EPI Trip Report: Apparel Familiarization Trip

This trip report describes the visit of potential Turkish investor, Kardem Tekstil, to Georgia to learn more about the Georgian apparel investment climate and local apparel market.

Kardem Tekstil visited Georgia between 1 and 4 June 2011 to learn more about Georgia’s apparel investment climate and local apparel manufacturers. The company is interested in both establishing a manufacturing base and establishing new outsourcing relationships with Georgian apparel manufacturers. The trip was initiated, designed, organized, and implemented by EPI and the Georgian National Investment Agency (GNIA) after meeting the owner of Kardem Tekstil, Mr. Zeki Erdogan, at the 4th Istanbul Fashion and Apparel Conference in Turkey in May 2011.

Kardem Tekstil’s owner, Zeki Erdogan, General Manager, Bumin Fisek, and Sales and Marketing Manager, Ilke Onelge, held meetings with high level representatives of the Government of Georgia (including the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development), Georgian apparel manufacturers, Turkish-owned apparel manufacturers, and Poti Free Industrial Zone, while visiting Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Ozurgeti, Poti, and Batumi.

The Kardem representatives also visited potential investment sites in Ozurgeti and Kutaisi that the hosts suggested, where they saw land options and former factory buildings that are under state ownership or private ownership that can be used for apparel manufacturing.

As a result of their trip, Kardem gave trial orders of 3,000 pieces to one of the local apparel manufacturers, Laura Gachava. They also expressed an interest in investing in the Georgian apparel sector to set up a clothing manufacturing facility in Guria or Kutaisi. However, Kardem representatives requested more information on Georgia’s labor market in order to make an informed decision. ACT, EPI’s subcontractor, was subsequently tasked with implementing the labor market survey.