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The Rupp Report: ITM Texpo Eurasia: A Success In Spite Of All Rumors

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

ITM Texpo Eurasia 2013 took place in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Tüyap Fair, Convention and Congress Center from May 29 to June 1, 2013. According to the organizers, the exhibition center was occupied by some 100 exhibitors and more than 40,000 domestic and international visitors. The next exhibition is scheduled to take place in 2016.

Turkey is without any doubt one of the five most important countries for the global textile and textile machinery industry. Thanks to recent stimulus packages from the Turkish government, the country is speeding up its competitiveness among the other big textile players.

As 2013 is a year without an ITMA, the Turkish event was anticipated with some expectations. And, said most of the exhibitors interviewed, the show was good. The Rupp Report talked to several Turkish and international exhibitors to learn their feelings about ITM Texpo Eurasia 2013.

Combined Event
As it is becoming more common among exhibition organizers to combine different shows — see also Techtextil and Texprocess — ITM Texpo Eurasia 2013 was connected with Hightex 2013 and the Istanbul Yarn Fair. Up to the last day, the booths were fairly crowded with people. Compared to other shows, the Turkish event has a very different setup: Most of the European machinery suppliers are located in the booths of their local agents. This arrangement leads sometimes to difficult situations, for example, if one would like to see a certain supplier, not knowing that he is present under the name of his agent or representative. Maybe the organizers should think about this point for the next edition in 2016. Germany-based Lindauer Dornier GmbH does the opposite, as CEO Peter Dornier explained to the Rupp Report. Dornier had its own prominent booth. "We don't like this type of exhibition, we prefer booths with clear labels and brands," Dornier said.

However, the first questions to the exhibitors — "Are you happy so far with this ITM? Was the visitor's frequency OK for you?" — were answered in a positive way. With the exception of the last day, local customs presented some difficulties, as Metin Zorlu of Turkey-based Has Group explained, saying: "The fair should be over the weekend. This would generate more visitors from Friday to Sunday." Erwin Devloo, marketing communications manager of Picanol NV, Belgium, mentioned the good organization of the event and the trouble-free cooperation with the local people.

Asia In The Foreground
No wonder, the question about the origins of the visitors was answered this way, virtually unanimously. Most people came from Turkey, of course. Other often-mentioned countries were Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Uzbekistan, South America, India, Egypt and even Syria.

So, expectations were fulfilled everywhere. The answers regarding the quality of the visitors went from "very good" to "excellent," with one exception: Murat Erzinli of Turkey-based Canlar Dyeing and Finishing Machinery was not so happy; his expectations were only fulfilled up to 80 percent.

Every Year Is Too Often
The question, "Do you think an ITM every year is OK, or is a two-year rhythm sufficient?" was answered the same way. As Ji Xin, the new CEO of Hong Kong-based Fong's Industries Co. Ltd., said: "an ITM every year is too much. Two years would be more than sufficient." Fritz Legler, vice president marketing, sales and service, Switzerland-based Stäubli Group, even mentioned that three to four years would be sufficient. Well, as mentioned above, the next ITM will be in 2016.

A very positive message is the fact that all the interviewed companies signed contracts at ITM. Yes, one may say that most of them were already in the pipeline; however, a contract is a contract.

"China, India, Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil are our most important sales countries at the moment," said Germany-based Groz-Beckert KG's Carsten Czepull, vice president sales, knitting machine parts. "The problems in Bangladesh provoked some distortion on the market. However, the country remains very important for us." This was underlined by the comment of Legler that the image of Bangladesh and the retail business is somewhat damaged and it will take a lot of efforts to get back to business as usual.

Important Turkish Market
Has Group's Zorlu mentioned that textile producers in Turkey, Bangladesh and Indonesia are very close to European standards with their products. This is most likely one explanation for the fact that all companies answered positively to the question "What and why do the Turkish customers buy from you?" Turkey is by far one of the most important markets for every top supplier of textile machinery. The strengths of the market are obvious: As a Turkish citizen, Canlar's Erzinli explained: "We are in the best geographical position. Logistically, we are between Europe and Asia. Secondly, and this is even more important, the Turkish producers are strictly focused on quality, not quantity. We are able to deliver smaller lots, and are very flexible to customers' requirements."

Dornier made a remarkable comment: "Turkey is in a changing position as an industrialized country. The textile people have learned the lesson that garment manufacturing "Made in Turkey" is too expensive. On the other side, the country has made a great jump to quality production. That's why we are very successful with our weaving machines. I hope Turkey will not go the same way as many European countries — they just stopped production. It would be a pity if the heritage of the Ottoman Empire, such as tradition, the Silk Road, and a sense of material knowledge, were to be thrown away."

There is more to come about ITM in the July/August/September 2013 issue of Textile World Asia .

June 25, 2013