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Turkey is eyeing US$18bn in apparel exports by the end of this year and US$19bn in 2019 according to new data from the Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association (IHKIB).

In its monthly report for October, IHKIB said in the first ten months of 2018 (January to October) Turkey’s ready-made garment and apparel exports grew 4.6% to US$14.8bn year-on-year, after three years of stagnating exports.

IHKIB said the figures demonstrate “the uptrend that started in the second half of 2017 has continued”.

For the month of October, apparel exports grew 2.4% compared to the same period last year.

According to IHKIB, the EU absorbed the majority of Turkish apparel and garment exports at 71% over the January-October 2018.

The largest importing countries during the period were Germany, Spain and the UK at US$2.7bn, $2.1bn and $1.7bn respectively, followed by the Netherlands, France, Iraq and the US.

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IHKIB adds it is expecting exports to grow to more than US$19bn over the 2019 period.

According to re:source by just-style, the online strategic planning tool, Turkey is amongst the world’s top ten clothing and textile exporters thanks to its high quality, proximity to Europe and Asia, skilled labour, and a well-developed domestic supply chain.

It benefits from Japan’s Generalised System of Trade Preferences and falls under the EU Customs Union trade agreement.