• Idlib

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 6:42 AM
    Last Update : Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 6:42 AM

Northern Syria’s Furniture Makers Embittered by Low Demand Caused by Imports from Turkey

(AWP) - Owners of furniture workshops in the Industrial Zone in Idlib, northwestern Syria, complain of low demand for their products due to an “invasion of used Turkish goods.”

They said that the high prices of local products and Syrians’ weak purchasing power have pushed customers to buy used Turkish furniture, which costs no more than $700 for two sleeping and living rooms.

Mohamed Sana,’ who owns a furniture-making workshop, said that the work was good in the past, but that the business is no longer like those days.

“Turkish and European goods have had their impact on all the craftsmen. The greatest harm was to the Arabian woodworking and furniture industry,” he explained.

Workshop owners expressed concerns that the furniture-making business could become extinct as a result of workshops closing in favour of more profit-making enterprises.

Some of the workshops rely on simple jobs, like fixing wooden doors and windows, to provide a livelihood for the workers.

Safwan Zakkour, an owner of a furniture-making workshop, said that Turkish furniture has had a great sweeping influence.

“It has stopped the production here. We are now importing, whereas before we were producing and exporting. The work rate has plunged, and marketing of Turkish goods is on the rise, causing the stagnation of our own goods here,” he added.

Meanwhile, owners of stores selling used Turkish furniture said that people living in the depressed economic conditions of northern Syria opt to buy the Turkish goods, because their prices are affordable and their quality and design are fine.

The merchants said that despite the flourishing sale of Turkish goods, they face some difficulties in the form of high transport costs, which can reach up to $1,800, consequently raising the prices of imported goods and decreasing demand for them.

Basil Al-Hamsy, an owner of a store selling imported Turkish furniture, said there are several difficulties involved in the business.

“There are several difficulties. I buy used goods, mostly from homes, and I do my best to have them good and clean. I have a problem with transport. I have the goods carried from Turkey to the Syrian border, and later from a Turkish truck to a Syrian truck. I have them transported to my place here," he indicated.

“This may cause some damage to the goods. Also, the costs of transport and the customs fees at the borders are high,” noted Hamsy.