The Rupp Report: ITMA 2015 On Track?

As everybody probably knows, the most important textile machinery exhibition in the world, ITMA — commonly referred to as ITMA Europe to differentiate it from the show in held in Asia — will be held from November 12-19, 2015, at Fiera Milano Rho in Milan, Italy. For the first time in its history, ITMA will take place in November, because from May 1-October 31, 2015, the Expo Milano 2015 will take place at the same newly built fairground. By the way, the last world expo in Italy took place in 1906. One must say that the Italians are very happy and proud that after such a long time — the last ITMA in Italy took place in 1995 — the show is returning to the land of fashion (sorry French readers).
Almost Sold Out
In the last press release from July 2014, ITMA organizers Singapore-based MP Expositions Pte. Ltd. claim that more than 95 percent of all floor space already is booked: “Global textile and garment technology suppliers have snapped up space at next year’s ITMA exhibition in Milan. ITMA 2015, the world’s most established textile and garment machinery exhibition, has attracted over 1,300 applicants from 43 countries by the application deadline of 4 July. As a result, over 95 percent of the 200,000 square meters of space has been taken up.”
Since this press release was issued, possibly the remaining 5 percent of floor space also has been booked. This means ITMA 2015 is sold out, in spite of rumors over recent years that an ITMA in Europe doesn’t make sense anymore.
Novelty Show
Among textile professionals, it is well known that an ITMA in Europe still plays a very important role in the global textile machinery industry. Many exhibitors take the chance in Europe to show their true novelties. And interest in IMTA from the European Association of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX) countries is very high. ITMA organizers report that several CEMATEX countries have increased their space booked for the 2015 show compared with the 2011 event, including: Italy, up 30 percent; the Netherlands, up 20 percent; France, up 13 percent; and Germany, up 4 percent. These increases definitely highlight the strength and positive market feeling for European textile machinery manufacturers.
The top five countries in terms of space booked are Italy with 34 percent, Germany with 25 percent, Turkey with 7 percent, Switzerland with 7 percent and India with 6 percent. The top five countries in terms of number of applicants are Italy with 31 percent, Germany with 20 percent, India with 13 percent, China with 10 percent and Turkey with 9 percent.
It is interesting to note that two Asian textile manufacturing giants also are sending a large number of exhibitors to ITMA 2015. As one can see, this is an astonishing breakdown of countries and applicants. Turkey was known until now as a textile manufacturing country, but not as a machinery producer. Over the past decade, this has changed a lot. Today, not only are Turkish textile products playing in the top league, but machinery production also is growing.
The top five sectors participating at ITMA are finishing with 24 percent, spinning with 16 percent, weaving with 14 percent, knitting with 14 percent and printing with 10 percent. However, since ITMA 1999, emphasis has grown in the nonwovens, fibers and yarns, and garment making chapters. Technical textile solutions, which have formed an integral part of the offerings by technology providers at ITMA, will be further highlighted with displays of new applications.
“Mafia free” Certificates
Fifteen months before the opening of ITMA at the new fairground, some new problems have arisen.
Organized crime is overshadowing the construction of the buildings for the world expo. To avoid any closeness, corruption or even infiltration with the organized crime, the exhibition company developed a plan in a typically Italian way: With the construction companies involved, it arranged a legality agreement and provided “Mafia free” certificates. Prosecutors from Milan had previously and repeatedly pointed out warnings about the high risk of organized crime involvement in the fairground’s construction. The construction sites were inspected, and not a single irregularity was found — of course. All construction companies involved have been declared as certified mafia free. For fear that the construction work would not be completed on time, and given the negative headlines about a backlog of construction work already in the news, the government now was forced “to facilitate and simplify” the methods of control against organized crime.
Corruption Roundup
At the beginning of May 2014, one year before the opening of the Expo Milano 2015, a corruption ring between an ex-Berlusconi senator and a former socialist was discovered. A total of seven managers and politicians were arrested for corruption associated with Expo Milano 2015. The people arrested were accused of forming a mafia like connection for personal exploitation and manipulation of the multi-billion-dollar procurement. On top of that, former Minister Scajola was arrested for aiding the escape of a mafia-politician. Other people brought into custody included the EXPO 2015 manager responsible for commissioning, as well as the former head of the of the Lombardy region, who is responsible for all infrastructure projects.
Hope Of Deliverance
But let’s get back to ITMA 2015. In the official message from July 2014, show organizers said: “With more than 15 months to go before the exhibition opens in Milan, the organizing team is confident that the ITMA 2015 exhibition will see more participation from the industry. It is also expected to be a more exciting showcase as the world moves towards sustainability, spawning cutting-edge research and development, technological innovations and a host of enhanced and new machinery, and other product offerings.” Let’s hope the best for the exhibitors, many of them have already spent a lot of money for this event.
October 7, 2014