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Medellin Hosts 33,000 Visitors for Annual ‘Colombiatex’ Textile-Industry Spectacle

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The 28th annual “Colombiatex” textile industry conference and trade show January 26-28 at Medellin’s Plaza Mayor convention center is expected to draw some 33,000 national and international visitors, more than 500 exhibitors and some 11,000 buyers.

According to Medellin-based show organizer Inexmoda – Colombia’s leading textile- and fashion-industry trade association – this year’s edition of Colombiatex also will feature special presentations by some 30 industry experts explaining the latest trends in textile-industry technologies and clothing fashion trends.

Some 40% of the exhibitors at Colombiatex 2016 will come from outside Colombia, with especially large contingents this year from India, Brazil, Spain, Portugal and -- for the first time -- France.

In one part of Colombiatex's trade show devoted to textile machinery, an innovative group of companies from Italy will be showing-off the latest technologies in textile manufacture.

According to the Medelin Chamber of Commerce (MCC), Antioquia department -- of which Medellin is the capital -- is now home to 10,344 companies involved in textile manufacture, clothing manufacture, textile supplies (including dyes) and fashion design.  In total, these local companies boasted capital assets of about US$3.66 billion, according to MCC.

For the first six months of 2015 alone, Colombia’s textile exports rose to US$470 millon, of which clothing accounted for 68% of the total – mainly in the categories of jeanswear, underwear, bathing suits and uniforms. Bulk textiles accounted for another 26% of the total exports, followed by filaments, threads and fibers, according to MCC.

The main destinations of Colombian clothing exports are the United States (44%), Ecuador (9%), Mexico (9%), Peru (6%) and Venezuela (5%), according to Inexmoda.

“Our main goal with [Colombiatex] is to show to the world the talent and skills of our domestic [textile] industry, so we engage exhibitors and buyers from different cities to show their diverse supplies of raw materials , textiles, machinery, complete packages and specialized services for the sector,” explained Inexmoda CEO Carlos Eduardo Botero Hoyos.

In total, Colombiatex 2016 will feature 510 exhibitors from 24 countries, occupying 11,618 square meters of show-floor space -- up 12% from 2015, Botero added.

Of those exhibitors, 290 are Colombian companies representing the entire spectrum of textile manufacture, raw materials, machinery, chemicals and finished products.

Among this year’s special events: “Fash.Mob” (highlighting new textile technologies and applications in clothing fashion); “Forum on Trends;” a “Denim Review;” and special presentations by major industry players including Huntsman, Proquinal, Pat Primo, Urban Inputs, Epson Enka, Santista, Jorge Orozco, SP Pro, Fabricato, Mon & Velarde, Entreaguas and local textile manufacturing giant Coltejer.

According to Medellin investment promotion agency Agencia de Cooperacion e Inversion de Medellin y el Area Metropolitana (ACI), Colombiatex 2016 is expected to generate about US$300 million in new business for Medellin, thanks in part to new deals involving some 10,200 national buyers and more than 1,700 international buyers at the show.

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