Messe Frankfurt intensifies its textile-related involvement in Africa

Morocco, Ethiopia and South Africa: Network comprises the most important textile regions in Africa

First Ethiopia, then South Africa and shortly Morocco: Messe Frankfurt is expanding its portfolio of textile trade fairs on the African continent. With its forthcoming cooperation with the two trade fairs Maroc in Mode and Maroc Sourcing, the global market leader for textile trade fairs is expanding its presence in North West Africa. “In the future, our network will extend across important textile regions in Africa and encompass the leading trade fairs on the emerging continent,” explained Olaf Schmidt, vice president Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt. “With our commitment to Ethiopia, South Africa and, in future, Morocco, we have created excellent conditions to support the positive developments in Africa’s textile industry”.

Demographic change, increasing urbanization and shifts in economic forces – these global developments are promoting the growth of the African economy and having a significant impact on the textile industry. According to the UN Economic Report on Africa 2017, Africa has the fastest growing population. The current population of around 1.2 billion people will more than double by 2050. The number of working people on the African continent is also increasing rapidly. The largest working population (1.1 billion) in the world is predicted to be in Africa by 2034. These demographic changes are causing personal and business consumption to increase sharply, and this will primarily benefit regional economic markets.

Morocco: Maroc in Mode & Maroc Sourcing
Morocco in particular offers great potential for the clothing trade: Morocco’s proximity to important fashion markets such as the EU and the USA, various free trade agreements and a recent economic growth rate of 4 percent (between 2010 and 2015, Nachrichten für den Außenhandel, NfA, 19 January 2017) create a secure business climate. The Maroc in Fashion and Maroc Sourcing trade fairs, which have been in existence since 2014, currently showcase around 120 exhibitors from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, China and a number of Western European countries. The extensive product portfolio inspires with its strong expertise in fashion. The trade fairs are regarded as a hotspot for fast fashion and not only present fashion, denim, lingerie and knitwear, but also sports and casual wear, workwear and accessories. Messe Frankfurt will agree on a cooperation with AMITH (Association Marocaine des Industries du Textile et de l’Habillement), the organiser of the event, for the next edition. The trade fair will take place on 26-27 October 2017 at the Exhibition Park Hassan Circuit in Marrakesh.

South Africa: Source Africa & ATF Expo
South Africa is the continent’s strongest economic power and one of the largest consumer markets. The country has the most powerful retail sector and is the best networked of all African countries. This international networking and its regional free trade agreements make South Africa an important hub for trade with other African countries as well as neighboring Pacific countries such as the Arabian Peninsula and India.

With the recently approved takeover of the Source Africa and ATF fairs, Messe Frankfurt is driving the exchange between international and regional buyers, manufacturers and suppliers in this region. Source Africa was founded in 2014 as a trade fair for African producers of fabrics, accessories, clothing, shoes and leather items. It appeals not only to African trade buyers but also to international manufacturers of clothing and fashion. The fifth edition of the fair will take place on 20-21 June 2018 at the International Convention Center (CTICC) in Cape Town. ATF Expo will open its doors at the same venue from 21 to 23 November 2017. Ever since 1998, this trade fair has offered an internationally-oriented product range of fabrics, clothing, shoes, leather goods and accessories as well as services for a predominantly local and regional purchasing community.

Ethiopia: successful start for Texworld, Apparel Sourcing and Texprocess
In eastern Africa, Ethiopia has developed into an attractive contract manufacturing country for clothing and leather goods thanks to the government’s strategy of focusing on light industry. Ethiopia also benefits from free trade agreements such as AGOA that are aimed at promoting the African economy. With the Africa Sourcing and Fashion Week (ASFW), Messe Frankfurt has had a strong partner at its side ever since the latest edition in October 2017. Offshoots of the three trade fair brands Texworld, Apparel Sourcing and Texprocess were integrated into the Africa Sourcing & Fashion Week for the first time. It is a sourcing platform for mainly European and US fashion companies. The seventh edition brought together around 200 international exhibitors from 25 countries in Addis Ababa’s Millennium Hall. Clothing fabrics, contract manufacturing, fashion and accessories were exhibited as well as machinery for contract manufacturing, CAD/CAM systems, printers, printing inks and accessories. In addition, the trade fair also impressed visitors with a fashion show, a series of lectures, a trend section and a matchmaking platform.

Messe Frankfurt: A strong presence in global textile markets
With a portfolio of over 50 international textile trade fairs, Messe Frankfurt is the global market leader in trade fairs for the textile industry. In 2016, around 19,500 exhibitors and approx. 477,000 visitors came to the events in Europe, North America and Asia. With the name Texpertise Network, the textile event offer of Messe Frankfurt covers the entire value creation chain – from apparel fabrics and fashion to home and contract textiles, technical textiles and the processing and care of textiles. The trade fairs include the successful brands Texworld, Apparel Sourcing, Ethical Fashion Show, Greenshowroom, Intertextile, Yarn Expo, Leatherworld, Emitex, Avantex, Avanprint, Heimtextil, Intertextile Home Textiles, Interior Lifestyle, Home Textiles Sourcing, Techtextil, Texprocess, Simatex, Confemaq and Texcare.