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The Rupp Report: One Month To Go 'Til Shanghai

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In the year 1951, ITMA started in Lille, France, organized by CEMATEX, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers. From humble beginnings, it became the world’s leading textile machinery exhibition. Every four years, ITMA took place in Europe, mostly in Paris, Hannover and Milan. In 2003, the tradition was broken, when a very unfortunate event took place in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Up to now, probably the best ITMA ever took place in 2007 in Munich, Germany, followed by ITMA 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. As everybody knows, in 2015, ITMA finally will return to Milan.

From Changing Marketplaces …
The basic idea of ITMA was to have a showcase for the European textile industry from the leading machinery producers, which at that time were mostly only in Europe, with some in the United States. However, over the last 20 to 25 years, the markets have changed completely. China started its race to the top league of apparel manufacturers, followed by – in those days – some questionable domestic machinery producers.

In the meantime, pushed by local exhibition organizers and associations, virtually all important textile-producing countries in Asia started to have their own events in China, India and Pakistan, just to name a few. With the rising importance of these markets, the number of shows in the Asia-Pacific area increased up to the pain threshold. The mostly European exhibitors under the flag of CEMATEX realized that the costs to attend all these events went up astronomically. In China, only the cities of Beijing and Shanghai were competing to have the number-one event in China, with CITME in Beijing or ShanghaiTex in Shanghai, not to mention OTEMAS in Japan. What was the solution to minimize these costs? A single event for China and the neighboring countries would decrease the expenses, and simplify logistics and many other matters.

The idea was to start an ITMA in Asia to combine CITME, ShanghaiTex and OTEMAS. CEMATEX started dealing with all these event organizers and a solution was found – at least with CITME and OTEMAS, and ITMA Asia was born. The rhythm should be the same as the European event, going forward to be called “ITMA Europe.” Every two years, there should be an ITMA in Europe alternating with one in Asia. However, the organizers of ShanghaiTex didn’t cooperate with CEMATEX and continued to have their own show every two years.

To have an event on virtually neutral ground, Singapore was chosen for the first successful event in 2001. Apart from the lack of an important textile industry, the location was perfect regarding logistics, visa matters and other issues. This event was followed in Singapore with the second ITMA Asia in 2005.

… To A Changing Rhythm
Then, the timing changed. China joined in to take over the organization of ITMA Asia. Combined with CITME, it was now called ITMA Asia + CITME. The first show took place in 2008 in Shanghai, three years after the Singapore event and only one year after ITMA Europe in Munich. But that was not the end of the story, the timing changed again, in spite of rumors in the markets that this two-year rhythm would be too fast. The year 2010 saw the next edition, followed by one in 2012.

Shanghai 2014
And now, the fourth edition of ITMA Asia + CITME will be held June 16-20, 2014, at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. The show will take up 152,200 gross square meters in 13 halls – 15 percent more than in 2012. The 2012 show attracted 1,298 exhibitors from 28 countries and regions.

The upcoming show so far has attracted the participation of 1,351 textile machinery manufacturers from 27 countries and regions. Chinese exhibitors will have the largest exhibition area, with more than 66 percent of total area. European manufacturers will take up 22 percent of the total exhibition space.

The brand “ITMA Asia + CITME” is currently owned by CEMATEX, the Chinese Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and its two other Chinese partners: the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT (CCPIT-Tex); and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC). The Japan Textile Machinery Association (JTMA) is a special partner of the event. It is organized by Beijing Textile Machinery International Exhibition Co. Ltd. and co-organized by MP Expositions Pte Ltd., Singapore, organizers of the first two events.

China: Huge Marketplace
In spite of all current turmoil, China is still by far the most important textile country. According to the General Administration of Customs, China’s textile and apparel exports totaled US$26 billion in 2013 – a 7-percent increase over 2012.

Global Industry Analysts Inc., San Hose, Calif., projects that the global textile machinery market will reach US$22.9 billion by 2017. There has been a big shift in demand from traditional to more advanced machinery. Growing investments in textile production are making the Asia-Pacific region the greatest and fastest-growing textile machinery market.

According to information from ITMA Asia organizers, in 2012, China’s textile industry invested 779.3 billion yuan in fixed assets. These investments reflect a priority under China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) to raise the textile and other industries’ technological advancement and improvement in craftsmanship and equipment to international standards. Going forward, the Chinese textile industry will be focusing on the development and application of high-technology fibers and environmentally friendly technologies.

Experts expect domestic demand for textiles and garments to increase steadily in China, taking into account national economy development, continuing urbanization and income level improvements.

Intellectual Property Rights
Many European exhibitors are still arguing about the not very good protection of intellectual property rights. The organizers have released the following statement about their procedures:

These procedures are prepared in accordance with the Method of Intellectual Property Rights Protection for Exhibition in order to enhance intellectual property rights protection, to protect the lawful interest of various parties concerned and to maintain the normal order of exhibition.

The Owners and Organizers of ITMA Asia + CITME 2014 (“exhibition”) respect and protect the lawful interest of intellectual property rights owners during the exhibition. Exhibitors shall ensure that their exhibits do not constitute an infringement of other parties’ intellectual property rights.

An on-site intellectual property rights office (“IPR Office”) will be set up for the exhibition, which will consist of the Organizer, external IPR administrative authority and IPR practitioners.

Last Call For Online Registration
The organizers state: “Visitors are advised to plan their visit early. To avoid onsite queues, visitors can purchase their badges online at www.itmaasia.com and www.citme.com.cnto to enjoy an attractive 40 percent discount. For added convenience, visitors may print their badges after successful registration. Visitors are invited to pay for the tickets before 1st of June, 2014 to enjoy the early-bird rates.” More information is available at itmaasiacitme@ciec.com.cn.

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