An institutional and commercial mission of Italian textile machinery manufacturers took place from 4 to 8 November in Kenya and Tanzania. The initiative’s organizers, Italian Trade Agency and ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, wanted to strengthen contacts between the Italian textile machinery industry and the textile sector in these two African Countries.
The world’s textile and garment sector is closely watching manufacturing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, an area that is emerging as a manufacturing hub for the industry, firstly for obvious reasons relating to production costs, but also for the incentives offered by local governments. Consequently, investments in machinery are also increasing and Italian manufacturers do not want to be caught unprepared in this growth scenario.
“Following several promotional initiatives focusing on Ethiopia over the past few years,” explains ACIMIT President Alessandro Zucchi, “together with the Italian Trade Agency, we’ve decided to explore the business opportunities in Kenya and Tanzania, two Countries whose respective Governments are currently promoting the development of their textile and garment industry.”
Kenya, in particular, is an especially interesting market for textile machinery manufacturers. Indeed, the development programme known as Vision 2030 put forward by the local authorities places the textile sector among the primary beneficiaries of the incentives made available by the Government, in addition to providing Kenyan manufacturers with access to the US market, thanks to AGOA (the African Growth and Opportunity Act), which has boosted the Country’s exports.
“Both Kenya and Tanzania need to develop their respective textile sectors, through a massive modernization process of existing technology,” points out Zucchi. “This mission offered us with an opportunity to kick start a fruitful and cooperative partnership with major textile manufacturers in both Countries, while preventing China from monopolizing the textile machinery market in this area of Africa.”
During the mission, Italy’s representatives met up with textile companies and authorities, as well as the industry’s main institutional representatives in the two countries. The following nine Italian machinery manufacturers associated with ACIMIT took part in the initiative: Bianco, Brazzoli, Cibitex, Danitech, Itema, Ferraro, Marzoli, Mesdan and Tmt Cimi.
The outcome of the initiative was positive: Italian textile technologies were highly appreciated locally, both in Kenya and in Tanzania, considering them an opportunity for upgrading the production plants in order to achieve a greater competitiveness in the world scenario. About 50 operators of the two Countries attended the initiative. ACIMIT will also be on hand at ITME Africa, the industry’s top trade show in Sub-Saharan Africa, to be held in Addis Ababa from February 14 to 16, 2020.