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China Fair Draws International Crowd

The China Sourcing Fair: Fashion Accessories staged its second show at the Asia World Expo with a 50 percent increase in exhibitors.

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HONG KONG — The China Sourcing Fair: Fashion Accessories staged its second show at the Asia World Expo with a 50 percent increase in exhibitors.

There were 750 booths in two halls with suppliers from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India. The show logged 12,975 buyers, an almost 30 percent increase over the April edition.

"We tried to identify a time convenient for buyers," said Merle Hinrichs, chairman and chief executive officer of organizer Global Sources.

The Fashion Accessories fair runs just before the huge, all-inclusive Canton Fair, which is celebrating its 100th edition this year and started Oct. 15. The Fashion Accessories fair ran Oct. 11 to 14.

The event included handbags, fashion jewelry, footwear, hats, umbrellas, belts, sunglasses and luggage, with an emphasis on China sourcing. The country exported $796 million in hats and caps in the first seven months of the year, a 21 percent jump, while exports of sunglasses brought in $350 million in the same period, up 36 percent compared with the previous year.

With those numbers, the fair proved a draw for buyers from firms such as Carrefour, Esprit, Gap, Li & Fung and Triumph International.

Buyers are setting the standard and making fashion, said Christopher Sellers, ceo at Agentrics, which represents 250 members, including 17 of the world's top 25 retailers, offering sourcing, supply chain collaboration, global data synchronization and product life-cycle management.

"The trends in…the latest fashion are being decided right here" at the accessories fair, he said, adding that many of Agentrics' retail customers attended the first show, as well as the most recent one.

To meet rising demand for swimwear — China shipped 70 percent of the world's total last year — the fair added an underwear and swimwear pavilion.

Representatives from Hong Kong's Grandland Corp. attended for the first time and registered for the 2007 April and October shows. This is the only fair that's this specialized, said managing director Derick Chong.

Grandland's products are split between swimwear and women's lingerie, which are exported mostly to the U.K. and Australia, with some business in the U.S. Target Stores and British Home Store are among its clients.

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