Despite international tariff issues south of the border, global trade is alive, well and growing in Canada. Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada (ATSC), now in its 3rd year, wrapped up in Toronto on August 22, cementing itself as the leading platform for both Canada and the worldâ€™s apparel and textile sourcing leadership â€“ from international trade offices and Canadian government, to private sector and association leaders â€“ to showcase that free trade is the engine that powers the worldâ€™s economy.
The three-day event drew record numbers of international exhibitors and attendees, with an unprecedented 6,000 registrations and representatives from 20 countries giving a boost to the Canadian apparel and textile industry. The show size also broke event records, with floor space doubling from 2017 to occupy more than 120,000 square feet and more than 500 booths.
Day one of ATSC celebrated the thriving Canadian retail sector as more than 1,300 attendees heard from Bob Kirke, Executive Director, Canadian Apparel Federation and Julia K. Hughes, President, U.S. Fashion Industry Association. While Canadaâ€™s retail sector is booming, â€œforty-nine percent of the GDP in Ontario is related to just the U.S. We canâ€™t live in a world like that, itâ€™s not a good thing,â€ Kirke said. Regarding the future of sourcing, Hughes commented, â€œI think for China it may be a reset button for looking at domestic and sourcing with the rest of the world thatâ€™s going to make it, long-term, even more difficult for U.S. sourcing execs.â€
The conference, which brought together international ambassadors, consul generals and high commissioners from China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ukraine, Indonesia, Guatemala and Mexico, confirmed Canadaâ€™s vibrant retail sector is thriving due to the countryâ€™s trade policies, LDC recognitions, and free trade agreements and ambitions. Attendees included sourcing executives from Canadaâ€™s leading retailers and brands such as Giant Tiger, Walmart Canada, Gildan, Moose Knuckles, Joe Fresh and Simons.
â€œATSC has become an extremely valuable event and resource to the Canadian retail and global sourcing market,â€ said Pamela Bokser, Director of Softgoods, Direct Imports at Giant Tiger. â€œCanadian companies traditionally had few sourcing conferences and opportunities to meet with manufacturers directly in Canada. ATSC helps solve this problem by bringing the market and industry to our doorstep here in Toronto.â€
Top level VIPs representing Canadaâ€™s major global trading partners reaffirmed their commitment to fueling strong trade relations with Canadians, including Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye Embassy of the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China in Canada; Wu Zhengping, Director General Foreign Trade Development Bureau, China Ministry of Commerce Peopleâ€™s Republic of China; Sun Jiwen, Minister Counsellor, Economic and Commercial Counsellorâ€™s Office of the Embassy of the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China in Canada; Cao Jiachang, Chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Textiles; Dinesh Bahtia, Consulate General of India in Toronto; Mizanur Rahman, High Commissioner, Bangladesh to Canada; Andrii Veselovskyi, Consulate General of Ukraine in Toronto; and H.E. Tariq Azim, High Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada.
Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye told the crowd that he hopes to make progress on a free-trade agreement with Canada and others amid Chinese trade tensions with the U.S. "On the background of unilateralism and trade protectionism, China sincerely hopes we can speed up the relevant negotiations process of bilateral trade agreements,â€ he said.
A new India Pavilion of 40 exhibitors signals a strategic directive that India is keen to compete and become a permanent part of the Canadian apparel and textile supply chain. With the support of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Indiaâ€™s Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) and Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council (WWEPC), the pavilion showcased the latest innovations in Indian apparel, textiles and accessories.
In addition to the India pavilion, ATSC unveiled, a â€œMade in Ukraineâ€ showcase, displaying leading fashions from eight Ukrainian designers and manufacturers. Other new international showcases included trending displays from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Guatemala andThe Americas.
A Brand China exhibition â€“ called Avenue ATS â€“ was launched to introduce Canadian retailers, importers and distributors to Chinaâ€™s top 10 cutting-edge fashion brands and successfully forged sales and distribution deals.
A show-stopping fashion show on day two crossed borders and showcased international trends on display at ATSC. Included were fashions from the Avenue collection of brands, leading styles from Canadian designers such as Narces, Hilary Macmillan, Cindy Renee Matheu, Rock â€™N Karma and KQK, Cashmere from Mongolia and the top designs from India, Ukraine and Pakistan.
For the first time, ATSC introduced to the Canadian market new categories â€“ such as accessories, giftware, home electronics, footwear, luggage, housewares and general merchandise â€“ with the debut of the China Brand Show, which came to Canada for the first time under the ATS banner.
â€œThe energy throughout the show was electric,â€ said Jason Prescott, CEO of JP Communications, ATSC producer and North Americaâ€™s leading publisher of B2B global trade platforms TopTenWholesale.com and Manufacturer.com. â€œFeedback we received from both attendees and exhibitors was extremely positive, with networking and business deals reaching unprecedented levels.â€
â€œAs the U.S.-China trade war escalates, face-to-face global networking and educational platforms are more important than ever for anyone in the Canadian apparel and textile trade, and the ATS group is proud to bring this opportunity to Canada annually, and to support free trade and intellectual property rights,â€ said Prescott.
ATSC show dates for 2019 are August 19-21, 2019. For more show highlights, visit http://www.appareltextilesourcing.com/canada/
About Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada -ATSC is Canadaâ€™s largest and most significant apparel and textile event for designers, brands, retailers, importers, wholesalers, merchandisers, buyers and suppliers. Participating countries include China, India, Ukraine, Switzerland, Spain, the U.K., Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, the U.S. and Canada. The event presents three days of seminars, panels, networking opportunities and on-site business matchmaking. ATSC is supported by many international governments and associations, including The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (MOFCOM), the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT), the Bangladesh High Commission on behalf of the Export Promotion Bureau and the Bangladesh Garment and Manufacturers Export Association, the Taiwan Textile Association, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Indiaâ€™s Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council (WWEPC) and TFO Canada, experts in trade for developing countries.
About Apparel Textile Sourcing -Apparel Textile Sourcing is the apparel industry's link to the entire global supply chain. The eventsâ€™ resources, experts and manufacturers come from more than 25 countries and cover the worlds of fashion, apparel, textiles and sourcing. New sources, new products and new ideas come alive with education, fashion shows and trade opportunities. The ATS Trade Shows are produced in Canada (Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada) and Miami (Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami).
About JP Communications -JP Communications runs the most expansive network of business-to-business sourcing platforms in the U.S. Anchored by TopTenWholesale.com and Manufacturer.com, millions of international members use the brands to locate wholesalers and manufacturers. JP Communications CEO Jason Prescott is the author of two best-selling books, Wholesale 101 and Retail 101, published by McGraw Hill.
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