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By Max W. Sung

A win-win combination: The combined ITMA Asia + CITME international textile machinery show concluded its 4th edition at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in Pudong, Shanghai this month (June 20). The combined show is owned by CEMATEX, together with its Chinese partners - the Sub- Council of Textile Industry (CCPIT-Tex), China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and China International Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC). JTMA (Japan Textile Machinery Association) is a special partner. The show is organised by the Beijing Textile Machinery International Exhibition Co and co-organised by MP Expositions.

By all accounts, ITMA Asia + CITME, which is held biennially since its debut in 2008, was a success, building on the successes it had garnered in previous editions. In comparison with the previous show in 2012, exhibitor numbers had increased from 1,298 to 1,555, and exhibition area had expanded 15% from 132,250 sq. m. to 152,200 sq. m. Participation by textile machinery manufacturers from China was impressive; these exhibitors took up 105,018 sq. m., or 69% of the exhibition area. This represented a 3.2-fold increase over the 33,000 sq, m. (26% of total space) they had occupied in 2008.

These figures reflect the vigorous growth of the textile machinery industry in China. In a press conference on the first day of the show, CTMA president Wang Shutian explained: "By the end of last year, for all the mainland Chinese textile machinery manufacturers, their key revenue has topped around US$115 billion. In terms of the total sales volume of last year, the total exports of machinery were about 21%, whereas the majority of machinery is for domestic use, accounting for about 78% of the total. Apart from mainland China as the key recipients of all the textile machinery, out of the US$115 billion of the revenue, about 15% are for exports. Probably these statistics can form a key picture of the current status quo of the textile machinery industry in China."

At ITMA 2011 in Barcelona, exhibitors from China occupied 5,000 sq. m. or only 2.5% of the total exhibitor space. When the combined ITMA Asia + CITME partnership was first announced in 2006, Edward Roberts, then president of CEMATEX, had explained during an interview with Textile Asia: "We expect next year, after we've done some promotion, to get a lot of Chinese exhibitors for the first time at ITMA in Munich. China has now realised the need also to export and the government is supporting the textile machinery manufacturers here to export. If they want to export, then they can't just stay at the shows in China, they need also to go to a major show like ITMA in Europe where the rest of the world will come to buy machinery." Exhibitors from the nine CEMATEX countries (all European) took 30,440 sq. m. (20%) of the exhibition space at the latest ITMA Asia + CITME show this month. According to Charles Beauduin, the current president of CEMATEX (see pages 6-7), participation by CEMATEX exhibitors at the ITMA Asia + CITME shows has been stable. In contrast, exhibitors from six CEMATEX countries were in the top 10 exhibiting countries at ITMA 2011 in Barcelona, taking up 123,000 sq. m. (61.5%) of the total exhibitor area. For ITMA Asia + CITME 2014, visitor numbers have also increased; the previous three editions have seen visitors increasing from 80,000 (2008) to 82,000 (2010), and 92,000 (2012) but, at the same time, visitors from outside China accounting for 20% of the total even as total number of visitors increased show after show, and Chinese participation similarly increasing to keep 80% share.

The partnership: CITME, which carried its first edition as SINOTEX in Beijing in 1986, was configured as an international textile machinery show from the very beginning. Its official brochure in 1986 stated: "SINOTEX 86 will give a unique chance for foreign companies to establish or enhance direct relations with the Ministry of Textile Industry and its professional and trading corporations." Aimed at international exhibitors, SINOTEX was designed to attract an inflow of new technology required by China's modernisation program. Renamed CTME-I in 1988 and subsequently CITME in 1990 as recommended by Textile Asia, the show was held biennially in Beijing in alternating years with ShanghaiTex (formerly known as CHINATEX), a biennial textile machinery show held in Shanghai. By 1994, CITME has become China's No. 1 textile machinery show, and No. 3 internationally behind OTEMAS (Osaka, Japan), the leader being ITMA. CITME 2006 had 1,100 exhibitors from 25 countries and 36.635 visitors. CITME 2008 was held in partnership with ITMA Asia for the first time and was relocated to Shanghai; for that show there were 1,368 exhibitors but a 150% increase in visitor numbers to 80,000.

The genesis of ITMA Asia goes back to 1998. It was created because exhibitors from CEMATEX countries felt that OTEMAS, the leading textile machinery show in Asia, was too expensive, and lobbied for rotating exhibition sites similar to ITMA in Europe. The first ITMA Asia was held in 2001 in Singapore, back to back with OTEMAS in Osaka. The second ITMA Asia was held in 2005, also in Singapore, but visitor numbers stagnated at 30,000, partly due to a lack of a robust textile industry in Singapore. When ShanghaiTex announced unilaterally that it was going from a biennial schedule to annually in 2006, the same year as CITME, and also in 2007, the same year as ITMA in Munich, CEMATEX, CTMA and JTMA immediately issued a joint statement supporting CITME in 2006 and ITMA in 2007 and urging global textile machinery buyers to attend those shows. From that time, it was a quick decision to organise the next ITMA Asia in 2008 in partnership with CITME and hold it in Shanghai.

It was a challenge to organise a show combining two different venues coming from different continents with differences in regulations and cultures. The combined show brought stricter regulations for exhibitors, presentation of exhibits according to products rather than geographical regions, levelling the booth prices between domestic and foreign exhibitors and providing a more robust and impartial conflict settlement practices regarding intellectual property rights. CITME + ITMA Asia 2008 attracted 1,368 exhibitors and 80,000 visitors. Compared with CITME 2006, exhibitor participation was 24% higher and visitors up 150%.

Wang Shutian, the president of CTMA, explained at the press conference on the first day of ITMA Asia + CITME 2014 the benefits of the combined show: "I think that the key benefit from the combination of the shows is to accelerate the process synchronisation between the mainland China textile machinery industry and the international ones because that will help us to be much closer to the reality of industrial growth. Secondly, [the combined show] attracts more textile machinery manufacturers and exhibitors from around the world to come to China to showcase their best-ever technologies and equipment, that can help us to really upgrade our technology and to provide better solutions to our status quo. The combined show has helped to create a platform to facilitate communication and exchange of ideas and opinions between Chinese textile machinery manufacturers and their counterparts in the rest of the world." For the next combined ITMA Asia + CITME show, the venue will be moving to the new National Convention and Exhibition Centre located in the Hongqiao business district in Shanghai. It will also be moving to cooler climes; the show will be held 24-28 October 2016.

P.H.M. Jones: We are saddened to inform readers of the passing of Philip Humphrey McNair Jones, former executive editor and subsequently editorial advisor of Textile Asia, on May 13, 2014.

Humphrey Jones, as he preferred to be called, was born on March 19, 1925 in London into privilege. He was educated at Belmont School, an exclusive Catholic public school, and read ancient history at Oriel College in Oxford University. His education was interrupted during World War II, when he was conscripted into the Royal Marines at the age of 18, where he attained the rank of corporal. After graduating from Oxford, he entered the banking profession with the Chartered Bank (now known as the Standard Chartered Bank) and was subsequently posted to Calcutta (India), Saigon (Vietnam) and then to Hong Kong. His experiences in Saigon became subject material for his semi-autobiographical novel, Halcyon Years, published in 2000. He also authored The Classic Muse (Vol.1), a collection of his translations of Greek poetry, and a novel A Star Was My Desire in 2001.

Humphrey joined the now defunct Far Eastern Economic Review in 1959, as it was being transformed into Asia's leading business and political weekly under Dick Wilson and Kayser Sung. His special contribution at the Review was his coverage of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, producing each week the Review's index of share prices, well before the Hang Seng Index was created. When Kayser Sung left the Review to start his own publication, this magazine Textile Asia, in 1970, he asked Humphrey to join him. The following year Humphrey was appointed Textile Asia's executive editor and he remained in that position until retirement in 2007. His association with the magazine, however, continued as an editorial advisor until his passing.

Textile Asia benefited from his excellent command of the King's English, his knowledge of the financial and business world, and his many experiences in Asian cultures. He had learned Hindi when he was in Calcutta, Vietnamese when he was in Saigon, and Cantonese in Hong Kong. At his wedding to Carol, a colleague at the Review, he gave a speech in Cantonese! He was blessed with two sons, Hubert and Lionel.

Well before retiring from Textile Asia Humphrey had started living in a picturesque village of Mui Wo on Lantao Island, a ferry ride away from Hong Kong's Central district where Textile Asia held office. It is one of the villages he had written about forty years earlier in Golden Guide to Hong Kong and Macao, a Review publication. There he would indulge in hiking, one of his favourite pastime activities, and attending the weekly church service.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.












Special Reports

  • China adopts eco-friendly ways to sustain textile sector growth: During the third edition of ITMA Asia + CITME two years ago, the global economy was barely beginning a slow recovery. Today, the situation is different - Europe has pulled away from the worst crisis it faced in recent history and there is a notable turnaround. And China is perceived as the catalyst for world economic recovery. At the same time in China, the industries that helped to make the country an economic powerhouse exacted a heavy price - environmental degradation. Realising this, the 12th National People's Congress last March placed pollution control high on the agenda to promote an eco-conscious society. This goal was felt loud and clear at the fourth edition of ITMA Asia + CITME this month. There were signs everywhere encouraging visitors to reduce water and paper consumption. This rearrangement of priorities - GDP growth without sacrificing sustainability - will make developing environmental protection industry a major task; but operating cost could rise as pollution control measures are put into effect.

    Under this setting, how will China's textile machinery industry cope with the situation? What its focus will be in the near term? Commenting on these questions during an exclusive interview at the ITMA Asia + CITME show the president of the China Machinery Association, Wang Shutian, told Textile Asia's editorial consultant Vicky Sung that the purpose of this eco concept was understood and quickly accepted by the industry and the industry will focus on three areas: Be eco-conscious and follow a path that is less harmful to the environment; reduce energy consumption and operate energy-efficient machines and processes; and use new materials. He also said that manufacturers now realise that they must adopt the eco-friendly approach for sustainability or there will be no future. Besides, the use of robots and more IT integration as well as search for new materials and their application in machine building -for example, carbon fibre for faster and smoother running speed - are also options they have come to recognise. According to Mr Wang, the years ahead will see increasing cooperation between textile machine makers in the West and their counterparts in China.

  • CEMATEX president speaks about the future of ITMA Asia + CITME: The biennial ITMA Asia + CITME textile machinery show that held its fourth presentation in Shanghai this month (June 16-20) attracted more exhibitors and visitors than its previous edition. During this event Charles Beauduin, the president of CEMATEX, the European co-owner of the event, discussed how this show has evolved so far and its future course with Max Sung, the executive editor of Textile Asia. Mr Beauduin noted that because China is the biggest market for textile machinery in Asia, the ITMA Asia + CITME show attracts a large number of exhibitors and visitors. Besides, over these years the quality of exhibits, the quality of presentations that companies make as well as the quality of the total organisation of the show have significantly improved. He pointed out that ITMA Asia + CITME and ITMA Europe are different venues altogether. ITMA Asia + CITME, he said, is mainly concerned with the Chinese market, but it also "attracts the surrounding countries due to the ease of visiting, whereas ITMA Europe is more high technology and high performance. "So I think textile manufacturers of certain standing will be going to Europe to see what the evolution in technologies are, what the trends are, and certainly look at what is happening." On the whole, he said: "We run our shows to the benefits of our members, and to the benefit of visitors. We take that there will also be local shows in many countries which are more, let's say, meet-and-greet type. That's absolutely fine. It's important for people to be in contact with each other, see each other and be able to have a nice chat. To present new technology, new ideas, new perceptions, we already have a show every two years."

  • Cotton output will drop, but stocks will be high and prices could fall: Cotton production in the upcoming crop year 2014-15 is projected to decline while consumption is estimated to rise. Weather is seen as the key factor causing yields to be lower, thus dragging total global production down. In many cotton growing countries, weather conditions are expected to be less favourable than in 2013-14. This situation has led all forecasters to project lower output in the 2014-15 season.

  • Demand eased last year for new textile machinery: Demand for short-staple spindles that had hit all-time high in 2011 but fell 27% in 2012, recovered last year and registered 10% growth. As much as 93% of shipments went to Asia. The 36th annual International Textile Machinery Shipment Statistics (ITMSS) which the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) released in late May also found that two items moving against the general trend - news short-staple spindles and new large circular knitting machines - the former recorded 10% increase and the latter remained unchanged, both in comparison with 2012.

Regional Notes


  • Bali breakthrough gives textile industry new hope: Bangladesh, a least developed country (LDC), has long been asking the United States for duty-free market access for all its exports including garments; but with no success. Now, following the World Trade Organization's ninth ministerial conference in Bali, Indonesia, last December, it is pinning its hopes on speedy conclusion of WTO's Doha Round. The Bali meeting has been able to reach an agreement for tackling trade barriers. The agreement called The Bali Package includes provisions for lowering import tariffs to make it easy for developing countries to trade with developed countries. The director general of WTO, Roberto Azevedo, who was in Bangladesh early this month also pointed out that duty-free access of Bangladesh's garment items to the US market largely depends on the successful completion of the Doha Round.

Sri Lanka

From A.H.H. Saheed, Colombo

  • Hub service is the next goal: The next growth phase for Sri Lanka's apparel industry is in providing hub services for adding value to products manufactured elsewhere rather than sticking to traditional manufacturing, says the industry's main representative body, the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF).

  • Emerald's new mission: Since the beginning of this year, Emerald, a major shirt manufacturer in Sri Lanka that claims its shirts are three times as good as any other, has taken on a mission: To create awareness about what indeed makes a shirt great and how to assemble a wardrobe of formal, work and casual shirts from its collection that will help the Emerald man stand out in the crowd.

American Markets

  • US apparel imports keep rising; led by knit sector: Total garment imports in the first quarter of this year increased by more than $642 million with knitted apparel accounting for 82% of the imports. At the same time, some notable adjustments in terms of sources of supply and nature of products have occurred. Pakistan which ranked in 2013 as ninth among the top ten garment suppliers to the US was not in the group in Q1 2014 while Cambodia that ranked 10th last year has moved up to the 9th position and Sri Lanka has entered the league taking the 10th place. More significantly, the quantity of garments imported from China and Bangladesh - world's top two garment producers and exporters - have declined sharply.

    By Douglas Smith, Columbia, S.C.

Exhibtions and Conferences

  • Proposte at a critical juncture: How to grow after 22 years of success: Started as an Italian venture with the singular purpose of promoting Made-in-Italy label as the undisputed quality stamp worldwide, this annual trade fair for hometextiles of furnishing and curtains fabrics soon opened its doors to all European countries in tune with the spirit, Europe without Frontiers. Now, a new wave of thinking is emerging: open up the show for others from outside Europe. Exhibitors taking part in the 22edition of the show in the expansive botanical garden of Villa Erba by the shore of Lake Como in Italy last month think that the show needs to expand and open up to more visitors. "The world is changing and we need to keep up with the times. Should we now not open to include very good non-European companies?" asked Gianmarco Zamaroni, the president of Fiorete, a Como-based interior decorative fabrics manufacturer that is in business since 1934. The board of directors of the show also wishes to expand this prestigious exhibition but without having to compromise its high quality criteria. The chairman of Proposte, Piercarlo Vigano, says: "We need to be competitive on the manufacturing front; and in the future, the market will only have room for businesses that stay a step ahead of the competition."

    By Vicky Sung in Como, Italy

  • ITMA 2015 offers some new inspiring attractions: The 17th edition of the international textile machinery exhibition ITMA that is scheduled to take place from November 12 to 19, 2015 in Milan will include a few new attractions. Among them: the ITMA sustainable innovation award program, a new sub-chapter on recycled fibres and yarns, and the world textile summit that was introduced at the 16th ITMA in Barcelona in 2011.

  • Intertextile Pavilion Shenzhen, an annual trade fair for apparel fabrics and accessories in Shenzhen - a highly successful special economic zone in China's Guangdong province, just north of Hong Kong - will take place from 10 to 12 next month (July) at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center.

  • Shanghai Mode Lingerie and Interfilière Shanghai plan 10-year gala: The Shanghai Mode Lingerie (SML) and Interfilière Shanghai, which together will present a complete range of intimate apparel and swimwear, are scheduled to be held on October 20 and 21 this year at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre. This will be the 10th edition of these annual shows which the French trade fair organiser Eurovet hosts simultaneously.

  • China's top leather show: The All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE), a leading commercial and business platform for China's leather industry, will hold its 17th show from September 3 to 5 this year at the New International Expo Centre in Shanghai.

  • Inkjet fair in Charlotte The US-based Information Management Institute will hold its 13th Inkjet technology show on September 3-4, this year, at the Charlotte Hilton University Place in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. It is open to everyone interested in inkjet technology and its increasing applications. Visitors can also book in advance for private meetings with technology suppliers.

  • Cashmere World: The trade fair for cashmere and other luxury fabrics that APLF organises annually since 2009 will be held this year from September 25-27 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will include presentation of fashion and colour trends. Besides, a forum will also be held simultaneously, as in the past.

  • Fashion Access set for September in HK: Fashion Access, the trade fair that APLF organises biannually, will hold its 31st edition at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from September 25 to 27, this year. As usual, it will be a display of the latest in fashion products from garments to bags, footwear, travel goods and fashion accessories of all kind supported with a number of fashion shows.

  • Fashion World Tokyo, the biannual exhibition which is scheduled to hold its next edition at Tokyo Big Sight from next October 20 to 22 showcasing fashion wear, bags, shoes and jewellery, will include for the first time a section devoted to men's fashion as well as a new zone called PLUS+ High Fashion exclusively for exhibitors of high fashion products.

  • Composites industry confab in Boston: The JEC Americas Conferences, an annual event of the based JEC Group of France will be held in Boston, USA, on October 28-29, this year.

  • ICAC plenary meeting: The 73rd plenary meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) is scheduled to be held in Thessaloniki, Greece, from November 2 to 7, this year, with the theme: From Land to Brand - Strengthening the Cotton Value Chain.

  • PCI fibre conference: The fibre conference that the UK-based PCI Consulting Group organises annually is scheduled to hold its next edition in Istanbul this November on 6 and 7. - Textile tech fair in India: A textile technology exhibition showcasing machinery needed by the entire value chain from fibre preparation to finished goods like garments will take place in India this December. The four-day event (Dec 10-13) organised by the Mumbai-based Textile Excellence and scheduled at Gandhinagar near Ahmedabad in the northwestern state of Gujarat is called International Textile Machinery and Accessories Exhibition, India, or ITMACH India.

  • A new fair in India for textile machinery: A new exhibition called Global Textile Technology and Engineering Show (GTTES) is due to take place in Mumbai, India, from January 20 to 22 next year.

  • BIFF and BIL in March: The twin trade fairs - Bangkok International Fashion Fair (BIFF) and Bangkok International Leather Fair (BIL) - that Thailand's Department of International Trade Promotion organises annually are due to be held from March 11 to 15, next year, at the Challenger Hall 1-2, Impact Muangthong Thani in Bangkok.

  • APLF-MM&T next March: The Materials, Manufacturing & Technology (MM&T) exhibition which is regarded as the 'meeting place for the global leather industry' will hold a three-day show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 30 to April 1, 2015.

  • HK-China-India team up for home textile show: The Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair is to make its sixth presentation on April 20-23, 2015, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. .

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