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Turkish textile-garment sector seeks govt aid: ITKIB

The Turkish textile and garment industry recently urged the government for financial support, including tax exemptions and debt delays, to help the sector remain competitive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters Association (ITKIB) chairman Mustafa Gültepe said the industry witnessed a 16.5 per cent year-on-year (YoY) contraction in exports between January and July.

The sector initially set a target of a 10 per cent rise in exports for 2020, but had to revise the projection after orders drastically declined in March following the global spread of the virus, Gültepe said.

“There was a 27.4 per cent contraction in March and 61.6 per cent in April. In May, exports declined by 48.2 per cent, meaning exports decreased by 26.1 per cent in the first five months compared to last year,” Gültepe was quoted as saying by a Turkish newspaper report.

The sector recorded an upward trend in July, however, posting a 25 per cent increase in exports thanks to the gradual reopening of world economies and the rapid recovery in the European Union markets, Gültepe said.

The industry is seeking the lifting of customs duties, recently introduced for importing intermediate products like zippers, buttons and fasteners used in textile factories.

“Customs duties were increased for fabric and yarn products. We expect the government to revise the additional taxes that negatively affect our competitiveness,” he said, adding that the sector is expecting the value-added tax (VAT), premium payments and loan repayments to be postponed for a year.

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