The Turkish natural stone industry, which makes $2 billion exports annually, is finding new markets in South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile, the head of the Istanbul Mineral Exporters' Association (M BB) said.
The natural stone industry must diversify its export destinations due to contractions in its export markets including China, Ayd?n Din?er told Anadolu Agency (AA).
The half of natural stones exports are of marble, the main destinations of which are China and India, he noted.
China makes $1 billion-worth of natural stone imports from Turkey, which means that a 10% narrowing equals to $100 million for the sector, he stressed.
"The U.S. is the leading country for our exports of manufactured goods with $400 million, followed by Saudi Arabia," Din?er added.
Touching on the mining sector's exports, he said the sector's exports were around $4.5-5 billion annually and it aims to close 2019 with $4.6 billion-worth of exports.
"The natural stone sector, which constitutes half of the mining sector's exports, is a significant item," he added.
During the past year, Din?er said the IMIB had organized trade delegation visits to nearly 20 countries – including South American countries, Mexico and South Korea.