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Interstoff Asia Trends: Chinese Domestic Buying Up; U.S. and European Buyers of Chinese Goods Down

At this year’s Interstoff Asia Essential, the international fabric and fashion trends exhibition held in Hong Kong, it was clear that European textile and garment makers and retailers have increased their buying from countries with cheaper labor and shipping costs and quicker delivery as Chinese wages and domestic buying has increased.

Some 229 exhibitors representing 10 countries participated in the show, which drew more than 7,200 visitors from 42 countries.

The Interstoff show, said Ms. Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK), is positioned “…not just as a sourcing fair, but as an event where buyers, exhibitors and designers can get the latest updates and ideas in design and trends, new technologies and eco-friendly products and processes.”

Among the exhibitors were China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macau, Switzerland, Taiwan and Thailand.

“The quality of exhibitors that choose to showcase their fabrics and accessories here, as well as the big name international buyers who source from them, supports our belief is the perfect place in Asia to achieve these aims,” said Ms. Wen.

Buying patterns at Interstoff reflected the shift in sourcing.

“Earlier, the US accounted for nearly 20 per cent of our exports, but now it has come down to one per cent. The market has shifted to Southeast Asia and our focus is on newer markets here. That is why we are at this exhibition, to attract new buyers from within the region,” said Jin Wei Liang, Deputy Director, Shaoxing County Bureau of Commerce.

Purchases and orders at the Interstoff sourcing show echoed data released earlier this year.

Chinese domestic consumption of textiles and garments increased 18.2 percent from January to November 2012, said Gao Yong, Deputy Director of China’s National Textile and Apparel Council.

At the same time, Chinese export growth slowed to a modest three percent, U.S. $260 billion, according to Gao, the second lowest growth rate since 2009.