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Apparel industry exhibition in November

The Fabric and Accessory Suppliers Exhibition (FASE) is the one-stop-shop industry solution to face the many new challenges of quota free competition, Project Manager Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (Pvt) Limited Husnie Rauf said.

He said the annual industry event is organised by Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services and the Sri Lanka Apparel Institute and is supported by the Joint Apparel Association Forum and the Sri Lanka Garment Buying Offices Association.

FASE brings together suppliers of fabric, accessories and other related service providers from all parts of the world at the BMICH from November 9 to 11. FASE also identifies and hosts foreign buyers of leading and upcoming fashion brands through its Hosted Buyer program. The exhibition is a ready-made total solutions package for Sri Lanka's garment industry that suffers from poor backward integration.

Rauf said Sri Lanka's garment export industry that brought in US$ 2.78 billion in 2005, imports over 60 per cent of its raw materials. In 2004 total imports for the apparel industry were over US$ 1.5 billion, according to the Export Development Board. Imported fabric alone, totalled over US$ 1.2 billion in 2004.

Countries such as Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, India, South Korea and Pakistan are major suppliers of raw materials and many are also Sri Lanka's competitors in the world market.

With world apparel and textile quotas ending on December 31, 2004, price competition from larger producers such as China, India and Pakistan, is mounting. This is forcing apparel exporters to reduce prices to stay in the market.

Foreign garment buyers too, are increasingly costing backward from pre-planned retail prices, which is also reducing supplier-end pricing flexibility. On top of pressure to reduce prices, Sri Lankan exporters must also be able to deliver reliably and speedily to keep up with fashion trends that are changing faster than ever in saturated western markets, he said.

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