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 the 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 fourteen leading textile machinery manufacturers from Switzerland.
The event was opened by the Swiss Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Olivier Chave, and Bakhodir Alikhanov, First Deputy Chairman of the Uzbekistan Textile and Garment Association. The symposium was attended by hundreds of delegates from the Uzbek textile and apparel sector, as well as a large contingent of students from the textile faculty of Tashkent University.
Welcoming the delegates, Swissmem President Ernesto Maurer said it was clear that recent actions by the Uzbekistan government signaled 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.”
Swissmem member companies 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 Swissmem Secretary General Cornelia Buchwalder, Swiss machinery manufacturers presenting their technology at the event were gratified at the level of interest shown: “In addition to industrialists, it was especially pleasing to welcome many textile students to learn about Swiss companies and their products,” she said. “After all, we are planning to create new partnerships and projects 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 individual Swiss company representatives. Boyd Higgins, Uzbekistan Sales Manager for Jakob Müller AG, said the organization 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.”