22/01/2020 – For a better future — auf Deutsch lesen

ITMF Conference in Porto

Located in the heartland of Portugal’s textiles and apparel industry, Porto proved the perfect venue for the ITMF Conference 2019.


Pedro Siza Vieira, Portugal’s Minister of Economy: “Portugal’s textile and apparel industry has reinvented itself.” © ITMF


The event was co-organised by the ATP, Portugal’s textiles and apparel industry association. More than 300 delegates from 45 countries gathered to discuss the most important issues currently facing the sector.

Digitalisation and sustainability: Impact on the global textiles industry

Headquartered in Zurich, the ITMF (International Textile Manufacturers Federation) has been organising these global conferences annually since 1904. According to the ATP: “Porto has already hosted the convention twice in the past, in 1969 and in 1993. After an extended period on other continents, the ITMF decided to turn its attention to Europe again. This is in recognition of the dynamic development and global significance of Portugal’s textiles and apparel industry.”

Mário Jorge Machado, President of the ATP:

“Summarising the evolution of Portugal’s textiles industry over the past decade, you could say that the focus has shifted from price-led to value-driven competition. The industry no longer just fulfils the orders it receives, it proactively offers its customers hard-and-fast solutions. The textiles sector is said to be the biggest industry worldwide and it is growing and expanding into areas which until recently hadn’t even been discovered.”

Pedro Siza Vieira, Portugal’s Minister of Economy:

“Shifting production to Asia triggered a wave of mass unemployment within Portugal’s traditional companies. However, having retained its knowledge and expertise, the industry has reinvented itself and the companies are going from strength to strength. Enterprises now need to invest and if they do, they will make their mark.”

Paulo Portas, Portugal’s former Foreign Minister, cast his view to the global economic situation:

“The changes that have taken place over the past four decades have been more incisive than during the entire industrial revolution. We’re facing challenges such as artificial intelligence, robots and algorithms. If you think that the world is changing too much, you’ll be surprised to see what it’ll look like in 20 years’ time. We have to prepare ourselves for the future. It’s clear that we have a new economic order and we know that conflicts can easily get out of control. We are yet to establish a new political order. A trade war could have more serious consequences than the financial crisis, because a trade war undermines confidence and trust in the long term. If the USA and China reach an agreement, the whole world would be happy.”

Read the whole article in our upcoming issue textile network 1-2/2020 with publishing date 2020.

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