MAGIC, the world’s largest apparel trade
event, is the greatest starting point which offers
Sri Lanka the best opportunity to secure direct
orders from a marketplace of 85,000 buyers at
a crucial time when garment quotas are due to
end by 2005, Maria Rajanagam, Executive Director,
American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (AMCHAM)
said last week.
“With the imminent termination of the
Lanka-Us Multi Fiber Agreement, the time is
ripe for Sri Lanka to think to think in terms
of alternative measures to ensure the survival
of the country’s garment industry. Sri
Lanka has the potential for top quality apparel
products to offer the world. What is required
is to step into the right marketplace and get
the message across,” she told a news conference
at the Colombo Plaza.
MAGIC, the largest fashion business event in
the globe will be held in Las Vegas, USA from
August 25 – 28. An arena of 85,000 buyers
from 110 countries, 7,000 exhibitors and 33,000
departmental stores representing stalls covering
800,000 square feet of floor space, this grand
show boasts of an unparalleled selling power
of more than US$ 64 billion.
In USA alone there is a buying power of US$
180 billion. Of this, 120 billion is generated
from 39 top corporations called the major retail
“MAGIC is all about meeting the right
people and putting a face to the name and a
name to face. It’s the ideal opportunity
for Sri Lanka to receive exposure at a giant
arena of the world’s top buyers and decision
makers,” Rajanayagam noted.
With the abolition of the apparel quota system
in 2005, about 50% of the factories face the
threat of closure, which will inevitably result
in around 500,000 direct and indirect workers
being denied of employment if alternate purchase
orders are not secured, warned Hiran Jayasinghe,
MAGIC’s local representative and President,
SUMMIT Corporation (PVT) Ltd.
MAGIC, a US$ 8 billion company launched its
first event in 1933. A biannual show held in
February and August each year, it attracts the
world’s largest apparel purchasing community
including the top 37 buying clusters in North
Asked whether the backing of the relevant ministry
in Sri Lanka has not been sought for a global
show of this magnitude, Jayasinghe said repeated
attempts were made to establish contact, but
it was futile.
MAGIC’s Director of International Sales
Development had also written to Prime Minister
Ranil Wickramasinghe in May this year saying
any assistance from him would elevate the trade
show to Sri Lankan manufacturers who would benefit
from such exposure.
“The Premier has not responded so far,”
few local apparel companies have already interested
and it would be encouraging if anything between
20-40 of them do participate, he said.
The cost of the package for participation is under
Rs. 7000,000 for two persons on business class
with 4 days accommodation and a booth at the venue.
Countries in the SAARC region and China and Vietnam
take part in a big way at MAGIC
where 93% make purchases and 52% of attendees
are vice presidents and top decision-makers of
major companies. There are also the small boutique
buyers, designer brands and private label companies.
As the International Fashion
Fabric Exhibition, which is widely renowned as
the largest textile and trim trade show in North
America, will also be aligning with the MAGIC
August show, it will be a big boost to the participants,
“Sri Lanka has high quality
apparel products to offer. The price is important
but it’s only one aspect. The price is important
but it’s only one aspect. At the end of
the day, it’s only one aspect. At the end
of the day, it is the customer who makes the final
With all the positive aspects. Sri Lanka must
make use of this great opportunity to meet people
and get the message across,” Rajanagam said.
Explaining that MAGIC is totally
with him to support Sri Lanka, Jayasinghe said
the organizers have offered a full-page advertisement
in the influential MAGIC buyers guidebook free
of charge. It would have otherwise cost US$ 5,800.
Asked about the ASAP show, he
said it is a small exhibition of not more than
150-200 exhibitors who position themselves in
the dining room special events area of the hotel
adjacent to the Las Vegas convention center in
the hope of reaching some buyers staying at the
hotel to attend MAGIC.
The MAGIC web site is MAGICtradeshow.us
and email is Hiran@MAGICtradeshow.us.