FTADirect ( www.ftadirect.com ),the business process network for the global soft goods industry, announced today that its chairman Nick Hahn has been invited to speak at the International Trade Manufacturers Federation Annual Conference, September 23 - 27 in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference, the theme of which is "Challenges of the Global Textile Market", will explore the prospects for textiles in the new millennium, both in Africa and in the rest of the world. Hahn will urge dozens of trade associations from around the world to embrace the business technologies and innovations that facilitate global trade in an information-based economy. One of the world's oldest industries, textiles represents a $1 trillion sector of international commerce. "Business has historically struggled to balance global reach with singular service," says Hahn, considered a visionary by economists familiar with textile trade. "This conference will provide a valuable opportunity to demonstrate how the Internet can help create new global business relationships while strengthening existing ones. I am honored to be able to present how FTADirect has used information technology to facilitate collaborative commerce within the soft goods industry." FTADirect was founded in 1999 with the goal of streamlining inter- and intra-company business processes within the global soft goods industry. Since the first of its collaborative commerce products, Custom Global Sourcing, launched in August, FTADirect has hosted more than $22m in transactions. Hahn, named one of the century's most influential people by TextileWorld Magazine, is the founder and former CEO of Cotton, Inc, a research and marketing organization funded by American cotton producers and importers.