During the last exhibition in February, Hiran Jayasinghe (Chairman, Summit Corporation (PVT) Ltd.) said garment deals to the value of over US $60 billion were made. "These deals were not only confined to paper but in many instances the buyers paid cash advances at this exhibition." A record number of 115,000 buyers representing over 100 countries attended this event he said. Jayasinghe said that Bangladesh participated in this event for the first time and they managed to secure deals to the value of US $1 million.
India had 16 stalls, Nepal and Pakistan four each and China 148 stalls he added. "All these buyers found major partners and the success had prompted these countries to attend the next exhibition in August in a more aggressive manner." China has reserved 300 booths for the exhibition in August Jayasinghe said. The organisers have decided to amalgamate the world's largest Fabric Show for the August Magic exhibition to attract more exhibitors and buyers to the show.
Consul General for Sri Lanka in USA Pradeep Gunawardane, visited the last Magic Show in Las Vegas and was disappointed that there were no Sri Lankan participants. "The Consul said that he would negotiate with the authorities in Sri Lanka to bring local participants for the event next August."
‘Magic’ organisers have written to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe underlining the importance of this event. "I too hope to have some promotions to woo Sri Lankan companies to attend this event", he said.
"Sri Lanka should not miss the opportunity to take part in this market place of over 100,000 buyers from 110 countries, 7,000 exhibitors and 33,000 departmental stores representing stalls."
Magic, described as an international 'one stop shopping arena', will be a big boost for Sri Lanka as 85% of the apparel buyers from US and Europe decide on their apparel purchases for the next five months at Magic. Over 25% of the CEOs, Presidents and Vice Presidents of these companies attend this grand event", Jayasinghe said.
“With garment quotas due to end by the year 2004, Sri Lankan apparel companies will be at a huge advantage to establish direct contact with buyers as at Magic 93% of the buyers look for new sources," he said. USA is Sri Lanka's largest export market and absorbed US$ 1.9 billion worth of exports that accounted for 41% Sri Lanka's total exports in 2002.
June 27, 2003