Blog: Leonie BarrieColombia here I come…

Leonie Barrie | 12 January 2004

I’m preparing to fly out to Colombia at the week-end for a whistle-stop tour of some of the country’s clothing makers as well as a couple of days at the Colombiatex trade show in Medellin. My preliminary research reveals a sleeping giant as far as the industry is concerned – it’s just a shame it’s so totally overshadowed by the country’s terrorist activities. Did you know, for instance, that Colombia’s duty-free exports of textiles and apparel to the US under the Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) grew by 39 per cent in the first quarter of 2003; that ATPDEA exports through 2006 are estimated at $2.5 billion; and that the industry has invested around $500 million in equipment and modernisation in the last five years. The country also exports duty-free to the EU, and I’m hoping to catch up with some of the UK buyers heading out to the show to hear their views on what Colombia has to offer.

If any of our readers will be at the show and would like to share their thoughts on the industry’s strengths and weaknesses – or just catch up to say hello – then drop me a line at and we’ll see what can be arranged.



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