Major Italian sector federations have shared how they will work with local associations on a visit to Singapore to promote the Made in Italy label. Their message was that Italy has first-class capabilities that match the needs of a rapidly evolving ASEAN, and that ASEAN can leverage the success to fast-track their own goals.
2018 marks two decades since Singapore and Italy embarked on formal economic co-operation and exchange activities. Recognising that innovation drives the transformation of economies and societies, Singapore and Italy agreed to intensify long-term co-operation across various sectors from fashion to healthcare, furniture and technology.
“Singapore, with its smart city ambition, and businesses around the region can take advantage of the opportunities we bring. With cumulative knowledge and strong relationships, we can leverage on our experience to overcome challenges and fast-track the attainment of industrial and development goals,” said Leonardo Radicati, Director, Italian Trade Agency Singapore.
"The ASEAN markets have been growing fast in the last five years and in the region. By 2025, there will be a consuming class of 123 million people with high income. For the fashion industry, the area has a great potential as the new customers are asking more and more for Made in Italy products. Singapore is the entry point to reach the ASEAN countries for distribution projects and also for manufacturing cooperation," said Claudio Marenzi, President, Confindustria Moda, the New Federation for Associations of Textiles, Fashion and Accessories.
Footwear is so important that it has a separate association, Assocalzaturifici, the Italian Footwear Manufacturers’ Association, representing the subsector. In 2017 Italian footwear exports to Singapore remained unchanged in volume (301,217 pairs, worth €34.69 million) representing approximately half of totals for ASEAN.
“Italian footwear exports reached the highest value in the last 15 years, even when considered net of inflation. According to projections, the final result for the year 2017 as a whole should be around €9.2 billion. A new record in commercial trade especially with ASEAN buyers is expected in 2018,” said Tommaso Cancellara, Director General and CEO of MICAM.
“Statistics on leather goods show a very positive trend in the ASEAN markets with significant increase of our export in the last years. Thanks to the high quality of Italian leather goods we can further improve our cooperation and AIMPES will continue to undertake more promotional initiatives in the area,” said Riccardo Braccialini, President of AIMPES, the Italian Leather Goods Association and MIPEL, an international leather goods and fashion accessories exhibition, which takes place twice a year in Milan, Italy.
ASEAN countries attracted about €88 million euros of Italian cosmetics last year with a growth of 9.6% on the previous year. The largest category of Italian exports are alcohol-based perfume products and haircare, which together account for about 75% of total Italian cosmetics exports to ASEAN. Singapore is the leading recipient of total Italian cosmetics exports to ASEAN, handling goods worth €57.5 million euros (9.3% more than the previous year).
“The figures highlight the competitive nature of the Italian cosmetics industry, despite the uncertainty of the political-economic situation. The Made in Italy cosmetics sector reaffirms its constant attention to investments in innovation and in customer service, validated by the response from the domestic market and also from the international ones such as ASEAN," said Fabio Rossello, President of Cosmetica Italia, the Personal Care Association.