Lankan Companies to take part in MAGIC trade show in USA
Daily News - Monday, June 23 2003
By Shirajive Sirimane
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The world's largest garment exhibition, the Magic Trade show in the United States will be held from August 25 to 28 in Las Vegas and many Sri Lankan companies are expected to take part.

According to Magic's local representative and Chairman, Summit Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd. Hiran Jayasinghe, during the last exhibition in February, garment trade deals to the value of over US $ 60 billion were initiated. "These deals were not only confined to paper but in many instances the buyers paid cash advances at this exhibition." He said that a record number of 115,000 buyers from over 100 countries attended this event. Jayasinghe said that Bangladesh participated in this event for the first time and they managed to secure deals to the value of US $ one million.

He said that in addition India had 16 stalls, Nepal and Pakistan four each and China 148 stalls. "All these buyers found major partners and the success had prompted these countries to attend the next exhibition in August in a more aggressive manner." He said that China has already reserved 300 booths for the next August exhibition.

He said that the organisers have decided to amalgamate the world's largest Fabric Show for the August Magic exhibition. This will bring more exhibitors and buyers to the show.

Jayasinghe said that he was disappointed over the manner in which the Sri Lankan Garment Industry reacted to the February Trade Show. "We did not have a single Sri Lankan stall," he said. Sri Lanka Magic representative, Jayasinghe said that this show was also promoted by the US Embassy but to no avail.

He said that the Consul General for Sri Lanka, Pradeep Gunawardane, too visited the last Magic show in Las Vegas and was disappointed that there were no Sri Lankan participants. "The Consul said that he would negotiate with the authorities in Sri Lanka to bring local participants for the event next August."

Jayasinghe said that in addition, the Magic organisers have written to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe underlining the importance of this event. "I too hope to have some promotions to woo Sri Lankan companies to attend this event", he said.

"Sri Lanka should not miss the opportunity to take part in this market place of over 100,000 buyers from 110 countries, 7,000 exhibitors and 33,000 departmental stores representing stalls."

Magic, described as an international 'one stop shopping arena', will be a big boost for our country as 85% of the apparel buyers from US and Europe decide on their apparel purchases for the next five months at Magic. Over 25% of the of CEOs, Presidents and Vice Presidents of these companies attend 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 said.

An old boy of S. Thomas' College, Jayasinghe started his own IT company in Beverly Hills, California in the early 1990s. He 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 organisation. He was also an advisor for Michael Jackson Productions, Penthouse Publications and Aerospace and Entertainment Companies in USA. In 1999, he set up his branch office under the name Summit Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd., in Sri Lanka.

USA is Sri Lanka's largest export market and absorbed US$ 1.9 billion worth of exports that accounted for 41% Sri Lanka's total exports in 2002


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