The second edition of the TEXSUM Textile Summit was held online on March 3, by the Uludağ Textile Exporters Association (UTİB) and the Uludağ University Textile Engineering Community. The online summit started with a panel titled “Where is Textile After Pandemic?”, featuring İTHİB President Ahmet Öksüz, UTİB President Pınar Taşdelen Engin, İHKİB President Mustafa Gültepe, UHKİB President Nüvit Gündemir and TMO President Aykut Üstün.
In her opening speech, UTİB President Pınar Taşdelen Engin said that during the pandemic period, positive output was achieved by providing both temporal and financial savings with the activities carried out in the virtual environment. Stating that she thinks that both digital and physical activities will take place together with the new normal, Pınar Taşdelen Engin disclosed that the textile industry has transformed in this context and that it is important for students to equip themselves in this direction.
Reminding that the textile and ready-to-wear industries entered the year 2020 with great hopes, Engin explained that an unexpected year was experienced due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Engin expressed that despite the pandemic, they carried out many events, projects, fairs and delegations in 2020. “The pandemic has once again demonstrated how strong our industry is due to its integrated structure,” said Engin, and continued saying that while there are problems in the supply of many products and raw materials from abroad, they show an exemplary solidarity, and this is directly reflected in export figures.
Uludağ Apparel and Apparel Exporters’ Association (UHKİB) Chairman Nüvit Gündemir argued in his speech that companies and countries that cannot adapt to digital transformation will be out of the game in the global economy. Gündemir expressed the following; “Within the scope of Industry 4.0, the work to be done in ready-to-wear is very important. As UHKIB, through the Digital Transformation Engineer program, we provide engineers with competencies in important areas such as cyber security, artificial intelligence, internet of things, cloud computing, big data, augmented and virtual reality, system analysis”.
Investments in innovation and digitalization create added value
Ahmet Öksüz, Chairman of the Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters Union (İTHİB), said that the textile industry, together with the ready-to-wear industry, has the largest production value in the manufacturing industry and an employment of over 1 million. Within the framework of questions from students, Öksüz evaluated the developments of technical textiles industry in Turkey and Turkey’s place in global market. Pulling the attention to Turkey’s investment in R&D, innovation and digitalization, Ahmet Öksüz stressed the importance of the added value created in the export of textile industry. Öksüz answered the questions of the students regarding the fields of study and future of textile engineering after the opening speeches. Öksüz said; “After the pandemic, the future of the textile industry will be bright again. In the absence of reclosures, we aim to reach record export data in 2021”.
Mustafa Gültepe, President of the Istanbul Ready-to-Wear and Apparel Exporters’ Association (İHKİB), said that the industry is rapidly keeping up with online and e-commerce and serious investments have been made. Gültepe added that export-oriented growth will continue in 2021.