Footwear industry sector in Turkey targets $1.3 bln in exports

Footwear sector in Turkey targets $1.3 bln in exports

Türkiye’s footwear industry sector aims to boost its export revenues from $1 billion last year to $1.3 billion in 2023 as demand from the EU grows stronger.

The industry started to diversify its foreign market after the COVID-19 pandemic which help local footwear companies increase their export revenues above the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2021, said Berke İçten, the president of the Footwear Industrialists Association of Türkiye (TASD).

He recalled that Turkey’s footwear imports were higher than its exports eight years ago, but the industry posted a foreign trade surplus of $500 million in 2021.

“Demand from European countries has been on the rise this year, particularly from Germany and the U.K. Four EU member countries are among our five top export markets,” İçten said.

The industry’s exports to Germany increased more than 44 percent on an annual basis to $65.7 million in January-August, while sales to Italy rose 69 percent over the same period to $36.3 million, he added.

İçten noted that the industry initially set an export revenue target of $1.3 billion for 2022 and that export revenues already reached $800 million in the first eight months of the year. “Export revenues will probably exceed $100 million in September,” he said.

The industry’s exports may rise to above $1.5 billion in 2023 and climb higher to $3 billion in the medium-term, according to İçten.

The 67th Footwear Fashion Fair, which began on Sept. 28, will provide opportunities to local companies to make new business deals and help the industry meet its export target this year, İçten said.

Some 600 companies, including 30 foreign firms, are attending the fair, which will close on Oct. 1. The event is expected to attract 25,000 visitors from 50 countries.