According to figures released by the Turkish Exporters Board, the country's exports of leather and leather products are starting to regain some of the ground lost over the last three years. In June 2001 exports stood at US$53.3 million, a rise of 4.7 per cent on the same month last year. One of the best performing categories is leather apparel.

For the first six months of this year, the leather and leather products sector saw exports climb 13.8 per cent to US$263.3 million, up from US$231.5 million in the same period of 2000.

Commenting on these statistics, Mehmet Büyükeksi, president of IDMIB, said: "The growth rate in leather apparel is 30 per cent. There is nearly no increase in shoe making and other products. This increase is caused by the fact that leather has become fashionable in 2000 and 2001 and demand from abroad has shifted to our country. The devaluation also had an influence on this. Now, the companies in the domestic market are making an effort to build their export businesses."

He added that prior to the Russian crisis in 1998, exports were even higher. "We expect these increases to maintain. Leather apparel has caught a good rise, and we expect this to continue both in Russia and western Europe."

Source: Ezgi Ajans.


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