Lankan entrepreneurs to take part in the world's largest apparel exhibition
Daily News - Friday, December 13, 2002
By Shirajive Sirimane

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For the first time Sri Lankan entrepreneurs involved in the garment industry has got the opportunity to take part in the International Sourcing Neighborhood of World's largest and most comprehensive Apparel Trade show. Produced twice a year, in Las Vegas, USA. 'MAGIC' is the world's largest Apparel purchasing community.

A local businessman Hiran Jayasinghe now based in USA has been appointed as the MAGIC's exclusive representative for Sri Lanka. Jayasinghe who is now in Sri Lanka for a brief period said that this Exhibition would be the ideal venue for Sri Lankan businessmen involved in the garment industry to meet up genuine buyers and make connections with them on a one to one basis. "The four day event will be attended by over 85,000 buyers and 3,000 exhibitors from 110 countries. Since only the top management level personal from the rank of Vic President's upwards are attending MAGIC, this would be the ideal venue to make contact with very influential people since you meet only real buyers."

He said that with the quota system being taken off in December 31st 2004. It is estimated that over 40% of employees in the sector will lose their jobs unless new buyers are found. "This is because the buyer is free to buy from any country"

He said that most of the Sri Lanka Apparel company's doing sub contracts and when the quota system is taken off unless here are steady buyers the garment industries in Sri Lanka will face a major problem.

Jayasinghe who is in states for the past 16 Years said that since decision makers in the garment trade are meeting this would be an ideal opportunity for local entrepreneurs to even go to the extent of signing MOU with new partners. "Statistics from the MAGIC exhibition over the past three decades have shown that 93% of US buyers are looking out for new overseas suppliers. He also said that USA imported appearls to the value of US $ 20,000,000,000 last year.

An old boy of St Thomas College, Jayasinghe went to USA for higher business studies and later joined Hughes Aircrafts, as a systems engineer. He later started his own IT Company in Beverly Hills, California. Jayasinghe was the founder President and the only Sri Lankan at the Junior Chamber of Commerce in Beverly Hills. Today he is the Chairman of this prestigious organization. He was also adviser for Michel Jackson Production, Penthouse Publication, Aerospace and entertainment companies in USA. He is also working on developing a virtual city for city of Beverly Hills were a visitor could walk down the city streets in the comfort of his home and make parches on the net on BH90210.com

Since 1999 he was promoting the idea of inviting Sri Lankan garment manufacturing companies to attend the MAGIC event. "In 1999 nine members from the export Development board attended MAGIC. But since then there was neither feedback nor any representation from Sri Lanka and was totally neglected. However countries like China, Bangladesh and India are attending this event regularly and are utilizing it to find new buyers. This year only to the sourcing Neighborhood exhibitors have conformed their attendances. China has reserved over 110 booths, India over 40 and from Bangladesh 14.

He said that though China is now one of the leading garment suppliers to the world there is a lot of European and US based companies that appreciate the Sri Lankan touch. "Sri Lankan work force is highly recognized for their high literacy rate and skills. The Lankan workers are known to a new design or a style very quickly and this too is a plus factor for Sri Lanka."

Jayasinghe said that this year the Sri Lanka would have a separate pavilion at the MAGIC sourcing Neighborhood for Apparel Exporters; software developers for the Apparel industry, Jewelry manufactures and other industries related to Fashion. The US Embassy too is coordination towards this.

He said that the MAGIC has established an International Business Center. An extension of MAGIC's current meeting place, the I.B.C. will help facilitate transactions between companies. Services include translators, representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and seminars on the environmental, human rights and importation issues pertinent to the global marketplace.

Also MAGIC produces a post-show publication that continues to promote both the show and its exhibitors. This MAGIC Newsletter is sent to 40, 000 of North America's top buyers. Another example of how MAGIC can continue to market an exhibitor long after the event itself has ended.

Company's hoping to attend could get more information from their website: MAGICtradeshow.us or e-mail to Hiran@MAGICtradeshow.us


 

 

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