This exhibitor figure represented an 11.7% increase compared to last year, which comprised a 10% rise in domestic suppliers and 15% more from overseas. What’s more, seven countries and regions were represented at the fair for the first time including Belarus, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Macau, South Africa, the UAE and Uzbekistan.
In turn, this diversity attracted over 69,000 buyers from 98 countries and regions to the fair – a 5% increase on 2012. Both domestic and overseas visitor numbers grew this year which, according to fair coorganiser Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, was a reflection of the fair’s status in the region.
“Despite the challenges in the global economy, the textile industry in this region remains upbeat, as evidenced by the growing participation here,” commented Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager. “It also shows that the positioning of the fair – with its focus on functional and eco fabrics, and highlighting the strengths of various European and Asian countries – is resonating with the industry.”
While the fair is well-attended by local buyers, it is also a key event for overseas brands who source from both domestic and overseas suppliers. “Here we can meet a lot of buyers including European and American manufacturers and wholesalers,” commented Rony Van Der Cruyssen from Chemitex of Belgium, who featured in the popular SalonEurope. “We have met more than 100 buyers so far, including H&M and PVH, and around 20% have been new customers,” explained Tapan Sannigrahi from Indonesia’s Aditya Birla Group.
For many overseas exhibitors however, their primary focus is the domestic market, which they confirm still has room for growth. “There is definitely strong demand here in China and we are seeing a lot of interest in our embroidered fabrics,” said Omar Kaskas from first-time Lebanese exhibitor Kaskas Co. Schoeller Textil AG, Switzerland agreed: “Because our products are high-end and high-tech, we really see the potential for this market to grow,” commented Gwen Hsu.
“Chinese customers are interested in innovative products now and demand high quality.” Focus on hot topics in domestic market beneficial for exhibitors Premium fabrics and accessories from Europe continue to be popular in China, and over 260 exhibitors of such products featured this year in SalonEurope.
Within SalonEurope, the Milano Unica Pavilion housed 132 high-end Italian fabrics and accessories firms, and recorded a 17% increase in visitors compared to the 2012 edition. “It is very important for us to be in the Milano Unica Pavilion as it enhances our brand image,” explained Alessandra Contessotto from Loro Piana. “The response we’ve received at the fair has been very good, with many domestic visitors and Korean buyers coming to our booth. Our products are all very high quality which is appreciated by the market.”
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