Turkish packaging industry exported $5 billion 147 million in 2020 and achieved an increase of 12 percent in quantity and 9 percent in value compared to the previous year. Mr. Zeki Sarıbekir, President of ASD Turkish Packaging Manufacturers Association said, “As the industry, despite the pandemic process, we managed to have foreign trade surplus. In the coming period, our goal is to contribute to our country's economy by further increasing our exports”.
Having closed 2019 with $4 billion 716 million in exports, the Turkish packaging industry exported $5 billion 147 million in 2020, achieving an increase of 9 percent. Accordingly, total packaging exports, which was 2.6 million tons in 2019, increased by 12 percent to 2.9 million tons in 2020. Imports of the packaging industry increased by 15 percent in quantity and 9 percent in value in 2020 compared to the previous year. Turkish packaging sector contributed positively to the current account deficit by achieving a foreign trade surplus of approximately $2 billion 28 million. Mr. Zeki Sarıbekir, President of ASD said that the highest rate of exports in the sector is in plastic packaging with 66 percent.
WE NEED TO EXPORT HALF OF WHAT WE MANUFACTURE
Making comments about the packaging industry, Mr. Zeki Sarıbekir said, "As the industry, we continued to have foreign trade surplus despite the pandemic. In the coming period, our goal is to contribute to our country's economy by further increasing our exports”. We need to export half of what we manufacture. As Turkish packaging industry, we exported $5 billion 147 million in 2020 and achieved an increase of 12 percent in quantity and 9 percent in value compared to the previous year. The countries we most exported to in 2020 were listed as the United Kingdom, Germany, Iraq, the United States and Israel”.
INCREASE IN EXPORTS DESPITE ISSUES WITH RAW MATERIALS AND CONTAINERS
Continuing his comments on the industry, Mr. Zeki Sarıbekir said, “Plastic packaging ranks first with 66 percent share in our exports and paper/cardboard packaging ranks the second with 22 percent share”.
Addressing the problems they experienced as the sector, Mr. Zeki Sarıbekir emphasized the following: “Raw material prices are rising all over the world and it has implications for us as well. In our industry, raw materials of packaging materials, especially plastic, are mainly supplied from abroad. For this reason, it is imperative to support large investments in our country for the production of raw materials. I believe that such investments, which will focus on raw material production, will also reduce the costs of producers in the long run and increase the export speed. “Turkish Petrochemical Initiative Group” must be established to resolve the raw material issue, as in Turkey's Automobile Initiative Group (TOGG), which was realized with the great efforts of Mustafa Varank, Minister of Industry and Technology and especially the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It can be created with the support of public institutions and the contributions of the private sector. The private sector cannot afford these billion-dollar investments. The state is the force that will bring us together. Thus, we can produce highly value-added products and have a more competitive structure in the international arena. We expect the support of our government and industry stakeholders for initiatives in this regard.
I believe that the problems in finding containers in global logistics, which is another troublesome issue, will be overcome by the establishment of logistics centers. However, at this point, it would be useful to separate the logistics centers by sector. Despite the raw material and container problem, we made exports in the amount of $5 billion 147 million with an increase of 9 percent compared to the previous year. As one of the rare sectors that give current surplus, our contribution to the economy will increase further with the reduction of problems. We also care about the commissioning of Free Trade Agreements. The more countries our customers freely trade with, the more packaging we produce for them. This will increase our exports as the industry and the exports of our country in general”.
THE KEY POINT IN EXPORTS TO EUROPE: “THE EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL”
Mentioning that there are two crucial points regarding packaging production, Mr. Zeki Sarıbekir said that these are 'Sustainability' and 'Environment'. Mr. Zeki Sarıbekir concluded his comments as follows: “Recycling of packaging is highly important to contribute to the country's economy and the environment. Packages are not garbage, they are materials that create economy. We also import recycled plastic, which is an input in our production. We should gradually reduce these imports by reinforcing our country's recycling infrastructure. The recycling of our own waste will make great contribution to our economy. Especially within the framework of sustainability, the world is focused on the zero-waste system. At this point, recycling is the most important building block for the continuation of the contribution to circular economy and of the zero-waste approach.
The European Green Deal for a sustainable environment puts the Circular Economy and Recycling vision on the agenda. Countries that make the necessary preparations for a sustainable environment even during the pandemic, that is, in a period of increasing uncertainty and risk, are reinforcing their international credibility. The European Union also aims to gradually implement the European Green Deal within the framework of its climate-neutral target for 2050. As ASD, we will closely follow the transition to a carbon-free economy and continue to provide our sector with the best support we can offer as we do our part”.
ASD Turkish Packaging Manufacturers Association