Posts Tagged ‘MAGIC’

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The MAGIC of New Trade Opportunities and Partnerships

September 9, 2011

After being buffeted by fierce competition in recent years, the U.S. textile and apparel industry is positioning itself for success in the 21st century. Ample evidence could be found at a recent trade show in Las Vegas.

by Greg Bell, a writer in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Francisco Sánchez, under secretary for international trade (left), and Chris DeMoulin, executive vice president of Advanstar Fashion Group and president of MAGIC International (right), cut the ribbon that officially opened the Sourcing at MAGIC show on August 22, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (photo courtesy U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel)

Francisco Sánchez, under secretary for international trade (left), and Chris DeMoulin, executive vice president of Advanstar Fashion Group and president of MAGIC International (right), cut the ribbon that officially opened the Sourcing at MAGIC show on August 22, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (photo courtesy U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel)

Summer days in Nevada can be hot. But they are nothing compared to the economic activity that was recently heating up in Las Vegas on August 21–24, 2011, at the fashion industry’s preeminent trade event: Sourcing at MAGIC.

This twice-yearly show has become a must-go-to event for the industry, bringing together representatives from the world’s top apparel producing countries, who are always in search of new partnerships to address their production needs. This year’s show, however, was unlike any other from the past. For the first time, the U.S. and Western Hemisphere supply chain served as the focus, with a pavilion and summit, “Sourcing in the Americas,” organized by the Department of Commerce.

The U.S textile industry along with apparel brands and retailers had the idea of focusing on the supply chain. Although they each represent different and often competing interests, they recognized the mutual benefits of this effort. Brands and retailers want to source closer to home, which results in improved quality and increased speed to market. And, naturally, the textile industry wants to increase its exports of yarn, fabric, and other products along the supply chain. It is a win–win for all parties, which is why the Obama administration was so eager to support the initiative.

New Opportunities for U.S. Producers

The International Trade Administration’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) partnered with the organizers of MAGIC to hold the “Sourcing in the Americas” summit and pavilion. During a three-day period, exhibitors showcased their quality products by highlighting the incredible new opportunities in the region.

To mark the significance of this unique effort, Francisco Sánchez, under secretary for international trade, joined Chris DeMoulin, president of MAGIC, and others in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 22. Sánchez spoke about the importance of seizing the moment. “I feel an incredible amount of excitement and energy in the room. That’s because we all see the possibilities that this new event will lead to new partnerships, new ideas, new markets for your products, and new opportunities for success.”

Efforts such as the pavilion and summit will lead to job creation. Despite all the challenges facing U.S. textile and apparel companies, the industry continues to play an important role in the economy. In 2010, it generated more than $20 billion in exports, which supported nearly 600,000 workers and made the industry one of the largest manufacturing employers in the United States. Such job creation is especially important for rural areas, such as those located in the Southeast.

About the Office of Textiles and Apparel

The International Trade Administration’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) administers programs and strategies to improve domestic and international competitiveness of the U.S. textiles, apparel, footwear, and travel goods industries. For U.S. manufacturers, suppliers, or exporters, OTEXA can help plan market entry through a variety of services, such as trade promotion events, online resources and personalized counseling, market research, and trade missions and shows. It also works with industry representatives to identify and resolve trade barriers in foreign markets and unfair trade practices. To learn more about the services that OTEXA makes available to U.S. exporters, visit its Web site at http://otexa.ita.doc.gov.

Promoting Western Hemisphere Trade

The Western Hemisphere accounts for roughly two-thirds of all U.S. textile and apparel exports—the largest of any market. In 2010, the United States exported nearly $13 billion worth of textiles and apparel to the region. (photo © skowa/iStock)

The Western Hemisphere accounts for roughly two-thirds of all U.S. textile and apparel exports—the largest of any market. In 2010, the United States exported nearly $13 billion worth of textiles and apparel to the region. (photo © skowa/iStock)

The Western Hemisphere is critical in promoting such U.S. exports. It accounts for roughly two-thirds of all U.S. textile and apparel exports—the largest of any market. In 2010, the United States exported nearly $13 billion worth of textiles and apparel to the region, which is an increase of nearly 20 percent over 2009.

Organizers of MAGIC highlighted the value of countries in the Western Hemisphere and the United States as trading partners and brought together regional businesses and retailers to showcase what each offers. More than 90 countries from the region were represented, including Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. Preliminary feedback from participants indicated that the meetings held because of the show have led to incredible progress.

Textile Exports and Haitian Recovery

Haiti was a prominent presence at the show. With the help of USTR and funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, several large Haitian apparel manufacturers attended MAGIC. The manufacturers reported interest from nearly 200 potential customers, including representatives from some of the world’s most prominent clothing companies, who are looking for sourcing alternatives because of rising costs in Asia.

Contacts and sales generated from the show will make significant contributions to rebuilding Haiti, which was devastated by the 2010 earthquake. The apparel sector accounts for 90 percent of Haiti’s exports to the United States, and growth of this industry is critical to the recovery and expansion of the Haitian economy. Increased textile exports will lead to employment growth and new hope for many of its people.

Global Challenges and Solutions

Haiti is just one example of the strides made because of the exchange of ideas and experiences at “Sourcing in the Americas.” And it can be a model for the future of exporting. Sánchez remarked to attendees that the MAGIC event and the “Sourcing in the Americas” summit are recognition “that today’s global challenges require global solutions. In other words, all of us are going to have to work together—across city lines, state lines, borders, and oceans—to position ourselves for success in the 21st-century economy. We’ve got to be in constant search of fresh ideas, opportunities, and partnerships.”

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Haiti Uses a Bit of MAGIC to Energize their Textile Industry

August 25, 2011

Amelia Baines is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs in the International Trade Administration

Despite seemingly overwhelming odds, Haiti continues its road to recovery. This struggling nation is slowly rebuilding after the devastating earthquake in 2010. While the Haitian government and economy is still on the road to recovery, Haiti’s textile and apparel industry continues to grow, even with the challenges posed by insufficient infrastructure and potential customer’ concern about the country’s recovery. As Haiti’s largest employer, continued expansion of the textile and apparel sector could infuse the economy with the growth it so desperately needs. Haiti is a prime location for business ventures, new industries, as well as exports. This small nation is surrounded by water and has a large sea port where their main exports are various types of textiles.Map of Haiti

The Haitian textile and apparel industry is the country’s largest manufacturing sector, and employs more than 28,000 workers, and apparel constitutes more than 80 percent of all Haitian exports to the United States.  In 2010, exports of Haitian apparel valued more than $550 million, and looks to be increasing in 2011. Growth in the apparel industry could be the catalyst to the Haitian economy potentially employing 150,000 people within years and bring.

The United States is Haiti’s number one trading partner and textiles accounts for more than half of all exports. Other major items exported include oil, mangoes, cocoa, and coffee. The United States receives more than 70 percent of these exports with another 9 percent going to the Dominican Republic and 3 percent to Canada. The vast majority of Haitian apparel is exported to the United States, the world’s largest apparel market.

Since 2000, the United States has implemented several trade preference programs to facilitate trade with Haiti. Under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, Haiti HOPE and HELP, apparel from Haitian manufacturers has unprecedented duty-free access to the U.S. market.  These trade preferences have been the fuel for the growth of the Haitian economy.  In 2010, imports of Haitian apparel into the United States valued more than $500 million, representing more than 90 percent of exports to the United States. Virtually all of these imports were provided duty-free treatment under U.S. trade preference programs. Trade data indicates that imports from Haiti are increasing over last year, and there is growing interest in the apparel industry from the United States and other foreign investors. The Haitian apparel industry is poised to grow stronger than it has been in decades.

Magic Show Floor in Las VegasTo help Haitian manufacturers make the most of their opportunities with importers, retailers and brands, participation in trade events that showcase their capabilities is essential. MAGIC, held in Las Vegas just this week, is largest textile and apparel trade show held in the United States, with tens of thousands of attendees from over 80 countries, generating more than $200 million in per-day order volume. This year, with the assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Haitian apparel manufacturers participated in SOURCING at MAGIC, and have the opportunity to connect with 85 percent of the top 50 retailers to build new relationships.  SOURCING at MAGIC highlighted Sourcing in the Americas, which promotes and highlights opportunities in the Western Hemisphere’s supply chain. The potential for new business from MAGIC is one that Haitian manufacturers are eager to develop.

However, SOURCING at MAGIC is not the only big news going on it Haiti today. The Haitian government is very excited about the major contraction of their first industrial park, which is due to begin in 2012. All credits go to Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd., Korea’s leading garment manufacturer, who closed a deal with Development Bank to build an industrial park in the Haiti’s North Corridor.  Representatives are anticipating that the park will create 20,000 full-time Haitian jobs in the first phase, making Sae-A’s the largest private employer in Haiti. Also generate $500 million in wages and benefits in the next ten years, with each worker earning 3-4 times more than Haiti’s current GDP. The industrial park will also include the construction of at least 5,000 new homes.  And lastly directly support the livelihoods of 100,000 to 120,000 Haitians. Now equipped with the proper tools and support Haiti will surly make and speedy and promising recovery. The United States and supporters of Haiti are eager to see what’s next in Haiti.

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