The exports of our Aegean Furniture, Paper and Forest Products Exporters' Association in the January-June period of 2021 amounted to 6 million dollars with an increase of 338 percent.
In the first half of 2021, we exported paper and products with 201 million dollars, furniture with 42 million dollars with an increase of 104 percent, and non-wood forest products with 15 million dollars with an increase of 54 percent.
The top 5 export products in non-wood forest products are respectively; Thyme, which we produce about 27 percent of the world production with 70 million dollars, bay leaf with which we produce more than 14 percent of the world production with 90 million dollars, sage with 3 million dollars, licorice with 2 million dollars, medicinal plants and rosemary with 1 million dollars.
Our country is the world leader in laurel and thyme exports, and 55 percent of Turkey's non-wood forest products exports are made by our Association.
The top three countries in our non-wood forest products export are; USA with 8 million dollars, Germany with 6 million dollars, China with 2 million dollars.
In the January-June period of 2021, the top exporting countries in furniture products are; Germany with $10 million, the Netherlands and Israel with $9 million.
Iran with 21 million dollars, Egypt with 20 million dollars and England with 14 million dollars are the leading markets in the export of paper and its products.
We export to 220 countries in Turkey and 180 countries in the Aegean Region. In 2021, we have an export target of 755 million dollars and 7 billion dollars in Turkey as the Union.
Our furniture industry, on the other hand, is one of the few industries that has a foreign trade surplus of 2020 billion dollars in 2,8. As the Aegean region, we export 20 percent more value-added products compared to Turkey's average, and we are working to increase our export unit prices.
Being a country that takes care of its values is the first link of the chain.
In other words, not being an "important country" in the world, but its power; Being a “valuable country” that derives from design, R&D, branding and innovation is the starting point of the process.
That's why this year, with the support of the Ministry of Commerce, we are organizing our “Out-of-the-Box Design Competition” in which furniture, textile and natural stone are used together, breaking new ground in Turkey, together with our Union, Aegean Textile and Raw Materials Exporters' Association and Aegean Mineral Exporters' Association.
Our competition received nearly 1000 applications and we reached the highest number of applications among design competitions in the history of EİB.
Apart from Turkey, students from universities in England, India, Iraq, Hungary and TRNC submitted their designs to the competition. In the upcoming period, we will hold the final of our competition.
Turkey rose to the eighth place in global furniture exports. As a sector, our first goal is to be among the top 5 countries in the world's furniture exports.
The needs analysis process of the project has been completed in our new Ur-Ge Project 'Aegean Furniture' in the furniture sector. The training titles and contents were determined by the company we received consultancy from.
The first training on "Development of Export-Oriented Marketing and Sales Skills" will be held by the Terrestrial Consultancy Firm on August 11, 2021, all day (8 hours) and will be held at the Service Building of our Association.
At the same time, we will organize sectoral trade delegation organizations to the USA, Morocco and Dubai in 2021.
With our TURQUALITY Project, in which we promote Turkish food products, we aim to increase our brand value and thus our added value by promoting our sector in the USA more effectively.
We organized a gastronomy tour by inviting four influencers (social media phenomena) with more than 1 million followers from different parts of the world to Izmir with the promotional activities we organized within the scope of our TURQUALITY Project.
Especially the USA is a big market, importing 2,2 billion dollars of spices annually. We want to double Turkey's spice exports to the USA, which is 55 million dollars per year, in the medium term.
We are the 10th largest supplier of spices in the USA. Our goal with these promotional activities is to put our name in the top five.
We continued our support this year by participating in the 32nd Modeko International İzmir Furniture Fair, which was held with the support of the Ministry of Commerce, with procurement committees, hybrid interviews and design competitions.
On the other hand, our work on digitalization and e-commerce continues.
In the World Bank's 'Future of Retail' report, it is stated that the global e-commerce volume has reached 4,2 trillion dollars. And the dynamics of the global e-commerce market are changing day by day.
We aim to create export-oriented competitiveness and sustainable corporate models in the furniture sector with the MOBINT-Scaling the Export Capacity of the Furniture Industry and Increasing the Competitiveness Project, carried out with the support of İzmir Development Agency under the coordination of our Association.
In order to determine strategies for digitalization, design, R&D culture, which are among the main obstacles to export, and to contribute to the development of cooperation strategies and culture in competition, improvement roadmaps were prepared by analyzing the institutional and managerial structures of 14 furniture manufacturers that will participate in the project and shared with our participating companies.
At the same time, an institutionalization and e-export Implementation Guide was created so that our companies in the furniture sector can determine what stage they are at in their e-export journey and determine their focus areas.
In this direction, the e-portal stages of the e-portal management model planned to be made by the EIB and the business model of this platform were developed, and both its software and design structure were determined.
In this period, in which traditional purchasing tendencies were radically broken, the economy with high added value; will create those who use the time, labor and mental activities to create valuable products and services. We are on this road.