Lankans at world's biggest apparel fair
Sunday Observer - Sunday December 22, 2002
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Sri Lankan apparel exporters have got an opportunity to participate at the world's largest apparel trade fair, Magic International, for the first time.

The comprehensive apparel event is held in Las Vegas, USA and is attended by over 85,000 buyers and 3,000 exhibitors from 110 countries.

Magic International started in 1933 and is held twice a year. This is the first time Sri Lankans are taking part, said Hiran Jayasinghe, representative for Magic International in Sri Lanka.

Jayasinghe has been able to reserve 15 booths for Sri Lanka after promoting the country since 1999. Sri Lanka would also have a separate pavilion in the neighbourhood of the exhibition for other industries related to apparel and fashion including software developers for the apparel industry and jewellery manufacturers. He said that China has secured 110 booths, India 41 and Bangladesh 10.

"This is an ideal opportunity for local garment exporters because only buyers and the top management of companies are represented at this fair". Statistics show that 93 per cent of buyers who visit the fair are looking for new overseas suppliers. Therefore, he was of the view that if Sri Lankan suppliers can sign MOUs with new partners, it would be sufficient for a start.

He said that with the abolition of the quota system at the end of 2004, an estimated 40 per cent of employees in the garment sector will lose their jobs unless new buyers are found, as most apparel companies are doing subcontracting work.

 

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