melliand International 2/2021: ITMA Asia + CI...
melliand International 2/2021

ITMA Asia + CITME taps China’s textile industry resilience in a pandemic-hit world

Ernesto Maurer
Ernesto Maurer

The upcoming ITMA Asia + CITME 2020 textile machinery show is heading for its 7th edition in June. Despite the severe corona virus pandemic that has wreaked havoc around the world, the combined exhibition is poised for take-off in Shanghai, riding on the back of China’s positive economic growth story. At the National People’s Congress in March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate target of ‘above 6 %’ for this year. Analysts have also projected that China’s economy would grow by more than 8 % as it recovers from the impact of the corona virus.

This optimism is borne out by the robust growth of the world’s second largest economy which had surged over 18 % in the first quarter, compared with a year earlier –the highest growth since the country began reporting quarterly GDP in 1992.

The country’s textile industry has also been registering strong performance. According to its Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, textile and garment exports grew 9.6 % year-on-year to US$ 291.22 billion in 2020, with textile exports surging 29.2 % from a year earlier to reach $ 153.84 billion.

Leveraging technology to meet new challenges: Despite its stellar growth, several challenges have emerged within the textile industry due to several factors. Among them are rising labor costs, stricter environmental policies and supply chain disruption. To cope with these issues, an increasing number of Chinese textile manufacturers have turned to modernizing their infrastructures and production processes.

Here is where ITMA Asia + CITME has been playing a pivotal role to help Chinese textile enterprises by displaying the latest textile making technologies and solutions from both East and West. Since 2008 when the series made its debut, it has been THE leading-edge showcase where textile manufacturers source innovative and sustainable solutions biennially.

Hence, when we launched ITMA Asia + CITME 2020 about 2 years ago, it had attracted overwhelming response. In fact, it surpassed the 2018 combined show in exhibitor numbers, as well as booth space. Unfortunately, we were not spared the impact of the pandemic.

Now, when the combined show opens in June, it will have the participation of over 1,200 exhibitors from 22 countries. This reminds us of the time when the show fell victim to the global financial crisis in 2010; it featured 1,171 exhibitors from 28 countries and regions.

Early last year, like many other organizers, we were forced to postpone the show. However, we made the decision to continue with the show for 2 reasons: China had made good progress in tackling the pandemic and there was pent-up demand by manufacturers for innovative technology and solutions to increase its competitiveness on the world stage.

Organizing in a pandemic-hit world: As show owners of an established industry platform, we are fully committed to supporting our exhibitors and the textile industry during these challenging times. Therefore, we made an exceptional concession of extending penalty waivers for withdrawals if exhibitors were unable to participate due to travel restrictions and logistical difficulties. We also allowed them to transfer their deposits to the next ITMA or ITMA branded exhibition.

Although these measures meant a reduction in overseas participation, and additional work of reallocating exhibitors' stands, it was necessary to show our solidarity and support in a tangible way.
To ensure that the combined show will receive a strong turnout, local visitor promotion efforts have been ramped up across various channels. Visits to key textile hubs to invite visiting delegations have also been undertaken to reinforce the message that the show will open with safety measures in place.

With crowds of visitors expected to throng the registration foyers on opening day, we will spare no effort to ensure that our participants’ health and safety remain a priority. We will implement mandatory temperature checking and strict badge verification with facial recognition at hall entry gantries. Visitors are also advised to observe social distancing.

Growth prospects still abound: China remains a key textile machinery market as it is the world’s largest textile exporter. Notwithstanding the challenges posed by the pandemic, we are confident that the upcoming combined show will enjoy another successful edition.

With technologies evolving rapidly in this digital age, China’s textile manufacturers can continue to look forward to the biennial show as the best international sourcing platform at their doorsteps.
We warmly welcome you to visit ITMA Asia + CITME 2020 from June 12-16, 2021 in Shanghai if you are able to; it will be the most established in-person textile machinery showcase organized this year!
Ernesto Maurer
President CEMATEX

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