World Footwear

Trade

Hüseyin Çetin, TASD President, live on World Footwear

Feb 16, 2016 Turkey
Hüseyin Çetin, TASD President, live on World Footwear
Aiming to get an updated view of the state of the footwear industry in Turkey, we spoke to the President of the Footwear Industrialists Association of Turkey (TASD)

Mr. Hüseyin Çetin studied Mechanical Technical Drawing at the University. From a family with deep roots in the footwear sector, and with design experience from the University years, Mr Çetin has a vast experience in the industry (more than 3 decades). Mr. Çetin’s work as President of the TASD is focused on the promotion of the Turkish Footwear Industry in the world, namely by making internationaly know the new developments in Turkey and by planning and conducting new projects for improvement of the footwear sector.

We took the opportunity to talk with Mr. Çetin to learn more about the state of the industry in Turkey, its current challenges and future expectations.

Tell us a bit about the footwear industry in Turkey.

With its 500 million pairs shoe production capacity, the Turkish Footwear Sector is one of the largest manufacturing centers, the 7th in the world and the 1st in the Europe. The industry employs 280 000 people and counts with roughly 18 500 companies. Almost 50% of the total number of companies is active in Istanbul. ?zmir, Konya, Ankara, Gaziantep, Manisa, Denizli, Adana, Malatya and Corum (Iskilip) are other important shoe production centers in Turkey.
As an Association, we recently developed very hard work for additional customs duty on the import of shoes, to aliviate some of the pressure imposed on our companies. The Turkish Ministry of Economy imposed an additional duty of 30-50% on footwear (not applicable to footwear originating in EU countries). Domestic production has been under pressure from low-cost imports and that the imposition of additional duties is expected to boost domestic production and employment, while reducing the country’s trade deficit.
Also worth being mentioned is the work we develop as we organize the AYMOD - Istanbul International Footwear Fashion Fair, an international shoe fair taking place twice a year, and where international designers and labels present their latest trends, shapes and colors of the coming season. A good platform for trade and new business contacts.

In your view, what will be the main challenges for the international footwear sector during the next few years?

Advances in technology, design and information sciences have enabled the modernization of factories for producing footwear with advanced properties, making optimum use of resources. However, companies now face the constant challenge of changing consumer demands and market vagaries. Also, today’s instantly-connected world has ushered in a plethora of opportunities and challenges. Footwear factories have to adapt and respond accordingly and in a speedy manner to stay ahead in this dynamic scenario.

What role do you think will be played by the European footwear companies in the near future? What should their strategies focus?

Manufacturers in Europe will be affected by the incremental costs so we think they will engage in production decrease. Turkish producers have the capability of producing different types of shoes with so many different quality ranges. In Turkey we have well organized and modern companies producing high quality fashion leather shoes for the European Markets.
Our logistic advantage will increase our exports to Europe, which is already benefitting from the Customs Union agreement between the two regions, in force since 31 December 1995.
In addition to providing for a common external tariff for the products covered, the Customs Union foresees that Turkey is to align to the acquis communautaire in several essential internal market areas, notably with regard to industrial standards.
Turkey is ranked as the 4th largest labor force in relation to EU countries. Turkey has a young, dynamic work force and its strong work ethic is an important part of Turkey's work culture. The labor force's dedication to work is shown via Turkey's high productivity, low absenteeism, and its status as one of the countries with the highest annual working hour rates.

What should we expect from the performance of the Turkish footwear industry in 2016?
In the year 2015, the economic crisis in the world, the political crisis between Russia and Ukraine and the Iraq war have impacted the industry. Turkey has tried to apply countermeasures and find new markets for its products, and it will aim to increase its exports to the European Union. We expect to meet the deficit and to increase our exports by 20% in 2016.

According to the World Footwear Yearbook in 2014 Russia was Turkey’s second largest export market for footwear. Are you concerned with the impacts that the recent developments might have in trade relations with Russia and the nearby region?
The decrease in export growth rate in the Turkish economy is likely to result from the restrictions against exports to Russia. Ruble depreciation, and the petrol crisis in 2014 have already affected our exports to the country; however we believe that we will continue to export to Russia as our products have characteristics appreciated in that market such as: the quality, the suitability of shoe molding, the logistic advantage and the low cost.

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  • ITKIB - General Secretariat of Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporter Associations

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  • EDMIB - Aegean Leather and Leather Products Exporters'Association

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