Italy’s textile machinery industry is in the front lines in providing sustainable technologies to ward off foreign competition. At ACIMIT’s annual assembly, sustainability was discussed as a primary factor for increasing the competitiveness of Italian machinery manufacturers.
For ACIMIT’s president Salmoiraghi, actions are required at a systemic level in order to maintain a competitive advantage, shared among the various entities of the textile sector.
The industry must regain momentum in a competitive landscape that is proving increasingly competitive, by focusing on the sustainability of products and processes. This is the strong message put forward at the annual assembly of ACIMIT (the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers), during which an overview was presented of the economic and financial dynamics of textile machinery manufacturers.
Final figures for the sector for 2012 indicate a decline in production. Indeed, the turnover for Italy’s production of textile machinery amounted to 2.4 billion euros, dropping 11% compared to the previous year. Exports remain the primary driver for the industry’s manufacturers, representing fully 83% of production, directed mainly to China, Turkey and India (overall, these three countries absorb 39% of foreign sales by Italian manufacturers of textile machinery).
Whereas exports have fallen by 7%, the domestic market has fared even worse (-19% compared to 2011). Import trends have also shown negative results, at -15%. The slowdown in investments, which is common to many producers in the textile industry, has also hit our main competitors (Germany, Japan and Switzerland), who have observed an overall downturn in machinery sales abroad.
Today, seizing the moment means pre-empting competitors on issues related to sustainability. This theme was precisely on the agenda at the ACIMIT 2013 Observatory Focus, illustrating the process that makes a sustainable company more competitive.
The textile/fashion sector has developed its own model of sustainable development, where the production process is a key element in creating products that are flexible and reliable, as well as sustainable. “Our association has believed in the equation of sustainability equaling competitive advantage since the very beginning,” confirms ACIMIT’s president.
In fact, the “Sustainable Technologies” project was started up three years ago, and now numbers some thirty or so adherents among ACIMIT’s associated manufacturers, who are entitled to exhibit the “Supplier of Sustainable Technologies” logo.
ACIMIT’s Observatory traced back the steps of this project, highlighting the impact the initiative has had on the market. Special attention has been paid to such innovative trends in Italy’s textile machinery sector by large scale customers located in Europe, as well as in Asia (China in particular).
ACIMIT’s governing bodies were renewed during the assembly’s non-public deliberations, where Raffaella Carabelli was appointed as the new president of ACIMIT, succeeding Sandro Salmoiraghi.
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