The Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) is a private non-profit making body whose main purpose consists in promoting the Italian textile machinery sector. In order to promote the Italian textile machinery knowledge throughout the world, ACIMIT organises a wide range of promotional activities (such as exhibitions, technical seminars, missions in Italy and abroad, etc.) most of the time in collaboration with Italian Trade Agency.
Raffaella Carabelli, President, ACIMIT, speaks to the ITJ about how did the Italian machinery industry fare overall for the year 2014, and about ACIMIT Green Label initiative. Excerpts from the interview.
Editor: How did the Italian textile machinery industry fare overall for the year 2014?
Raffaella Carabelli (RC): 2014 was a transitional year. Compared to the previous year, manufacturing production fell by 1 per cent, whereas foreign sales remained more or less stationary.
Editor: How did the Italian industry do in Asia, and particularly, how did they fare in India?
RC: Asia is the primary market for Italian textile machinery manufacturers. In 2014, Italian exports to the area reached 693 million euros, equal to 41 per cent of all sales of Italian textile machinery abroad. The main markets in Asia are China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In particular, we exported 122 million euros to the Indian market, a 10 per cent increase with respect to 2013. Demand from India for Made in Italy has centred primarily on spinning and finishing machines.
Editor: What sort of progress has the ACIMIT Green Label initiative achieved since its launch, and what do you believe its future is?
RC: Going back to 2011, when the Sustainable Technologies project and ACIMIT Green Label were first presented in Barcelona, the number of companies that have adhered to the initiative and become suppliers of Sustainable Technologies has grown significantly. More importantly, the Green Label has received its certification by RINA - an international certification body. This is proof that this activity, which started in 2010, isn?t just a green-washing operation, but a veritable commitment on the part of our manufacturers to supply efficient solutions in terms of savings for resources such as water, energy, raw materials and chemical products, in order to provide a strong signal of our deep-felt engagement towards sustainability for the entire production chain in the textile industry.
Editor: What are the advantages of Italian technology in the global textile industry, and what is their relevance to manufacturers in India in the present-day context?
RC: I believe the quality of Italian products is well-known to customers on a global scale. The fact that we are still a leading exporter in the sector, in spite of new competitors arriving on the international scene, bears witness to our success. We?re the only ones to combine the renowned tradition of Italy?s textile industry with a strong focus on innovation. On average, our companies devote over 5 per cent of their turnover to R&D activities, a significant level even for European standards. This high degree of innovation has allowed Italian products to stand out in terms of production efficiency and energy savings, factors that are necessary for a textile manufacturer to be able to compete in a global setting that is dominated by a need to continuously lower production costs.
Editor: With ITMA just around the corner, what strategies is Italy?s textile machinery industry implementing to capture a bigger market share?
RC: Obviously, ITMA has always been a showcase for technology innovation i