Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters Association (ITKIB) urged the government to provide financial support, including tax exemptions and debt delays, to help the sector remain competitive during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mustafa Gültepe, the Chairman, said that the industry experienced a 16.5 per cent contraction in exports during the January-July period compared to the previous year following the global demand plunge induced by the pandemic.
Gültepe noted that the sector initially set a target of a 10 per cent increase in exports for 2020 but had to revise these projections after orders drastically declined in March following the global spread of the virus.
He noted that the monthslong closure of clothing shops and businesses in the country during the peak of the pandemic contracted the domestic market, putting additional pressure on the sector.
The sector recorded an upward trend in July, however, posting a 25% increase in exports thanks to the gradual reopening of world economies and the rapid recovery in the European Union markets, Gültepe said.
Gültepe said the industry is seeking the lifting of customs duties that were recently introduced for imports of intermediate products used in textile factories such as zippers, buttons and fasteners.