Curtis Wool Direct

2015 IWTO Congress Zhangjiagang

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Another successful IWTO Congress was concluded last week. It was held in the Chinese city of Zhangjiagang. Zhangjiagang city, is famously associated with early wool processing, and the Congress hosted more than 400 delegates with one of the largest number of delegates attending in recent times.

Peter Ackroyd, IWTO President welcomed Chinese and international delegates to this wool industry gathering in this Year of the Sheep.

A number of presentations were enjoyed by delegates. Chris Wilcox, Chairman of Market Intelligence Committee presented a report showcasing production forecasts from all major wool growing countries as well as outlining projections in the demand from both fabric manufacturers and retail.

Delegates also listened to a number of Chinese wool industry leaders address the slowdown in the Chinese economy and explain the ‘new normal’ in Chinese economic growth. This is an economic growth of around 7%, a steady as she goes approach, and a new realignment in the Chinese economy toward better quality, rather than a quantity focus.

Madame Chen Min, Director of Sunshine Group and Mr Qiu Yafu of Shandong Ruyi Group were amount a number of high profile Chinese presenters discussing the ‘new normal’ in regard to Chinese wool industry growth.

Presentations were made by AWI on future wool consumers, wool provenance and sustainable practices.

Patrick Strehle, Sales Director at NSC Schlumberger presented on technology development and its new combing machine, and talked about other innovations in textile machinery for the wool industry.

Delegates were entertained with a dazzling presentation by Craig Vanderoef, Senior Director at Adidas Group Germany, in the usage of wool in performance sport apparel past and future.

Phil Dickinson from Some Ideas London talked about his time working at Nike Umbro and Pierre Dupond. He briefed delegates on the potential for attracting Chinese customer to luxury good buying online.

Peter Ackroyd in his capacity as Chief Operating Office for the Campaign for Wool jointly with Ian Hartley Chief Executive of British Wool Marketing Board and Financial Director of Campaign for Wool presented (Five Years On) – the latest on the CfW both for apparel and interiors and its success in wool promotion.

The next IWTO Congress will be held in Sydney Australia in April 2016.



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