As Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada comes to a close, event organizers revealed that this year’s internationally focused and expanded show broke its attendance records. Show exhibitors hailed from China, India, Ukraine, Switzerland, Spain, the U.K., Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, the U.S. and Canada to partake in various seminars, panels and networking. The three-day long event is taking place Aug. 20 to 22 in Toronto.
In its third year running, ATSC reached record-breaking numbers by amounting to nearly 1,500 visitors in a single day, according to the organization. The ATSC invited apparel and fashion executives, influencers, designers, retailers, importers, wholesalers, merchandisers, buyers and suppliers to liaise with Canadian businesses in the textile trade at its expanded show that featured twice the number of exhibitors as last year and debuted new categories, the firm said. The show housed more than 500 booths from 17 different nations, including a selection of “high-profile VIPs” across international governments and businesses that “endorsed Canada as a sought-after trade partner” at its Opening Ceremony. This year’s show was sharply focused on forging international business relationships with the intent to ameliorate U.S. trade relations, according to show organizers.
Jason Prescott, chief executive officer of JP Communications and producer of ATS trade shows, said, “International trade is the foundation of the global economy and Canada is a very attractive market for world players, as is evident by the unprecedented number of global exhibitors at this year’s event looking to do business and make deals with Canadians, even offering first dibs on local market rights. As the U.S.-China trade war escalates, face-to-face global networking and educational platforms are more important than ever for anyone in the Canadian apparel and textile trade, and the ATS group is proud to bring this opportunity to Canada, and to support free trade and intellectual property rights.”
“ATSC presents everything and anything you need to do business — and stay up to date — in the apparel and textile industry globally under one roof, right at your doorstep without having to travel overseas,” Prescott said. “This is a completely unique opportunity for Canadians to make global industry connections and secure unprecedented deals with international players eager to do business in this country.”
To further develop international relationships in the textile trade, the organization introduced its first-ever Brand China exhibition, “Avenue ATS,” which added new categories such as accessories, giftware, home electronics, footwear, luggage, housewares and general merchandise. In addition, ATSC welcomed an India Pavilion; its “Made in Ukraine” showcase, as well as additional international showcases from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vestex Guatemala and The Americas.
Highlights included a panel on China’s commitment to free trade with Canada, moderated by Clay Hickson of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), featuring Cao Jiachang, Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye and Wu Zhengping. The panel discussed “incentives for Canadian brands to continue sourcing from China and future outlooks, advantages of further investment in sourcing, and the reality of Chinese reliability on quality control, infrastructure and logistics,” according to the firm.
Additional sessions homed in on the U.S. trade war and its effect on Canadian and American retailers, brands and businesses, the ATSC said, including a discussion with Bob Kirke, executive director at the Canadian Apparel Federation, regarding the “new realities of international trade and how to strengthen relationships with global markets,” as well as Julia Hughes, president of the U.S. Fashion Industry Association, who discussed strategies for stopping new tariffs on apparel and footwear from China. Both speakers “reinforced that a full-blown trade war between the U.S. and its key trading partners will disrupt the global supply chain and impact trading volumes, with far-reaching repercussions for the Canadian and U.S. industry.” In addition, Jeff Streader, an industry veteran and private equity partner, spoke about succeeding in a digital landscape, which included impacts of AI and digital disruption across the global supply chain.
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