New President for Assocomaplast
At the annual members assembly of Assocomaplast – the Italian trade association belonging to Confindustria, which groups together over 160 makers of machinery, molds and equipment for plastics and rubber – Alessandro Grassi was elected as President for the two-year term 2015-2017.
Grassi, managing director of Frigosystem srl, in turn named Andrea Franceschetti, international sales director for Gefran spa, as Vice President of the association. The members assembly, held on Friday, 19 June at the Science and Technology Museum in Milan, Italy, was followed by the public Assocomaplast assembly held jointly with that of Federazione Gomma Plastica, the association of manufacturers of plastic and rubber products.
One of the speakers was Marco Fortis, economist and Vice President of Fondazione Edison, who presented an analysis of the Italian economic scenario with a focus on the plastics and rubber industry. He indicated that there are a number of signals that make it reasonable to look to 2015 with (cautious) optimism. Apart from the recent improvement in macroeconomic data – growth of 0.3% in GDP in the first quarter of 2015, weak euro with respect to the dollar and low oil prices – there are signs of recovery in the Italian conversion market.
Import-export data from ISTAT for the first quarter 2015 show an increase in imports of an impressive 15 percentage points, and of exports on the order of 5, thanks first of all to increases is supplies from Germany (which has always been the prime export market for Italian manufacturers), Spain (which shows signs of recovery on a number of fronts) and Brazil, second traditional destination country for Italian-made products in the sector, which in previous quarters had unfortunately shown a worrisome slowdown. As regards exports, in spite of the continuing existence of various critical or potentially destabilizing situations, both political and economic (for example in Russia, Iran, Greece, South America, etc.), the US and Germany economies are strengthening and the Chinese economy is stabilizing. These are factors that may have a positive influence on the Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery industry.
In his closing speech to the member assembly, parting Assocomaplast president Giorgio Colombo provided an overview of the trend for the sector with the above-mentioned 2015 data and underscored once again that 2014 was a year of substantial recovery for the Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery industry, with production estimated at EUR 4 billion (+2.6% with respect to 2013) and exports growing by 5% (to EUR 2.68 billion).
“The result achieved last year for sales abroad, which generally represent over 70% of revenues, and up to 90% for some companies,” stated Colombo, “was followed by positive signals in the domestic market. Indeed, the most recent economic data provided by the Assocomaplast Research Center show recovery in production levels for Italian converters and improvement in order-books for machinery builders, both in terms of consolidated data and in the 3-4-month forecasts. As regards employment, we are finally witnessing a reversal of trend, almost completely overcoming the need for unemployment compensation and – better yet – actually initiating a search for new workers.”
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