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GARMENT MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

GARMENT MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

Garment manufacturing industry has long been the leading sector within the outward-oriented growth and industrialization preference of Turkey since 1980. Within this period, it became the largest manufacturing sector of Turkey as of investment, production, employment and export indicators. The value added generated in this sector has been used for the sector’s own development, and the capital accumulation has served as an important domestic resource for the other economical activities of Turkey. Garment manufacturing industry built its investment and production capacity mainly based on foreign markets and export, and the generated net foreign exchange earnings have contributed significantly to the foreign exchange need of Turkey for many years. Garment industry has also contributed significantly to the socio-economic development with its labor-intensive structure and employment-friendly nature. The sector continues to be the one that generates the highest number of jobs within whole manufacturing industry, and even within all economical fields. When considered together with the textile industry, it becomes almost impossible to substitute the generated employment possibilities. In garment manufacturing industry, approximately 75 percent of the employees are female. Thus the sector provides a huge contribution also in the socio-economic sense. The sector that can turn even the most unqualified person out to be a qualified person in a short period with on-the-job trainings provided, fulfills the functions such as reducing unemployment and poverty with the opportunities it creates. None of the other industry branches has such a wide socio-economic and cultural function. Another important asset of garment manufacturing industry is the experience and the knowhow established with knowledge built-up over the years in this sector. The sector has all the rings of a very wide integration from cotton and synthetic fiber production to fashion retail brands. This knowledge and integrated structure are available in four countries at most, including Turkey. As a matter of fact, Turkish garment industry is the world’s fifth and Europe’s third largest exporter/supplier and also it is a sector that can reflect these advantageous qualities to global competitive power. Garment industry continues to be the sector that generates the highest local value added and net foreign exchange earnings. By using local inputs such as yarn, fabric, dye, print, finish, sub-industry and accessory starting from cotton and synthetic fiber production, the sector generates a high local value added. With this quality, the sector continues to generate net foreign exchange earnings at a level of almost ten billion US dollars every year. Nowadays that Turkey’s need for local value added and foreign exchange earnings are at the highest level, garment manufacturing industry provides the highest contribution to both. With all these properties, garment manufacturing industry goes through a transformation process that the foreign competition began to be increasingly felt. The sector is aware of this transformation and its needs for a long time and tries to fulfill its responsibilities in order to enhance its competitive power. Besides this increasing competitive power, one of the most important issues that creates a kind of uncertainty for the sector within this transformation process is the economic administration’s perception and assessment of the sector. The assessments made about the sector such as the claims that it will have no competitive power left in time and it is a sector that will get smaller or that will not grow creates a kind of uncertainty for the sector representatives. Thus this uncertainty negatively affects the investment and production decisions.

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