Cablegate: Turkish Textile and Apparel Production And

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

Ref: (A) STATE 184238 (B) ADANA 112


1. (U) Ref A requested data on Turkish textile and
apparel employment and production data for country
beneficiaries of U.S. trade preference programs. The
GOT and Turkey's leading business association in these
sectors provided conflicting statistics, in part due to
the large share of the informal economy in textile and
apparel manufacturing.

2. (U) According to the General Secretariat of Istanbul
Textile and Apparel Exporter's Association (IHKIB) and
the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (FTU), Turkey's
total textile and apparel production will reach USD 30
billion in 2004. Of this, USD 24 billion is expected
to be sold abroad. Of the USD 24 billion, USD 18.5
billion is sold as official exports, while the balance
consists of unregistered "suitcase" trade with
countries of the former Soviet Union.

3. (U) A Turkish Foreign Trade Undersecretariat
official told us that the textile and apparel industry
accounts for 13.5 percent of GNP and 18.7 percent of
manufacturing production. These sectors' share is 11
percent of total employment and 30 percent of
manufacturing sector employment. The sectors' share in
total exports is 33.2 percent. IHKIB states that the
textiles and apparel sectors account for 10.6 percent
of the Turkish GDP, 20 percent of industrial
production, 21 percent of the manufacturing labor
force, and 37 percent of Turkey's total exports.
(Note: the official total employment figure is 19.9
million. End Note.)

4. (U) In 2003, Turkey's textile and apparel exports to
the U.S. were USD 1.7 billion, or 3.6 percent of total
exports (USD 47.1 billion). Turkey's textile and
apparel exports to the U.S. account for 12 percent of
its total textile and apparel exports. According to the
IHKIB, which publishes the sector's trade data monthly,
Turkey is the 19th-largest apparel supplier to the U.S.
market, with a 1.8 percent share, and the 10th-largest
textile supplier, with 2.9 percent share.

5. (U) Turkey is also the second-largest apparel
supplier to the EU market, with a market share of 11.6
percent, and the fifth-largest textile supplier to the
EU, with an eight percent market share. The EU's share
in Turkey's total textile and apparel exports was 64.7
percent (USD 9.6 billion) in 2003 or 20.4 percent of
Turkey's total exports. ITKIB claims Turkey will lose
30 percent of its EU market share after 2005, whereas
FTU estimates a loss of about 20 percent.

6. (U) IHKB contends that removal of quotas will cause
1 million workers to lose their jobs in Turkey, with
annual export losses forecasted at USD 6 billion.
Turkish exporters have lobbied to delay removal of
quotas to 2008, and had received the support of
industry associations in 52 countries so far, including
in the U.S.

7. (SBU) FTU officials have told us that, while the GOT
sympathizes with the position taken in the Istanbul
Initiative, it has not officially endorsed a delay in
removal of quotas.

8. (U) Embassy's points of contact on textile issues
are Economic Officer Aldo Sirotic and Economic
Specialist Defne Sadiklar. Both can be reached at
telephone 90 312 455-5555.


9. (U) Sector-based employment data is difficult to
obtain in Turkey. The National Statistics Institute
(DIE) releases general employment data on a quarterly
basis. Its statistical methods are being questioned by
international organizations such as the IMF and the
World Bank. For sectoral employment data, post usually
refers to business organizations' reports like the

10. (U) Turkey's gray economy is large - by some
estimates as large as the formal economy. The textiles
and apparel industries depend on low-wage labor and a
significant portion of the industry is outside the
formal economy. While intensified competition may lead
to job losses reflected in official statistics, it is
likely that at least some of these jobs will shift from
the formal to informal economy.

11. (U) In the Turkish business community, there is a
very wide range of opinion as to the effect of fully
integrating textiles and apparel into the WTO system,
ranging from dire warnings of as many as two million
jobs to be lost to others which believe that the impact
will be much more limited. Embassy will report further
on these prognoses in conjunction with the end of the
quota system.

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