Turkey has seen a 0.7% rise in ready-made garment exports to US$6bn in the first four months of the year, according to new data from the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB).

For the period from January-April 2019, the countries importing the largest volumes of ready-made garments from Turkey were Germany at US$995.6m, Spain at $783.8m and the UK at $627.1m. They were followed by The Netherlands, France and the US.

In terms of share of Turkey's total exports between January and April, ready-made garments accounted for 10.1%

During April alone, ready-made garment exports from Turkey rose 3% year-on-year to US$1.5bn.

In its report, IHKIB notes that during April, growth in the ready-to-wear and apparel industry sector faced pressures from "more geopolitical and political problems" than in previous months, including the deceleration of the EU economy and the ongoing trade spat between the US and China.

At the end of last month, the US pulled the plug on Turkey's access to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme, eliminating the eligibility of thousands of products imported from that country for duty-free treatment.

Though the programme excludes most textile and apparel products exported to the US, the designation of a country as eligible for GSP sends a strong message that it is taking steps to improve worker and intellectual property rights.