Already a strong producer of raw cotton and yarns, Uzbekistan is now ready to take its textile manufacturing capabilities to the next stage, by investing in latest-technology for downstream processes of fabric manufacture, finishing and making-up.
The appetite for progress in these segments was demonstrated at a recent two-day symposium in Tashkent, staged by the Swiss Textile Machinery Association (Swissmem), showcasing the technology and know-how of 14 leading textile machinery manufacturers from Switzerland.
The event was opened by the Swiss Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Olivier Chave, and Bakhodir Alikhanov, the First Deputy Chairman of Uzbekistan Textile and Garment Association. It was attended by hundreds of delegates from the Uzbek textile and clothing sector, as well as a large contingent of students from the textile faculty of Tashkent University.
Welcoming the delegates, Ernesto Maurer, President of the Swiss Textile Machinery Association, said it was clear that recent actions by the Uzbekistan government signalled its intent to foster advances in both the technology level and the extended range of textile-producing activities by its textile manufacturers.
“The fact that the Uzbek currency is now convertible for international exchange is the foundation for a significant increase in foreign trade,” he said. “And the presence at the symposium of many important representatives of the Uzbekistan textile industry is proof that there is great enthusiasm to take advantage of the new opportunities, especially in the development of business in the value-added areas of textile production, downstream from the established raw cotton and yarn sectors.”
The member companies of Swissmem taking part in the symposium were: Amsler Tex, Benninger, ITEMA, Jakob Müller, Loepfe Brothers, Luwa, Maag Brothers, Rieter, Rieter Components (Bräcker, Graf, SSM), Saurer, Stäubli Sargans and Steiger.
According to Cornelia Buchwalder, Secretary General of Swissmem, the machinery manufacturers presenting their technology at the event were gratified at the level of interest shown: “As well as the industrialists, it was especially pleasing to welcome many textile students to learn about the Swiss companies and their products,” she said. “After all, we are planning to create new partnerships and project for the future, and these are the people who will be involved in this process in the years to come.”
Further positive reactions came from the individual Swiss company representatives. Boyd Higgins, Uzbekistan Sales Manager for Jakob Müller AG Frick, said the organisation of this event helped to create the right impression among attendees: “There was a very distinct recognition of Swiss quality and precision from the industry delegates present. This will certainly help us all in convincing customers that investing in Swiss Textile Machinery is always the right decision.”