Colombiatex 2016 more than met business expectations.
By Dr. Virgilio L. González, Latin America Correspondent, Textiles Panamericanos
Held on the 28 years of uninterrupted work of Inexmoda, Colombiatex de las Américas 2016 successfully took place between January 26-28, 2016, closing with business expectations of $313 million, 2-percent above the previous year.
The fair was chaired by Carlos Eduardo Botero, Inexmoda president, with the assistance of the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Cecilia Alvarez; Antioquia`s Governor Luis Pérez; and the Mayor of Medellín Federico Gutiérrez. Other government officials and businessmen, as well as diplomatic members also were present at the show.
The results of the fair were positive. Some 510 exhibitors participated from countries such as Colombia — accounting for 57-percent of the Trade show — India, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Thailand, Ecuador, Peru, Singapore, Italy, the United States, Turkey, Portugal and Venezuela, among other countries. Exhibitors filled a commercial exhibition area of 9,600 square meters.
India had a larger presence this time, and was the third overseas country in terms of the number of stands. Turkey also had a larger presence with with 10 large stands. Manufacturas Eliot, possibly the largest Colombia-based textile group, had a presence at ColombiaTex for the first time, occupying a large area that was called Eliot Square.
Organizers report 21,300 visitors participated in ColombiaTex 2016, 12-percent more than in 2015. Approximately 9,966 attendees toured the commercial environment and entered the flag of Knowledge Inexmoda – Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB). In addition, 46,182 participated via streaming for the 26 conference sessions. The United States, Ecuador and Peru were the countries with more connections. Some 1,770 visitors were international buyers from 51 countries, and there were 12,180 national buyers, more than the previous year, which demonstrates that Colombia remains an attractive market in Latin America.
It was also noted that the 17 percent of the total of international buyers came from the Colombian Alliance of the Pacific — Mexico, Peru and Chile — demonstrating the importance of this block for the textile industry. It was reported that Brazil and Colombia plan to intensify trade particularly in areas like beach clothing, home textiles and jeanswear, together with new developments on underwear and fitness clothing.
National buyers, with an increase of 19 percent compared to 2015, came from the Colombian departments of Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Valle del Cauca, Santander and Risaralda, with 32 trade missions, thanks to Inexmoda’s initiatives together with Chambers of Commerce Fenalco and Acopi.
Taking into consideration that 47-percent of buyers completed business deals during the three-day fair, 80 percent of them stated that they expect to pursue business deals in the short- to medium-term, according to Observatorio Económico Inexmoda-Raddar. One reason for buying more Colombian goods lies in the fact that the Colombian peso has steeply devalued over the past two years. Dollarwise, there is a competitive advantage.
Also indicated in press conferences was the fact that Ecuador, a major Colombian textile customer, reduced its textiles imports because of applied safeguard taxes. Since Ecuador´s currency is the U.S. dollar, it was impossible to devalue, making Colombian exporters find other foreign markets. On the other hand, the United States has become Colombia´s first social partner and increases of its textiles imports are expected.
The fashion component of the trade show offered six talks led by InexModa´s Fashion Laboratory and four talks lead by Coltejer, Huntsman, Proquinal and WGSN. For the first time, these companies came together at the Trends Forum, bringing together 1,380 attendees. These visitors also took advantage of the Denim Review, an exhibition dedicated to this very popular fabric.
In order to connect industry and fashion, 13 businesses made up the Fash Mobs program. Brands like Hiena, Entreaguas, Jorge Orozco, Santista and Fabricato participated. Similarly, the Trends Forum directed Denim Day, a tribute to the versatility of denim.
ColombiaTex 2016 generated positive results in terms of business deals and networking. The positive outlook only adds to the results already obtained from this edition of the tradeshow. Such results confirm the importance of Medellin´s events, and reinforces the national economy through a commercial platform that connects Colombia with Latin America and the rest of the world. This connection has permitted the opening of new international markets, this time the Bahamas and Barbados — both countries participated in the show for the first time in 2016.
Since Inexmoda looks to create synergies among players in the fashion industry by way of events like the well-established ColombiaTex of the Americas, it will continue to promote projects that strengthen the industry. According to Botero, “Our institute is ready to launch initiatives and training projects that accomplish this goal.”