CCI Executive Director Conducts Industry Meetings in Southeast Asia
Cotton Council International (CCI) Executive Director Bruce Atherley traveled to Thailand, Indonesia and Korea to meet with local industry leadership and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) officers in order to gain better insight into (1) the dynamics of each country’s cotton markets and (2) CCI’s COTTON USA promotion and market development activities.
In Thailand, Atherley met with Chartchai Singhadeja, executive director of Thai Garment Manufacturers Association, and Thavorn Kanokvaleewong, president of Thai Garment Manufacturers Association. Atherley also met with Phongsak Assakul, owner of Bangkok Weaving Mills Group, and FAS Bangkok’s agricultural counselor, Bobby Richey. Discussion highlights included an update on recent domestic and offshore investments, the Thai industry’s plans to develop more value-added textiles for global markets, Thailand’s raw cotton imports and discussions about the future development of Myanmar. Atherley also saw COTTON USA-labeled products and met with licensee representatives to discuss sales promotion efforts at retail.
Atherley’s meetings in Indonesia included a briefing by Ade Sudjarat, Chairman of the Indonesian Textile Industry. Sudjarat discussed the new bonded warehouse project, which will allow exporters to ship cotton to Indonesia for storage and sale to local mills. This is expected to increase U.S. cotton sales to Indonesia, as spinners will be able to buy the cotton and use it immediately instead of having to wait until delivery weeks later. Atherley also met with Lily Tamin, owner of PT Lucky Abadi Textile Factory; Ali Abdi, FAS Jakarta’s agricultural counselor; Nicolas The, owner of Argo Pantes Group; and Benny Soestrino, owner and chairman of PT Apac Inti Corpora.
Lastly, Atherley traveled to Korea to join marketing meetings, discuss potential areas of cooperation with industry organizations and conduct a retail audit. Atherley reviewed CCI's activities in Korea with Kevin Sage-El of the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) and Ross Kreamer of the Agricultural Affairs Office (AAO) of the American Embassy in Seoul. He then met with representatives of the Spinners and Weavers Association of Korea. Atherley met representatives of the Spinners and Weavers Association of Korea including Joon Kim, chairman, Kyungbang Ltd. and Jung-Soo Kim, president, Ilshin Spinning Co., Ltd, among others. Atherley also visited a Uniqlo store and other retailers at Emall, a popular shopping venue in Seoul, to assess the retail market for COTTON USA.