Interview with Mr Jim Liaskos

Mr Jim Liaskos
Mr Jim Liaskos
The Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA)
The Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA)

Does TFIA also organize some trade fairs or events to its credit?

The TFIA does not organize trade fairs, as these are primarily undertaken as commercial ventures. Rather the TFIA concentrates on facilitating new ideas, innovation and opportunity for its members and the broader industry.

Throughout its history the TFIA has nurtured and spawned many iconic activities which are now highlights in the TCF calendar of events, but in which the TFIA no longer plays a part, that part taken over by others, and which is also a measure of the success of the organization as a mentor and facilitator for the industry.

One such event was the TCF Technet Technology network which over a number of years brought together small and large firms, equipment manufactures and both research and educational institutions to collaborate, innovate and develop new technology based opportunities. This highly successful program has now been adopted by the Government as its own.

The TFIA also facilitates trade missions for the Industry regardless of membership. In June 2009 the TFIA auspiced the Technical Textiles Trade Mission to Next Textile in Boras, Sweden and TechTextil, in Frankfurt Germany. This was an important initiative supported by the Victorian State Government and reflects its priority of strengthening the Victorian textile industry’s trade and economic relations with Western Europe. The Mission took place over a period of 5 working days, 2 days in Sweden followed by a weekend and 3 days in Germany. The event in Frankfurt coincided with a number of other conferences and exhibitions occurring at the same time as TechTextil.

These events included Avantex, the Natural Fibre Congress and the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) conference all of which presented a unique opportunity to Victorian Trade Mission delegates. The State of Victoria is at the heart of Australia’s textiles industry with the bulk of companies operating in the technical textiles industry located in Victoria. TFIA’s head office is also located in Melbourne, Victoria. The Victorian companies who participated in the Trade Mission included LM Australasia, Lempriere, The Merino Company, Ramsay McDonald and Wilderness Wear. All of these companies are using advances in fibre development to differentiate their product. An emerging trend in the sector is the blurring of the traditional boundaries that used to define company activity and it is therefore important for TCF businesses to stay abreast of new developments in fibres and value added textiles.

The Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA) lead the group of Victorian companies to explore opportunities for export or increased exports to Europe. The mission also served as a valuable mechanism for information and knowledge exchange to the benefit of both the Victorian delegates and their European counterparts. Today knowledge has a short shelf life and it is important to maintain relationships and communication channels that disseminate the rapid transfer of information. Trade shows, where industry, researchers, organisations and Governments converge for short periods of time, facilitate rapid exchange. The TechTextil fair was the pinnacle event in the global calendar. The companies who participated in the trip represent innovative Australian TCF businesses. Each of them contributed and gained much from the exposure to the European Technology platform as did the TFIA staff that organized and lead the Trade Mission. Attendance in 2009 at the German Fair totalled 1,209 exhibitors from 43 countries and 23,300 visitors from 80 countries.

TFIA is currently assisting with the Brand India Trade Fair which will take place in Melbourne on 12 & 13 November and Sydney on 16 & 17 November 2009 at the Exhibition and Convention Centre’s. This inaugural event will provide the Australian fashion and interiors industry with a rich source of premium quality product from some of the best textile manufacturers and exporters in India including: Alok Industries, Vijayeshwari Textiles, Premier Finelinen, Morarjee Textiles, Dicitex Decor Exports, plus offer informative seminars, interactive meetings and expert advice on establishing and maintaining successful and mutually beneficial business relationships.

The combined fashion and textiles show is being organized by the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council of India (TEXPROCIL) sponsored by the Government of India, of which only high quality, reliable manufacturers are invited to participate.

I recently traveled to India to attend the Techtextil and Heimtex fairs in Mumbai and was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with officials of TEXPROCIL and SRTEPC to extend the hand of friendship and assist as may be appropriate with the Brand India Trade fair.

Environment safe and ethical manufacturing is nowadays a key strategy for industry. How does TFIA encourage it?

The TFIA recognizes the importance of both these requirements for success in global markets and is a strong advocate of the Australian textile industry which is also a leading example of ethical and environmentally sustainable practices and processes. The TFIA is actively working with the Department of Climate Change in Canberra to prepare the TCF industry for upcoming changes to legislation. The TFIA also runs training programs in the area of sustainability. The TFIA is also an equal partner with the TCFUA (Employee Trade Union) in the Home Workers Code of Practice Committee and has a important advocacy and vocational role to educate the TCF industry about ethical supply.

It was a great deal of information on Australian TCF industry, Mr Liaskos! Thanks a lot for the opportunity.


Published on: 20/10/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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