Exhibitors express satisfaction over global buyers’ footfall
The 4th edition of Intex South Asia was held on 14-16th November 2018, spread across 4 halls at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre (BMICH) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The show was jointly inaugurated by Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka as Chief Guest and Indira Malwatte, Chairperson & CEO, Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) as Guest of Honour Tan Yang Thai, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Sri Lanka and Sharad Amalean, Chairman, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) as Special Guests. The opening ceremony was well-attended by many diplomats, representatives of government bodies, heads of several trade bodies & chambers of commerce, industry leaders, delegates from several countries as well as electronic and print media of Sri Lanka and South Asia.
Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian High Commissioner noted that Intex South Asia has become an annual event in Sri Lanka in the calendar of textile industry, which is a reflection of efforts of all stakeholders to turn a huge potential into reality. He also recalled Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s vision for textiles “From Farm to Fibre, Fibre to Factory, Factory to Fashion, Fashion to Foreign.” His Excellency mentioned that trade events such as Intex South Asia would go a long way in promoting the existing synergy between India and Sri Lanka.
Speaking on the occasion, Sharad Amalean, Chairman of Joint Apparel Association Forum and Deputy Managing Director of MAS Holdings said that “From the first edition, we have supported Intex South Asia with a little bit of apprehension to its success and implementation, but seeing the growth and potential over the years, today when I stand here, I would like to use the words Excellent. Excellent in the progress they have made year-on-year. Today, the show would be impressive in terms of participation and variety of quality textile products available at this regional sourcing platform created in Sri Lanka. It’s truly impressive for bringing so many exhibitors to Intex South Asia in Sri Lanka and we welcome all to have a good time and enjoy the warm hospitality in Sri Lanka.”
As the largest trade fair of its kind in the region, Intex South Asia welcomed more than 200 leading and quality textile suppliers from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Switzerland, Australia and more who showcased their wide range of innovative yarns, apparel and denim fabrics, clothing accessories and allied services at the event. There were Country Pavilions from India with 45 companies and Taiwan with 12 companies that was organised by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF) respectively. Both pavilion organisers were extremely happy with buyers’ footfalls as their member companies were able to meet with potential buyers and existing suppliers from South Asia and other international markets and conduct business and explore new business opportunities.
The 4th edition also saw the arrival of confirmed buyer delegations/groups from India, Taiwan, Nigeria and United Arab Emirates at the show. The delegates of Buying Agents’ Association (BAA) from India, Taiwan Textile Federation, Hallmark Media from Nigeria and UAE based textile trading and importers group were satisfied after their interaction with international suppliers for their textile sourcing requirements and were hopeful that more business would happen post their visit to Intex South Asia. The host country industry representatives such as Brandix, MAS, Hirdaramani, Timex, Star Garments, Emjay International, EAM Maliban, KASH Garments, Marks & Spencer, TESCO, H&M, NEXT UK, Decathalon, George, ASMARA, MGF Sourcing, Regal Calibre, etc. attended the show in large numbers with their sourcing, merchandising and design teams. Overall, the show was attended by 3,500+ leading apparel exporters, sourcing offices, brands & retailers, indenting agents, e-tailers and others from 18+ countries and regions who came to Intex South Asia looking for new products, new suppliers and to gain market intelligence & explore new business and sourcing opportunities in Sri Lanka and other international markets.
For the first time, a panel discussion on ‘Textile 4.0 – South Asia Dialogue’ highlighting the upcoming industry trends was organised alongside Fashion Fiesta – Intex South Asia’s networking event which was well-attended by an august gathering of 500+ industry representatives at Taj Samudra Hotel. On the panel were Aroon Hirdaramani, Head of Future Leaders – Joint Apparel Association Forum of Sri Lanka & Director of Hiradamani Group, Ujwal Lahoti, Chairman – TEXPROCIL & Managing Director of Lahoti Overseas (India), Furqan Ahmed, Director of MN Textiles (Pakistan) and Md. Golam Saroar, Managing Director & CEO, Bengal Hurricane Group (Bangladesh) who presented their views on the challenges and future of the textiles & apparel industry of South Asia and how they see 4.0 concept could be implemented in their respective countries and businesses. The discussion was gracefully moderated by industry veteran Rahul Mehta, President CMAI & Past President of International Apparel Federation.
At the Fashion Fiesta, there were light moments and a special dance performance by Sway Dance Group of Sri Lanka at the gala night. A series of fashion shows to unveil the creativity and design in textiles by the participants of Intex South Asia was organised at the networking reception which was presented by Taiwan Textile Federation (Sports & performance fabrics), The Woolmark Company (Merino Wool Innovation), Sri Lanka Textile & Apparel Institute (Banana Yarn developed in Sri Lanka) and last but not the least showcasing a special sequence to highlight and promote apparel brands made in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lanka Apparel Brands Association (SLABA). Over 90 per cent of the attendees found the Fashion Fiesta event quite interesting and meaningful to network with the exhibitors and buyers as well as gain some market intelligence and latest offerings.
This year’s ‘Interactive Business Forum’ (held on Day 2) was a huge success where Sarah Schlenger, Research & Development (R&D) Commercialization Manager – USA of The Woolmark Company (TWC) presented the use of Merino Wool in today’s fashion garments such as Active wear, Athleisure, Evening wear and TWC’s focus on innovation related to product development from Luxury to Performance as well as fashion trends/forecast for 2019/2020. The second session was presented by Dr. Shafiq Ahmad, Country Manager – Pakistan of Better Cotton Initiative(BCI) who gave valuable insights on ‘Future Proofing for Business – The Sustainable Way’, the role and commitment of BCI towards sustainability and Global brands associated with sustainable cotton sourcing. An interaction post the forum was quite encouraging for the industry professionals (Domestic as well as international) who attended the event in large numbers.
At the end of the 4th edition, there was 18 per cent growth recorded in the buyers’ footfall and 14 per cent increase in exhibitors as compared to last year. These promising numbers will only keep growing year-on-year with more trade and investments to increase exports in our region, rising disposal income amongst the young population, demand for fashion garments to boost domestic consumption, presence of e-commerce platforms, etc. This comprehensive and must-attend trade show is making its mark in South Asia’s textile and apparel industry as well as amongst the global buyers who are increasing their presence at Intex South Asia. The 5th edition of Intex South Asia will be held from 20th to 22nd November 2019 at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre (BMICH) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.