The celebration of the 20th IAF convention will take place in Barcelona at the same time as another very important event, the Universal Forum of Cultures 2004. This new world event will enable open dialogue between different life styles, social, political or religious points of view, building new ways to help people live in peace. For centuries mankind has pursued this utopian goal and it is a permanent exercise of creativity and consensus to keep trying to achieve it.

The apparel business reflects similar aims. People around the world wear different clothes, showing cultural diversity and a wide variety of tastes. We have an emotional business where fashion tries to satisfy these needs by creating individual clothes and accessories according to each personality. The industry becomes increasinglymore global and manufacturing around the world becomes faster and faster. Communications break all barriers and we can send information to make a garment instantaneously.

Barcelona shares mountains and sea, clear skies and blue waters, science and leisure, museums and an active life. We believe you will enjoy staying with us, discussing the issues we are facing today, which include the lower economic growth of the developed world, the enlargement of the European Union, the liberalization of trade in textiles and apparel in 2005, and the political environment, and how to deal with them. We are operating across borders as global players through designing, sourcing, marketing and distributing products. We are meeting highly competitive markets with a consumer attitude which is leading to individual tastes and buying habits.

IAF will have interesting speakers, from all over the world, delving into the state of art and science, giving their opinions and sharing with you their views and knowledge. Their long-standing experience in our industry and retail trade should be a key element to define or reinforce our own opinions, providing a firm ground which will help to make decisions in the future. The convention's program is divided into four areas: Cultural Differences and Creativity, Global Perspective, Social Impact, and Value Chain from Designing to Retailing. april 1 2004


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