TM 2009, the International Textile Machinery Exhibition, took place in Istanbul, Turkey,
in June. Despite the world financial crisis, most globally focused exhibitors reported better
feedback than expected, with even some sales and new projects.
Show organizers Tüyap Tüm Fuarcilik Yapim A.S. and Teknik Fuarcilik, Yay. Tic. Ltd. Sti.;
with supporting partners the Turkish Textile Machinery and Accessories Manufacturers Association
and Turkish Textile Employers’ Association reported nearly 1,000 exhibitors from 26 countries were
present, and 31,000 visitors from Turkey and 59 countries attended this year’s ITM. The organizers
emphasized the slogan: “Textile Exhibitions in a Textile Manufacturing Country.”
In recent years, textile machinery and related equipment sales dropped remarkably in Turkey,
almost down to zero. However, exports of Turkish textile machinery grew by 31 percent to $312
million last year, thanks to increased investments in such countries as Syria, Egypt, Bangladesh
and Uzbekistan; and also to good pricing policies. The sector is optimistic European purchasers
will return to Turkey and expects a revival in the domestic market despite a predicted 10-percent
decrease in exports in 2009.
Playing up the slogan”Textile Exhibitions in a Textile Manufacturing Country,” ITM 2009
officials cut the ribbon to signal the exhibition’s opening in Istanbul, Turkey.
Expectations Fulfilled, Quality Visitors
Exhibitors didn’t have high expectations regarding ITM. However, most of them were
positively surprised. Rudolf Meier, Switzerland-based Rieter Textile Systems’ head of sales,
Europe/Africa, reported some interesting visits. Osman Balkan, owner of Balkan Textile Machinery, a
local manufacturer of textile and ginning equipment, was pleased with visitor feedback. Fred
Maletschek, division manager, Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Germany, also said feedback
was better than expected. But Iris Biermann, head of markets and products strategy, Oerlikon
Textile Components, Germany, was not happy, with one exception: Oerlikon Textile presented a new
concept, the Oerlikon Textile Components Store, to push spare parts sales.
Harold Hoke, executive vice president, Uster Technologies Ltd., Switzerland, said some
visitors are talking about new projects. Customers want to keep or even improve product quality,
not only to get new customers, but also to keep existing ones. Some 80 percent of all ITM visitors
came from Turkey, but there also were a lot of Iranian, Syrian and Egyptian visitors. The quality
of the visitors was judged as good. Erwin Devloo, marketing communications manager, Picanol NV,
Belgium, said Picanol representatives talked mostly to decision-makers.
Important Turkish Market
Turkey is a very important market for textile machinery manufacturers. Meier said Turkey is
still the most important market for Rieter, and that it will remain stable. Devloo believes if the
global economy picks up, Turkey again will play a dominant role as a textile products supplier.
For Mehmet Saracoglu, managing director, Sarteks Tekstil, Turkey, states such as Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan and neighboring countries are also important. Syria, Iran, Iraq and India are
important markets for everybody. Syria and Iran are very important for local producers, which have
direct contacts with these countries.
Although Turkey was in a difficult situation for a long time, now everywhere there are
discussions about new projects that were postponed due to the recession. Some exhibitors said their
customers have delivery times of three to four months – a very good sign for recovery.
Maletschek sees only some revival in Iran, and, surprisingly, the banks are lending money
again. The downswing is now at its bottom, and the recovery will take its time.
In the next 10 years, Saracoglu said, technical textiles and nonwovens will play a very
important role in Turkey and its textile production. Only top-quality producers can continue to
exist; for example, the raw material proportion of spinning is 50 percent. That means only niche
products “Made in Turkey” will survive.