Lanka's magic chance with 110 countries at MAGIC Int'l
The Island - Sunday December 15, 2002
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Sri Lanka is poised to participate in MAGIC International, the world's largest and most comprehensive apparel trade event in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA early next year.

"It's a tremendous opportunity to Sri Lanka to be able to take part in this market place of over 85,000 buyers from 110 countries, 7,000 exhibitors and 33,000 departmental stores representing stalls", says Hiran Jayasinghe, MAGIC's local representative and Chairman, SUMMIT Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd.

For the first time ever, the Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka participated in MAGIC in 1999.

"We are targeting the participation of about 15 Sri Lankan companies and the response so far has been very encouraging", Jayasinghe said.

MAGIC, described as an international 'one stop shopping arena', will be held from February 18-21, 2003. A bi-annual global marketplace, the next event for 2003 will be from August 25-28.

Transactions to the value of US$ 20,000,000,000 were pushed through during the last MAGIC marketplace in August this year. At the next event there will be a separate sourcing area for Sri Lanka, he said.

"This will be a big boost for our country as 85% of apparel buyers from the entire US and Europe decide on their apparel purchases for the next 6 months at MAGIC. Over 25% the CEO, Presidents and Vice Presidents of these companies will be personally present during this grand event", Jayasinghe said.

With garment quotas due to end by the year 2004, Sri Lankan apparel companies will be at a huge advantage to establish direct contact with buyers as at MAGIC 93% of the buyers look for new sources, he added.

"They will then buy direct from us rather than Sri Lanka sub contracting for countries like China and Hong Kong", he added.

Jayasinghe who has lived in the US has wide experience in handling events at MAGIC.

He said the entire sourcing area would be located at the entrance to the trade stall, which covers 1.2 million square feet. All the buyers will have to pass through this sourcing area and Sri Lanka will be based at the center, which will be a main attraction.

Even small buyers will be able to meet the manufacturers directly, he added.

Asked how much it would cost a Sri Lankan company to participate, the local representative said it would be an all-inclusive Rs.700, 000. More details could be obtained from the MAGIC web site or e-mail

He said that China has already confirmed 130 stalls. In 1999, India had 40 stalls and at the last marketplace Bangladesh 14.

MAGIC was first held in 1917 in Los Angeles. The venue was shifted to Las



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