Lanka to participate in world's largest apparel trade show
The Island - Friday, January 24, 2003
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For the first time Sri Lankan entrepreneurs involved in the garment industry will take part in the International Sourcing Neighborhood of the world's largest and most comprehensive Apparel Trade Show. Produced twice a year, in Las Vegas, USA. "MAGIC" is also the world's largest apparel purchasing community.

American based Sri Lanka businessman Hiran Jayasinghe now in Colombo as MAGIC's representative said that this exhibition would be the ideal venue for Sri Lankan businessmen involved in the garment industry to meet us 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 buyers and top management level personnel attending MAGIC, this would be the ideal venue to make contact with very influential people since you meet only real buyers."

He said that the quota system being taken off on December 31st 2004, it is estimated that over 40% of employees in the sector will lose their jobs unless new buyer are found. "This is because the buyers are free to buy from any country. Most of Sri Lanka's apparel companies are doing sub contracts. Unless there are steady buyers when the quota system is taken off the garment industry in Sri Lanka will face a major problem", he said.

Since 1999 Jayasinghe has been promoting to MAGIC International the idea of inviting Sri Lankan garment manufacturing companies to attend the MAGIC event. "That year members from the Export Development Board attended MAGIC. But since then there was neither a feedback nor any presentation from Sri Lanka. However countries like China, Bangladesh and India attend this event regularly and are utilizing it to find new buyers. MAGIC has received confirmed attendances for the February 18 to 21, 2003 show from China - 110 booths, India - 41 booths and Bangladesh - 10 booths.

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

Jayasinghe said that this year Sri Lanka would have a separate pavilion at the MAGIC sourcing neighborhood for Apparel Exporters, Software Developers of the Apparel Industry, Jewelry manufacturers and other industries related to fashion. The US embassy too is coordinating towards promoting visitors to attend MAGIC, he said.

He said that 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 US Department of Commerce, and seminars on the environmental, human rights and importation issues pertinent to the global marketplace.

MAGIC also produces a post-show publication that continues to promote both the show and it's exhibitors. The MAGIC Newsletter is sent to 40,000 North America's top buyers.

Another example of how MAGIC can continue to market an exhibitor long after the event itself has ended, he added.


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