More than 500 delegates from the global cotton community joined us in the UK last week at our ‘Liverpool 2013′ trade event.
Hosted by the outgoing ICA President, Ahmed Elbosaty, the two day event took place on 24 and 25 October in the Hilton Hotel and St George’s Hall. It attracted sponsorship from 38 firms and saw nine international speakers take to the stage – including outgoing Executive Director of the International Cotton Advisory Committee, Terry Townsend.
There was also plenty of opportunity for delegates to network and do business with two networking lunches, a cocktail reception, a gala dinner and post dinner celebration.
In a farewell speech that paid tribute and thanks to his co-workers on the ICA staff and board, to his former boss, mentor and friend, Amin Abaza, and to the ICA membership at large, Ahmed said: “Who can believe that it is a year ago that I took over as the ICA President. That year has gone so fast…As I look back on 2013 the focus has remained very firmly on arbitration and enforcement…We have carried out a number of improvements to the arbitration system…our Business Intelligence Team continues to play a valuable role in strengthening the deterrent effects of the default list and we have continued to apply a ‘top down’ approach to enforcement by engaging at a diplomatic level…We remain hopeful that this continuous pressure will start to pay off in the near future.
“The ICA community continues to grow…including a 5% increase in the number of mills on last year’s total…A number of associations [Supima, Bangladesh Cotton Association, ABRAPA, Australian Cotton Shippers] have joined the ICA to show their support for ICA values, especially around contract sanctity…If we are going to try and create a safer trading environment then we are going to have to do this in partnership with other associations, supporting each other and sharing and developing ideas and initiatives together.”
The gala dinner was also used to help raise funds for local charity, Autism Initiatives. In a charity raffle, cotton companies and delegates showed their support and raised a total of £9,813.21.
Sue Murphy, Head of Fundraising and Media for Autism Initiatives said; “This is a staggering amount of money, which will be put to immediate and effective use at our award winning social enterprise café in Southport – A Great Little Place. The purpose of all our social enterprises is to provide crucial work experience, training and employment opportunities for our service users, so this donation means that we will be able to offer even more opportunities to even more people with autism. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who contributed to this – thank you“.
Next year’s event will take place in Dubai on 2 & 3 October 2014 – watch this space for more details.