The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of its effort to expand export markets for Kyrgyzstanâ€™s garment industry sponsored the trip for the Kyrgyz apparel factories to participate for the first time in the Apparel Sourcing Paris exposition held last month (18-21 September.
The Kyrgyz apparel industry has a long history of textile and garment manufacturing which presently consists of more than 500 small and medium sized manufacturers located in or near Bishkek.
Representatives from fourteen Kyrgyz garment factories met with buyers from European fashion retailers and gained first-hand knowledge about the European garment industry and global competition in apparel sourcing. The delegation met with more than 50 prospective buyers during the exhibition and discussed opportunities for possible cooperation.
Potential buyers highlighted advantages of producers from Kyrgyzstan, such as the ability to accept small orders and deliver them to markets more quickly than many Asian competitors. They also gained insights into compliance prerequisites for selling to Europe and other developed markets, noting that international compliance requirements for worker health, safety, and labour protection are key to entering the international markets.
Suimonkul Zholdubaev, owner of the Cool Bros. knitwear factory and one of the members of the delegation, who participated at the Apparel Sourcing Paris exposition said that all customers wanted to discuss social compliance and how they are addressing shortcomings before even discussing quality and price.
USAID has been helping Kyrgyzstanâ€™s most competitive producers to work together to offer a one-stop, buying-office solution for international brands and retailers, for the past several years. By making it easier for international buyers to produce garments in Kyrgyzstan, local businesses are seeing increased opportunities to export their product to new markets.
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