La Razon reported yesterday about Alpaca Fashion 2011:
Alpaca Fashion Event 2011, organized by the Chamber of Exporters of La Paz (Camex), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its project PC-Bolivia and the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia, promoted the first “inverse” trade mission for American buyers for the sector of goods made of camelid fibers.
Camex’s manager, Beatriz Espinoza, said that “we hope to reach U.S. $ 400,000 in business intentions and about five or six companies with whom to do business over the long-term.”
“This moment is to meet, see the products and communicate, where we can agree on samples; then orders will come and I have to check everything with my team, and together we make decisions. This may be a matter of few days or several months, depending on the articles and communicating with producers,” explained Jim Petkiewicz, from the company Frog Tree Yarns T & C Imports.
This chart represents Bolivian alpaca produce development; the first numbers are the development of manufactures with fine fibers, volumes in kilograms and value in American dollars. In the middle, next to the map, you can see number of employees by cities, 2008 figures. At the bottom of the chart, the amount of exports in dollars for 2010; and to the right the pie chart with the percentages exported by country, USA being 26%.
In Bolivia, the camels and clothing sector in 2010 registered an export value of 9.59 billion, up by 18% as compared to 2009. Until August this year, it exported 6.06 million dollars, an amount exceeding by 17% over the same period in 2010.
Is there a demand in the world for this type of product? The answer was yes, with some details of what happens in the markets. “We live in a globalized world and everything has its purpose. What we see in 2011 is a drop in demand for the same crisis we are experiencing in our country (USA). But what we’ve seen is that there will be more demand from other countries like New Zealand, Australia and some in Europe,” said Petkiewicz.
“You have to defend your share of the market and can not sit or focus on one market alone, because if that is going under, you lose…”, said one buyer.
In this context, it’s up to Bolivia to continue competing at a disadvantage in livestock markets for alpaca. The company representative Peruvian Link, Karina Pomroy, emphasized that Bolivian exports to the U.S. market is not competitive because Bolivians must pay, unlike Peruvians who don’t pay those tariffs.
“In the U.S., they buy alpaca products because they know they are quality products,” said the Vice President for Casmex, Larry Serrate.
He warned that “Peru has a very aggressive policy to cover the market, good for them, I wish we could imitate something. But we can not allow ourselves to be moved out of the U.S. market so easily. This initiative (Alpaca Fashion 2011) is to maintain what we have and expand on the possible markets.” This in the meantime, while Bolivian exporters wait for the signing of new agreements or tariff preferences to return in our aid, he said.
An interesting website is Bolivia Fair Trade, Art Crafts and natural products from Bolivia under Fair Trade Practices; use the link below.
Its vision: “Bolivia Fair Trade brings high quality apparel products and accessories to the North American consumer market from artisan groups, cooperatives, small businesses and entrepreneurial initiatives in Bolivia – South America. We promote Fair Trade with our purchasing practices, and we have a commitment to improve the living conditions for the people in Bolivia.”