The second edition of the ‘i of the World’, organized by the Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association (ITHIB), was held at the New York InterContinental Hotel. The fair, which was organized for the first time in New York with the cooperation of the Turkish Ministry of Commerce and the Turkish Exporters Assembly last year, brought together Turkish textile manufacturers and several American ready-to-wear manufacturers, designers, and distributors. Representatives from 28 Turkish textile companies attended the event to exhibit their products.
ITHIB President Ahmet Öksüz stated that they hope to increase their market share in the USA, which is one of the biggest export markets of the Turkish textile industry, by strengthening the ties between Turkish textile manufacturers and ready-to-wear brands, designers, and distributors. Öksüz said; “The USA becomes the world’s largest textile market importing textiles worth of 43 billion dollars. Besides, Turkey is the world’s fifth-largest textile exporter and the second largest exporter to the EU”.
“Turkish and USA economies complete each other”
Pointing out that while the share of Turkey in the global textile market was 3 percent last year, it accounted for only 1.6 percent of the total USA market, Ahmet Öksüz stated that Turkey’s strong production capacity has the potential to realize a much larger part of textile imports to the USA. Relaying that textile represents the main component of the 100-billion-dollar trade target between the two countries Öksüz said; “The Turkish and American economies do not compete with each other; rather they complete each other and provide an excellent example of a win-win model”.
Öksüz reminded that ‘i of the World’, which was held for the first-time last year, was extremely productive for the Turkish textile industry and stated that Turkish textile exports to the USA increased by 8 percent in 2020, reaching an all-time high of 628 million dollars despite the pandemic. Öksüz said that Turkish textile exports to the USA increased by 51 percent in the first eight months of 2021, reaching 547 million dollars and that this accounts for 2.7 percent of the total USA textile market.
‘i of the World’ will support the increase in exports
Stating that ‘i of the World’ will help them to maintain these significant export increases and to achieve their ambitious bilateral trade targets, Ahmet Öksüz explained that they are planning to carry out a several more promotional activities and B2B projects in the USA. Relaying that they are considering having the fair in other regions of the US, with an export goal of 1 billion dollars by the end of this year, Öksüz noted that they expect to realize global exports of 12 billion dollars in 2021. Underlining that Turkey’s textile and ready-to-wear industries are representing the leading industry in exports, Öksüz continued his words as follows:
“Our textile industry is the world leader in terms of integrated production capacity, qualified human resources, logistics, R&D investment, and sustainability. Despite the pandemic, it has remained a safe haven for the supply chains of several international apparel brands. Turkey is rapidly approaching its medium-term target of being among the three largest textile exporters in the world”.