Mustafa Guitepe, Chairman, Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters Association (ITKIB), said the industry witnessed a 16.5 per cent year-onyear (YoY) contraction in exports between January and July. Hence, the government should provide financial support, including tax exemptions and debt delays, to help the sector remain competitive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sector initially set a target of a 10 per cent rise in exports for 2020, but had to revise the projection after orders drastically declined in March following the global spread of the virus. There was a 27.4 per cent contraction in March and 61.6 per cent in April. In May, exports declined by 48.2 per cent, meaning exports decreased by 26.1 per cent in the first five months compared to last year.
The sector recorded an upward trend in July, however, posting a 25 per cent increase in exports thanks to the gradual reopening of world economies and the rapid recovery in the European Union markets. The industry is seeking the lifting of customs duties, recently introduced for importing intermediate products like zippers, buttons and fasteners used in textile factories.