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Industry Talk

ITMA 2023: Open for business and looking to the future

European and Chinese associations agree on Singapore as new hub for next exhibition in Asia.

9th June 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Milan

Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial

The 19th edition of the world’s largest textile and garment technology exhibition, ITMA 2023, opened in Milan yesterday (June 8th), unveiling a definitive showcase of the latest technologies presented by 1,709 exhibitors from 47 countries.

Spanning 200,000 square metres of the Fiera Milano Rho venue, ITMA 2023 is the biggest textile machinery exhibition so far in the post-pandemic era. Being highlighted are solutions for advanced materials, automation and the digital future and sustainability and circularity under the show theme, Transforming the World of Textiles.

According to Cematex (the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers) which owns ITMA, the textile machinery exhibition has continued to build on its strong reputation as the global innovation launchpad since its debut in 1951.

New countries

“ITMA continues to be a sought-after platform for textile machinery manufacturers, with this year’s exhibition showing a 3% increase in net exhibit space compared to ITMA 2019,” said Cematex president Ernesto Maurer. “Interestingly, we also welcomed new exhibitors from Tunisia, Estonia, Ireland, Norway, Ukraine, and as far  afield as Panama, Peru and Honduras.

Janpeter Horn, chairperson of Germany’s VDMA association celebrates the next ITMA show secured for Hanover in 2027. © A.Wilson

“Due to high demand, about 150 applicants were unable to be accommodated as some sectors were sold out after the space application deadline.”

“Digitalisation and sustainability are twin drivers for building a better future for the industry,” added Charles Beauduin, chairman of ITMA Services. “Research and development in these areas have resulted in many ground-breaking technologies.  The global pandemic has significantly impacted businesses across the industry and in response, exhibitors and visitors alike are leveraging the ITMA exhibition as a means to revive and rejuvenate.”

A total of 867 exhibitors from Cematex countries booked 63% of the net exhibit space, with the largest contingent of 422 exhibitors coming from Italy, represented by ACIMIT (the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers).

“Despite facing numerous challenges, we are pleased by the enthusiasm exhibited by our companies,” said ACIMIT president Alex Zucchi.

The next biggest group of exhibitors comes from Germany with 198 exhibitors.

Historic agreement

In a surprise announcement at the opening ITMA press conference, Cematex and the China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) co-owners of the ITMA ASIA + CITME exhibition which has been held in China since 2008, announced that the next edition of this show will be held in Singapore in October 2025.

Cematex president Ernesto Maurer and CTMA Gu Ping sign the agreement to jointly hold the next ITMA ASIA + CITME in Singapore in 2025. © A.Wilson

“As part of our strategy to support the aspirations of local manufacturers in South Asia, South East and the Middle East to modernise their operations, we are augmenting the series with a second location in Asia to better reach out to the textile hubs in these regions,” said Ernesto Maurer. “ITMA ASIA was held in Singapore in 2001 and 2005 before it combined with CITME and we moved the exhibition to Shanghai to enable our members to take advantage of the buoyant textile sector in China after the country joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001. Some companies in major textile producing countries, however, have had difficulty in travelling to China in the past.”

“Asia is the world’s biggest textile manufacturer and exporter. We are delighted to extend our cooperation with CEMATEX to bring ITMA ASIA and CITME to other parts of Asia to support our members’ marketing efforts,” added Gu Ping, president of CTMA.

The next ITMA in Europe will meanwhile be held in Hanover, Germany, from 16 to 22 September 16-22.

www.itma.com

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