Terry Townsend, executive director of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), will set the stage for the Cotton International 2013 Global Summit by providing an overview of the cotton industry for the coming year. Townsend’s presentation will open the first full day of plenary meetings for the event, which is scheduled for 20-22 March at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino in Singapore.
“The theme of this summit is ‘United for a Better Trade,’ and trade is, by definition, a form of communication and interaction,” Townsend says. “A meeting that gives stakeholders the opportunity to exchange views and address problems in a constructive manner is of great value to the industry as a whole.”
The collaborative nature of the event, which draws senior executives from throughout the supply chain, is the crucial element in its success. “If there were a ‘silver bullet’ that could solve all of the industry’s problems, someone would have thought of it by now,” he continues. “The reality is that many small improvements, made in many different sectors, cumulatively add up to great improvements in the way the global cotton trade functions.”
Some of those small changes include improved trade rules, the standardization of quality testing, the ability of logistics companies to reduce or remove transportation bottlenecks, and stronger contract sanctity. “Everyone in the cotton value chain has legitimate interests and concerns, and all of them need to be addressed simultaneously,” he says. “If the different sectors were able to solve all of their problems by themselves, they would do that. But that simply isn’t possible, given the interconnected nature of a globalized industry.
“That’s why summits like this are both necessary and appropriate. Cotton International is playing an important role in the improvement of the global cotton industry, and I look forward to being a part of it,” he concludes.
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