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Successful event

Monika Singh
Monday, November 27, 2017

THE three-day International Sourcing Expo Australia 2017 was described as a very successful event by the Fiji Textile, Clothing and Footwear industry.

TCF president Mike Towler said the show for the Fiji TCF industry "Make it in Fiji" group of companies was successful with more than 130 visitors to the stand over the three days.

Mr Towler said generally the Sydney venue had a little less attendance than when it was held in Melbourne but the Make it in Fiji stand was very well attended by both visitors and other industry personnel.

"The show gives both new and existing customers the opportunity to come and meet with our members. Those existing customers who do not have either the opportunity or the time to travel to Fiji appreciate the chance to visit their Fiji suppliers at this show," he said.

The show was held in Sydney, Australia from November 14 to November 16.

In response to questions sent on the expo, Mr Towler said all Fiji garment manufacturers who attended the show reported exciting new opportunities from visitors to the show.

"This year's show had a very large attendance of manufacturers from opposition countries, China, India, Pakistan etc. But there seemed to be less raw material suppliers than previous years.

"This highlighted to us that we need to be taking every opportunity to market ourselves in the Australian marketplace. This International Sourcing fair is an excellent venue for us to be getting this type of exposure."

In terms of expectations from buyers at the expo, Mr Towler said the Australian customers were always seeking short delivery times, smaller production runs and able to communicate in English and an accent that was easily understood.

"The Fiji TCF Industry offers all three of these requirements and gives us an edge. It also gives Australian customers the time to come to Fiji to holiday and do some business at the same time."

He said the expo in general was very successful for the Fiji TCF Industry as a whole and for those members who attended the show.

He said as an industry council they would be encouraging more of their members to attend in the future.

"We need to add more of a Fijian cultural flavour to our presentation in the future, a tanoa bowl to add to our talanoa sessions would be a great advantage for us to add to the mix of doing business in Fiji. More Fijian smiles to encourage Australian business people to relax, be happy and want to come to Fiji to experience what we as an industry can offer. It will set us distinctly apart from our competitors."

Mr Towler said the government had helped the council a great deal in terms of the very generous contribution to the overall costs of attending this show, without it, it would not be possible to do so.

He thanked the Fijian High Commissioner Yogesh Punja and the Fijian Consul General & Trade Commissioner in Sydney Zarak Khan whose support and assistance in attending the show was very much appreciated by the industry.

"It was extremely helpful to have them with us there on the stand in Sydney. We also acknowledge and appreciate the support that our industry has received from the Gibson Freight family (Bill, David & Peter Gibson) who assisted us with transportation of the garments and stand infrastructure to Sydney plus they also hosted the members attending to a gala dinner."

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