The packaging sector, which is focused on production, export and employment, continues its contribution to Turkey's total exports continuously.
The Association of Packaging Industrialists (ASD) has published its report on export figures for 2021. The sector closed last year with exports of 6.5 billion dollars with a value increase of 26 percent. The top three most exported countries were the United Kingdom, Germany and Iraq, respectively. These countries were followed by the USA, Israel, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Egypt and Iran. Plastic packaging group accounted for 66 percent of 2021 exports. Paper/cardboard packaging had a 23 percent share, while metal packaging group had a 7 percent share, glass packaging had a 3 percent share, and wood packaging had a 1 percent share.
Evaluating the export figures, ASD President Zeki Sarıbekir said, "Our sector exported $ 6.5 billion in 2021 and increased its positive contribution to the current account deficit by giving a foreign trade surplus of $ 2.7 billion. As a packaging sector, we are working to export at least half of the packages we produce in Turkey, aiming to export more and more every day,"he said.
Production costs have increased by 3 times, there should also be a VAT discount on packaging
Noting that energy and production costs have increased by an average of 3 times, Zeki Sarıbekir said, "There are problems in supply. The problems experienced in our region, the Russian-Ukrainian war, the shortage of raw materials and the container problem are among the factors that have a serious negative impact on our exports. There are very serious increases in commodity prices. On the other hand, the VAT rate on food has been reduced. The packaging sector is also an industry branch that serves the food sector. In this context, I believe that a VAT regulation can be made for our sector as well. The VAT rate should decrease from 18 percent to 8 percent,"he said.
We should focus on the substitution of imports
ASD President Zeki Sarıbekir emphasized that the packaging sector exports from 5 different exporters' associations and continued: "If we want to increase the competition of our products in the world Sunday, we need to minimize the capital we spend on energy. Exporters' associations should deal with exports, not imports. It is very important that imported products coming to Turkey are produced in Turkey as a substitute. We need to focus not on opening imports, but on their substitution. We need to provide this for more value-added production and more exports. We should sweat for new Free Trade Agreements, chase new Sundays.”
The issue of sustainability cannot be postponed
Zeki Sarıbekir, who said that they are not against the import of waste, but it should be gradually reduced and destroyed, said,"I want to emphasize that it is very important to recycle waste material. We buy the waste that someone else decomposes when we bury our own waste. We need to encourage the use of our own waste, as China is doing. In order to develop the Chinese recycling industry, it has purchased the world's plastic waste, developed its industry, and slowly brought it to zero. For this reason, we should also deal with systems that will improve collection and recycling in our country. We support the issue of green OSB. The products produced here will also be open to the public. When ISO 9000 was first released, those who did not have ISO 9000 certificate could not export. In the future, exporters who have a bad carbon report card will become unable to export in the same way. With the increase in exports, this situation is proceeding parallel to the first degree. The industry can be collected in OSBs and removed from cities. We always support them. ASD, we believe that this should be kept on the agenda. Sustainability, environmental production is the future of Turkey. When we put environmental sustainability as the first priority, both logistics, production quality and our competitiveness will improve. We are entering a new era, and those who cannot adapt to it will not be able to survive,"he said.