Attending the 14th Eksposhoes Shoe Saddlery and Fashion Fair held in Antalya this year, Turkish Shoe Industry Association President Berke İçten said that they closed last year with an export of 1.2 billion dollars and that they continue on the road with an increase this year.
Noting that they increased their exports by 20 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period of the previous year, İçten said, “We have achieved a figure of 392 million dollars in the first quarter of the year. We are on track to a record compared to previous years. I hope this process will continue. The year is at the level of 1.4 billion dollars. We anticipate closing.” said.
Stating that the fairs organized in the country and abroad contributed significantly to exports, İçten stated that for this reason, they tried to bring together the manufacturers with foreign buyers.
Expressing that Turkey has an important global potential in shoe production, İçten continued as follows:
“We are the sixth largest production center in the world in the shoe industry. We are the largest production point in Europe with an annual production capacity of 550 million pairs. Especially with the increasing demand during the pandemic period, our shoe industry continues on its way by renewing itself. We have exports to nearly 70 countries, among which the European Union countries are the first. Russia, Ukraine and Central Asian countries come next. We are an industry that utilizes 340 million pairs of our 550 million pairs of production capacity with exports.”
“Global brands started to produce in Turkey”
Stating that Turkey has a very serious production capacity, especially in leather shoes, İçten said that they compete with countries such as Spain and Portugal, which are assertive in this regard.
Expressing that countries such as India and China also have large production capacities, İçten stated that Turkey is much better in terms of quality and that they are in a competitive position in terms of price.
Expressing that Turkey attracts investors in the shoe industry, İçten said, “We are assertive in leather shoes. There have been serious developments in sports shoes in recent years. Important and global brands are investing in Turkey, which is a pleasing development for us.” he said.
Pointing out that nearly 300,000 jobs are provided in the sector, İçten said that they are a sector that provides indirect or direct employment to a population of approximately 2 million with their sub-industry.
Emphasizing that the shoe industry has a clear path, İçten said:
“We are very close to the markets in Europe. Considering that the shoe trade volume of approximately 60 billion dollars is returning at a distance of 3.5-4 hours by plane, our 1.4-1.5 billion dollars export is actually an indicator of how far we are on the road. We have things to do, We have expectations from the state, and if we realize these, it is possible to reach 4-5 billion dollars of exports in a very short time.”
“We organize 2 fairs a year as part of the summer and winter seasons”
Erkan Demir, Chairman of the Board of Directors of EKS Fuarcılık, who organizes Eksposhoes Shoe Saddlery and Fashion Fair in Antalya, said that the manufacturers they brought together with foreign buyers through the fairs they organized enabled them to take a step towards export.
Pointing out that the sector is assertive in the world, Demir said, “We organize 2 fairs a year within the scope of the summer and winter seasons. Fairs for exportation. Each of them contributes approximately 80 million dollars to the shoe industry.” said.