Intertextile opens for ever-changing global textiles industry
Retail Editor 2 -- Home Textiles Today, August 29, 2012
Shanghai - Against a backdrop of uncertainty in the worldwide market for home textiles products, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles opened here yesterday.
Despite an ongoing softness in the economies of most countries around the world, Intertextile features a record number of exhibitors - 1,336, a 15% increase over last year. That number includes some 335 international exhibitors from beyond the borders of China, a 20% jump from the fall 2011 fair. All told, 29 countries are represented this week at Intertextile.
The record numbers come as the world marketplace continues to rebound from several concurrent issues:
- A softening in the domestic Chinese economy, which, while still growing, is not experiencing the double-digit rates of earlier years.
- Continuing worries about the European Common Market country economies amidst growing debt in the southern countries of the region.
- A painfully slow recovery in the U.S. where high unemployment and a soft housing market are blocking any sustained growth.
- The after-effects of the spike in cotton prices last year and concerns about overall raw material costs over the coming year.
Show organizers acknowledge these issues but point to Intertextile as a viable choice for rebuilding business. "In facing these multiple challenges," said Xu Yingxin, vice president of CCPIT TEX, the association of Chinese textiles producers that is a co-sponsor of the show, "choosing a high quality trade fair is no doubt an effective way to open up new markets.
"It is our mission," he said in his welcome speech to show attendees, "to provide a good communication platform for international and domestic industry players through professional and custom-made services."
Echoing those comments was Wendy Wen, director of trade fairs for Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd., another co-sponsor of the fair. "The strong turnout of suppliers reflects that the show is an unparalleled opportunity to reach out to both international and domestic markets, especially in this challenging global economic environment."
The third sponsor of Intertextile is the China Home Textile Association, CHTA.
While the close to 1,000 Chinese exhibitors dominate the 138,000-square meters (about 1.4 million square feet) of exhibition space in the 12 halls of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, the international contingent of companies is increasingly impressive.
There are debut pavilions from Belgium and India joining return pavilions from Italy, Greece, Korea, Turkey, Pakistan and Taiwan in addition to a special EU Zone.
Tina Betsakou of Vamax, a Greek supplier of window fashions and other textiles products, said exhibiting at the show was most important for cracking the Asian market, especially in light of the economy in Europe.
"We are really interested in the Chinese market and we strongly believe the show will support us. We have already established some strong collaborations within China and we will promote them further."
On the attendee side, fair organizers have invited 25 buyer delegations from 18 countries and regions. Fair organizers have also worked with trade associations in Italy, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, among other places, to drive attendance.
There are also a number of informational and direction fashion trend elements to this year's Fair, including the 2013/2014 Chinese Home Textiles Trend Forum, the China home Textile Design Competition and the Interior Design Forum. Seminars will accompany many of these displays.
Xu Yingxin of fair co-organizer CCPIT Tex, in expressing optimism for the show, also noted its importance. "This year is a crucial period for Chinese home textile industry's "12th Five-Year Plan." At the same time, the industry is evolving from big to strong."
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