COTTON USA Executive Delegation Tours Southeast Asia
A U.S. cotton industry Executive Delegation participated in a weeklong trip to Southeast Asia to promote the advantages of U.S. cotton to textile and garment leaders in Vietnam and Indonesia, which currently rank as the first and fifth largest export markets for U.S. cotton.
“The Executive Delegation was a great way for U.S. not only to tell the great story of U.S. cotton and our quality enhancement programs, but also to learn about the leading issues in Indonesia and Vietnam that can impact the success of doing business there,” Hope Brooks, Chairman of the American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) and VP of Cargill, said.
The delegation emphasized U.S. cotton’s benefits via presentations to mills and merchants and through meetings with local leaders in Vietnam and Indonesia. Presentations covered U.S. and world cotton economics, U.S. cotton quality updates, bale packaging and anti-contamination efforts, responsible cotton production, and updates on U.S. Pima cotton and Supima.
The group met individual mill owners, cotton buyers, the Vietnam Cotton & Spinning Association (VCOSA) and the Indonesian Textile Association (API, Asosiasi Pertekstilan Indonesia). The group also toured a spinning mill that processes U.S. cotton, as well as a garment manufacturer. Cotton Council International (CCI) staff and U.S. Embassy personnel briefed the delegation in both countries.
The delegation included: Keith Lucas (CCI President and VP, Carolinas Cotton Cooperative), Hope Brooks (ACSA Chairman and VP, Cargill); Jeff Johnson (ACSA representative and VP, Allenberg); Frederick Barrier (CCI Board Director, AMCOT representative and VP, Staplcotn); Richard Gaona (CCI Board Director, American Cotton Producers representative, Rolling Plains Cotton Growers President and Longworth Coop Gin affiliate); Paul “Paco” Ollerton (Arizona Cotton Growers President, American Cotton Producers representative and Olam Cotton Yellow Gin affiliate); Marc Lewkowitz (Supima President); and Will Bettendorf (CCI Director for Southeast Asia).
Within the ASEAN region, Vietnam and Indonesia rank as leading cotton spinners and textile/garment producers. In MY 2015 the U.S. exported almost 2.8 million bales to these countries, which accounted for 28% of all U.S. cotton exports.