Egyptian Mills Looking U.S. Market Opportunities
By Jennifer Marks -- Home Textiles Today, 3/27/2006 12:00:00 AM
New York — —
New York —While the U.S. market has been awash in goods employing Egyptian cotton for years now, finished home textiles actually produced in Egypt have been in relatively short supply.
Fifteen mills from Egypt that will be showing at Global Connections this week hope to change that. The show, which brings together 250 exhibitors from seven countries, takes place at the Jacob Javits Center from March 28-30, in advance of the New York Home Textiles Show.
The 2004 pact between Egypt, the United States and Israel to establish Qualified Industrial Zones removes duty from Egyptian-made goods so long as 11.7% of the product's content originated in Israel. “It's a great opportunity to import home furnishings fabrics product without paying any taxes,” said Nader Amin, general manager, Union Textiles. “Also, the U.S. government is supporting the Egyptian industry.”
Fabric producer Print Shop is one of five mills in the vertically integrated Union Textiles holding company, which has a 50% share of the domestic Egyptian market, according to Amin. The company also produces curtains, dec pillows and cushion covers. “Our standards match European standards, so American standards are easy for us,” he said.
Towel manufacturer Jacquard Dina, established in 1969, hopes to penetrate the market for opening price and moderate bath, beach and kitchen towels. “After proving ourselves locally,” said Ayman Kadous, general manager and owner, “the time has come to go worldwide.”
Egyptian Trade & Industry Company recently expanded its sheeting capacity by 5% but also produces towels, bath robes and table cloths. It is attending Global Connections to link up with importers and retailers looking for moderate and better luxury goods, according to Eftikar El Shishini. “What distinguishes Egyptian home textiles are the Egyptian cotton, the organic cotton and the classy designs in material and embroideries,” he said.
United Textiles Co. already counts JCPenney, Sears, Wal-Mart and Dollar General among its apparel customers, and has done some business in sheets, towels and bath robes in the television shopping realm. It also exports to Europe.
“We are exporting our products to moderate and [opening price point] retailers with very competitive prices starting from $5.50/kg for towels and $25.00 for high thread count sheet sets,” said Mohammed Adel Tolan, chief merchandiser.
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