Following a busy opening day at the many national textile machinery association booths, ACIMIT, the Italian textile machinery association, spoke of its international outlook and positive export figures.

Around 130 Italian companies are exhibiting at this year’s edition of ITMA Asia + CITME, with 63 of these manufacturers presenting their latest offerings within National Sector groups organised by ACIMIT.

This impressive figure meant that Italy was the most well-represented foreign national at the show. This echoed the sentiments of Maria Ludovica Murazzani, commercial consul of the Consulate General of Italy in Shanghai. In the speech at the company’s press conference, she spoke of Italy’s growing business relations with China.

“I am pleased to be here today to stress the support given by the Italian Government to the Italian textile machinery industry. This fair is the most important in Asia and one of the most important in the world for the textile machinery industry, and Italy needed to play an important role in it. She stated that in order to fully seize the opportunity presented by China, Italy has established a specialised taskforce – Taskforce Italia-China – that includes relations on trade, as well as tourism and sport. The key, Murazzani states, is to promote Italian machines and the fabrics they create as the best in the world.

“The taskforce is a very big, structured type of taskforce including all the different areas of cooperation between Italy and China, so not only in trade, but also in many other different sectors – for example, tourism,” says Murazzani. She continues, “Why are Italian brands so successful in China? Every day, I have several Chinese businessmen in my office asking me, “how has Italy managed to build such famous fashion brands as Gucci and Prada when China is still struggling?’ The very basis for the success of Italian fashion worldwide has been the quality, and to build the quality, you need the best machines.”

According to ACIMIT, Italy has also had success in exporting its textile machinery to the region. During his speech at the event, Alessandro Zucchi, President, ACIMIT, stated that 46 per cent of Italian textile machinery exports are destined for Asia, equating to 442 mn euros. In comparison, the EU has the second-largest share of 21 per cent.

“Prospects for the Chinese market remain positive, in spite of the fact that the demand for foreign machinery from local textile manufacturers for this first half of the year has been rather slow,” says Zucchi. He continues, “The trust our machinery manufacturers have placed in China is abundantly apparent in the large number of Italian exhibitors in Shanghai.” In total, 2.4 bn euro worth of Italian textile machinery was produced in 2018, and due to this, the association is exploring trade options in Tanzania and Kenya, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and the US.