CAFTA Summit 2005 In El Salvador Draws Large Number Of Attendees

CAFTA was the main focus of the recent Textile and Apparel Summit – officially
named The CAFTA Summit 2005 – held July 18-20 in San Salvador, El Salvador. In its third
year, the summit was organized for the first time by the Atlanta-based American Apparel Producers’
Network (AAPNEtwork). Attendees came primarily from North and Central America, and initial
estimates put total attendance around 300 visitors. Mike Todaro, managing director, AAPNetwork,
said 80 US-based companies had a presence at the summit, indicating to him that the United States
apparel supply chain is definitely interested in opportunities in the CAFTA region. The first
day of the summit focused on speakers who offered attendees a glimpse of the region and potential
opportunities available, as well as a global perspective with a look at the threat from China.
Speakers, who included Jim Jacbos, Milliken and Company; Mike Tyndall, Cotton Incorporated;
Jonathan Fee, Alston and Bird LLP; Tim Heberlein, TS Edgewater Consultants; and Thomas Morten
Haugen, Li and Fung USA; gave presentations and then took questions from the audience. The
format changed slightly on the second day of the summit. Panels comprised of experts from various
segments of the supply chain, from finance to fabric, held interactive discussions with the
audience about concerns and advantages of working in the region. “I see a more committed
attitude to the region than ever before at this Summit,” said Alfonso Hernandez, chairman and CEO,
The Argus Group, Medley, Fla., in closing the summit on Wednesday. “It’s up to us. Only we can make
it happen, and we can only make things happen if we work as a team and realize we are on the same
side of the fence.”

July 2005