Euratex: new president unveils plans
On January 1, French businessman Serge Piolat took over from Alberto Paccanelli as head of the European Confederation of Textile and Clothing, Euratex. Co-owner of the French producer of technical spun yarns, Schappe, the new representative to Brussels talks about his goals for his term.
"Alberto Paccanelli achieved impressive results in consolidating the voice of the European textile and apparel companies," said Piolat. "To further enhance our industry my intention is to concentrate on a few priority areas, namely genuine industrial policy, free and fair trade, research and innovation support and sustainable production."
Elected to a two-year term, the new president aims to increase exports in order to boost growth in the sector. Facilitating trade with developing countries and leveling out the conditions of global competition will be at the center of his agenda. Expertise and innovation will also be emphasized as the industry’s strengths.
"Euratex will keep doing its utmost to increase companies’, namely SMEs’, knowledge and access to the European programmes aimed to facilitate research and innovation, for example Horizon2020 and COSME," stated the organization. "The textile and fashion products made in the EU are exceptional in regards the respect of the environment, consumer safety and labor rights. Thus, EURATEX will increase communications about the European products’ excellence and responsiveness to social challenges."
But another major challenge of the new president’s term will undoubtedly be negotiations of the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement. "Americans want a separate section on textiles, unlike the Europeans," explained Alberto Paccanelli to FashionMag.com in November, indicating that discussions about the textile industry were being held up over rules of origin. "If the European rule prevails, this agreement would be a success offering great potential. If not, it may not be very beneficial for the European textile industry."
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