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East meets west at Stafford reception for Indonesian business with links to county textiles firm.

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: July 29, 2014

INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE...From left, Staffordshire County Council chairman Philip Atkins, Stafford Mayor Ray Sutherland, head of UK Trade and Investment Rob Lawley, president of Stafford Chamber of Commerce Tim Jobson, ATF Textiles director Alistair Banks and PT Metro Garmin general manager Hendra Gunawan.

INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE...From left, Staffordshire County Council chairman Philip Atkins, Stafford Mayor Ray Sutherland, head of UK Trade and Investment Rob Lawley, president of Stafford Chamber of Commerce Tim Jobson, ATF Textiles director Alistair Banks and PT Metro Garmin general manager Hendra Gunawan.

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SENDING textiles to one of the Far East’s major clothes making nations may seem on a par with sending coals to Newcastle – but one Stafford borough firm is celebrating almost a decade of combining British engineering with Indonesian manufacturing.

If you donned a non-iron shirt brought from the High Street this morning, the chances are it will include a component made by Milford firm ATF Textiles.

The company, founded in 2005, makes, supplies and distributes thermoplastic heat fusible products for use by the clothing industry. And one of its longest-running business partnerships is with a firm more than 7,000 miles away – PT Metro Garmin in Indonesia.

Each month ATF exports five to six million metres of adhesive tape to PT Metro Garmin, which is used in the construction of seams for men’s formal shirts to ensure they are pucker-free. The shirts are then exported to the UK, to be sold by major retailers.

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This week ATF Textiles, Stafford Chamber of Commerce, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and local council leaders welcomed representatives from PT Metro Garmin to the county town. On Monday there was a reception at Stafford Borough Council’s Riverside officers and the group was also invited to London to take a tour of the Houses of Parliament with MP Jeremy Lefroy.

Alistair Banks, joint director of ATF Textiles alongside Tony McNulty, said: “We have been out to Indonesia many times, but it is PT Metro Garmin’s first time here. The idea is to cement the relationship.

“Because of our relationship with Indonesia Tony was invited to a reception in London with the President of Indonesia. One of his speeches was about developing the relationship between Britain and Indonesia.”

“Tony says ‘the best way to sell your house is to invite the prospective purchaser around for a visit’ and that is what we are doing here.

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