With a 470-strong delegation, representing 29 countries, the Singapore 2010 event has been declared a major success by event organisers,the ICA and Cotton Outlook.
Marking a mile-stone in ICA history, this all-new event,which took place on March 4/5 at the Fullerton Hotel, was the first cotton conference of its kind to be held in Singapore. Sponsored by some of the world’s leading cotton companies, the theme of the two-day event was ‘Protecting your Cotton Business’.
ICA President, Cliff White, explains: “No matter where we look today, the importance of markets in Asia is very evident.The raw cotton market is no different and this has resulted in the realignment of business strategies and created a need for close cooperation between buyers,sellers and established institutions in the marketplace.
“Our aim with Singapore 2010 was to provide a unique opportunity for the cotton community in Asia to come together – to learn more about the market, to network, to make new contacts, to do business and to debate the important issues affecting our industry. We certainly achieved this and we have been overwhelmed by the response. The event was a sell-out by mid-February.”
The event programme
Mr Leo Yip Sen Cheong, Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board, greeted delegates at the opening ceremony and welcomed the event to Singapore “as a mark of Asia’s growing participation in international commodity trade”.
Over the course of the two days, 12 presenters took to the stage. The focus for day one was ‘the importance of Asia‘ and ‘the market outlook‘. Mr Wai Ho Leong, Director and Senior Regional Economist for Barclays Capital, delivered the keynote address and focused on where Asia might be in 10 years’ time. Also in the spotlight were Joe Nicosia (CEO, Allenberg CottonCompany), Adrian Foster (Head of Financial Markets Research, Asia Pacific Rabobank) and Ray Butler (Managing Director, Cotlook Limited).
Day two focused on ‘how to protect your cotton business‘ and included a view from India, China,Indonesia and Bangladesh from Sachit Jain (Vardhman Mills), John Cheh (Vice Chairman & CEO, Esquel), Ade Sudrajat (Vice Chairman, Indonesian Textile Association) and Abdul Hai Sarker (CEO, Purbani Group). In other sessions, Paul Kinney (Global CottonTrading Manager, Cargill Cotton UK) looked at the role of a merchant in today’s cotton world, Jagdish Parihar (Managing Director, Olam International) concentrated on risk management and Antonio Esteve (CEO, ECOM Cotton Agroindustrial) asked the questions ‘Why Sustainability and Why Cotton?’. The final ‘Trade Forum’ session, which was hosted by the ICA, provided an opportunity for delegates to ask questions and share their views on the important issues affecting the industry.
For many, the true value in attending Singapore 2010 was the chance to network with representatives from every segment of the global cotton industry. With a cocktail reception on day one and a gala dinner to close the event on day two, there were plenty of opportunities for the delegates to network.
The last word
Cliff concludes: “Singapore 2010 was our first-ever truly international event and, based on its success, I know it will not be the last. I hope this event proves we are listening to all segments of the industry and that we are an Association without borders – not tied or influenced by any national interest.
“As ICA President, I am very proud to have been part of Singapore 2010 and I want to express my sincere thanks to our event partners- Cotton Outlook, to all the event sponsors, to the presenters, to my colleagues on the ICA Board and to everybody who has been involved in making sure everything ran smoothly – you know who you are! Our next event is the annual ‘ICA International Trade Dinner Event’, which is taking place in Liverpool, UK on 30 September and 1 October 2010. I hope you can join us.”