Atlanta exhibition: Textile traders from Gujarat sell goods at almost thrice the domestic price

Over 50 textile traders from Gujarat, who took part in the Global Trade Fair in Atlanta, made significant profits by selling their goods at almost three times the price it would have sold back home, South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI), the organisers of the fair told the Indian Express.

This was the first fair in the US by the SGCCI with support from the Ministry of Textiles.

The traders participated in a three day B2B (Business to Business), and B2C (Business to Customer) dealings at the fair, organised by SGCCI at Gas South Convention Centre in Atlanta city, where they did such good business that they have run out of stock for the upcoming fairs and have “started importing textile goods from Surat to the US”, said SGCCI president Ashish Gujarati who is also in the US.

The first leg of the fair wrapped up on June 11 and second leg is planned in New Jersey from Thursday, and a third round is planned in California from June 19.
According to Gujarati, “India can fill the vacuum of demand for textile products in America after the US’s sanctions on the imports of goods coming from China. If the opportunity is not grabbed at this juncture and no such chance will come in the future.”

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“On the third day, we had to close our exhibition an hour early as the exhibitors ran out of stock. We have told the exhibitors to import goods for upcoming exhibitions in New Jersey and California. The traders sold their wares for three times the price they would in India,” Gujarati added.
The fair featured viscose, chiffon georgette, velvet, bags made of jute, ethnic wear including scarves, kurtis and shirts, besides bed linen, curtains and carpets.

Co-chairman of the exhibition Harshal Bhagat said, “We received an overwhelming response from the buyers. The Direct Resource Group CEO of Atlanta David Gault and his representatives attended for three consecutive days and they have taken samples of different products of textiles and have shown interest in giving orders of 10 lakh metres each of different textile fabrics.”

He added, “We hope that the textile industry will get new orders for lakhs of metres in textile fabrics of different qualities in hotels, home décor, hospitals, apparel industries, garments, carpets, jute bags, Khadi, etc.”

Natvar Patel, who runs a garment business in Atlanta, told The Indian Express over phone, “We are overwhelmed with the response as the prices of the textile fabrics were affordable and we have given orders to send more pieces. We want such an exhibition to take place at least once or twice a year.”
Indian American business coalition president Dr. Vijay Prabhakar called it a “great exposure for the exporters of textiles to the world market” and added it would create demand for India-made textiles and handloom products.

Rupali Surani, an exhibitor from Surat, said, “We have got bulk orders of textile fabrics for hotels and hospitals and it was unexpected for us. We did not expect such mega success and came to Atlanta with limited quantity of goods. We have got new customers here, as earlier we were not exporting to foreign countries. This was our first venture and we were overwhelmed.”

The SGCI president said the response to the exhibition will boost confidence as the textile industry has been reeling under the impact of the new GST regime
“Surat’s textile industry has been reeling under the impact of new tax regime of GST and this has come as a welcome event. For the first time all the exhibitors had got a chance for international exposure and this gave them immense confidence,” he said

“On the inaugural day, a total of 483 footfalls were recorded while on the second day 490 people attended and on the third day 900 people attended the exhibition from different cities and states of the US,” he further said.

Exhibition Chairman Amish Shah said, “ The import tax duty from India to the US is between 7 per cent to 8 per cent. So, it is feasible for the exhibitors to sell their goods. We have also made arrangements with an attorney who had come from Washington to our exhibition centre and explained to the exhibitors the possibility of doing business personally like setting up shops or warehouses, and what the tax structures over there and how it can be worked out. Many
exhibitors have shown interest.”

Gujarati said, “It is the right time to replace the textiles products of China with textile products of India. The buyers were from boutique owners, US Hotel and Motel Association members, Hospital association members. We have also signed an MoU with the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Industry for textiles and diamonds industries, for demand and supply. The team of Direct resource group of Atlanta and members of hotel and motel association will be visiting Surat in the coming months to explore more business opportunities.”

According to SGCCI data, the total exports of textile products from India to the US during last year was 43 million dollars against a target of 40 million dollars and Gujarati expects this to rise as the exhibitors “got a lot of inquiries of lakhs and million metres of textile fabric. ”

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