International Textile Machinery Exhibition has a great importance for the participants as well as the visitors since Turkey is a textile-oriented country. Can you please elaborate on the contributions of the ITM Exhibition to the Turkish economy and the textile industry?
ITM Exhibition holds a great importance for domestic textile machinery industry. Because of the position of Turkey, ITM Exhibition creates great advantages for the textile businessmen from Middle East and Far East regions, who encounter difficulties to attend to the other exhibitions that are organized in Europe. The ITM Exhibition, in which global textile machinery technologies are presented, has improved its quality and become more professional with each year passing on with the collaboration of Tüyap, Teknik Fairs Inc. and TEMSAD. We saw that clearly in the ITM 2018 Exhibition that was organized in 2018. The ITSM 2018 Exhibition was a great success, with participants consisted of 1150 manufacturing firms from 64 countries and close to 60 thousand visitors, of which 15 thousand of them were internationals. We attended the exhibition with 110 of TEMSAD members and the surveys we took after the exhibition revealed a satisfaction rate of 95%. Economic and political developments forced Turkey to conjectural reduction and procrastination of investments in the past three years. As well known, the most important industrial sector in Turkey is textile. In this regard, the ITM Exhibition can be considered as a big opportunity for the investments to be made in textile industry. Therefore, ITM Exhibition bears a great favorable circumstance for Turkish Textile Industry as well as its neighboring countries, i.e. Iran, Uzbekistan, Egypt and other addressed countries such as India, Pakistan and Indonesia. We can safely indicate that ITM Exhibition is the largest regional exhibition of textile industry.
The western countries show more interest in the ITM Exhibition. The main reason behind this is that Turkey being the biggest market for the western companies. Turkey features as a very important market for the western countries especially in yarn, fabrics and technical textile machinery. Therefore, neighboring countries, which would like to invest with the state-of-the-art technology, strive to benefit from ITM Exhibition by bringing both visitors and committees for purchase. Hence, two different important points raise for this year’s ITM 2020 Exhibition. First, it provides the Turkish industrialists an opportunity to make the postponed investments. Secondly, the exhibition allows easy access for the neighboring countries for their machinery investments related to textile. Because, especially neighboring countries have the convenience to attend the exhibition without a visa problem. For instance, some of the participants from certain regions may face difficulties, such as obtaining a visa, for the exhibitions organized in Europe. For this reason, the ITM Exhibitions are considered more attractive for them.
Please tell us about the participation of Turkish textile machinery manufacturers to the ITM Exhibitions? Do you find their attendance sufficient? What would you advice to the related companies regarding this subject?
We consider that the Turkish textile machinery industry takes sufficient interest in the ITM Exhibition. We observe an increase in the participation applications of the companies connected to the consistent growth of our sector every year. Every company, which manufactures textile machinery and needs to promote their brand in Turkey and abroad, should attend to the ITM Exhibitions. The last ITM 2018 exhibition hosted 110 of TEMSAD members displaying their products. We are happy to see the increase in the interest to participate in the fair. Furthermore, we can easily express that the brand value of ITM advances with each year passing on both domestically and internationally. We recommend that the companies having productions in this industry should take part in ITM Exhibitions, which is one of the organizations that provides global representation of our sector.
What are the activities you carry out, as TEMSAD, in order to introduce the ITM Exhibitions to the world? What do you exercise to attract more international visitors?
As you know, our association has collaborative agreements with textile institutions from 18 different countries. According to these agreements, we organize workshops locally or in the relevant country such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, USA, Russia, China, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Egypt. We mention the ITM Exhibitions in almost all of these workshops and highlight the importance of attendance of institutions from the partnering countries as participants or as visitors. In ITM 2018, we hosted close to seventy visitors as guests of our association from related institutions. Almost all of these guests are the executives of the leading companies and the institutions of textile industry in that particular country. We describe the studies of our members and find the chance to provide with the necessary information regarding our sector in Turkey by hosting our international guests during ITM Exhibitions.
Moreover, in every occasion and platform that advertise our industry, we frequently mention our members, the strength of our sector and the ITM Exhibitions to domestic textile businessmen as well as the international textile machinery buyer companies.
By the way, I would like to relay one of our current agenda. A recent project, ‘Technology-Oriented Industry Move’, which aims the manufacturing of the imported textile machinery in Turkey, was just initiated by the Industry and Technology Ministry. We care very much about this project. Call for demands are open under six chapters for domestic machinery manufacturers. I believe that our colleagues will utilize this opportunity in the best way.