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ITALY WISHES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BOOM IN SOUTH AFRICA
There is a fair between the 23rd and 26th of July this year in South Africa for Italian glass processing machines and construction equipment. It will comprise two events, taking place at the same time, hosted by the Nasrec Expo Centre at Johannesburg: Glass Expo Africa 2008 (www.specialised.com/exhibits/glass/introduction.htm) and Interbuild Africa 2008 (www.specialised.com/exhibits/interbuild/introduction.htm). Italian businesses will attend each event with an Italian Fair System organized by ICE, Italy‚Äôs national Institute for foreign trade.
The South African economy has, for years now, enjoyed a continuous phase of expansion: the first quarter of 2008 witnessed a slowdown caused by contingent factors (blackouts halted production of the mining industry). GDP increased by 5.3% during the last quarter of last year, but growth slowed down to 2.1% by 31 March 2008. The same does not apply however to the construction segment (+14.9% between January-March 2008, up 14 points for the third quarter running), thanks to increased expenditure in infrastructures, including residential homes, and projects underway for the 2010 soccer world cup. The soccer event will be another boost to the African country‚Äôs growth and the entire construction sector, including building materials and equipment: a market already expanding exponentially.
Italy is the second European producer of construction machines, with a market quota of 21%. In 2007, Italy‚Äôs production of earth-moving machines and components increased by 20.3% on 2006, attaining the record of 4.6 billion Euros with prospects for a growth of 10.3% in 2008 and of 8.5% in 2009. The estimates are by Comamoter (Association of Earth-moving Machine Manufacturers), indicating also excellent dynamics in terms of exports: last year, exports in the sector increased to 21.5% for a total of 2.9 billion Euros, and should continue in this vein in 2008 and 2009 with increases of 10.9% and 9% respectively. The trend is also extremely positive for businesses related to Ucomesa-Anima , the Union of manufacturers of machines for building, roads, mining and similar. Turnover in 2007 stood at 3.7 billion Euros, with an increase of nearly 29% on 2006. Turnover for 2008 is estimated at 4.1 billion Euros, up more than 11%: exports, increased by about 18% on 2007, should account for 71% of total turnover, re-confirming itself as a driving force in the segment.
As for the segment of glass processing machines, the latest statistics by GIMAV (the Association of Italian manufacturers and suppliers of machines, accessories, equipment and special products for processing glass) indicate the segment ended 2007 with a 10% increase in revenue to nearly 1.4 billion Euros. Exports exceeded 75%. The trend should continue in 2008, albeit in a more modest fashion: signs of world markets early in the year indicate progress in Eastern Europe and Asia. The prospects for Western Europe are stable, but negative in the United States. The main outlet markets for products by GIMAV companies (accounting for 90% of the sector‚Äôs overall turnover) should still be, as in 2007, Russia, China and France.