Ahmet Öksüz, expressed that they have placed sustainability in their focus in the forthcoming period, further underlined that they will create awareness in this aspect and that 2020 will be a much more prosperous year compared to the previous year.
Ahmet Öksüz, Chairman of the Board of Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters Association (İTHİB), spoke to İTKİB Hedef Magazine and stated that one of the most important goals of the textile and raw materials sector in 2019 is to reach qualified human resources. Öksüz indicated that the project, which initiated with the Textile and Ready-to-Wear Garment Exporters Associations and with the ‘My Choice is Textile Engineering’ motto, increased the occupancy ratio of the students in the departments, recently facing the danger of closure, from 42 percent to 92 percent. Moreover, the entrance points of the mentioned departments rose up by 100 points after the start of their campaign.
Öksüz further expressed his thoughts on the subject as follows: ‘‘One of the most important building blocks of our project is the realization of curriculum studies and applied education that we will carry out within the framework of university-industry cooperation. In this context, as a result of the meetings we held with YÖK and our universities, we initiated our studies in 2020 in order to realize applied education in addition to our scholarship project.’’
‘‘Textile Industry is the Priority Sector in the 100-Billion-USD Foreign Trade Volume Target with the United States’’
Öksüz, providing information about the meeting held with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross regarding the realization of a 100-billion-USD foreign trade volume target among Turkey and the USA in 2019, emphasized that textiles and ready-to-wear garment industry of Turkey possesses production capacity and is capable of meeting the US demand. Öksüz continued as follows: ‘‘We specified that the most important partners of the foreign trade target of Turkey, amounting to 100 billion dollars, will be the textile and ready-to-wear garment sectors after the signing of the ‘‘Prioritized Trade Agreement’’ between the two countries. As a result of endeavored efforts, our textile and ready-to-wear garment sectors were selected as the primary industries in order to the realization of the 100-billion-USD foreign trade volume target.’’
‘‘R&D and Innovation Abilities Will Be Enhanced’’
Öksüz stated that ‘‘As the textile and raw materials industries, which possess a share of 3.1 percent from total global exports, our most important target in 2020 will be to increase the share that we receive from global exports through the projects we will bring into our sector.’’ and further indicated that they foresee that the sector will evolve rapidly from traditional textiles to technical textiles where R&D and innovation are at the forefront in the medium and long terms.
Öksüz continued as follows: ‘‘In the medium term, we closely follow the global developments regarding the technical textile sector, which is foreseen to be more integrated with many sectors such as the defense, automotive, aviation, construction, and agriculture industries, and we carry out clustering projects that will provide digital transformation of our sector. We carried out the first training sessions of our technical textile cluster project at the end of 2019 with the intense interest of our companies. We intend to increase the R&D and innovation capabilities of our sector in the coming period with training-consultancy activities and international market visits.’’
Capacity Utilization Rates of the Sector is at %80 Levels
Öksüz remarked that the capacity utilization rates have arrived at 80 percent levels when the investment plans in the industry are observed and said that this is an important indicator that new investments are needed and continued as the following: ‘‘In this context, our desire is that encourage new investments in order to enable the manufacturing of textile products that are not currently being produced in Turkey in the forthcoming period. Textiles and ready-to-wear garment industries, which provide the most foreign currency inflow to Turkey with a foreign trade surplus of more than 15 billion dollars a year, are committed to realizing investments unabated.’’
‘‘2020 Will Be a More Prosperous Year’’
Ahmet Öksüz, expressed that, as İTHİB, they have placed sustainability in their focus in the forthcoming period, further stated that they were aiming to enhance the awareness of the member companies in this aspect. He also emphasized that 2020 will be a much more prosperous year compared to the previous year when the capacity utilization rates of the textile and raw materials sector and the increasing trend in the industrial production indices are observed.
Öksüz finalized his assessment on the subject with the following: ‘‘In parallel with the improvement in manufacturing index data, rating agencies and the international economy specialists raised their 2020 growth forecasts of Turkey in the last quarter of 2019. Hence, in accordance with the assessments of international rating agencies and the growth objectives set by the ‘New Economy Program’, we foresee that Turkey’s growth will reach up to 3-3.5 percent levels in 2020. The most significant contribution to Turkey’s economy, in order to achieve the growth rates in accordance with our expectations, will be provided by the exports through more production, investment, and employment opportunities. As the sector, we plan to carry out exports amounting to over 20 billion dollars in 2020. Our endeavors will continue in order to enhance our exports with the integration of new markets. In addition, new investments in the areas of innovation and technical textiles will raise the unit prices of the industry’s exports, and consequently, our total exports.’’
Öksüz added at the end of his declaration that the most important agenda item in 2020 is to promote the power of Turkey to the whole world that possesses a privileged position through the domestic ‘non-GMO cotton’ production.