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THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY EAGERLY AWAITS THE 2008 SHANGHAI INTERTEXTILE FAIR
The autumn edition of the 2008 Shanghai Intertextile fair will see the presence, for the eighth year running, of a group of Italian textile firms coordinated by the ICE (Italian Institute for Foreign Trade). In this year’s edition, to be held between 20th and 23rd October 2008, more than 60 firms from the main textile producing areas of Northern Italy (Biella and Como top the list) will be present - a good representation of a productive sector, the textile industry, which saw a 5% rise in exports in the first seven months of the year and a particularly good performance in July, with an increase of 8.1%. In 2007 Italy was responsible for 4.4% of global textile production, with a market share of 6.6% (cf. 2007-2008 ICE Report), higher for textiles (7.1%) than for clothing (6.1%). Italian materials hold first place in world exports, with wool, silk and cotton representing the highest shares, and their position on traditional outlet markets (European Union, United States and Japan) is solid.
The January-July 2008 positive result is combined with encouraging expectations for 2009, as stated in September by Mario Boselli, President of the National Chamber for Italian Fashion: “When we left for the summer break the glass seemed half empty, but now we’re back the first signs make it seem half full”: this sums up the current feeling among the industry’s firms. The “Made in Italy” textile industry, having finished the September catwalk season (which started in New York and closed on 5th October in Paris, after London and Milan), is already planning lists and orders for next year. After a problematic 2008, all signs seem positive for the coming year: improved expectations for the Euro-Dollar exchange rate (a rate of 1.35 is forecast for the beginning of 2009) should have a positive effect on export, in particular to the United States.
And what of China? In July Beijing lowered VAT rates on textile exports, while the granting of government incentives confirms the difficulties which Chinese firms in this sector are experiencing. Boselli emphasizes, “Thousands of firms in Guandong have closed, and thousands more have transferred to Vietnam”. In other words: even the Chinese dragon seems less intimidating, and the 2008 Shanghai Intertextile fair could be the right opportunity for “Made in Italy” textiles to reclaim their previous positions on East Asian markets, counting on the presence of operators and buyers from outside China. In line with the previous edition, 2000 exhibitors were present at the 2007 fair: with 1,384 from China, the remaining exhibitors came from 24 countries in the rest of the world. Italy held one of the ten national pavilions, with 51 firms represented. The number of visitors was 54,150 – up by 3.7% on 2006.
The Intertextile fair takes place twice a year, (Beijing in March, and Shanghai for the October edition): the second edition is certainly the most important on a commercial level, due to the number of trading companies, importers and buyers present. The fair previews the new trends in the autumn/winter collections for the 2009-10 season and, apart from the manufacturers of the whole range of natural and synthetic materials (cotton, silk, linen, knitwear, synthetic, artificial and coated materials), also attracts companies which produce accessories, threads and yarns, and industry services and publications. The 2008 fair will also see a special area dedicated to lingerie and swimwear.