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ITALY FOCUSES ON THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF VISION-X 2009
The Middle East represents a special area of export for Italian-made luxury products. This is particularly true at a time of global recession which threatens to lower demand in the traditional markets. The hypothesis is also valid with regards to the eyewear sector, which is getting ready to participate in Vision-X 2009. The fair, due to take place in Dubai from May 17th to 19th, should confirm the positive signs which emerged last March at MIDO, the international eyewear exhibition in Milan. There were a considerable number of visitors to this event (42,000), a higher than anticipated attendance.
The forthcoming Vision-X fair will therefore be the ideal test for evaluating, a few months on, the extent to which Italian products have taken hold in the Gulf Region. This is a market which boasts many consumers with excellent spending power, and where the turnover for high-quality eyewear exceeds two billion dollars. After participating in 2008 and adopting the formula “Meeting Point”, this year ICE (the Italian Trade Commission), has organized a joint participation by Italian companies for the first time. This collective effort will be mounted in collaboration with ANFAO, trade association for the sector.
Vision-X is the most important exhibition for the industry held in the Emirates. It is targeted at buyers in the eyewear and fashion sectors from the Gulf Region, while also attracting visitors from Europe and Asia. At last year's event there were displays by 148 companies from 26 countries. Visitors working within the sector (mainly commercial operators) were numbered at 3,000.
The figures relating to Italian manufacture in the eyewear sector are impressive. In 2008, production amounted to an equivalent of 2,597 million Euros and Italy showed itself to be the number one exporter at international level, at 26% of the total 8,100 million Euros. Exports have not been substantially affected by the global crisis, amounting to more than 2,207 million Euros, more or less in line with the 2007 figures. The export of sunglasses and eyeglasses to the Arab Emirates in particular has gone up in value by 12% (according to ANFAO). This Gulf state is now established as one of the ten most important export markets for Italian production.
The hallmark of the success of this Italian sector is its ability to combine a tradition of mastery in manufacturing with cutting edge product content. This contributes to making products which have become, to all intents and purposes, “cult” objects in the international fashion accessories market. Italian eyewear in particular has a reputation for being able to adapt rapidly to a pressing demand and to come up with ever more unusual fashion solutions to satisfy younger customers.
However, Italian eyewear is not simply recognised for its style content: the quality standards are also extremely high and the manufacturing processes are set up to ensure compliance with international standards. Indeed, Certottica, the Italian Institute for the Certification of Optical Products, checks that these products conform to international norms before authorizing their distribution.