The Swiss textile machinery industry is strongly export-oriented and has a presence with its own companies, sales and service organisations in all the world’s key markets.
Cornelia Buchwalder, Secretary General, Swissmem, speaks about the response to Swiss textile machinery globally post ITMA and how the Swiss textile machinery industry has been faring in India since the beginning of 2016.
Post-ITMA, how has been the response to Swiss textile machinery globally? Which are the segments experiencing greater momentum?
ITMA was a great success for our Swiss exhibitors.
The quality and quantity of visitors clearly exceeded their expectations. At the exhibition and thereafter a lot of projects were discussed in all the segments for the various markets.
Our member companies cover all segments from spinning to weaving, knitting, embroidery, finishing and quality testing. We currently do not see one segment that shows an accelerated momentum compared to the others.
Sustainability is emerging as a major force in textiles. How is the Swiss industry responding to this, and what are the developments on this count?
Sustainability covers the following four aspects: environmental, economic, social and cultural. Often the environmental aspect is primarily taken into consideration. But the other aspects are as important.
Machines that improve safety, minimise waste, consume less energy and deliver maximum return on investment are designed and produced in a sustainable way. Building such a machine requires a holistic approach analysing operational efficiency, safety, functionality, productivity, material use, ease of operation and maintenance. Our Swiss industry – often ranking as global innovation champion – develops its machines in taking all that into consideration.
How the Swiss textile machinery industry has been faring in India since the beginning of 2016?
India was the most important export market of the Swiss textile machinery industry this year. In the first quarter of 2016, exports have increased by 4 per cent to 30.4 Mio CHF as compared to the same quarter in 2015. The next most important export markets were China, Italy and Bangladesh with good growth rates. On the other hand exports to Turkey, the US, Germany and Japan dropped in that period. Already in 2015, India had a good growth rate, with a plus of 34.9 per cent compared to 2014, which then was the second most important export market.
In Asia, many new countries have sprung up, to strengthen the textile industries, like Vietnam. How have been the stakes for Swiss machinery in the rest of Asia?
In the first quarter of this year, the Asian markets showed a mixed development. While Thailand and Sri Lanka showed a good development, Vietnam and Indonesia were below last year’s export volume. But this is just a partial picture, as most of our member companies have a production site in India and China, and many of the Asian markets and customers are supplied from there.
When talking about developing markets, we organised a symposium in Iran this spring. After releasing the sanctions, this market shows a big demand in modernising its production base. That is why 18 Swiss textile machinery companies were participating in that event in Tehran.
There are two big events -- ITMA Asia and India-ITME -- in 2 different countries known for their strong textile bases. What are SWISSMEM’s strategies and expectations?
Indeed 2016 is an important exhibition year with events in two of the major textile countries. Both events will be used by our members to present their latest technologies and solutions. As an association we will support our members in both exhibitions, be it with our own booth in the association village, press conference for media and social events.