Turkish Furniture Workshops in Global Competition Started in İzmir
The first of the series of workshops was held within the scope of the 28th Modeko İzmir Furniture Fair with the coordination of Aegean Exporters Associations. Representatives of the İzmir and Aegean furniture sectors came together in the Gala program.
Representatives of the İzmir and Aegean furniture sectors came together in the Gala program. The first of the Workshops series that the roadmap would be determined to achieve Turkey’s 2023 export targets, was held within the scope of the 28th Modeko İzmir Furniture Fair with the coordination of Aegean Exporters Associations.
The first leg of the Turkish Furniture in Global Competition Workshop series, which is planned to be held in 10 furniture cities in 2017 with the decision of the Furniture, Paper, and Forest Products Exporters Associations Sector Board, was held in İzmir. İzmir, the 5th largest city in furniture production and employment, also realizes 7% of the sector’s turnover. The city that hosts many important furniture brands is not only an important logistics and export center; but also stands out as a laboratory where many problems of the sector can be monitored with its companies, most of which are SMEs.
Ahmet GÜLEÇ, Board chairman of the Istanbul Furniture, Paper and Forest Products Exporters Association, who made the opening speech of the workshop held within the scope of the 28th Modeko İzmir Furniture Fair, stated that in comparison today’s production technology and design quality with the years he entered the sector, great developments have been achieved both on a numerical basis and in a visible way. “In 2000, we had 164 million $ export, 183 million $ import, and our price per kg could only reach 2,” said GÜLEÇ, adding that today the industry has reached 2.5 billion $ export and 700 million $ import level. He underlined that the ındustry owns 580 companies exporting $ 1 million and more and that 3,7 is recorded in kg price.
GÜLEÇ emphasized that there is no obstacle for this number to reach 7 in 2023 and that the sector most likely to achieve the 2023 targets is the furniture sector. He stated that they had started a series of workshops to determine a mutual vision and strategy for the sector and create the Furniture Industry Vision and Strategy document.
Izmir University of Economics Lecturer Nejat KUTUP, who came to the stand after GÜLEÇ, asked the participants in the workshop to write down the problems experienced by the Izmir and Aegean furniture sectors in exports and the solutions they offered in response. The most intensely highlighted problems by the sector representatives were; the high level of tax-SGK, lack of qualified personnel, and logistics problems in the sector. The solution proposals standing out were alleviating the economic pressures on the producer, giving more attention to the need for Specialized OIZs due to the inadequacies of Karabağlar and Kısıkköy, and design and branding policies in the future. While the Izmir and Aegean furniture sectors participated in the Turkish Furniture Workshop in Global Competition, one of the surprises of the workshop was the participation of Bülent AKARCALI, Former Minister of Tourism. Stating that the primary problem of the sector is the cost pressure on the manufacturer, AKARCALI underlined that Turkey, which wants to create production technology and design quality, should alleviate the burdens on the manufacturers. Another speaker who attended the workshop, President of the Izmir Chamber of Furniture, Hasan ÖZKOPARAN stated that the Izmir furniture industry has significant problems, and that’s the reason the workshop is quite meaningful.
Following the workshop, the opening speech of the Gala Dinner held at the Hilton Airport Hotel was given by Nurettin TARAKÇIOĞLU, Chairman of the Aegean Furniture, Paper, and Forest Products Exporters Association. TARAKÇIOĞLU thanked Ahmet GÜLEÇ, President of Istanbul Furniture, Paper, and Forest Products Exporters Association, for carrying out the Workshop and Gala Programs, which are the driving forces for the sector. Ahmet GÜLEÇ, who came to the stage after TARAKÇIOĞLU, said that the 2023 target of Turkish furniture is $25 billion. He stated that there is no obstacle in achieving production and export of 10 billion dollars, provided that it is desired and worked enough. Concluding his words by saying that we want to be the 5th largest furniture country in the world in 2023, GÜLEÇ thanked all the stakeholders of the Izmir furniture industry for their strong participation and the sense of cooperation they provide.
Workshops to be held by Istanbul Furniture, Paper, and Forest Products Exporters Association in cooperation with Aegean, Central Anatolia, and Mediterranean Exporters Associations, MOSFED, and associations and chambers in related cities, are planned to be held in a furniture city every month throughout 2017.