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7th OTEMAS Revamps For 21st Century

With improving economic conditions in Japan and the rest of Asia, the 7th OTEMAS, organized by the Osaka International Trade Fair Commission and the Japan Textile Machinery Association (JTMA), represents an important show for both suppliers and mill executives interested in the key textile markets of the region.

The Asian markets of Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan represent over 90 percent of Asian man-made fiber production.

The textile machinery exhibition will be held October 8-13, 2001, at INTEX Osaka, where it has been held every four years for a quarter of a century in alternation to ITMA, the quadrennial exhibition in Europe, organized by the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX).

Until recently, these two fairs, combined with ATME-I in Greenville, S.C., constituted a complete worldwide exhibition system. However, the foundations of this system began to show cracks, following a drop in visitors to ATME-I, which comprises two separate events, and the boycott of the 6th OTEMAS in 1997 by many important exhibiting European companies which deemed the cost of participation to be out of proportion to the resulting benefit.

The managers of CEMATEX, which represents over 70 percent of the world textile machinery market, pressed the organizers of ATME-I and OTEMAS to correct the perceived problems. ATME-I agreed to unify its two shows beginning in 2004/05, but OTEMAS offered only vague promises of improvements.

As a result of their dissatisfaction with the response from OTEMAS, CEMATEX decided to sponsor a competing fair, ITMA Asia, in Singapore at the Singapore Expo Center, just a few days after the 7th OTEMAS.

Further cracks in the foundation occurred after CEMATEX voted to hold ITMA 2003 in the United Kingdom. German and Italian members strongly opposed this decision and began to withdraw their support for ITMA Asia.

At this point, OTEMAS organizers decided to offer more attractive incentives for suppliers to participate as well as improved transportation options for all visitors. These include reduced limousine fares between the airport and hotels in the city, a new subway line connecting the hotels with the INTEX Osaka fairgrounds, shuttle buses and hotel rates at lower levels than those found in other major Asian cities.

In addition, exhibitors will receive free basic electric installation and service as well as free water supply and free container storage during the show. Transportation costs to bring equipment from the port of Osaka to the fairgrounds are 30 percent lower than those for the show in 1997.

Among the manufacturers committed to participating are the entire membership of JTMA as well as many major European manufacturers. About 230,000 visitors are expected to attend the exhibition, which has 4,000 modular spaces available covering 36,000 square meters.

The organizers have mounted a promotional campaign and are developing a network with associations, research institutes, chambers of commerce, textile districts and others to present the entire technical-commercial potential of the exhibition and to prepare participation of organized national groups.

The exhibitors will be organized into sections according to the type of machinery they manufacture. There will also be sections for trading companies and other textile-related businesses. There will be symposiums, seminars and fashion theme catwalks. Information technology and supply chain management textile firms will be presented in one place, and environmental considerations will also receive special emphasis. Support services for participants will include the fair center’s new multimedia center.

The organization has increased the number of interpreters to help foreign visitors find their way at the fair, and more English-speaking staff are found in the city’s hotels and restaurants.

OTEMAS organizers expressed confidence that the improvements they have made will ensure the success of the 2001 fair, saying, “…we have, here in INTEX Osaka, an exhibition location where the presence of the large Japanese companies alone will ensure an important authority in the main technological sectors, a guarantee of quality that for others still needs to be proven,” or, in other words, “we were the first, and we are still the best.”

July 2000