By  on November 20, 2007

SHANGHAI — Organizers of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, one of the world's largest textile exhibits, have their sights set on expansion.

The show completed its four-day run at the Shanghai International Exhibition Center here on Nov. 1, adding new pavilions and moving the Yarn Expo to a separate location. Next year, organizers plan to grow Intertextile Shanghai from its current seven halls with more than 860,000 square feet of floor space to 10 buildings that would add 320,000 square feet.

"We currently have a long waiting list, but companies that are not up to international standards we discourage from coming or give them a smaller space," said Katy Lam, trade fairs director for Messe Frankfurt Hong Kong, which organizes the show, adding that 80 to 90 percent of exhibitors return each year.

The fair featured 2,005 companies, of which 611, or 30 percent, were from outside Mainland China. South Korea, Thailand, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Taiwan and Japan had special national pavilions. There were more than 54,000 visitors, an increase of 4 percent from the 2006 edition. The show had in excess of 9,300 international attendees representing 98 countries. Yarn Expo, in its second year in Shanghai, featured 90 exhibitors and attracted more than 3,700 visitors.

New additions to the show included the SourceIt pavilion, comprising textile and garment manufactures from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore. After exhibiting in Hong Kong for the last three years, SourceIt made the move to Intertextile Shanghai for this year's show. Sixteen companies from Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia participated, a "disappointing" drop from the 200 at last year's Hong Kong event, said Lam. She noted that some ASEAN companies already exhibiting at the show feared their clients might not be able to find them if they joined SourceIt. Lam also said that some ASEAN mills have doubts about selling to the Chinese market.

"They worry, 'Can we sell to China?' But, actually, 20 percent of the customers here are from overseas," she said. "ASEAN countries see the Chinese market as a place where they cannot compete price-wise. But some others see China as a future market. They need to stop thinking of China as export-oriented. The country imports everything including food."A spokesman for the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association, or VITAS, said the organization hoped to attract U.S. and European buyers through its Chinese sourcing offices. The spokesman said VITAS felt the U.S. monitoring of Vietnam's production for dumping violations wasn't warranted.

"Our exports to the U.S. in the first six months of 2007 grew 20 percent compared to a growth of 27 percent to the rest of the world in that period," he said. "In 2006, our exports to the U.S. rose 29 percent, which means that there hasn't been unusual growth in amount or drop in price."

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