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FROM PORTUGAL TRAVELS TO CONQUER THE JAPANESE MARKET WITH A PRESENCE AT JITAC

From Portugal label will be represented in another edition of the Jitac European Textile Fair, which will take place from October 4th to 6th at the Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Trade Center. Albano Morgado, Burel Factory, Fitecom, Lemar, Otojal, and Troficolor are the companies that make up the national delegation, which Adalberto, Paulo de Oliveira, and Riopele also join. 

Represented through an agent, national companies are enthusiastic about their participation and consider the event as an opportunity to grow in the relevant and demanding Japanese market.

“We have been present at Jitac for several editions. We have several loyal customers who visit us during the fair, so we maintain the good expectations of previous editions”, begins by saying José António Ferreira, customer manager for the Japanese market at Lemar. The company's focus will mainly be on recycled yarns and products of accelerated decomposition – “being the profile of the innovative Japanese customer, we will present the most innovative range of our fabrics”, he adds. Striped prints, checks, and technical fabrics will also be part of the stand.

For Fitecom, the Japanese market means “an emerging market, with potential”, says João Carvalho, CEO of the Covilhã company, who hopes with this participation to make the numbers of orders evolve. “With the pandemic, it is fair that we have done little, and we hope to be back soon. In this edition, an agent will represent us”, he says. “There are products that we are leaders in Europe and I would even say in the world, such as shelton, which we have sold millions of meters. It is one of the main products we will be promoting at Jitac. Which is a classic, timeless, upper-middle-range”, explains the official. Less than a week before the fair, Fitecom already has some meetings scheduled.

Troficolor is also represented at Jitac with its AW 23/24 collection since the fair is a privileged channel of contact with the Japanese market. Thus, expectations include “the expansion of business volume, whether by attracting new customers or by solidifying and monitoring the relationships that we have had for years”, says Ana Magalhães, export sales manager. “It is a market where the position of Troficolor has been growing, which means that we have won the trust of customers through the quality of the product and service provided”, he adds.

The company from Trofa maintains its commitment to environmentally friendly fibers “such as BCI cotton, organic cotton with GOTS certification, recycled cotton and polyester with GRS certification”, and highlights “natural dyeing processes such as indigo of vegetable origin and dyes of mineral origin”. Among the novelties to be presented are also: the Velvdenim concept; denim ready to wear with a winter finish; fabrics with a velvety feel and wool look; a line of flannels “with warm patterns that range from traditional plaid to bolder structures”; corduroys “with different weights and cane widths”, and quilted denim.

Specialized in wool, Albano Morgado left the products at Jitac to the consideration of its agent. It is certain that within the offer will be a set of wintery fabrics (flannel, felt, tweed, velvet, tartan, lamb wool) and sustainable, with certification Oeko-Tex. “Expectations are good, but it is a specific market that needs some time to consolidate as it requires a high degree of trust on the part of the Japanese customer”, says Belmira Rodrigues, market manager. The Japanese market has a representation of 5% for the company.

As for the participation of Adalberto Estampados, expectations are also high: “we expect a fair with movement, from what I spoke with our agent, our collection will impress. A trial was carried out with some customers, and the acceptance of the products was splendid”, shares sales manager Juliana Bertolozzi. “Part of the collection that we will be presenting has a bolder design, figurative designs, we also take smart fabrics for men and women”, he adds, stressing the suitability of the articles to the Japanese public, which has been growing in representation for the company.

For Riopele, the Japanese market has always been very relevant. So the Pousada de Saramagos company heads to Jitac with its AW 23 collection, new designs, and boards in the hope of reinforcing its presence in that region. “Riopele has been working with the Japanese market for almost 30 years. Around four million euros are made in this market, representing approximately 5% of our turnover”, advances António Soares, market manager in Japan. The market manager is optimistic about Riopele's presence through the representation of the agent. “We expect the market to pick up again in this post-pandemic period. The yen (Japanese currency) is weak against the euro. Freight costs are very high”, he adds.

The participation of Portuguese SMEs in JITAC is an initiative of Selectiva Moda and ATP – Associação Têxtil e Vestuário de Portugal, which aims to promote the internationalization of Portuguese companies in the fashion area. The “From Portugal” project is co-financed by Portugal 2020, within the scope of Compete 2020 - Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Program and Lisbon 2020 - Lisbon Regional Operational Program, with an eligible support amount of €6,648,794.78, of which €3,735,305.80 come from the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund.