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PORTUGUESE TEXTILES DEBUT IN THE MIDDLE EAST MAIN HEALTH FAIR

The international expansion project of the Portuguese textile industry continues with an entourage of Portuguese SMEs traveling to Arab Health, scheduled for June 21st and 24th, at the Dubai World Trade Center. This is the debut of the Portuguese textile delegation in the main exhibition of medical equipment in the Middle East.

Conquering new markets is the main goal for the Portuguese textile delegation at Arab Health, the largest trade show in the entire Middle East devoted to the medical/hospital sector. As part of the From Portugal project, the companies Dune Bleue, PT Mills, Skylab by Inarbel, Trim NW and Wise HS, accompanied by the CITEVE technological center, will present their latest innovations in the health area.

These are “the first steps in the health area” for TrimNW, a company that started investing in this business area in 2020, and is now committed to growing and internationalizing. Expectations are to establish “contact with different players worldwide, and meeting potential customers”, even European, making TrimNW known as a producer of this kind of products, says the commercial agent, Ricardo Fernandes. To this end, the company will present their Non-Woven Fabrics “ImperScrim and MediScrim, used in the manufacture of PPE's”. The company will also present “a product developed with CITEVE and PIEP for the same purpose, but with specific antibacterial and antiviral features”.

Skylab Inarbel describes this trade show as "extremely important for the United Arab Emirates market", still unknown to the company. Although it has experience in other international fairs, namely with children’s clothing, this time the company will present a collection of personal protective equipment for “all health professionals, as well as customized uniform for hospitals”. For the company, the hospital line was “in the last year, a great opportunity to help us survive”.

 

The hospital sector still has little weight for Dune Bleue, but the company intends to leverage that aspect by participating in Arab Health. According to Celeste Pereira, the brand’s “main product” is socks, “and in this sense, the summer and winter 2022 collections will be presented, with special emphasis on medicinal articles with a sustainable aspect incorporated”. It is not easy, according to the commercial manager, to set expectations since “we are living in a moment of uncertainty, we don’t know how the players will behave”. Nevertheless, the company expects to engage new customers “especially in the Persian Gulf".

As for PT Mills, and according to the general director, at the moment the health sector is the largest slice of the company’s turnover, around 80%. It all started last year, out of necessity: “the pandemic led us to this business area”, states Miguel Malheiro. For this trade show, the company will take masks and other personal protective equipment, thus hoping to conquer markets outside Portugal and in the euro zone. According to the company’s representative, this is the first time that they venture in the textile sector “and, consequently, in the health sector”. Expectations are high, "because in Portugal, at the moment, the consumption of these products has fallen, at the same time that imports from Asian countries continue", and the company believes that this new market wants to purchase European products.

CITEVE will showcase its design and product development skills for the Health area, strongly linked with Innovation. The innovation centre will also present its offer in terms of tests and trials in the textile microbiology and cytotoxicity area, particularly important for medical products and devices, or for textile materials destined for the health and well-being market.

The participation of Portuguese SME companies in Arab Health is framed by the From Portugal project, an initiative of Selectiva Moda and ATP - Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal, which aims to promote the internationalization of Portuguese companies in the fashion area. The “From Portugal” project is co-financed by Portugal 2020, within the scope of Compete 2020 - Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization, with an eligible support amount of € 11,042,311.82, of which € 6,065,501.91 comes from the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund.