50 percent larger show bustles with 40 percent increase in attendance
Toronto, Ontario – August 22, 2017 – The second annual Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada (ATSC) show opened in Toronto Monday with a record attendance. Reporting more than 5,000 registered visitors, the show saw a 40 percent increase in attendees over last year on day one alone.
ATSC returned to the Toronto International Centre 50 percent larger than its inaugural show in 2016, with 300 exhibits from more than 20 countries showcasing the latest and greatest in apparel and textiles from around the world. Representatives from China alone occupy 200 of those booths, with the other exhibits featuring wares from such countries as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the U.S., the U.K., Turkey, Switzerland, Spain, Nepal, as well as 30 artisanal companies from eight Least Developed Countries (LDC) sponsored by Ottawa-based TFO Canada.
In a “Made in Canada” section, Canadian manufacturers and smart apparel and textile producers are displaying all that’s new in homegrown merchandise, while making strong global industry connections and gaining insights into how to best navigate the international sourcing process.
“There is a direct linkage between the world economies, and we chose Toronto to introduce this show as we see a very ripe opportunity in this city, with its residents originating from hundreds of different countries, a thriving retail environment and many local entrepreneurs,” said Jason Prescott, CEO of JP Communications, ATSC producer and North America’s leading publisher of B2B trade platforms TopTenWholesale.com and Manufacturer.com.
“We felt that bringing the show to Toronto would give us the best opportunity to connect a lot of bridges around the world,” Prescott added, citing Canada’s economic strength as an attraction for industry players from across the globe eager to do business in this country.
Day one of the show began with an international round table featuring three key government representatives discussing Canadian imports from their countries: Xia Xiang, Commercial Affairs Minister Counsellor of the People’s Republic of China in Canada (Ottawa); Hon. Dinesh Bhatia, Consul General of India; and Mr. Dewan Mahmudul Haque, First Secretary (Commercial) High Commission for Bangladesh in Canada.
According to Minister Xia, Canadian demand for apparel has increased annually since 2011, with goods increasingly coming from abroad – from raw materials to finished apparels. He explained that ATSC is an unprecedented opportunity for Canadian importers, manufacturers, retailers, designers and small businesses to get a first-hand look at the global fashions, fabrics and textures that consumers will be after in the coming year.
According to the Government of Canada Apparel Industry Profile, apparel imports are up by 3.4 billion Canadian dollars (about 2.71 billion U.S. dollars) or 8.3 percent annually, totaling 14 billion Canadian dollars (11.15 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016.
Cao Jiachang, chairman of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT), explained that “the uniqueness of the Canadian market is attractive to Chinese manufacturers, and last year’s successful first edition of ATSC gave us strong confidence to bring more and higher quality producers in 2017.”
Other sessions featured at the show on Monday included a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Chinese city of Changshu, which was officially approved as a national trial market for procurement trade, transforming the city from a domestic to an international market. Today, Changshu provides jobs to 360,000 people with nearly 10,000 manufacturing enterprises, and generates an annual production value exceeding US$14 billion, including $2.6 billion in exports.
Show visitors also gained insight into Canadian trade with developing countries – particularly in the area of artisan specialty textiles through TFO Canada – as well as Canada Border Services Agency’s Least Developed Countries Program that supports duty-free imports from countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia. In addition, attendees learned updates from the Canadian Apparel Federation on the NAFTA re-negotiation and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
Day two of ATSC will feature an inside look at sustainable, ethical apparel practices from a range of industry retailers and leaders – including WRAP and TESTEX – as well as all that’s trending on the international fashion scene. A series of local and international fashion shows will be featured on the show runway.
ATSC is supported by many international governments and associations, headed by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT) and the Bangladesh High Commission on behalf of the Export Promotion Bureau and the Bangladesh Garment and Manufacturers Export Association.