Colombiatex 2018: New Markets, Bigger Sales, Higher Tech
Inexmoda — the Medellin-based national trade group for Colombia’s textile and fashion industry – announced January 25 that the 30th annual “Colombiatex” show here generated new business deals likely to top US$356 million, surpassing last year’s estimate of US$326 million.
In total, 36% of the dollar value of projected new-business deals here involved purchase of textiles; 28% involved machinery, 19% in feedstocks other than fibers; 10% in fibers, and 7% in “other” supplies.
In all, 22,653 people from 60 nations attended this year’s version of Colombiatex – up 3% year-on-year – among which were 14,023 commercial buyers, 13% of those international. Among the internationals, 28% came from Ecuador; 10% from Mexico and 8% from the USA.
During the three-day event (January 23-25), Colombiatex once again cemented its position among Latin America’s leading textile-industry trade shows — with growing evidence of renewed industry optimism this year, following a difficult 2017, when Colombian consumers were hit by higher retail value-added (IVA) taxes and an economic slow-down, as noted in a closing press conference by Inexmoda president Carlos Eduardo Botero.
This year’s show over-flowed the entire Plaza Mayor inside-space capacity, spilling into tented staging-areas adjacent — resulting in more-than 12,000 square meters of commercial show area for the 579 exhibitors from 22 countries.
Brazil – which in December 2017 approved a two-way, free-trade agreement with Colombia, eliminating duties on textiles and clothing — led the field in international exhibitors (21%), with India second (19%) and Spain third (10%), according to Inexmoda.
“The Colombiatex model gives us a very positive cost-benefit and the [participating] companies are very satisfied, especially given the new agreement between Mercosur nations [Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina] and Colombia, which stimulates bilateral trade relations,” added Rafael Cervone, executive director of the Texbrasil textile promotional group.
In addition to the surging crowds and bigger buying deals, Colombiatex also hosted 21 lectures on industrial, technical, social, environmental, marketing and fashion trends — organized by Medellin’s Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) and attended by 7,300 in-person, plus another 6,700 via internet streaming to international audiences, thanks to live broadcasts by local TV station Telemedellin.
Another nine “trends-forum” sessions here attracted 1,038 attendees for special insights into textile and fashion concepts, while 10 other workshops examined emerging challenges facing textile and clothing manufacturers.
Meanwhile, a concurrent “fashion system business roundtable” organized by the Mayor of Medellin and business-promotion agency ProColombia brought-together 161 local exporters and 85 international buyers, generating an estimated US$9 million in additional business deals.
Yet another new feature to this year’s edition of Colombiatex included 32 independent graphic and visual artists who showed their designs and explained the latest technical trends in graphics, colors and textures. Meanwhile, “Denim Day” demonstrations — now a leading feature at Colombiatex — showed the latest innovations in design and manufacture in jeans-wear.
Finally, according to figures provided by the Medellin Mayor’s office, each foreign attendee to Colombiatex this year was estimated to have spent (on average) about COP$2,416,320 (US$858) per day in hotel, meals, transport and other expenses, with a net economic benefit to the city of about US$12 million.