Evaluating the Swiss textile machinery industry for 2014, Cornelia Buchwalder, General Secretary of SWISSMEM, stated that it was a positive year for the industry thanks to the 8,9% increase in the export rates compared to the previous year.
This rate accounts for an export volume of 1.339 Bln CHF. Whereas some of the markets showed a remarkable development namely Turkey, Uzbekistan, the US, Bangladesh and Pakistan, export volumes to Turkey were up 28% compared to 2013.
Buchwalder pointed out that the situation for all Swiss exporters has changed significantly by January 15th 2015, due to the massive appreciation of the Swiss franc and said, “By that date the Swiss National Bank has abandoned the minimum Swiss franc-euro exchange rate. Since then companies have downgraded their business expectations for the twelve months ahead and pressure on margins has once again risen substantially.”
Emphasizing that ITMA Milano is going to be an important event for both the Swiss exhibitors and for them as an association in this light, Buchwalder stated that Switzerland is currently the fourth largest exhibitor, represented by around 60 exhibitors.
“In the current economic environment it is important for an association to support its members. We do that with various activities. First of all our association celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, which we will use for promoting the long and outstanding tradition of the Swiss textile machinery industry,” said Buchwalder.
Highlighting that they launched a program to support their members in their innovation process last year, the general secretary said, “Switzerland often ranks as an “Innovation Champion” in global analyses. Nevertheless we see that for SME’s the task of innovating their portfolio, services and processes is a difficult one, mainly due to the lack of resources.” Therefore the association started an initiative, which offers to each of their members to analyze their innovation process and portfolio with an external consultant. This initiative does not only allow them to strengthen their respective capabilities, but also support them maybe in even finding an additional innovation field outside the traditional textile market.
Last but not least, Factor +, which is the trademark of the Swiss textile machinery that represents the increased added value, continues to be an important criterion for the manufacturers choosing Swiss textile machinery as a partner.