Turkey’s jewelry exports skyrocketed nearly 60 percent to $3.3 billion over the past five years, according to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) data released Friday.

The jewelry sector’s exports soared to $3.3 billion at the end of 2017 from $2 billion in 2012, the TİM data said.

As of the end of 2017, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the largest market for the Turkish jewelry sector, importing $1 billion worth goods. Jewelry exports to the country surged 140 percent compared to 2012, while its share of the sector’s total exports were 32 percent. The UAE was followed by Iraq with $652 million, with jewelry exports to the country going up 290 percent since 2012, and then Hong Kong with $162 million.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Turkish Jewelry Exporters Union Chairman Ayhan Guner said Turkey continues to boost the export performance of the jewelry sector. Explaining that they seek to shift the Middle East’s customer potential to Turkey, Güner said that Dubai’s recently introduced 5 percent customs duty and 5 percent value-added tax (VAT) has forced jewelry companies in the emirate to move their operations to other countries.

Guner also said that as a result of this development in the UAE, Turkey has become even more prominent among international gold trade centers, adding that marketing strategies have also impacted the rapid rise of jewelry exports.

According to Guner, the Jewelry Exporters Union has been traveling around the world to invite jewelry purchasers to Turkey over the past five years, telling them that Turkey is a main production center for jewelry.

Stressing that the capacity of purchasing delegations from abroad has increased continuously over the past three years, Guner said: “We drew nearly 10,000 buyers to Istanbul with each jewelry fair. Our market diversity has increased. Turkey has high potential in jewelry production.”

Contending that Turkey has the greatest production potential for jewelry in Europe and the Middle East, Guner said that the country ranks second in production, after India, and ninth in exports in the world. “Following the crisis with Russia, we opened from the Middle East to Europe. We lost $350 million to $400 million in exports to the Russian market. We produce world-class jewelry and have no trouble regarding quality. Our goal is to make Turkey the largest jewelry distribution center in Europe and the Middle East.”

Source:  Daily Sabah

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