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
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.
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.