Sri Lanka to participate in world’s largest MAGIC apparel trade show
The Island - Sunday, December 14 2003
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Sri Lanka is expected to participate in a big way at MAGIC, the largest and most comprehensive apparel market in the world, which opens in Las Vegas in February 2004.

The world’s biggest apparel trade event, MAGIC which is 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, boasts of an unparalleled selling power of more than US$ 85 billion.

MAGIC is the only Apparel Trade Show accepted by the US Department of Commerce under the International Buyer Programme (IBP).

With the imminent termination of the Lanka-US Multi-Fibre Agreement, the time is opportune for Sri Lanka to consider alternate measures for the survival of the country’s garment industry, says Hiran Jayasinghe, MAGIC’s local representative and President, Summit Corporation (Pvt) Ltd.

He stressed that MAGIC offers the best opportunity to secure direct orders from a marketplace of 85,000 buyers at a crucial time when Sri Lanka’s garment quotas are due to end by 2005.

Asked about the response to MAGIC from the Sri Lankan apparel industry, Jayasinghe replied, "it’s very encouraging. Some top names in the trade are expected to participate in the February Show".

Hollywood made its mark on MAGIC and the fashion industry with a spectacular display of innovative trends and emerging fashion brands at its show in August this year.

"On exhibition were more than 20 celebrity-clothing lines, including new collections from Eve, Nelly and Jackie Chan, who appeared in a fashion show", he said.

With the anticipated abolition of the apparel quota system, about 50% of the factories in Sri Lanka 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, Jayasinghe warned.

"As the biggest Fabric Show in the globe, fabric manufacturers can be invited to invest in Sri Lanka because we can then produce some of the fabrics here", he said.

With a 4 million customer data base, MAGIC, which launched its first event in 1933, is also the owner of 92 well known trade publications and 70 trade shows the world over. 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 America.

The next Magic Marketplace will be held from February 23-26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their website is Hiran@MAGICtradeshow.us

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