Italy plans to send a delegation of more than 30 companies and 40 brands to this year's China Fashion Week and a pavilion of almost 50 fabric companies to the InterTextile 2008 in Beijing, an Italian official said yesterday.
As the largest overseas exhibitor, Italy will showcase woven, knitted, leather and fur garments as well as accessories for men, women and children at the event, which will cover an area of over 700 sq m, said Antonino Laspina, trade commissioner of the Italian Trade Commission's Beijing office.
The fair, known as Chic 2008, will open on March 28 at China International Exhibition Center in Beijing.
During the InterTextile 2008, which opens on March 27, almost 50 Italian firms will exhibit their fabrics.
"We aim to promote cooperation between the Italian and Chinese textile and garment industries," Laspina said.
He also said the active presence of Italian exhibitors shows the country's garment producers have a strong interest in the Chinese market and in the possibilities of future cooperation with local partners.
Italian garments, with their fashionable designs and high-quality materials and workmanship, enjoy a good reputation worldwide.
"Italy is the only country which is strong in all three sectors of the garment and textile industry: the top-end fashion apparel, medium- and high-end ready-to-wear and high-quality textiles," Laspina said.
China's consumer market - especially the luxury end - has rapidly driven up imports of garments from Italy. Imports of garments increased from $138 million in 2006 to $201 million in 2007, up 25 percent year-on-year. The market share of Italian garments stood at about 11 percent last year, according to the commission.
Among those imported Italian garments, woven items accounted for 65 percent and the knitted ones the rest.
Last year, China imported $535 million worth of woolen fabric, of which imports from Italy accounted for about $145 million. China's imports of Italian silk grew by 8 percent while imports of Italian cotton fabrics increased by 31 percent, according to the commission's statistics.
The Italian Trade Commission is a non-profit government agency that provides support to Italian enterprises in developing trade and industrial cooperation with foreign companies. The organization has a presence in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Chengdu, Nanjing and Hong Kong among other places across the globe.
(China Daily March 18, 2008)