The dates have been set for the next Prime Source Forum (PSF), the annual meeting of senior executives involved in sourcing, manufacturing and servicing - which is also seeing its apparel focus extended for the first time to include footwear.

The annual event takes place in Hong Kong, with the next sitting set for 28 to 30 March 2012.

Prime Source Forum has grown in importance since its inception in 2006 when the major challenge facing the apparel industry was the end of WTO quotas. The March 2012 round of workshops and forum sessions will continue to look at the challenges and opportunities facing the apparel and footwear industries.

Also taking place at the same time are leather and fashion fairs organised by APLF Limited, including Materials, Manufacturing & Technology (MM&T) and Fashion Access (FA).

Turkey, a major player in the global leather industry, will be the focus country for APLF 2012, and a record number of Turkish tanneries are expected. Exhibitors are also lined up from India, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the US - with a product range extending to non-leather and natural raw materials, components and accessories, as well as processing, chemical and equipment manufacturers.

There will also be colour and material trend for spring/summer 2013 developed by Olivier Guillemin, president of the Comite Francais de la Couleur.

"We are confident that we will have a higher exhibitor count in 2012 than the 1,235 registered in March 2011," explains APLF event director Perrine Ardouin. "Already, we have seen an increase in stand bookings by 16% compared to the same period last year." More than 20,000 buyers are also expected to attend.

With its focus on bags, footwear, small leathergoods, fashion accessories and leather garments, Fashion Access (FA) offers one-stop sourcing, all under one roof. Ten country pavilions have already been confirmed, including Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Pakistan, Taiwan and Thailand.

The show serves two different types of exhibitors and buyers: the traditional Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)/Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) who are looking for volume buyers, and exhibitors in Fashion Avenue who mostly carry their own brands and are looking for boutique and department store buyers or franchisees."