Launched as a networking event, comprising a senior-level forum and a trade show, for international apparel sourcing, Prime Source will be held at the AsiaWorld-Expo, a purpose-built exhibition venue in Hong Kong, from 29-31 March 2006. The event has secured the full support of important trade associations, industry leaders and apparel manufacturing countries.

The event has been endorsed by:

* the American Apparel & Footwear Association. The AAFA is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies and their suppliers who compete in the global market and whose combined industries account for more than $225 billion in yearly retail sales.

* US Association of Importers of Textile & Apparel (USA-ITA) – a non-profit making industry association representing the interests of the textile and apparel importing community before Congress, the Administration, US Customs, other regulatory agencies, the business community and the public.

* Foreign Trade Association (FTA) – the only European trade association that represents the foreign trade interests of European commerce. Headquartered in Brussels, members are national retail trade associations and individual firms from nearly all European countries.

Prime Source is also supported by:

* Hong Kong Textile Council (HKTC) which comprises ten major textiles associations representing the entire range of activities from spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing and finishing, garment making to the manufacture of textile goods.

* Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) which incorporates the most successful and innovative retailers and suppliers. RILA members represent almost $1.4 trillion in sales annually and operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centres worldwide.

The Advisory Board for Prime Source now comprises 14 top-level decision makers representing the largest buyers, manufacturers, service providers and leading trade associations from around the globe. Their diversity ensures Prime Source presents a balanced variety of viewpoints and fulfils the mission of providing the industry a meeting place for summit-level strategic exchange and communication.

The 14 members of the board are: Kevin Burke, President/CEO, AAFA; Wesley R Card, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Jones Apparel Group; Anthony A Chiarello, President, Maersk Logistics; Abbey Doneger, President/CEO, The Doneger Group; Jan Eggert, Secretary-General, FTA; Ed Emma, President/COO, Jockey International; Karl Gunnar Fagerlin, Global Production, H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB; Laura Jones, Executive Director, USA-ITA; Harry Lee, Managing Director, TAL Ltd; Andrew Leung, Chairman, Hong Kong Textile Council; Peter Liu, Chairman, Textile & Apparel Committee, The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong; Peter McGrath, Chairman, JCPenney Purchasing Corp; Bob Rosenblatt, COO/President, Tommy Hilfiger Corp; and Wilbur L Ross, Jr, Chairman & CEO, WL Ross & Co LLC.

The organiser have so far received enthusiastic response from national groups like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Taiwan, mainland China, Türkiye and the USA to the trade show.

‘Manufacturers from these regions welcome the exclusive chance provided by Prime Source to meet with senior executives of worldwide apparel brand owners, retailers and importers, and with ministerial-level government representatives and policy makers from apparel exporting and importing countries, as well as leading members of supporting industries such as banking, logistics and techonology’, commented Michael Duck, Senior Vice President of APLF Ltd, the event organiser.

AAFA President & CEO Kevin Burke said: ‘We encourage our own supplier community to get on board, and we will be organising a USA Pavilion at the show to do just that’.

‘No other event in the world has been so intent on creating this direct contact among major buyers, apparel manufacturers and policy-makers’, adds Laura Jones, Executive Director of USA-ITA.

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