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Conrad David Brillantes, our editor-in-chief is not only a writer but also a renowned international businessman for his expertise and integrity in manufacturing and marketing fields. An experienced economist, most notably known as consultant of effective support services in business administration, sales, and research of new business opportunities. 

People who know him, say, he possesí intellectual curiosities, love of learning, desire and need for communicating with the public. This peace-loving executive has an unusual love for the theatre, music, and the arts.

Due to his solid national and international affiliations his clients are regarded special attention upon reception. He conducts well-researched orientation before bringing clients to negotiate with international-based companies.

In the late 80s he theoretically believed that businesses are already centralized in the continent of Asia, particularly around the Orient. Itís been well established and will even more strongly notice in about five years or before 2005. He said "success is assured for those who know enough to take advantage of this opportunity, especially when the right approach is used." Political and historical background of the country in target should be considered studying. Investment statistics are very important to obtain from bureaus handling the data.

Direct access to international information networks, and referral centers covering every specialty, give him the edge, in finding products that will increase earnings for businesses, and allow entrepreneurs the chance to establish a niche for themselves in areas free of inhibiting competition. As part of his effort to supply the widest range of services possible, he suggest, the best system to clients and the attempts to make dealings with governments, and financial institutions as time-effective as possible. He also offers feasibility studies, strategic and budget planning, document preparation and assistance in the search for financial partners. All his projects are handled expertly in the strictest confidence.

Conrad David Brillantes, firmly believe that success goes hand in hand with price and market studies, product testing and development, well-executed advertising, promotional campaigns, and research into the most effective distribution networks. His international affiliation with different operating Oriental trading companies put him in the position to identify business opportunity that is of great interest to all parties concerned.

"Just one more way of guaranteeing business professionals the best opportunity to expand their markets, and assisting innovative entrepreneurs in ensuring success, is part of what I do." Brillantes said.

After venturing in the entertainment and construction industries, he became one of the top ten traders, instrumental in opening more imports to Canada, of yarns, textiles, garments and other related goods worth in the billions of (US) dollars, that precipitated the economic prosperity of Canada, but not until 1989, when worldwide recession shifted capitals to a number of Third World countries concentrated in the Orient.

He has turned into helping independent importers to working with major American buyers in order to stay operational.

He organized and supervised for 15 years, numerous buyers' trips to the Orient for the major players in the Canadian fashion industry. He assisted buyers on merchandising and preparing garment styling from children, menís to ladies wear (i.e., shirts, pants, dresses, blouses, sportswear, coordinated attires to sleep wear, daywear (lingerie), highly sophisticated ladies' underwear to outerwear (skiwear, parkas, uniforms for law enforcement agencies, firemen's, armed forces, pilots, transit drivers, etc.), including the selection of fabrics from different textile mills. He taught them how and where to look, save and assist in production costing to retail pricing from different parts of the world. He established credit lines for numerous Canadian importers in Japan, followed later by other exporting countries around the world. Aside from being a trader as he is, Brillantes also writes articles, editorials and was a columnist for a trade magazine.

This entrepreneur-economist-publisher- writer-editor is a Canadian citizen, studied and trained on Foreign Service (international trade & relations), Economics (production, distribution, & consumption), Import/Export, Financing, Banking, Publishing (Print Journalism & Hard Copy Layout), Entertainment (Recording & Movie Production/Distribution), Accounting, & Auditing, and Business Administration.

His business and work accomplishments between 1978-1995 were: Established direct business links between North American buyers and suppliers from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Mexico, etc. He worked with two of the largest trading houses in the world as consultant and manager.

He directly linked Oriental fabric weaving contractors producing orders for the major textile mills in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, with major North American garment manufacturers and importers.

Brillantes arranged joint production programs (piggy backing) between international buyers (department stores and wholesalers) around the world on textiles and garments and other soft goods.

He exported Peat Moss, Newsprint, Fine Paper Products (Bond & Fax Papers), Waste Paper for Recycling, Whey Powder, Fertilizer, Scrap Metals, North American Indian Hand Made Sweaters, Goose Down, Meat and Seafood Products, etc.

He conducted seminars and training of traders and merchandisers on international trade and relations, import-export, product identification, marketing, product sourcing, transportation, pricing, negotiation, documentation, inspection, collection, risk, banking, and financing,

He's an editorialist and columnist of The Montreal Tribune since 1990. Wrote a book on textiles intended for textile mills, garment manufacturers, fashion designers and students, copyrighted in 1994, and revised in December 2000. (c) (Charles McKeenang)

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Montreal's Garment District Will Be Lined With American Logos: Brillantes

By Marvin Silverstien (Published 1991)

Conrad David Brillantes is well-known entity in Montreal's fabric and garment community, Canadaís Fashion Centre. He's opened the doors to the Orient for many of the industry's most prominent players.

After 10 years as a trader on the international stage, Brillantes has seen the front offices and the back doors of some of Canada's largest apparel operations and he is outspoken on the state of the industry.

"One thing wrong with Canadian businessmen" he candidly told this writer "is that they're too conservative and doesn't want to lose anything". He also accuses needletrade executives of "lucking imagination that their end is near." He further says Canadian business leaders are, "not as gamblers like the Americans."

As the general agent for Itoman Corp., one of Japan's largest trading companies, Brillantes heads the concern's Canadian operations and worries about the future of this country's garment trade.

Brillantes began his big-league trading career with a U.S. trading company until brought in by the huge Mitsubishi Corporation, the trading arm and flagship of the mighty Mitsubishi group of Japan. He contends that the big Japanese trading companies like Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Itochu, Tomen, Sumitomo, Nichimen, Marubeni and Itoman are the world leaders when it comes to international trading. "There just no American or European companies in the same league. They cannot be compared to the operations ran by the Japanese."

"Although his activities with Itoman continue at a brisk pace, he admits he joined the firm, "when the operation of Itoman was disintegrating. There was an internal war going on that I didn't know about."

Despite head-office problems, Brillantes still manages the giant corporation's Canadian affairs and secures, for his Canadian clients, "the best prices, quality, delivery and terms possible."

Still, he laments Canada's shrinking garment and textile business. He consistently calls upon the industry to pull itself together for its own self-preservation, but concedes it will probably take a generation before a turn-around can be affected.

He says free trade will ultimately work to our benefit. "Canadians will be forced to educate themselves with the capitalist skill of the Americans, but that's 20 long years of trial and error."

Of today's industry he says: "We've already lost a great numbers of jobs - about 80,000 in Montreal alone. And it's not going to stop there, especially with the pending trilateral agreement with Mexico. That will be the last nail that will close the coffin."

Much of the present situation he blames on the federal government. "I think the government is trying to impress the Americans that they can be on a par with the American mentality, when in fact, we're not. Canada is just not ready to sign any commercial agreement with a country like Mexico."

"What's going to happen to Canada? We're just going to be a marketing arm of the U.S. Canadian business is 20 years behind the Americans in marketing skills, savvy and aggression."
"The government, according to Brillantes, has made it increasingly unrealistic to produce garments in Canada. He foresees future manufacturing becoming limited to high-end and close to the season" items. "If the government is not going to change its stance, we'll become a service industry instead of manufacturers. We'll be distributing - covering the market for the Americans."

But the character of the industry itself is partially to blame, Brillantes is quick to add. "There's a lot of egomania and nobody wants to listen to anybody else. The industry is fragmented, caused by individualism among the key players. It would take somebody with the Midas touch to put these people together."

Yet, it is precisely this coming together on an industry - wide level that will provide the solutions to the industry's problems, Brillantes declares. "We have to mobilize the businesspeople in this industry. We have to sit down together and draft a resolution and submit it to the government - because the industry itself is powerful."

But, he sees no-one within the industry with enough universal appeal to the job.

And the younger generation? "They don't want to get into this kind of work. There are so many pioneers in this business whose sons and daughters don't want to get into the business. Very few descendants of people in the industry stay in the industry."

"Immigrants are filling new management positions," Brillantes points out. He sees Israelis, Moroccans, Europeans, and Orientals sitting in more managerial posts and says they bring a very different mental approach to the job. "But they are just beginning. The old establishment is just going to die-or dissolve-but it will take 20 years, and the Canadian industry will continue to stagnate only then will we have the vitality to be aggressive in the market."

He adds sardonically, "Twenty years from now there may be no more Canada. It will be a part of the United States. Which will be called the United States of America and Canada or Republic of US and Canada, or whatever."
Brillantes concedes that Montreal will remain a North American fashion center even in a radically altered political scenario. "But if the question is, are we going to be a production city - no, I don't think so. The proportion will be 90-10. Ninety percent from the States as imports." Chabanel will be lined with American logos, he predicts, unless there's something that will change the economic state of the country.

Concerning imports, Brillantes states, it has already become very expensive to produce garments in the Orient. The production lines, he asserts, have shifted to emerging nations, and to the U.S. and Mexico.

Future production? The Eastern bloc is ready. They're waiting. In about five years they'll be the cheapest place to manufacture goods of high quality. And when the political problems in Central America are settled, that will be another source, aside from South America. The Oriental countries have problem with their unreliable economic already reached their height. But they will think of something else. They are innovators. Instead of garments they concentrate on the production of yarns. Tomorrow's yarns and fabrics will come from the Orient."

Brillantes maintains that Canadian needletraders could profit through better use of the service and facilities of the Japanese trading houses, but they won't see it that way. They would discard their assistance and will establish direct connections with the makers, thinking that they will be able to eliminate the profit that trading companies makes. Later, when the traders are gone, they would realized their important role not only in moving goods and services around but the power they possessed in funding most of the operations in Asia. But, that's going to be late. They will be gone and will settle somewhere else, maybe, Central and South America; it would take a miracle to get them to comeback. Along with the Japanese trading companies aloha, they would bring back or transfer out of Canada, approximately $120 billion of capital.

"I've been trying to pass along to Canadian businessmen on how they can utilize the facilities of trading companies because of their enormous strengths on financing and production and international marketing expertise."

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Exporting to Canada?

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