The 'Green Transformation' in the economy will bolster our competitive edge.
Mustafa Gültepe, emphasizing that Türkiye exports 42% of its total exports to EU countries, stated, "Europe will continue to be our largest market. With this reality in mind, we must expedite the alignment of all sectors with the Green Deal".
During the symposium organized by Ekoteks, a subsidiary of Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB), on the theme of 'New Sustainability Approach in the Apparel and Textile Industry on the 100th Anniversary of the Republic', bureaucrats, representatives of global brands, and academicians scrutinized sustainable production.
Speaking at the opening of the symposium, Chairman of Türkiye Exporters Assembly (TIM), Mustafa Gültepe, recalled that sustainable production and circular economy have been among the most pondered topics in recent years. Gültepe, who also serves as the chairman of IHKIB, stated that the apparel industry was one of the first sectors to grasp the importance of ready-to-wear, digitalization, and sustainable production. Gültepe continued:
PREPARING THE TURKISH FASHION INDUSTRY FOR THE EU DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET STRATEGY
"Digitalization and sustainable production have been our top priorities in the fashion industry for years. We collaborate with our ministries, forge partnerships with the European Union, and develop projects within the scope of IPA. We have received 30 million Euros in grant support from the EU for our projects. The process for a 17 million Euro support is still ongoing. We utilize the grant support to enhance our fashion industry, increase our digital and sustainable production capacity, and expedite the transition to branded production. At the same time, with these projects, we are preparing the fashion industry for the EU Digital Single Market Strategy. We also conduct intensive work to raise awareness in the sector. We organize training programs on topics such as corporate carbon footprint measurement and calculation, product life cycle, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions. We support the transformation of factories into environmentally-friendly production facilities. We know that the green transformation in our economy will add strength to our competitive edge."
ALL SECTORS WILL COMPLETE SUSTAINABILITY ACTION PLANS BY YEAR-END
Gültepe, who reported that 42% of Türkiye's total exports are made to EU countries, stated:
"In ready-to-wear and confectionery, this ratio reaches 60%, approaching 70% when we add the UK. Therefore, we have no other option but to strengthen our competitiveness through green transformation. Following the 'Distant Countries Strategy' of our Ministry of Trade, we have put different geographies on our radar. As TIM, we organized trade delegations to dozens of countries from Venezuela to Japan with our unions this year. We host procurement delegations in our country. But let us not forget one truth. Even if we find new ones, Europe will continue to be our largest market. With this reality in mind, all of our sectors must expedite their alignment with the Green Deal. If we can devise the right strategies and make progress, we can enhance our competitiveness in the EU market. I can say this with confidence. There is a strong will in the public sector regarding the green transformation, and the awareness of our exporters is increasing day by day. In fact, most of our 27 sectors have prepared sustainability action plans. Hopefully, by the end of the year, all sectors will complete their action plans. The apparel and confectionery sector was the first to announce its action plan this year. In the action plan we shared with the public in January, we identified 40 actions under six components, focusing on the transformation agenda. As of January, we have initiated the implementation process in 13 of the actions."
NİLGÜN ÖZDEMİR: WE ARE CONDUCTING INTENSIVE WORK FOR GREEN TRANSFORMATION
Özdemir continued as follows:
"Especially in terms of industry, a comprehensive transformation is being established in product, raw material, and technology selections. In this regard, as technology-focused production gains importance, in order to be competitive on a global scale, industry must become greener, more cyclical, and more digital. In our country, intense efforts are underway to prepare appropriate legislation and regulations for this process. In this context, we, as TIM and IHKIB, work very closely with our relevant ministries in order to directly benefit our exporters. We assume an interface role in reflecting the view of the industrial sector in the preparation of legislation and regulations, and conveying the regulations to our industrialists."