Turkey wants to tighten up China textile imports- clothing firms
By Ece Toksabay
ANKARA, June 13 (Reuters) - Turkey wants to impose new
requirements on textile firms importing material from China,
alarming leaders of one of the country's biggest export
industries, three clothing company executives told Reuters.
They said the plans were discussed at a meeting in Ankara on
Monday between economy ministry officials and representatives of
textile companies, who had requested the meeting to ask that the
planned measures be delayed or revised.
An economy ministry official confirmed the meeting at the
ministry, without giving details. "We expressed support for
production imports from China, but on the condition of bringing
value added to Turkey," the official said.
Turkey's textile sector is a pillar of its economy.
Ready-to-wear clothing accounted for about 18 percent of
Turkey's $157 billion exports last year.
Cuneyt Yavuz, Chief Executive Officer of jeans retailer Mavi
, said he believed the government plan was aimed partly
at tackling Turkey's widening current account deficit, which
reached $47.1 billion last year.
Turkey imported a quarter of its $10.1 billion textile
imports from China in 2017, more than half of which are cotton
fabrics and intermediary goods.
"The ministry had a plan to increase the documentation of
textile imports from China," Yavuz told Reuters. "This plan was
only regarding the textile sector... and it would go into effect
He said business leaders at the meeting told the ministry
that material imported from China was sold on to other countries
such as Russia and the United States, benefiting Turkey.
"I was told that there would be either a postponing or at
least a revision in the ministry's plans" which were originally
intended to go into effect in mid-July, Yavuz said.
Another senior textile sector executive who attended
Monday's meeting said the new measures included obtaining
documents about the Chinese companies they are buying from,
which will add costs and cause delays in trade.
"The ministry undersecretary told us that there is a huge
trade deficit with China, where our imports are about 10 times
the size of exports," the executive told Reuters.
"They want some balance. But they understood our concerns
and promised to take another look at the proposed measures."
The chief executive of another major Turkish textile
company, confirmed that the ministry had been asking for
additional documents for textile imports from July, but said the
ministry had been asked to postpone the move until January.
"We had been informed that we would need a lot of extra
documents for imports from China, so we demanded this meeting,"
said the CEO, whose company has almost 150 stores in Turkey, and
exports to seven other countries.
"The ministry didn't ask us to stop producing in China. It
was a fruitful meeting. We asked them to postpone the plan until
at least January 2019, which the ministry will evaluate."
(Additional reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu in Ankara and Ebru
Tuncay in Istanbul
Editing by Dominic Evans and Toby Chopra)
First Published: 2018-06-13 16:19:20
Updated 2018-06-13 16:21:19
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