CONSUMER INTERESTS TAKE PRIORITY
The recent New Year holidays with their traditional sales presented another opportunity for the textile industry of Turkmenistan to demonstrate the diversity of its products. The garment enterprises of the Ministry of Textile Industry of Turkmenistan offered a diverse range of goods with New Year symbols for adults and children that many people liked for their excellent quality and affordable prices.
The products by Turkmen textile workers are made of high-quality environmentally friendly and natural cotton and mixed fabrics. A wide range of men’s, women’s and children’s T-shirts, tunics, pajamas, soft toys, terry towels and other items in festive packaging were produced by the Turkmenbashi, Kipchak, Ashgabat, Bayramali, Geokdepe textile complexes and other cotton enterprises of the country. Their products are sold in great quantities at the shopping centers of Ashgabat and all the regions Turkmenistan.
The textile industry of Turkmenistan is now a graphic example of not only successful import substitution but also a profitable export-oriented business, which is actively developing thanks to the government support. This success, in turn, is based on the dynamic development of the cotton processing industry, using cotton grown under the hot Turkmen sun as raw material.
At the beginning of January 2023, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov signed a resolution that authorized the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection to sell various types of cotton fiber at fixed prices to the Ministry of the Textile Industry for further industrial processing. This measure was aimed at the efficient use of the production capacity of local textile enterprises.
The production base of this industry has been consistently modernized and complemented with new modern complexes for many years. This made it possible to ensure the steady growth of output and increase the range of high-quality finished products. That is why providing the textile enterprises with sufficient volumes of various types of fiber cotton is a priority task for the government.
The annual growth of textile production is the result of state support. The year 2022 was no exception. In 11 months of 2022, the output of enterprises of the Ministry of Textile Industry, including cotton yarn and fabrics increased by 25.4% and 32.2% respectively, garments and knitwear – by 10.2%, year-on-year.
Moreover, export of Turkmen textiles is also steadily growing and gaining recognition in many international markets due to their high quality and natural fabrics. In fact, in 11 months of 2022, exports of clothing and other finished textile products increased by 16.9 percent, year-on-year.
Over the past two years, large textile plants have been erected in Akhal province alone, producing classic and sports-style clothing – men’s shirts, windbreaker jackets, trousers, children’s clothing and bedding sets. They use fine-staple cotton grown in Turkmenistan. It is from such cotton that very popular exquisite fabrics are produced all over the world.
A textile complex in Babadaikhan district of Akhal province is one of the new large industrial facilities of the industry. It was put into operation in November 2021. This USD 151 million worth plant comprises several factories with the total annual capacity of 3.3 thousand tons of fine yarn, 20 million square meters of fabrics and 3.5 million units of other finished garments. The plant offered 1,150 new jobs. Its products are sold in the domestic market and exported.
A little earlier, in August 2021, a similar full-cycle textile plant worth USD 147.8 million was put into operation in Kaahka district of Akhal province. It can process 5,000 tons of fine-staple cotton and produce annually 3,650 tons of high-quality yarn, 12 million square meters of various fabrics and 1,200,000 finished garments. 1,300 new jobs were created at the plant. It is fitted with cotton spinning equipment from Switzerland and Japan, looms from Belgium, dyeing machines from Italy and Germany, as well as sewing machines from Japan. This high-tech equipment helps to produce environmentally friendly yarn, cotton fabrics, as well as finished garments of fine-staple cotton. These products are intended for import substitution and exports.
The commissioning of these facilities made it possible to significantly increase the range of finished textile products. No less important is the fact that these products are made of fabrics from fine-fibered cotton, which is highly rated in foreign markets. For example, it is used to produce batiste, voile, percale, taffeta, guipure and other types of fabrics that are especially valued in the international marketplaces.
The textile industry has become one of the leading industries of Turkmenistan’s economy. Over the years of independence, about USD 2 billion have been invested in the construction of new and reconstruction of existing textile enterprises. The industry boasts more than 70 enterprises, including large textile complexes, cotton spinning and weaving plants and garment factories.
Over the years of independence, 15 modern textile complexes have been put into operation jointly with foreign companies. Their products meet modern requirements of international quality, management and marketing standards. More than 24 thousand people are currently employed by the enterprises of the textile industry of Turkmenistan.
The industry program developed by the government envisages the production-technical re-equipment of the industry enterprises and establishment of innovative production facilities using their own natural resources. It is expected that another USD 300 million will be invested before 2025 for implementation of 30 projects in the textile industry. These investments are aimed not only at expanding the existing capacities but also creating more than ten new production facilities. The phased implementation of the program helps to reduce imports of textile products through production of a wide range of high-quality domestic textile products at affordable prices.
As a result of this work, Turkmenistan has become a major manufacturer of high-quality textile products over 30 years of independence that are popular in the world market. Before independence, almost all cotton grown in Turkmenistan was exported for further processing outside the country. Now, the state has set the task to increase processing of cotton within the country to 100 percent to further produce finished products. At present, most of the textile products manufactured in Turkmenistan are exported to the CIS countries, Europe and Asia.
Since Turkmenistan is rich in cotton (over 1 million tons of raw cotton is harvested in the country annually), its rational and efficient use is one of the main tasks of the textile industry. That is why new textile enterprises are fitted with the state-of-the-art, high-performance equipment and innovative technologies from leading international companies that makes it possible to process cotton qualitatively, produce a wide range of products and create thousands of new jobs.
Modernization of existing enterprises that operate in all the regions of the country also helps to increase the export potential of the textile industry. One of them is the Dashoguz garment factory “Cheper” of the Ministry of Textile Industry of Turkmenistan, which, by the way, is one of the oldest enterprises in the northern region of the country.
After reconstruction, this factory has become a high-tech enterprise with multifunctional sewing machines that perform many operations and provide high quality cutting and tailoring. The product range of this factory includes dozens of types of clothing, bed linen and home textiles.
The jeans complex named after Turkmenbashi is one of the country textile industry’s leading enterprises, which was founded in 1996. More than 130 thousand pieces of various clothes are now produced by the complex per month and more than 1.5 million clothing items – per year. These are denim pants, shirts, jackets and shorts for men, women and children. The complex employs over 3 thousand skilled workers.
The high quality of denim products from this complex makes it competitive and popular in Poland, Greece, England and the USA. In 2020, the complex launched its own online store where one can buy clothes from the brand’s main lines: women’s and men’s jeans at very affordable prices.
The industry enterprises steadily increase the range and output of products made from natural cotton, mastering the production of new types of clothing as part of the implementation of national programs for import substitution and exports. For example, the Rukhabad textile complex, specializing in production of mixed fabrics for uniforms, expanded the range of new types of fabrics with fashionable colors and floral prints for production of outerwear for children and adults.
Increasing the export capacity of the textile industry is also facilitated by enterprises focused on production of goods that have not previously been produced in the country. For example, there is a production facility at the Ashgabat textile complex for processing textile waste with the capacity of 5,000 tons of regenerated fiber per year. High-tech equipment makes it possible to turn textile waste into products that are used subsequently in production of mattresses, pillows, non-woven materials.
It is also important that the estimated capacity of this facility is calculated based on the total volume of waste generated at all textile enterprises of the country. As a result, Turkmenistan’s first line for regeneration of waste made it possible to significantly save the raw material costs of the industry, establish the process of manufacturing products that are in great demand in a number of foreign countries, such as T"urkiye, China and others.
Turkmenistan is a unique area for growing medium-staple and fine-staple varieties of cotton thanks to the natural-climatic conditions. Given the modern organization of production using innovative technologies, natural cotton fiber is the most valuable raw material, one of the most profitable export products. The establishment of a powerful processing base contributed to the fact that Turkmenistan took its rightful place among the world’s largest producers of textile products, while the quality of manufactured goods won the country well-deserved fame and prestige.
Fully satisfying the domestic consumer demand, Turkmen textile manufacturers are increasingly reaching customers in the foreign markets by participating in prestigious international exhibitions. Industry enterprises took part in exhibitions in China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, T"urkiye, Germany.
In June 2022, Turkmenistan for the first time demonstrated its textile industry capacity at the prestigious international exhibition of imported goods in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea. The national pavilion of Turkmenistan was set up at the exhibition that brought together representatives from more than 60 countries and more than 70 companies. Visitors were able to view the textile products by Turkmen manufacturers of clothing, knitwear, jeans, various types of cotton fabrics.
The practice of selling textile products at exchange auctions, through trading houses in foreign countries and electronic platforms is also widely used. In fact, in mid-2022, the Altyn Asyr marketing center of the Ministry of the Textile Industry of the country launched an Internet portal for viewing and purchasing new textile products from 15 national manufacturers labeled “Made in Turkmenistan”.
About 80 percent of Turkmen textile products is currently exported. Countries such as T"urkiye, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Ukraine are among the major consumers of Turkmenistan’s textile products. More than 30 industry enterprises export their products to 15 countries.