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Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt
Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt (Photo: Pietro Sutera, Messe Frankfurt)

MENA region ; Rich in textile heritage and famous for special products

Interview with Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt :

– Could you please let us know a brief about your textile exhibitions all around the world, goals and success story?

Messe Frankfurt offers 58 events worldwide for clothing, fashion, home textiles, technical textiles and textile processing and care. With this unique portfolio of international textile trade fairs, Messe Frankfurt is the global market leader in trade fairs for the textile industry.

In 2018, some 22,000 exhibitors and 520,000 visitors took part in our events around the globe. The trade fair provision spans the entire textile industry value chain.



– What do you think about the Middle East and Africa textile market and it’s potentials?

Due to increased wages, long lead times and growing domestic demand within Asia, North Africa and Middle Eastern countries have the potential to become more and more important for textile production.

Speed to market and in-season reactivity, as well as automation, are ever more crucial in a highly competitive and demand-focused environment. Additionally, concerns regarding the environmental impact make nearshoring attractive.

Especially the Euro-Mediterranean region will benefit from these factors and profit from its proximity to big consumer markets in Europe and the USA. In some countries, there have been substantial investments in new machinery and jobs making the industry a driver for economic growth.

– Do you have exhibitors in your events from the Middle East and Africa? how much the Mena region is important for your events?

Our fairs are very international and as such we also welcome exhibitors from MENA region which is rich in textile heritage and famous for special products, like Egyptian cotton which is reflected in Egypt’s presence at Heimtextil for instance.

Tunisia, Morocco as well as Jordan are now significant suppliers of clothing to the EU and to a somewhat lesser extent to the US market.

With the growth and upgrading of the textile industry in the respective countries, fairs become important showcases for promoting the know-how and capacities as well as the service the respective countries are able to offer to an international visitorship.

– What are the major benefits for your exhibitors and visitors?

Messe Frankfurt is worldwide the number one trade fair partner for the textile business. Many of our fairs are international leading trade fairs for their sector.

Members of the industry, trade and press from all over the world come together at a fixed date of the year, present and discover the latest product innovations and make business.

Our events also provide excellent chances to experience the current designs trends and market developments by attending lectures, panel discussions or guided tours.

– Normally how many percents of your visitors come from MENA region?

In 2019 around 4% of the visitors for Messe Frankfurt’s textile fairs came from the MENA region. Depending on the focus of the fair the top visiting countries from MENA vary.

Countries with a strong market for interior textiles will dominate at Messe Frankfurt’s Heimtextil fairs whereas countries which are strong in clothing production will preferably visit our fairs Techtextil/Texprocess as well as all our apparel fabric fairs such as Texworld, Apparel Sourcing and Intertextile.


Please have a look at our newsroom and learn more about our international portfolio of textile trade fairs: www.texpertise-network.com


Also See : Texworld Paris – THE International fair for Fashion!



+ Middle East Textile Journal

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