Few issues we publish capture the challenges and opportunities facing the cotton and textile industries more than the one you hold in your hands right now. The pages include a regional overview of three major cotton-producing and consuming countries and a look at the status of the never-ending market-share battle between cotton and its synthetic competitors.
Together, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India are a microcosm of the industry’s current status. Among the biggest issues we face are contract sanctity (Bangladesh is one of the top cotton-consuming countries in the world, but is also the source of many defaults), mills’ increasing shift to polyester and other synthetics (even in Pakistan, which has traditionally been a cotton-centric country), and government influence on free trade (at press time, rumors are swirling that Indian officials are already being pressured by the textile industry to implement yet another cotton export ban).
While those situations are plenty formidable on their own, success or failure might ultimately come down to which fiber wins the battle for market share: cotton, which is backed by strong consumer demand, or synthetics, which don’t suffer from wild swings in price and supply.
For cotton to overcome those challenges, the industry will need strong leaders to step forward across all sectors of the supply chain. Those leaders will need vision, determination and innovation to blaze a trail that others can follow.
You will see that happen in a big way over the course of the next six months. The 2013 Cotton International Annual edition, due out in January, will once again compile the ideas, strategies and insights from cotton and textile industry leaders from across the globe. Just a few months later, many of those leaders will be in attendance at the Cotton International Global Summit, which will be held in March in Singapore.
The Annual and Summit couldn’t come at a better time. Much of the future direction of the cotton industry will be determined in the coming four months, and we all have a part to play in building a better cotton trade for ourselves and our partners.