ECONOMY

Turkey's Aegean city exports marble to 60 countries

TURKEYS AEGEAN CITY EXPORTS MARBLE TO 60 COUNTRIES

Turkey's Aegean resort city of Muğla exported marble and natural stone worth $300 million to 60 countries in 2017, chairman of Marble Association of Muğla said on Wednesday.

"Muğla has around 120 marble quarries, around 140 factories and nearly 10,000 employees," Mustafa Ercan told Anadolu Agency.

He said the export of the city's marble and natural stone -- granite, limestone, onyx and travertine -- rose by 23 percent year-on-year in 2017.

Muğla's exports made 20 percent of Turkey's overall marble and natural stone exports -- $2.1 billion -- in 2017, he underlined.

"We plan to raise our marble and naturel stone exports 25-30 percent every year," he said.

Marble is the second important sector for Muğla after tourism, he highlighted.

He noted the exports were made mostly to Middle East, Europe, the U.S., China and India.

Muğla, where especially white marble is processed, is the second white marble producer in the world after Italia's province Carrara.

"In the scope of studies with the Muğla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MUTSO), we continue to work to get a geographical indication for 'Muğla White Marble'," he stated.

Muğla White Marble is the city's unique marble, which is also known as 'White Ibiza' or 'Blanco Ibiza'.

"Muğla White Marble became a worldwide brand," Bulent Karakus, head of the MUTSO, said.

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