Alejandro Gallego, AMEC AMTEX Industrial and Textile Technology Business Unit Director
We interviewed with AMEC AMTEX (Spanish Textile Machinery Manufacturers Association) Industrial and Textile Technology Business Unit Director Alejandro Gallego for our Spanish Special Issue. We talked with Gallego about the roadmap determined by Spanish companies during the pandemic process, their predictions for the post-Covid-19 period, trends and innovations in the textile machinery sector, and expectations for the 2021-2022 period.
How was your member’s reaction to Pandemic? How did Spain companies create a roadmap to get through the process with less damage?
Spanish companies adapted really quick to the pandemic situation, they put their focus on their teams on the employees. This concern was never so important as it is right now for Spanish companies, many safety protocol are still being performed.
As they are taking care of their employees, Spanish companies put also the focus on their stakeholders, mainly Costumers and Suppliers. They engaged in costumer service strategies to be close to clients demands and enable fast reaction actions.
What do you think about the textile machinery industry situation globally in this hard time and what is your prediction for post Corona Period? What steps should be taken for the textile industry to return to its old days?
During the roughest moments of the pandemic Spanish companies faced high uncertain demands and reactions from their clients worlwide. Demand is slightly recovering it’s 2019 levels as final costumers are able to acces selling points and international travel is opening up. We think is just a matter of time that those levels will peak and be even higher than past periods.
The pandemic period was very useful for Spanish companies, they boosted their R&D departaments and worked hard on New Product development. Digitalisation is also a focal point on the spanish strategy, companies have upgraded theirselfes in the digital worldm and are even able to offer digital communication between their costumer service department and the production lines of their clients.
We shouldn’t be focused on returning to the old days of the textile industry, the environment has changed; the way textile manufacturers control their machines, the sales margins have tighten up, the transport has increased lead times… Companies should be focused on being competitive in the actual situation, and in amec amtex we ensured that our members are the most competitive companies, improving their digitalisation make them collaborate in NPD, anticipating the changes in demand…
Which kind of innovations, trends and progress is expected in upcoming years in the Spain textile machinery sector?
The Spanish textile technology sector sees the future as; digital, flexible and highly uncertain. There is a big trigger that will improve spanish companies competitiviness, they will be able to apply for projects selectable in the frame of the Next Generation European funds. This european funds will be directed to projects based on digitalisation and sustainability, the EU sees that these trends are the ones that will generate progress in the international industry. Therefore, spanish companies are updated and ready to apply with interesting projects to become the textile value chain in a more digitalised and sustainable one.
“We are Willing to Recover the International Promotion in Turkey”
Please update our readers with the latest statistics of Spain textile machinery export. Which are your major markets?
As you can see in the following graphs, due to the covid19 pandemic the spanish companies have mainly focused their exports to the european markets. In the graphs you can see the top 10 markets, their importance in the total share of exports and the variation between 2019 and 2020. Spanish companies have lost pace in some of the traditional markets like Turkey due to the issues of transport and global mobility, but we are willing to recover and increase the international promotion in these markets.
How is the Spain textile and textile machinery market currently performing? Which markets were developing and declining for the Spanish textile machinery industry?
The spanish textile industry was hardly hitted during the worst moments of the pandemic, but since september 2020 the figures of sales and exports are increasing every month. As per the current situation the exports of textile products are above 2019 levels and textile machinery exports are equal to 2019 levels. As you could see in the previous graphs, during the pandemic the spanish companies have mainly focused on european markets where logistics were easier and demands could be met much more easier than countries outside the EU.
As AMEC, what are your expectations from 2021 and 2022?
Our expectations are very positive for 2021 and 2022, we witness an industry that is adapting to the uncertanity and managing it’s teams in a very efficient way. This is the reason why we can see teh spanish textile machinery industry improving it’s figures for this period and also showcasing innovations that will convert the whole textile value chain.
Interview: Dilek Hayırlı