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Event Report | August 2015

Italian exhibitors bet on sustainability

Despite some reduction in the export of Italian textile machinery to the traditional markets of China, India and Turkey, Italian textile machinery industry is optimistic of the rest of the 2015 and 2016 and is also having a positive outlook on the long-term prospects. This was the gist of what ACIMIT Chief, Rafaella Carabelli´s speech at the pre-ITMA press conference held recently at the Erba Villa on the lake of Como near Milan in Italy. ´Things are stable and positive,´ she said repeatedly and emphatically, and as on date over 430 exhibitors from Italy have confirmed their participation at the ITMA 2015 in Milan, where this quadrennial event is returning after a gap of nearly 20 years.

Some of the very positive signals are: Bangladesh has become the third largest importer of Italian machines, and signs of a revival in demand from Europe are very much there, said Carabelli. These European countries include Germany, Portugal and France, she added.

With 2014 archived in lights and shadows, Italy´s textile machinery sector looks optimistically to the current year. In 2015, ITMA, the industry´s most important trade fair, returns to Italy 20 years later, providing an opportunity to showcase Italian technology and stimulate new investments of textile sector in Italy and Europe.

At the General Assembly of ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, the 2014 year end data were exhibited ´ a transitional year for the industry. Production dropped slightly (-1 per cent) compared to 2013, coming in at a value of just over 2.3 billion euros. After falling the two previous years, exports confirmed the value of the preceding year, at roughly 1.95 billion euros. Italian exports were destined primarily to Asia and Europe. Overall, these two areas absorbed 81 per cent of sales abroad. However, whereas our exports to European markets grew compared to last year, they actually fell in Asia. China remains one of the main export markets, although sales of Italian machinery fell by 25 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year, a result of less robust economic growth than was expected. On the other hand, exports to India, Bangladesh and Vietnam were on the rise, and Italian textile machinery manufacturers also did well in Turkey, the US and Iran.

At ACIMIT´s General Assembly, people spoke mostly of 2015. During the current year the industry stands to benefit from macroeconomic factors that are making forecasts lean towards a cautious optimism. In particular, on domestic market a more widespread trust should encourage the investments in machinery by textile companies, who will benefit from a weaker euro to boost exports. Abroad, on the other hand, we expect the recovery in the demand from China, which is the leading market for Italian exports and a boost for the European demand.

With these forecasts in hand, ITMA 2015, the textile machinery sector´s main trade fair, to be held from November 12-19 in Milan, will be a driving force capable of energising Italian and European investments in the textile industry. ´Our manufacturers are very confident about the event next November,´ commented Carabelli. ´As shown by the preliminary figures on the presence of Italian companies at the fair: a total of nearly 430 exhibitors, covering around 31,000 sq m, for an increase in occupied surface area of over 50 per cent compared to the previous edition in Barcelona. Fully 30 per cent of the total exhibition space at ITMA will be taken up by Italian machinery manufacturers.´

The international press conference was also held at the ACIMIT General Assembly in Villa Erba (Como) to present Italy´s participation at ITMA. ´Thanks to the great level of economic and organizational support from the Ministry for Economic Development and Italian Trade Agency,´ explained Carabelli, ´we´re able to promote the presence of Italian businesses at the November trade fair through a wide range of initiatives

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