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...figures show that Guatemala imports from the EU have slightly increased in the first quarter 2014.
Alberto Paccanelli, President of Euratex tells about the current scenario of EU markets as he converses with Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Manushi Gandhi.
The European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Its main objective is to promote the interests of its members while taking into account the European Union's institutional framework and its international obligations.
Alberto Paccanelli is the President of Euratex since January 1, 2011. Prior to this, he was appointed as the CEO of Martinelli Ginetto Group in the year 2007. In the year 2000 he was the CEO of the Linificio and Canapificio Group. He graduated in economics from the University of Bergamo, Italy. Mr. Paccanelli will be succeeded by Mr. Serge Piolat on January 1, 2015.
Earlier this year Euratex had started a campaign to pursue energy efficiency in T&C sector. What have been the outcomes of this campaign?
Since the launch of the Energy Made-to-Measure campaign at the end February 2014, more than 250 participants have already joined our public meetings promoted in different EU countries. At these events participants were 'taken by hand’ and explained in their national language how to use results of different projects for Energy Efficiency in the Textile & Clothing (T&C) industry. In addition, in April a brand new project started under EURATEX coordination - “Saving Energy in Textile SMEs”. This will 'feed’ the campaign for the next couple of years and it shall create new cooperation opportunities for the sector stakeholders across Europe.
Trademark counterfeiting is a global, pervasive and serious hindrance to growth and jobs, and often a threat to citizen health and safety. What should be done on the part of manufacturers to tackle this issue?
The type of solutions varies depending on the size of the company and markets they serve (products and countries). Big brands facing important counterfeiting have already elaborated a quite effective, but increasingly costly integrated strategy(ies) against trademark counterfeiting. Unfortunately, the problem is even more important for the bulk of the companies that are SMEs. Very often, SMEs managers are not aware of the Intellectual Property Rights and how they can protect themselves. Authorities should be more active in helping making IP Rights protection and fight against counterfeiting as easy and tangible as possible. European and member states’ authorities should be inspired by the examples of countries like Italy and others that make more visible the results of the customs control and competent authorities’ initiatives against trademark counterfeiters and non-respect of design and IP rights.
What was the position of import and exports of textiles and apparels in Europe for the year 2013-2014?
After a drop in 2012, EU T&C imports reached 92 billion Euros (+1,1%) with textiles growing quicker (+3.3%). Imports of T&C products from China, representing 1/3rd of EU28 textiles imports and almost half of clothing imports, continued to fall (-2.5%) after their 2011 record. Thanks to the upturn in world trade, EU exports confirmed their revival by reaching 42,4 billion Euros, the highest level since the start of this century. 2013 was the fourth year in a row of growth in value terms. EU T&C exports succeeded in gaining further market shares in 2013 (+2.1%), thanks to the apparel industry (+4.3%). During the first quarter 2014, Extra-EU imports were more dynamic (+6.3%) than Extra-EU exports that went up by +3% as compared to the same period of 2013.
How do you foresee the growth in European textile and apparel market?
Speaking about the EU household consumption, the forecast for 2014 is more optimistic than it was. In 2013, family spending for clothing and interior textiles had a feeble impact on EU-28 T&C retail sales (+0,1%). 2014 performance is closely linked to the 'household confidence’ that is still low across number of EU member states despite signals of a slight improvement driven by Eastern European countries performances. This confidence will hopefully translate into positive developments in 2014.
The growth of technical textile end markets is linked to the general economic growth in the more established end markets such as automotive, construction, protective equipment and other industrial applications. It is also connected to the innovation and technological breakthroughs that enable new applications of fibres and textiles in new markets. For example, light-weight composites are now used for aerospace and other transport systems, textile materials are applied for medical implants and devices or wearable electronics, textile-reinforced concrete is a promising new construction material.
What are the latest reforms undertaken by the European Union to facilitate the growth in textile and apparel industry?
In the EU T&C industry challenges are similar to those of other manufacturing industries. EURATEX managed to attract attention of the European Institutions to the importance of maintaining the competitive T&C value chains in Europe. Since 2012 the European Commission dedicated several political communications to creative industries and favoured the development of a "2020 Fashion and High-end industries action plan”. This initiative aims to encourage greater Innovation, R&D and maintenance of skills; as well it favours coherent and more pro-active approaches in world markets opening (products and raw materials). It will streamline the internal market addressing access to energy and finance, improving market controls and sustainability.
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