“With the hope of bringing together various stakeholders in the
Colombian textile and apparel industry, Colombiatex will offer
attendees the opportunity to learn about new industry trends, and
network with producers, distributors, and buyers..”In an interview
in El Mundo the director of Inexmoda, Carlos Eduardo Botero,
highlighted various issues of importance that will be touched upon
during the fair, such as how to respond to the recent crisis posed to
the industry. According to Botero, exports have dropped significantly
in the last year, going from “US$1.7 billion in October of 2008 to
US$1.063 billion in October of 2009..”One of the principal causes
for the drop was the deterioration in the relationship between Colombia
and Venezuela. “In regards to Venezuela, which accounts for 52% of
exports, the apparels [exports] have fallen 67%, and textiles 3%,”
Botero went on to explain..”Another factor that contributed to the
weak performance of textile and apparel exports was the appreciation of
the Colombian peso and the depreciation of the dollar, which made
Colombian exports relatively more expensive in foreign markets, thus
decreasing their competitiveness..”Botero had a simple answer to
the question of how to combat the crisis facing his industry, “I think
we have to look for new markets..”According to Botero, markets
like “Central America, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico and the United States can
generate business opportunities in the meantime..”Combined with
the free trade agreement signed with Guatemala, and the expected
agreement with Canada, Colombian textile and apparel exporters will
have ample opportunities to focus on new foreign markets..”The
trade fair, whose official theme this year is “functionality,” will
feature 400 exhibitors, of which 40% will be internationals, reports
Colombian newspaper El Colombiano..”Apart from the exhibitors,
organizers also expect about 1500 international buyers and 3000
Colombian buyers to attend the fair. Including walk-in visitors,
between 8000 and 9000 people are expected to attend..”The fair, which starts on Tuesday and will run until Thursday, will take place at Plaza Mayor in Medellin..