The trade wars between the US and China affect the mattress industry as well as other sectors. The US, which has reduced imports from Chinese firms, has become open to export opportunities for new countries. Considering this as an opportunity, Turkish companies accelerated their efforts.
One of Turkey’s major brands in mattress exports, Ersan Madeni Esya interprets this situation from the standpoint of Turkey. The exclusive interview we made with Mazhar Kilic, Foreign Trade Specialist of Ersan Madeni Esya, is as follows:
How do you interpret the impact of trade wars between China and the US in the sleep products market? How do you think the Turkish mattress industry is affected by this situation?
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) warns that the World economy will be badly affected after deepening of the trade wars between USA and China and also revalidation of protectionist economic measures. Turkey will be one of those countries that might be affected badly. Stepping back from free trade to 1990’s custom tariff rates will lead to decrease in standard of living by 14% said OECD, and this will surely be a hit on the mattress sector too. Considering that mattress consumption is 45% by householders and 55% by hospitals, hotels and other profit seeking organizations. The reciprocal manipulations between the two countries are affecting the public investments, national income, public expenses in a bad manner. Any decrease in the demand of the houses in the real estate sector will cut down the demand of the fundamental furniture needs like mattress. An average households is changing their mattress once in 8-9 years while this numbers go down to 5-6 years in hotels, hospitals. Any bad effects on their economy due to the trade wars will delay the needs of changing their mattress or trying a new and functional one for about 1-2 years. Also, lowering the standard of livings will lead to no response to those creative and innovative ideas by the consumers. We are seeing the rise in the eco-friendly natural mattresses that address all types of needs of customers like health, comfort. As turkey, we are exporting over European and Middle Eastern Countries and importing from China and Poland the most. We can draw a conclusion at this point that putting too much taxes, tariffs and additional duties and protectionist measures in the import and export activities will make the World economy and import-export activities of countries worse and worse and badly affect the emerging economies like Turkey.
What are the precautions to take in Turkey’s import-export issues?
It is highly important to make a good planning in export and import activities for those countries that target for steady and sustainable growth in their economy. The most decisive factor in development of the emerging economies like Turkey is the rise in export rate. In this context, our country has to focus on the following issues for a more productive export strategies, investment in technology and science, innovation, focus on research – development and entrepreneurship, easy access to true information and market insights, strengthening the structures of transportation and logistics, focused on the exportation of value added and high level of technological goods, improving the supplying of the domestic raw material to enhance the added values of the export, improving the current market shares, improving the market shares of high potential of growth in targeted markets, finding immediate solutions for the structural problems that our exporters face in the global commerce world that continuously change and turning the threats into opportunities, keep an eye on the opportunities in the market and get profits out of it quickly, pushing our entrepreneurs to the new lands with market diversification, regarding the subjects of foreign trade we should take advantages of the geopolitical location of our country and pulling the investors in our country.
Which country do you export most as a company? Which factors do you think play a role in these countries choosing a Turkish company?
We are exporting mainly to Nederland and Germany in Europe, African countries, Middle Eastern countries, the USA and Canada and other 24 countries in total. We can say that the customers in those areas consider the following advantageous sides of our country to do trade with; geopolitical location of Turkish lands, opportunities of transportation varieties, infrastructural and logistical advantages. Leading time is very short in comparison with the Far East and other areas additionally, the prestige and reputation of our city, Kayseri in producing the most exported mattresses in Turkey also where we make our production plays an important role for our export activities.