he 2009 ITMF Annual Conference will take place in Shanghai, October 23-25. In an
exclusive interview with
Textile World Asia
, Halit Narin, International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) president since
2008, welcomed the global delegates to Shanghai and reflected on ITMF and the future of the global
: Mr. Narin, the 2009 ITMF conference will take place in Shanghai. Please welcome our readers
to the conference.
Narin: As president of ITMF, I am pleased to invite all the leaders and
representatives of the international textile industry to our annual conference. The manufacturers
and especially the textile industrialists all around the world are passing through a difficult
period because of the global economic crisis. And at this time, we put special emphasis on this
meeting, at which we will discuss many issues and the future of textiles. In 2008, our federation
accepted China into the membership of ITMF, and this year, our new member association, the China
National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), will host the ITMF annual conference.
: What do you expect from the conference in Shanghai?
Narin: This year, our federation has chosen Shanghai as the venue of the
conference, and the general theme of the conference is defined as “Structural Adjustments in the
World Textile Industry.” This year, we will meet in China, the country that possesses the largest
textile manufacturing capacity in the world. I expect that we will have a very successful
The Global Textile Industry
Why should the delegates come to Shanghai?
Narin: ITMF is the international body that represents the textile industry
worldwide. I hope and expect that ITMF will draw a large number of members of the textile chain in
Shanghai and China, and will provide the participants with the opportunity to become informed about
the current developments in the economy and textile industry, and to exchange views. The delegates
will listen to speakers from diversified sectors of the economy, finance and industry. I should
also mention that Turkey’s member association, the Turkish Textile Employers’ Association, has
invited Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of Germany, to give a keynote address during our
conference. He is an excellent speaker with a deep knowledge of international political and
economic affairs, and I believe the delegates will be interested to listen to Mr. Schröder. In
addition to very interesting sessions on fibers, textiles and retail industry, we also will have a
workshop on innovation and innovative textiles. A visit to the China International Trade Fair for
Apparel Fabrics and Accessories (Intertextile Shanghai) 2009 is also included in our conference
: You are the current ITMF president. What were the reasons to become president of ITMF?
Narin: During my business life, I have always believed in collective and team work
and have been a member of various industrial and sectoral organizations and also have presided over
several organizations in Turkey. I am still president of the Turkish Textile Employers’
Association, which joined ITMF in 1974. Since that time, we have closely followed the activities of
our federation, and through the federation’s reports and meetings we have been informed of the
developments in the world textile industry.
In 2004, the year in which we commemorated the centennial of the federation, members of the
ITMF Committee of Management elected me vice president of the federation. After serving as vice
president, I was elected in 2008 to the presidency of ITMF. I have taken over that office with
honor, commitment and plans for the future of the federation.
: What is your personal philosophy in business?
Narin: In business, as an industrialist and entrepreneur, I work always to achieve
the best. In my business life, I have always had an approach of respecting social balances. I have
adopted as a principle to carry out activities for the healthy functioning of the economy, with the
belief that production is the heart of the economy and the entrepreneurs are the brain of the
: What is your philosophy as ITMF president?
Narin: As ITMF president, I focus my ideas, considerations and representative work
mainly on the development of textiles, a sector that has a history parallel to that of humanity and
also a future throughout the life of humanity. For the future of textiles, ITMF must provide
textile manufacturers with the right information and opinions to achieve success under the current
: What are your targets as ITMF president?
Narin: Together with the Board members, we will have to move forward to strengthen
the reputation of the federation in the global textile arena. My targets are to create an even more
active and effective organization, thus to represent the textile industry worldwide – and
furthermore, to make ITMF an opinion leader and to strengthen the membership base of ITMF at a time
when the textile manufacturing industry is in a period of transition.
Current Market Situation
: How do you see the current market situation for the textile industry?
Narin: The financial crisis has become a global crisis for the real economy. The
economic activity in developed and also developing countries fell in the final quarter of 2008 and
in the first quarter of 2009. Unemployment has increased. Tighter financial conditions, together
with increased uncertainty, caused individuals to delay purchases, and companies to reduce
production and cut back investment expenditures. Under these general conditions, the outlook of the
textile manufacturing industry is not different. The world textile industry has been seriously
affected by the global economic crisis. During an era of slower economic growth, underutilization
of manufacturing capacity and declining sales dominate also the textile sector.
: Do you see any signs of recovery?
Narin: As far as the economic indicators are concerned and according to the report
of the World Bank, global output is forecast to fall by 2.9 percent and world trade by nearly 10
percent in 2009. Despite the decline in gross domestic product, a number of indicators point to the
beginning of a recovery. Fiscal stimulus measures, and modest improvements in exports in some
countries and in consumer demand are among the factors pointing to the beginning of recovery.
However, several factors point to continued weakness – mainly, unemployment continues to rise
worldwide. Consequently, the timing and strength of the awaited recovery in the global economy
remains uncertain.Nonetheless, textiles will have a successful future. There will always be
consumer demand for both traditional and innovative products in the textile sector, and our
industry will survive by adjusting to the changing conditions.