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Focus | June 2018

"India is 3rd largest market for Italian texile machinery"

ACIMIT represents an industrial sector comprising around 300 manufacturers (employing close to 12,000 people) and producing machinery for an overall value of about 2.9 billion euros, with exports amounting to more than 84 per cent of total sales. Creativity, sustainable technology, reliability and quality are the characteristics which have made Italy a global leader in the manufacturing of textile machinery.

Alessandro Zucchi, President, ACIMIT, shares the performance of Italian textile machinery industry and how it has fared in India.

With the dawn of 2018, how has been the going for the Italian textile machinery industry in terms of performance? How has it fared in India?
The year 2017 was a positive year for our sector, with overall production of textile machinery in Italy increasing by 4 per cent, for a value of just fewer than 2.9 billion euros. Exports rose 3 per cent, amounting to 2.4 billion euros. In India, Italian manufacturers sold 139 million euros worth of machinery, a 3 per cent rise compared to the previous year. India is the third largest foreign market for the Italian textile machinery industry.

Were there any special efforts mounted in recent times to boost Italian machinery industry’s presence in Asia, and particularly in India? What were the results?
The activities of ACIMIT and the Italian Trade Agency for the promotion of Italy’s textile machinery sector abroad encompass a variety of Countries, including and above all those that can potentially further develop their respective textile and garments sectors. Thus, our initiatives often target Asian markets, to which Italy exports roughly 48 per cent of its textile machinery. For the Indian market, in particular, which is the third largest export destination for Italian machinery manufacturers, we’ve implemented a great many initiatives over the past years. The most recent included an incoming mission for Indian manufacturers operating in the technical and non-woven textiles sector, held in June 2017.

How have eco and sustainability campaigns of Italian industry doing since the launch and how is the response from the industry?
The ACIMIT Sustainable Technologies project was launched in 2011. Since then, we’ve progressed quite a long way. ACIMIT’s 45 associated members who have adhered to the project are surely satisfied. The ACIMIT Green Label, which they can proudly display on their machinery, bears witness to their commitment to continuously improving technological performances in terms of energy savings and respect for the environment.

What are the other special efforts undertaken to promote Italian textile technologies all over the world?
I believe that at a global level the textile industry is currently undergoing a profound digital transformation, in very much the same vein as other industrial sectors. The digitalization of production processes in the textile and garments sector is necessary in order to continue to speed up time-to-market schemes and just-in-time production process. The contributions that Italian technology can provide in these transformation processes are essential, thanks to the efforts being put forward by our machinery manufacturers to interconnect different elements along the entire chain of production.

Which are the segments in the Italian textile machinery industry that hold out good scope for the Asian textile industry, particularly India?
Figures relating to sales of Italian textile machinery in Asian markets appear to confirm that no individual sector emerges with respect to others. Of course, a textile manufacturer that wants to remain competitive must avail itself of advanced technologies that can have an impact on all phases of the production process, resulting in greater added value. Regarding India, historical data indicate that the demand for Italian textile machinery has focused primarily on spinning machines and those for the finishing sector.

How do you look at the future of global textile industry? What is the role ACIMIT will be playing and what are the new developments that one can look forward to for the growth of the industry?
Current trends for the textile and garment sector show a greater degree of autonomy on the part of consumers in buying processes, with a constant desire for innovation linked to a phenomenon of so-called fast fashion and widespread low-cost trends. The speed of production processes in the textile industry, along with cost savings, are the greatest challenges, as well as providing the most stimulating opportunities. The present and future role of ACIMIT is to lend its support to associated member manufacturers in developing suitable technologies aimed at satisfying these new demands from customers.


Textile machinery: Orders at standstill in early 2018
The order index for textile machinery elaborated by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, for the period from January to March 2018 dropped 12 per cent compared to the same period for 2017. The value of the index came in at 104.8 points (basis: 2015=100).

This decline mainly affected orders for the domestic market. Indeed, in Italy the index came in at an absolute value of 94.1 points, that is, 22 per cent less than the first quarter for 2017. In foreign markets, the drop was more contained (-9 per cent) and the absolute value of the index registered 107.2 points.

ACIMIT President Alessandro Zucchi does not appear to be too worried by these results for the first three months of the year: “In Italy, we had a rebound effect following the heavy investments made during 2017. The first three months of this year were characterized by a physiological slowdown that doesn’t concern our manufacturers who are used to processing an order portfolio of over four months.” Even abroad, the situation is still considered positive. "Last year, orders were satisfactory abroad as well,” continues ACIMIT’s President. “For 2018, conditions remain for consolidating the growth trend, as evidenced by the good results obtained at recent trade fairs held in different Countries, at which many of our manufacturers participated."
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