Asia Pacific Leather Fair reaffirms its position3 March 2005
It's that time of the year. Right now, over 2,000 companies from 40 countries and regions are preparing for their participation in APLF - Materials, Manufacturing & Technology (APLF- MMT). The world's premier leather trade show opens in Hong Kong on April 6, 2005, and its four days of trading are crucial to the industry's performance in the year to follow. Ms Kiyomi Hoshino from Ajinomoto-trading Inc, who have doubled their stand size this year, said: 'APLF is the biggest leather fair in Asia and we have high expectations of the worldwide business opportunities at the fair.' To get some idea of the scope and influence of APLF-MMT, 41 countries and regions are represented including: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Mainland China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay and the USA. Some of the participating companies are housed in the 25 group pavilions, which are mounted by industry associations and national trade bodies. Once again APLF - MMT has attracted more than 30 first-time exhibitors, bringing an injection of fresh interest to buyers, the vast majority of whom have attended APLF for many years. The new exhibitors are presented in a number of sectors: hides & skins, tanning machinery, semi-finished and finished leathers, man-made leathers, synthetic & natural materials, components & accessories, technology, particularly for CAD/CAM systems and process chemicals & dyes. The Technology sector has grown too, in line with the industry's growing demand for its services. APLF - MMT is putting a strong emphasis on technology and this is evident in the involvement of many specialists, not only as exhibitors but also as participants in the new seminar programme, namely 'Manufacturing Technology Enhancement Forum', which aims to strengthen the industry's knowledge of new developments in manufacturing methods, machinery, raw materials and applications. In another important development, APLF has strengthened and expanded its 'Colour Trends Forum' which received highly favourable feedback from buyers last year. It has been re-named 'Materials Trend Lounge' because it now encompasses not only colour forecasts but also new trends or technology breakthroughs for leather and non-leather materials and components. The Materials Trend Lounge will be the pointer to the spring/summer 2006 season. The Best of APLF Awards also makes a welcome return. On the opening day of APLF- MMT, a panel of judges, all with years of experience and wide exposure to product design and technical development in their own fields and countries, will nominate exhibited items for consideration. The judging on the second day will be based on design quality, workmanship, materials usage, degree of innovation, functionality, environment friendliness and marketability.