Interview With Nigora Khasanova -Iteca Exhibitions Director General, By: Kohan Textile Journal
Q: Please let us know more details about ITECA Exhibitions, history and success story.
The international company Iteca Exhibitions is the leader of the exhibition industry in Uzbekistan, the only representative of the republic is a member of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry – UFI since 2007.
The company organised its first exhibition in 1995. 26 years of experience in organising business events allowed attracting new companies to the Republic for which acquaintance with the economic potential of Uzbekistan began with participation in the country’s largest exhibitions in strategic areas of the economy, such as construction, food industry, healthcare, oil and gas, textile engineering and other areas. More than 1,800 companies from 54 countries take part in Iteca Exhibitions events every year, and more than 85,700 unique professionals from 50 countries attend the events.
Q: Let us know more about ITECA exhibitions and conferences in textile and fashion sector?
One of the largest exhibitions organised by the company is CAITME – a professional international exhibition of equipment and technologies for the textile and light industry in Central Asia and the CIS countries. CAITME has the status of a UFI Approved Event which indicates its positive contribution to the development of the economy of the host country. The exhibition is annually attended by recognised leaders of textile machinery and suppliers of the most advanced technologies from Europe and Asia. Attending these exhibitions is considered a must by industry professionals.
The second exhibition of the sector is the main international specialized exhibition of textile and fashion industry – UzTextile Expo which allows to demonstrate achievements and innovations from Uzbek and international manufacturers throughout the entire production chain – from yarn to ready-made clothing and accessories. For the first time in 2021, the exhibition will be held twice – May 27-29 and October 6-8, presenting spring-summer and autumn-winter range of textile products.
Q: How do you evaluate Textile industry in Uzbekistan?
Despite the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, the textile industry of Uzbekistan continues to demonstrate high growth rates, remaining one of the most dynamically developing sectors of the economy of Uzbekistan.
The sphere has undergone dramatic changes over the past four years. For example, the experimental creation of cotton-textile clusters as a new form of organising the production chain from raw materials to finished products, reduction of cotton exports for its full processing in the country, attracting best practices in the production of textile and clothing products, steps to lift the international boycott of textiles and clothing from Uzbekistan and the expansion of its presence in foreign markets. All this has made it possible to create a solid reserve of stability for the industry and to overcome the hardships endured by the country’s economy with minimal losses.
Now Uzbekistan ranks 6th in the world in cotton production and 100% of raw materials are processed domestically. There are more than 7000 enterprises in the industry, of which 1200 are exporters. The industry is socially very significant – it employs 360,000 people, an increase of about 15,000 new jobs annually. The industry’s share in the country’s industrial production is 12.4%.
The country has 97 cotton-textile clusters that process more than 90% of the country’s total cotton harvest. Export of textile products is about 2 billion dollars a year, to 65 countries of the world. The recent acquisition of GSP + status by the European Union opens up new export opportunities for the country.
Q: Why textile exhibitions in Uzbekistan are important?
Both exhibitions that our company holds in Uzbekistan have a rich history and are the most effective business platforms for building partnerships in the industry. The exhibition of textile machinery – CAITME, is mainly represented by foreign manufacturers who supply their best developments to the Uzbek market for processing local raw materials (cotton fiber) into finished products. Thanks to this exhibition, thousands of local manufacturers were able to purchase the latest technologies for their products without leaving the country. At the exhibition, it is always possible to get acquainted with the operation of the equipment in action and receive recommendations on its operation from the world’s leading manufacturers. The exhibition always demonstrates the widest range of equipment for all sectors of the textile and clothing industry, offers from both European and Asian manufacturers. You can always choose technologies for any enterprise format. The top five countries in terms of the number of participants include countries such as Turkey, China, Germany, Italy, India.
In turn, the exhibition of the textile and fashion industry – UzTextileExpo demonstrates the achievements of local manufacturers and allows foreign buyers to purchase products and place orders in one of the most dynamically developing textile markets in the world. The exhibition is attended by leading foreign manufacturers, retail chains, wholesale and retail companies, for which a Special Buyer’s Program is being implemented within the framework of the exhibition. Over the years of the program implementation, more than 300 large buyers from Germany, Turkey, China, Russia, Ukraine, the Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan and other countries have taken part in its work. In addition, the exhibition also helps foreign manufacturers of textile raw materials, semi-finished products and ready-made clothing to find dealers in the huge consumer market of Central Asia with a population of over 34.5 million people.
In Uzbekistan, textile exhibitions are unequivocally the locomotive of the development of production and trade relations, an important part of the Uzbek economy.
Q: Could you please explain more about the situation of the exhibition industry in the pandemic period in general? Do you have any online or hybrid exhibition?
During the pandemic, the world economy was severely affected, and the congress and exhibition industry felt it to a greater extent. The business community went through difficult times, all ties were broken and the business had to put on a long pause. All mass events in Uzbekistan, including Iteca Exhibitions events, have been cancelled. We had to postpone all our events to 2021 and support our business through small events and online forums. Thus, on November 25, 2020, the International Mining Forum of Uzbekistan was organised online, which was attended by 17 speakers and 170 delegates from 10 countries. The forum was of great importance to key players in the mining industry who were able to support their professional communications, share their vision of development prospects and outline ways for further interaction. Throughout the year, we kept in touch with our exhibitors and prepared for the return of exhibitions to make them even bigger and more efficient.
The global exhibition industry will never be the same again. But now the world community is ready to return to the usual format of business negotiations and start rebuilding its business at exhibitions. The world is changing and the event market is changing with it. Functionality, sustainability and security are new industry trends. Now all Iteca Exhibitions events will be held exclusively in compliance with the requirements of sanitary and epidemiological norms and regulations established by the Special Republican Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the World Health Organization.
Q: How do you predict 2021 for the exhibition and event sector?
“Exhibitions traditionally play a role in supporting and growing the economy, but this year they are especially important – for the recovery of business communications!” – the slogan of Global Exhibitions Day in 2021, which fully reflects the future of the event market and its enormous importance. Right now, more than ever, direct meetings are very important for the correct conduct and maintenance of business in all sectors of the economy. It is a necessary and effective tool for economic recovery after an unprecedented stagnation during the pandemic. Participation in exhibitions is especially important for small and medium-sized enterprises, which form the backbone of any economy and for which they are the main sales channels.
Now our priority is to help the economy of Uzbekistan find new investments with the help of international industry B2B exhibitions and to compensate the losses as soon as possible for manufacturers by promoting their products at prestigious reputable exhibitions, restore and establish new business contacts and strengthen their positions in the market.