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Heimtex 2003 to up U.S. textiles presence

Using the theme "Discover the fabric and fiber of America," the 2003 Heimtextil/United States Partnerland promotion event will showcase American textiles products in a number of special areas.

More than 80 American fabric and home textiles product companies — a marked increase over recent years — will be exhibiting at Heimtextil 2003 in Frankfurt, Germany, which runs from Jan. 8 to Jan. 11.

American products will be featured in the Trend section of the new Forum building in a 650-square-meter space in a series of lifestyle vignettes "showing how we live and work," explained Larry Brill, director, market expansion, Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), U.S. Department of Commerce. In addition, the Department of Commerce is sponsoring a directory that will be distributed along with the official Heimtextil catalog and will include a listing of all American exhibitors.

Showcases throughout the fair will feature the fabrics and home fashions products of the American exhibitors. Special signage including 5-meter-long banners and billboards will herald the American presence and Radio Heimtextil will broadcast the American Partnerland activities in German and English, both in the exhibition and throughout Frankfurt.

Messe Frankfurt, sponsor of Heimtextil, will hold media events around the world before Heimtex and will hold an international press conference during the exhibit, said Elly Ahn-McCloud, trade show manager, Messe Frankfurt Inc.

The Department of Commerce also is sponsoring a Contract and Hospitality area and a seminar on this segment of the textiles business.

The exhibition events will be capped by a gala reception Thursday evening that will feature a variety of American food, beverages and music, Brill noted. There will be three bands: rock and roll, swing, and country and western. Backpacks donated by Cotton Inc. will hold the giveaways from the evening. Some 1,500 trade buyers from around the world are being invited, as well as guests of the exhibitors.

Donald Evans, the Secretary of Commerce, Daniel Coats, the American Ambassador to Germany are tentatively scheduled to attend the gala.

The events and promotion are part "of this administration's commitment to help the U.S. textiles industry," Brill stated.

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