Interview with Dr. Paolo Banfi

Dr. Paolo Banfi
Dr. Paolo Banfi
Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers
Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers

The role of an Association is especially important in a negative economic period
Born in Magenta, Milan (Italy), on December 7, 1949, Dr. Paolo Banfi went on to graduate in 1977 from the University ‘CATTOLICA DEL SACRO CUORE’ Milan, Italy, from the Economy & Commerce faculty. He began his professional career as a Management Consultant in 1975 and took position as General Manager at COMEZ S.p.A.

Congratulations, Dr Paolo Banfi on assuming the Chairmanship of ACIMIT recently! ACIMIT has been the voice of the Italian textile machinery manufacturers for years now. Could you explain its history and the activities in brief?

The main purpose of the Association (which is private and not for-profit) consists of the promoting the Italian textile machinery industry and supporting its activities, especially abroad, using tools and instruments which are ever increasingly innovative and have been continuously improved over the course of its 60 year history. In particular, to promote knowledge about Italian textile machinery throughout the world, ACIMIT can provide information about the activities of the Association members and organise a vast range of promotional initiatives (exhibitions, publications, technological seminars), often working with the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE). Another important activity of ACIMIT is the information provided to the members about commercial, financial and technical problems in the various markets so that access to these markets is made a little bit easier.

The textile industry being dynamic as it is, what effects have percolated down the Italian textile industry this year, and on the Italian textile machinery manufacturers, in particular?

The world textile industry is characterised by leopard skin type growth. There are entire areas in which the investments in machinery are at a standstill (a large part of Europe and the North American market) and then others where the growth trends in investments are positive (especially the Far East markets). Clearly, our sector is also influenced by the trends in the downstream sectors. In 2004, production in the Italian textile machinery industry was worth 2900 million Euro, a 9% decrease. Exports account for 76% of total production; in 2004, they totalled 2200 million Euro.

What role can an Association like yours plays today to ensure sustained growth of the industry, at large?

The role of an Association is especially important in a negative economic period like the present one, when the companies cannot be left alone to compete in the global market. The aim of the associations must be to stimulate the sector companies and to support their activities with International organisms, Government authorities and the banking and financial world.

In case of SMEs (small manufacturing enterprises) of Italy, what sort of future do you envisage in the coming times? Can ancillary units survive in current times?

"For years, SMEs were one of the key factors to the success of the Italian industrial system. Now, international competition requires growth which is, above all, cultural growth. Survival depends on how the Italian companies deal with this period of major change and I am certain that, as in the past, they will be able to adapt to the requirements of the market."
Published on: 26/07/2005

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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