Fashion brands panic after Saudi Arabia's 'ban' on 'Made In Turkey' products

Fashion brands panic after Saudi Arabia's 'ban' on 'Made In Turkey' products
Brands such as Mango might switch suppliers after a Saudi boycott of Turkish goods.
2 min read
12 October, 2020
Riyadh has imposed a ban on Turkish goods, according to media reports [Getty]
Fashion labels are being hit hard by a Saudi ban on the import of Turkish-made goods, forcing some to seek alternative suppliers in order to reach the Gulf market, a report has revealed.

It comes amid reports of a boycott by Riyadh of Turkish goods and services, amid political differences between the two countries.

Last week, the leader of the kingdom's Chambers of Commerce announced a boycott on any products with a "Made in Turkey" label and services.

It has led Spanish fashion brand Mango, among others, to reconsider their Turkish suppliers due to an unofficial embargo, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

An internal email from the clothing giant confirmed that Riyadh had "banned all imports for made in Turkey products".

A statement by Mango said that they "are looking into alternatives to the slowing down of custom processes for products of Turkish origin in Saudi Arabia".

For months, Turkish exporters had complained that their goods were being held up at the Saudi border leading to disruptions in sales, despite no official announcement by Riyadh on the matter.

Saudi Arabia's government claimed that it had not "placed any restrictions on Turkish goods" and that it had not "witnessed any noticeable decline, except for the general impact of the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic", according to the FT.

The reports of the embargo come amid a peak in tensions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia over regional ambitions and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. 

Turkey was a supporter of the previous Egypt government of President Mohamed Morsi, who was overthrown in a military coup in 2013.

It also backs the UN-recognised government in Tripoli, while Saudi Arabia has sided with rebel militia leader Khalifa Haftar and other counter-revolutionary movements in the Arab world.

Turkey has also been supportive of Qatar during its three-year blockade by neighbours such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia amounted to $3.2 billion last year, while Saudi imports totalled $1.9 billion, according to the daily.

Turkey is one of the biggest manufacturers of clothes and textiles for the Middle East region, while its "soft power" exports such as TV and film are also popular in the region.

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