Masks and protective clothing worth $573 million were exported in the first half

According to the statement of the Istanbul Ready-made Clothing and Apparel Exporters Association (IHKİB), Turkey exported medical and fabric masks and protective clothing worth 573 million dollars in the first half of 2020, which was marked by the epidemic all over the world.

Proving once again its strategic importance for the country’s economy during the difficult period, the Turkish ready-made clothing industry both met the domestic needs and came to the rescue of dozens of countries struggling with the epidemic.

İHKİB President Mustafa Gültepe, whose views were included in the statement, reminded that there was an intense demand for masks and protective clothing all over the world due to the unprecedented epidemic.

Stating that the Turkish ready-made clothing industry quickly made the necessary changes in production lines to meet the demand, Gültepe said, “Due to the orders that were cut like a knife, our companies reduced their capacities to a minimum in April and May. Some of our companies temporarily stopped their production. In this very process, they met the increasing demand for masks and protective clothing and both “Many of our companies have turned to this field to contribute to the fight against the epidemic and to protect employment. We primarily met the needs of our country in these facilities. We donated most of these products to our state.” he said.

“We achieved a record increase of 986 percent”

İHKİB President Gültepe stated that the sector also came to the aid of countries struggling with the epidemic and said:

“In the first 6 months, we exported 573.4 million dollars, including 144.7 million dollars of medical and fabric masks and 428.7 million dollars of protective clothing. We achieved a record increase of 986 percent in our mask and protective clothing exports compared to the same period last year. “In a sense, we have created a protection shield for people all over the world against the epidemic. We consider this export, beyond its commercial value, as a contribution that the Turkish ready-made clothing industry offers to all humanity in difficult times, regardless of race, language or religion, and we are proud.”

Gültepe underlined that the masks and protective clothing were tested at İHKİB’s subsidiary EKOTEKS Laboratory before being exported.

Stating that although the industry acted early, fabric mask exports started late due to bureaucratic reasons, Gültepe said, “If we had acted faster, we could deliver masks to many more people in the world today and reach 1 billion dollars in 6-month exports.” he said.

Gültepe informed that the share of protective clothing and mask exports in ready-made clothing exports reached 8.2 percent.

“85 percent of our factories have returned to production”

İHKİB President Gültepe, while touching on the 6-month general export performance of the sector, stated that the 25 percent export increase in June, following a 3-month dramatic decline, was a great morale boost for the sector.

Stating that the sector’s 6-month exports shrank by 19.8 percent despite the increase in June, Gültepe emphasized that exports, which were 8.7 billion dollars in the first half of 2019, remained at 7 billion dollars this year due to the epidemic, but new developments increased optimism about the future.

Gültepe made the following evaluations:

“First of all, there is a revival in the EU, which is our biggest market. European-based ready-to-wear brands are withdrawing their orders waiting in our warehouses. Additionally, orders for the new season have started to arrive. 85 percent of our factories have returned to production. Our exports to Germany increased compared to last year in June. rate increased by 32.3 percent. We achieved a 213 percent increase in our exports to the USA. If we do not encounter a new wave of the epidemic, we can recover quickly, especially after September. However, unfortunately, the recovery in the last quarter will not be enough to save the year. We will end 2020 by 15 percent. “We can close it with 20 contractions.”

Gültepe noted that the sector, which broke a new employment record with 592 thousand in February, experienced a loss of 25 thousand in employment in March, and that they expect the short-time working allowance to continue at least until the end of September to prevent this loss from growing much larger.

Source: https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/ekonomi/ilk-yarida-573-milyon-dolarlik-maske-ve-koruyucu-giysi-ihrac-edildi/1901043

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