MDG-F - 2067: HARNESSING SUSTAINABLE LINKAGES FOR SMEs IN TURKEY'S TEXTILE SECTOR UN JOINT PROGRAMME
The Turkish Textile and Clothing Sector is one of the most critical sectors in Turkey in terms of contribution to the gross domestic product, employment generation and net exports. There are approximately 40,000 companies in the sector, which employ an estimated 2 million workers. In 2007 the sector accounted for $22.7 billion worth of exports. The abolishment of the Agreement on Textile and Clothing (ATC) in 2004, liberated the global trade and thereby exposed Turkish companies to low-cost competition from Asian countries.
The sector also suffers from increased input costs and cannot compete in international markets unless a strategy is adopted towards utilization of technological tools to establish supply chain coordination and raise awareness of the impact of emerging social and environmental standards within global supply chains. The Government of Turkey has taken a number of measures to transform the national textile and clothing sector, within the framework of the World Trade Organization rules.
At the same time, Multinational corporations (MNCs) and large firms on the higher end of the value chain are increasingly putting pressure on SMEs, to not only meet quantity, quality and price-cost requirements, but to also demonstrate that they are meeting minimum environmental and social requirements. While some of the Turkish suppliers in the textile sector are aware of these pressures and are thus realizing that they need to comply with these public and private standards to maintain and strengthen their market access, they often lack the understanding, skills and managerial capacity to respond to these pressures.
It is in this context, a Joint Technical Assistance Programme was developed by UNDP, UNIDO and ILO within the support of the UNDP-Spanish MDG Achievement Fund. This 3-year joint programme (JP) aims to enhance the international competitiveness of SMEs in the textile and clothing sector of Turkey, especially those located in poor and vulnerable regions (with a focus on Malatya, Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman and Gaziantep), in order to integrate them into the domestic, regional and global value chains. The local counterpart of the UNJP is ITKIB Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters’ Assocations.
Within the framework of this JP, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is in charge of carrying out activities that will help local SMEs in the textile sector to integrate social and environmental standards and principles into their business processes and operating practices.
UNIDO activities can be grouped into three components:
- Clustering Component:
a. Preparation of a diagnostic study for the 4 Pilot Project Provinces - Completed
b. Needs Assessment for the Turkish Textile sector in the fields of clustering, export consortia and business linkages and participatory validation of the findings - Ongoing
c. Capacity Development of Business Institutions and experts on UNIDO Cluster Development Methodology- Ongoing
d. Preparation and Implementation of Cluster Action Plans - Ongoing
e. Social Network Analysis of the Clusters - Ongoing
f. Formulation of policy recommendations to enable wider application of cluster approach- Future Activity
2. Environmental Component:
a. Preparation of a Situation Analysis for SMEs from environmental perspective via surveys carried out in SMEs, transnational companies and business organizations - Completed
b. Implementation of training programmes on environment and productivity for workers and managers - Launched
c. Five business models related to the Turkish Textile Sector and Environment- Ongoing
3. CSR Component:
a. Organization of an Expert Group Meeting and Focus Group Meetings gathering representatives of International Brands, Exporters, Non exporting Manufacturers, Business Organizations and Academia - Completed
b. Training of the Trainers programme on UNIDO CSR Methodology with specific focus on REAP programme - Launched
c. Preparation of a CSR Tool for the use of the sector - Ongoing
d. CSR Counseling for selected pilot SMEs in the region with REAP Methodology- Launched
e. Formulation of Policy Recommendations related to integration of CSR into current governmental policies and support schemes – Future Activity
The Joint Programme focuses on two interrelated and complementary objectives:
1. Strengthening the productivity and innovation capabilities of the SMEs in the Turkish textile industry, and
2. Integrating sustainable development, social and environmental principles and gender equality into the business processes and practices of the Turkish SMEs in the textile industry.
The UN Joint Programme Harnessing Sustainable Linkages for SMEs in Turkey’s Textile Sector project is currently ongoing until December 2012.
UNIDO Components are designed in order to contribute positively to the competitiveness of the Turkish Textile Sector. The project activities are carefully formulated and being implemented in order to equip the SMEs in the pilot project provinces with competencies for internationalization.
Close interaction and concrete cooperation with the relevant Ministries of the Country provide a unique opportunity to contribute to Private Sector Development Policies with specific focus on UNIDO Cluster Development and Corporate Social Responsibility Methodologies.