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    International garments sector reacts to Forum article


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2003

    "The Association of Apparel and Textile Exporters in Bulgaria is organizing a trade show for professionals. Having read your article, can you visit Sofia and present your views and ITC information to the participants? Could we distribute your article and other relevant ITC materials to our Bulgarian member companies?"

    Borislav Georgiev (borislav@bia-bg.com), Director for International Economic Relations, Bulgarian Industrial Association,Bulgaria

    "I'm a director of a marketing company in India. Your message is a warning as well as an encouragement to exporting companies, to keep market share or increase their business through attention to quality, pricing and other competitiveness issues."

    A.R. Samy (horizo@sify.com), Horizons Apparel Buying Services, India

    "I work in the New York office of the Korean Government's Agency for Trade and Investment (KOTRA). Your article was comprehensive and forward-looking. You mentioned that ITC helps countries to elaborate country action plans. What is a country action plan, and how can others qualify to get this assistance from ITC?"

    Yong Chang (yhchang@kotra.or.kr), Korean Agency for Trade and Investment,United States of America

    "Your article was excellent and most timely, as a number of East African countries, where I work, are investing heavily in the textile and apparel sectors, but are uncertain of the future viability of those investments. One aspect you might have spelled out more clearly is the impact of investments undertaken to benefit from [preferential access schemes such as] the United States' African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) programme. What will be the future of investments made by Kenya, for example, to ship apparel to the United States market? Will these countries be able to compete with other developing countries, especially those in Asia, post-2004? Is there scope, within agreed trade measures, for the United States to continue to offer duty-free access to its markets for selected African countries?"

    Ronald Rose (ronald.rose@dfait-maeci.gc.ca), Commercial Counsellor and Regional Trade Commissioner, Canadian High Commission, Kenya

    "Congratulations for the wonderful article. World trade in clothing is currently around US$ 200 billion. What do you expect will happen over 2006-2008, and do you think there is potential for countries like China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia to export clothing to India after 2004? Do you think big international retail chain stores will open outlets in India?"

    Vijay Mathur (babusomnath@hotmail.com), Director of Export Promotion, Apparel Export Promotion Council, India

    "I read your article with interest, and noted that ITC has worked out country action plans for some countries to deal with the situation. Oman exports garments under quota to the United States, and these garments form a major chunk of manufactured exports. Can ITC work out an action plan for Oman?

    K. Venkatesan (venkat@ociped.com), Export Advisor, Omani Centre for Import Promotion and Export Development,Oman

    LDCs benefit from exchange of experiences at Executive Forum

    "From two perspectives, I consider it tremendously worthwhile that I could attend the recent Executive Forum in Cancún, Mexico.

    First, the many new ideas from decision-makers from different countries, at different levels of development, open up the mind to prospects and problems.

    The second perspective is subtly different. Developing countries often suffer from the scourge of feeling helpless. The feeling that we are far behind can mean we give up trying to improve. Whether on a personal or a national level, the will to change fades because there is not enough positive feedback. The Executive Forum, however, highlights experiences from countries with different levels of success and failure, in various sectors. Every country in such a situation finds areas where they are more advanced and areas where they can improve. Decision-makers can get encouragement by seeing what others in similar situations have done, and what they have realistically achieved - and thus identify practical areas for putting in efforts.

    Participating in the meeting was also especially useful to me because it focused on the interests of SMEs, the business group I represent on behalf of the Dhaka Chamber.

    Thanks to all members of ITC whose serious commitment helped make the meeting the success it was."

    Sayeeful Islam (sayeeful@concordegarments.com) Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bangladesh

    Editor's note

    We encourage readers to make broad use of Trade Forum articles, but we don't hear frequently enough from you about how you are doing it. Please let us know by sending an e-mail to domeisen@intracen.org