20. January 2020 / 35th International Cotton Conference Bremen: Focusing on Ethiopia’s Cotton and Textile Industry

Bremen, 17 January 2020: The 35th International Cotton Conference Bremen will take place from March 25 to 27, 2020 in the historic Town Hall of the Hanseatic City of Bremen.

For the first time in its history, the Cotton Conference is presenting a guest nation, Ethiopia. The organisers of the conference, the Bremen Cotton Exchange and the Fibre Institute Bremen (FIBRE), are dedicating an exclusive part of the programme to the East African country.

Ethiopia: Cotton production as well as cotton processing industry

“We chose Ethiopia as the guest nation in particular because it has both cotton production and an up and coming cotton processing industry,” says Axel Drieling from the Fibre Institute Bremen. “The country is currently going through an exciting economic transformation process in which cotton can play a major role,” adds Elke Hortmeyer from the Bremen Cotton Exchange. The focus on the development of a country provides an additional attraction to the programme of the International Cotton Conference.

Representatives of Ethiopian trade associations and companies working in the country will be speaking on Thursday, 26 March 2020. They will present a first-hand report on the situation in the country’s cotton and textile industry. The Ethiopian Ambassador to Germany, Ms. Mulu Solomon Bezuneh, is supporting the Cotton Conference. Representatives of the Ethiopian Cotton Association (ECPGA) will provide information on the current situation in cotton production. Afterwards, representatives from the textile industry (the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute, ETIDI and the Ethiopian Textile and Garment Manufacturers’ Association, ETGMA), as well as investors will present an overview of the development in the Ethiopian textile and clothing sector.

Discussion of the current challenges in Ethiopian structural development

During the session, visitors to the conference will have the opportunity to discuss current challenges in Ethiopian structural development. Possible topics here are, for example, opportunities and possibilities for increasing product quality or the efficient establishment of vertically integrated value chains. In addition, Ethiopian scientists will present current research projects and their results in the context of poster presentations. The Cotton Conference therefore creates an excellent environment for establishing networks and initiating business with Ethiopian partners. The representatives of the Ethiopian delegation are available for meetings and interviews.

Next “hotspot” for the international clothing industry?

With Ethiopia, the focus is on an African country whose government has set itself the goal of generating more added value in its own country. With around 110 million inhabitants, it is the second largest country in Africa after Nigeria in terms of population. More than 60 percent are younger than 25. With an industrialisation offensive, the government is striving to improve living conditions in the country and create jobs, with textile production playing an important role. With the creation of industrial parks and rebates for foreign investors, Ethiopia is set to become a new “hotspot” for the international clothing industry.

Ethiopia currently produces around 60,000 tonnes of cotton. The Ethiopian government is pursuing an ambitious cotton strategy with the goal of increasing cotton production to over one million tonnes a year over the next 15 years.

We will be happy to bring interested journalists together with official representatives of the country as discussion partners on this topic.

International Cotton Conference Bremen with focus on “Circular Economy”

The International Cotton Conference Bremen begins for trade visitors on Wednesday, 25 March 2020. The opening keynotes from qualified speakers will deal with the status quo and the challenges of the industry. The subsequent, thematically structured sessions are characterised by top class lectures on industry-related questions along the supply chain. The topic of circular economy and the consideration of the life cycle of cotton, viewed from different perspectives, is a thread running through the programme. Up to 500 participants from all continents are expected to attend the Cotton Conference, with research and practice equally represented. The 35th International Cotton Conference forms the core of the Bremen Cotton Week. This includes meetings of the various cotton and textile trade associations, as well as the “Sustain” conference, which is taking place in cooperation with the newspaper “Weser-Kurier”. This year “Sustain” will focus on future issues of the retail trade and its importance for the vitality of inner cities.

We will keep you informed about the additional key content of the Cotton Week and the Cotton Conference in future press releases. The current conference news and programme details can also be viewed on the conference website.

We look forward to active reporting and journalists are invited to attend the conference. Registration can be made at any time via the conference homepage:

Download press release Ethiopia (pdf)



1 Cotton sample from Ethiopia in the standard room of the Bremen Cotton Exchange © Bremen Cotton Exchange

2 Ethiopia: Country shape with cotton production areas © Bremen Cotton Exchange

For further information, contact and interview requests please contact:

Bremen Cotton Exchange

Elke Hortmeyer, Director of Communications and International Relations

Tel.: +49 421 3397016


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