GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Mexico’s textile and apparel sector is betting exports will top $4 billion in 2015, thanks to rising U.S. demand and gains from an aid package launched earlier this year.
The industry’s trade dynamics are “normalizing” with a strong business outlook, José Manuel Martínez, Jalisco State general manager for top trade lobby Canaive, said during the inauguration of the 63rd edition of the Intermoda textiles fair here.
The four-day event, which closes Friday, is expected to attract 23,000 visitors, of which 18,000 will be buyers, mainly from the U.S., Colombia, Spain and Brazil. Marvel, Disney and Lukas Entertainment are expected to be present, scouring for sourcing opportunities. Intermoda is taking place as there are reports the fair may be for sale, with several overseas exhibition organizers said to be interested.
Martínez said the aid package to identify illegal importers of subvalued merchandise has forced 4,500 importers of such products to become part of an official registry to control their operations, which were damaging domestic producers. The illicit activity was so prevalent that 220 million garments costing under $1 apiece reached Mexico during 2013 and 2014, Martinez added.
Biannual Intermoda will feature 1,500 stands showcasing a wide range of unisex apparel, streetwear, kidswear and footwear brands, both from Mexico and Latin America, with Colombia boasting a big presence.
As part of the IM Trending fashion platform, there will be 21 runway shows, notably one featuring Colombian designer Jorge Duque Velez. The fair will also feature a 30-strong Designers Corner aimed at developing and showcasing young designers’ products.
Intermoda president Héctor Reyes Camarena hopes the event will boost Mexico’s efforts to internationalize its fashion industry and help forge business alliances between large and small producers, many of which are struggling to gain scale locally and abroad.
Martínez also called for the government to help develop domestic brands and foster their consumption in a country where most apparel sales go to foreign labels.
He said the country’s apparel market has 20,000 companies accounting for 10 percent of manufacturing GDP.