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Manufacturing showed steady progress after the late 1970s, and by 1990 was an important component of the Turkish Cypriot economy. In 1989 it surpassed for the first time agriculture's contribution to GDP. Only government services and trade were more important. Manufactured products were important exports. Their share of exports expanded rapidly in the l980s, from 19 percent in 1981 to 45 percent in 1989. Manufacturing's share of employment increased only slightly, however.

Except for a cement factory at Boghaz, manufacturing in the "TRNC" consisted entirely of light industry. About 600 firms, mostly small and family-owned, were active at the end of the 1980s. Clothing and textiles were the most important products, and clothing came to account for about 30 percent of exports in the late l980s, exceeded only by citrus exports. A number of foreign companies were active in the clothing industry. Other manufactured products included footwear, leather goods, furniture, chemicals, paper, and some metal items.

Data as of January 1991