Instability in Iraq, Syria hits Turkey’s ceramic sector
UŞAK - Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoThe Turkish ceramic sector’s exports to the Middle East and North Africa decreased by around 30 percent in the first nine months of the year from the same period of 2013, mainly due to rising instability in its key markets of Syria, Iraq and Libya.
“The Turkish economy has been growing and its production network has been strengthening for the last decade, but rising instability and clashes in neighboring regions have had a negative effect on some sectors. Unfortunately, the Turkish ceramic sector is one of the worst affected sectors,” said Mustafa Kuvvet, the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Uşak, one of the sector’s most important centers in Turkey.
Instability and clashes in the region has harmed neighboring economies and hit Turkish exports to them, Kuvvet added.
“We do not expect a resolution of these problems in the short term, so we are now seeking new alternative markets,” he said.
Compared to the same period of 2013, in the first nine months of this year Turkey’s ceramic exports to Iraq decreased from $210.7 million to $157 million, and to Libya from $157.8 million to $89 million.
“Our exports to these regions decreased by around 30 percent in the first nine months of the year from the same period of the previous year,” Kuvvet said, while stressing that they were eagerly awaiting the return of stability to the region.
The head of Seranova Ceramnics, Hilmi Alper, said his company’s exports to Iraq decreased to their lowest level in the last 34 months in June.
“Iraq, Syria and Libya used to be of crucial importance for our sector, but security of life and property are very low in these countries at the moment. Our exports to these countries have recently decreased by almost a half,” Alper said.
He added that they are now seeking alternative markets to fill the gap, focusing on Germany, Britain, the Balkan countries, the U.S., Canada and West African countries.