United States cotton sector officials are on a visit to Philippine in search for local manufacturers that will carry their products. According to Cotton Council International ASEAN Representative Kraipob Pangsapa, the demand for cotton has seen growth in the Philippines, but the use of US cotton shrank.
Pangsapa on the sidelines of the Cotton USA relaunch in the country said that they want to grow by 5% this year in terms of products sold. Hitting it will depend on the number of licensees they close here. The growth would be exponentially fast should they seal deals with Philippine manufacturers.
The Philippines has been consuming an average of 40,000 metric tons of lint per year valued at P3 billion ($66.57 million). At least 97% of that is being imported mainly from the US, the Cotton Council International said.
Philippines has favorable soil and climate to grow cotton but the local industry has been facing a major setback due to several socio-economic and technical factors, such as the cotton bollworm issue.
Bollworm is any larva or moth that attacks the fruiting bodies of certain crops, especially cotton. Thus genetically-engineered Bt cotton was introduced to reduce the use of synthetic insecticides in fighting such pest.
Pangsapa said that to help address the rising demand of cotton in the Philippines, Cotton USA plans to partner with two big local brands. They donâ€™t sell any products but partner with manufacturers in Philippines to introduce US cotton. Then they can introduce them to buyers.
Pangsapa added that their target is to promote US cotton in Philippines and to keep the cotton momentum going. The usage of raw US cotton has contracted a bit in the country, but on the consumer and retail side, the Philippines is stronger than Thailand.
Cotton USA brand was introduced to garment manufacturers and consumers in the Philippines way back in 1994. On June 26, the Cotton Council International, marketing and promotions arm of the United States cotton industry, formally re-launched its 26-year-old flagship brand Cotton USA in the Philippines.
Cotton Council International President Dahlen Hancock said that their brand has been highly successful. However, the global marketplace has changed dramatically and has become more competitive because petroleum-based fibers are often cheaper.
At present, Cotton Council International has 19 licensees divided into 6 categories in the Philippines: Womenâ€™s wear, menâ€™s wear, menâ€™s innerwear, childrenâ€™s wear, home textiles, and personal care.
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