BRUSSELS — January 9, 2017 — EURATEX welcomes Klaus Huneke as its President taking the office in January 2017 for a two-year term. Huneke, succeeds Sege Piolat who headed EURATEX during the last two years, pointed out: “Serge Piolat achieved impressive results in strengthening the voice of the European textile and clothing industry. To further enhance our industry my intention is to focus on few strategic priorities such as better communication towards policymakers and stakeholders on the excellence of our innovation and sustainability, enhancing EU competitiveness and greater participation of companies in innovation.”
Huneke has an extensive international experience in the textile industry. He made a remarkable career at Heimbach, a large technical textiles producer in Germany. Having started his path as an engineer in the petrochemical industry, in ‘90s he joined Heimbach where he was a CEO until his retirement. Huneke has been engaged in numerous actions aimed to advance German industry, especially been the vice-president of the German textile employer’s association since April 2000. Huneke has also been actively involved in representation of textile and clothing industry at the European level, acting as a Board Member since 2013 and vice-president Treasurer of EURATEX since 2015.
He is intimately convinced that “the textile and clothing industry need more and better Europe to maintain its competitiveness ahead of the world competitors. It will be our task to make clear to EU policymakers the value of maintaining strong, innovative and competitive textile and clothing value chains in Europe. I hope under my Presidency to convince to have greater coherence among policies and to favour targeted and efficient support more in line with textile and clothing companies’ needs and capabilities.”
Huneke is persuaded that working in coherence and as a team with the entire membership along the strategic priorities of the industry, namely trade, innovation and sustainability would bring better results. This should encourage textile and clothing SME’s to be more active in world markets and in showing their innovation to the policymakers and their customers thanks to the work carried out in good intelligence with the European Confederation.
Huneke firmly believes that the EU textile and clothing companies should use more the opportunities offered by Euratex, the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing and their networks in terms of innovation and tools developed to help SMEs to improve their competitiveness. Euratex will keep doing its utmost to increase companies’ access to the European programmes by trying to simplifying as much as possible the access to such opportunities and by supporting regional initiatives having a European-scale such as RegioTex to increase the offer of European textile and clothing systems-solutions to the market.
The EU textile and apparel companies produce top quality products and innovative goods thanks to their advanced know-how and the respect of the EU stringent sustainability rules. This is recognised by the growing share of exports outside of the EU-28 markets and Mr Huneke adding: “Did you know that the €44,5 billion EU textile and clothing exports do represent in 2015 the equivalent of 300 Airbus A350 at the typically discounted market prices while we produce only 35 of A350 on a yearly basis? This is the type of communication that can help improving the image of the industry to firstly attract young workers in our industry to increase the value of our products and secondly should encourage policymakers to strive for an international level playing field for the EU textile and clothing products. We will communicate more about the European products’ excellence and responsiveness to social challenges.”
Posted January 9, 2017