Italy: encouraging signs of recovery for Italian glass processing machinery

Figures examined by Gimav, the association of Italian builders and suppliers of machinery, equipment and special products for glass processing, confirm that the industry is doing well: in 2008 exports…

Figures examined by Gimav, the association of Italian builders and suppliers of machinery, equipment and special products for glass processing, confirm that the industry is doing well: in 2008 exports and sales of Italian glass processing machinery rose by 2.47% and 2.11% respectively, building on the 2007 results, a record year for this special niche of Italian products. In 2008, exports of machinery, accessories and special products for glass processing continued to grow over 2007, a record year for this buoyant industrial sector which exports more than 72% of its production. Exports rose by 2.47% overall, with a more than encouraging +3.64% for hollow glass. These figures are particularly significant considering the worldwide recession. This is a very high-tech industry where Italy is in the forefront and has been highly successful internationally for some time as recent figures show. Within the highly specialized sector of machine tools, machinery, accessories and special products for glass processing have posted an average 9.35% increase over the past 10 years, culminating with an exceptional +12.6% in 2007 when exports exceeded EUR 1 million. In 2008, Italian machinery, accessories and special products for glass processing remained in the lead on the international marketplace, helping to maintain the enviable reputation of Italian products. Figures analyzed by Gimav indicate that the industry closed 2008 with EUR 1,398,409,932 in sales (+ 2.11%), with an export content of 73.71%. These figures confirm that small- and medium-sized Italian companies, which are the backbone of the industry, are holding their own at such a difficult time for the international economy, considering that Italy“s overall trade balance for all its production sectors was down at almost EUR 11.5 billion, decreasing by 33.5% over 2007. Although orders fell towards the end of 2008, generating a slip in sales, companies in the industry are performing well and according to initial estimates the situation is expected to pick up again in the second half of 2009, as a result of strong investments in research, innovative products, and an international reach and, most importantly, promotional campaigns overseas. Thanks to Gimav, 75 Italian companies have been performing very successfully overseas for more than 25 years by exporting products that are the symbols of Made in Italy, leading to steady increases in exports. As Cinzia Schiatti, who is the president of the association, stated: Italy is and remains a powerhouse worldwide in the glass machinery and accessories industry. Our strength lies in our ability to mix technology and innovation. This is what we are noted for worldwide and this has allowed us to keep ahead of other builders across the world. A head start that we want to maintain by committing ourselves to innovation and customer service.