Interview with Charles Beauduin

Charles Beauduin
Charles Beauduin

How would you define ITMA? A forum for the global buyers and sellers or a platform for the emerging textile machinery companies? Give reasons.

ITMA is a global platform for textile machinery makers and buyers to transact and to network. Many of our exhibitors are very established and some have been with us since the very first show in 1951. However, new, emerging manufacturers who are able to meet our strict admission criteria are also using ITMA as their marketing platform to meet major buyers around the world. ITMA is an excellent networking and knowledge exchange hub. Cematex partners industry-leading organisations to hold conferences and seminars to share new ideas and to tackle challenging issues facing the industry. Cematex also encourages research and innovation, and for this reason there is a very active research and education pavilion at ITMA. A grant is given to deserving research and educational institutes to encourage more of these important organisations to take part and feel the pulse of the industry.

How has ITMA helped the European textile machinery industry in progressing?

ITMA has helped showcase European textile machinery in the best possible light through an integrated, end-to-end solutions showcase for the entire textile and garment industry. By clustering the exhibits into sectors and having live demonstrations, it is easy for machinery buyers to source what they are looking for. ITMA has also levelled the playing field for smaller European manufacturers, giving them a global platform to show their capabilities. Over the years, the show has helped to match European machinery manufacturers with buyers, and has enabled them to conduct valuable market research. This in turn has helped them to expand their markets.

Can you provide an overview of the current status of the textile machinery market on the European and global level?

After a sharp reduction in global shipments of new textile machinery in 2008 and 2009, exports increased significantly in 2010 and 2011, mainly to record highs. In 2012, exports of textile machinery totalled over US$8.4 billion, slightly down from the 2011 level of US$9.4 billion, but despite this, world economic growth is still in the positive zone. The International Monetary Fund has forecast that the world's GDP growth will register 3.8 per cent in 2014, up from 3.1 per cent in 2013. Hence, we expect that the demand for machinery offering cost-effective and environmentally friendly features will continue to be buoyant. In 2012, out of the world's 10 top textile machinery exporters, half are from Europe: Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France and Czech Republic. As a consumption market, Europe is still important for Cematex members. If you take the largest exporter as an example (Germany), Europe is its second largest market (Euros 875 million), after Asia (Euros1.8 billion).

Do you think that U.S and Middle East countries lack the technology and skills when it comes to the textile machinery industry? What are the reasons?

The United States has the largest economy in the world and is a technology leader in a number of textile fields. Indeed it was ranked 7th in the list of top textile machinery exporters in 2012. As for the Middle East, the region is better known for its production of textiles rather than textile machinery. Every economy is different, and each country has its own growth strategies and list of target industries to develop.

Textile industry is the biggest pollutants releasing industry in the world. What steps should be taken by the textile machinery industry to reduce the emission thereby creating awareness about the preservation of environment?

The global textile industry is huge and is one of the major consumers of water and fuel. It is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases on earth. One of the most effective way to decrease carbon footprint is to decrease the amount of energy needed for production of textiles. Consumers and governments have started demanding industries to comply with stricter conditions for environmental protection. Textile machinery manufacturers have invested greatly on research and development and unveiling various innovative technologies and sustainable solutions that can help textile makers meet these challenges.
Published on: 25/02/2014

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

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