The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently hosted a forum to create a networking platform for Kyrgyz garment firms and foreign brands and buyers. The forum brought together over 20 European and Russian brands and fashion retailers, international apparel equipment manufacturers, and software developers with Kyrgyz apparel firms.

An exhibition of the latest garment technologies and business-to-business meetings for buyers, investors, and Kyrgyzstani apparel manufacturers took place during the ‘Technologies, Investments and Opportunities for the Textile and Garment Industry of Kyrgyzstan’ forum, according to US Embassy in Bishkek.

The forum featured presentations on advanced technologies in apparel production and how those technologies can create opportunities for Kyrgyzstani factories, understanding buyers’ expectations when placing orders in Kyrgyzstan, and methods for increasing productivity in factories to meet the requirements of retailers.

The forum served as a close-out event for USAID Business Growth Initiative (BGI) Project, a $20 mn project that has built and strengthened the competitiveness of Kyrgyzstan’s economic sectors including tourism, construction, and apparel manufacturing for the past four years. During this period, USAID BGI promoted Kyrgyzstani manufacturers to new buyers resulting in eight firms signing export contracts worth $3 mn with several fashion retailers. USAID BGI also generated requests from retailers for more than 1,000 sample garments and price quotations, which are critical precursors to obtaining actual sales contracts. The Project undertook sales missions to eleven fashion retailers in Europe and hosted buying missions from eight fashion retailers, each with over 300 stores, the release said.

USAID recently provided a grant for equipment to the Salkyn textile company, which opened a new apparel production facility on June 22. USAID renovated a Salkyn factory building and equipped it with 98 advanced high-speed industrial sewing machines that will increase productivity by 70 per cent and create 200 jobs, the release added.