By  on November 23, 2005

Trade show organizers are planning for the future despite China's ongoing quota issues.

HONG KONG — Although there may be lingering uncertainty for the textile and apparel industries when it comes to China, industry insiders know China's importance will only continue to grow, and trade show producers are working to set up shop for the long term.

New to Asia is Prime Source, an international apparel forum and trade show that will launch March 28-April 1 at the new AsiaWorld-Expo, near the Hong Kong airport. Between 250 and 300 exhibitors and 6,000 to 10,000 visitors are expected, according to Hans Stoter, event manager.

The show, running March 29-April 1, will consist of garment and contract manufacturers, materials suppliers and service providers for things such as logistics and technology. The trade show also will host seminars with representatives from brands such as H&M and Nike.

But what will make the show stand out, according to Stoter, is its apparel forum. "Something like this doesn't exist, at least not here in Asia," Stoter said.

The apparel forum, which begins a day before the show on March 28 and lasts for two days, will include keynote speeches, sessions ("The Politics of Trade" and "The World Outside of China," for example), cocktail receptions and a gala dinner. Invited speakers include European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman.

Prime Source is "trying to relate to the industry that this is a very high-caliber forum, very senior," Stoter said.

According to Stoter, Prime Source is being designed with a buyer's perspective in mind, adding that they know larger buyers would like to see a full range of services offered. "The trend in the whole apparel industry is changing" to the point where "the factory has the pressure of providing the entire supply chain," he said. That would include providing services ranging from design to sourcing to logistics support.

The show is organized through a joint venture with APLF Ltd., which also does the Asia Pacific Leather Fair, and is managed by CMP Asia. The Asia Pacific Leather Fair — Materials, Manufacturing and Technology, the largest leather fair in the region, will run March 28-31 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This year it had more than 27,000 visitors with 1,866 exhibitors from 63 countries and regions. A shuttle bus will run between APLF at the Convention Centre in Wanchai and the AsiaWorld-Expo, Stoter said.

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