Our sector ends 2015 in the positive and calls for greater cooperation on the industry’s projects 

"Our strength lies in a single word: innovation. Several areas of the Italian industrial association are pressing companies to be dynamic, ready to change and to welcome change. This is what we have always done. We export to 120 countries around the world and know what it means to be innovative and rise in the best way possible to market challenges. Ending 2015 with a plus sign, albeit with lower values than 2014, is an indication of our longevity. The challenge for the near future will be to also maintain our leadership in terms of sustainability, energy saving, transparency and traceability – hugely strategic areas if our companies are to be competitive. However, being competitive and leaders in today’s world necessarily requires us to be united as an industry and to work in synergy."

These are the words of the President Gabriella Marchioni Bocca at the General Meeting of Assomac, the National Association of Manufacturers of Technology for Footwear, Leather Goods and Tanning, which offered an opportunity to present an update on the sector’s state of health.

Despite an international framework of political issues that have inevitable financial repercussions, the footwear, leather goods and tanning machinery sector is showing that it is still a global excellence.

"Although our leadership position is consolidated – said Gabriella Marchioni Bocca, Assomac President – we have, for a long time now, harboured a strong desire to work ever more within a system, which does not just mean having shared intentions. Times change and so does the market, so cooperation between associations, institutions and players must also evolve and become stronger, adopting new and more effective forms. Unlike in the past, cooperation has become a must. It is imposed on us by the market and we must realise that "together" is better. We must work in synergy if we want our industrial system to react to the changes underway at an international economic level."

After a more than positive two years, the sector suffered a setback in 2015 with an overall production growth of just 1.93%. Although lower than the rate recorded in 2014, which was 9.56%, this represents more than twice the growth rate of the Italian economy.

Last year’s growth was primarily driven by exports – our real strength and the most important share of the turnover on the sector’s balance sheet – which rose for the third year running. Overall exports, including machinery for synthetic products and other machinery, recorded an increase of 2.28%, again lower than in previous years.

In terms of the destinations of the sector’s exports, we note that, after some years, Western Europe has resumed investments in technology for tanning, footwear and leather goods. In 2015, this market represented 15.15% of tanning machinery exports; 23.28% of footwear machinery exports and 40.94% of leather goods machinery exports.

Exports to Central/North America are also on the rise although this area lies in fifth place as an export destination for the leather/footwear machinery and so, although the growth rates are significant, they are sometimes linked to relatively small volumes.

"The final data for 2015 show it is crucial not to lower our guard – continued the Assomac President. As well as the daily efforts of the individual entrepreneurs and the whole system of players that revolves around our companies, we need a general policy that supports the needs of our companies and of the business world as a whole. Being competitive means having a real industrial policy behind you, one that always places enterprise at its core."


The Italian Tanning, Footwear and Leather Goods Machinery Industry




Var. % 2015/2014









Production (million Euro) 




Exports (million Euro) 




Imports (million Euro) 




Trade balance (million Euro)




Source: Developed by Ufficio Studi Assomac 


"After this first year as President, I am firmly convinced of the importance of preserving what has made us great worldwide, our knowhow, which has always been our added value – ended Gabriella Marchioni Bocca. As well as this, it is essential to take a step forward. Being global involves the ability to respond to the needs of the market and our clients without sacrificing our uniqueness, our tenacity and the strength and farsightedness that is typical of our companies. This is where the future of our sector will be gambled. It is the challenge of the coming years, within that logic of working in synergy and as a system to be more competitive.”

Vigevano, 24 June 2016