Visitors to the exhibition at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention
Center (SECC) from July 11 to 13 are impressed by Italy’s national
pavilion, which occupies a large space at the center of the exhibition
hall. A notable booth of the pavilion is that of Comelz, a supplier of
machinery for leather shoes making.
Fabrizio Bellagamba, Far East Area Manager of Comelz Italy, said the
leather shoes and goods making industry in Vietnam is growing fast and
still has room for more growth. This is why Comelz has brought its
products to the exhibition to look for more customers.
This is the eighth year in a row Comelz has participated in the
exhibition in Vietnam although the firm already has showrooms and
service centers in HCMC and the northern city of Haiphong.
According to Fabrizio Bellagamba, the firm has recorded positive
business results in Vietnam, but its customers are mainly leather shoes
makers of Taiwan and South Korea. Comelz supplied around 100 machinery
units in the Vietnamese market last year, up 40% against the previous
year, and plans to supply some 140 units this year.
Comelz is not the only Italian firm to do good business in Vietnam. A
report of the Italian Trade Agency showed that Vietnam is a market with
strong growth in imports of leather shoes making machinery and materials
Exports of Italy’s leather shoes, goods and tanning sector amounted to
roughly 440 million euros last year, a 10% increase against 2016. The
export value of such products to Vietnam last year doubled that of 2016,
at over 30 million euros, according to Paolo Lemma, Italian Trade
Commissioner to Vietnam.
With such impressive growth, Italian firms are searching for new opportunities to expand in the Vietnamese market.
Besides Comelz, there are 25 other firms of Italy such as Aeffe
Machinery, Atom, Barnini-Mostardini, Bauce Tri.Ma, Camoga, Davos,
Erretre, Escomar Italia, Ger Elettronica, Gozzini 1906 Turini Group,
Gusbi Officina Meccanica, Intercom, Italprogetti, Lamebo, Mosconi,
Officine Di Cartigliano, Officine Meccaniche Alpe, Pajusco Tecnologie,
Revomec, Spraytech, Tecon, Wintech, Centralkimica, Dermacolor and
The national pavilion for Italian exhibitors is organized by the
Italian Trade Agency, and the National Association of Manufacturers of
Footwear, Leather Goods and Tanning Technologies (ASSOMAC), and
supported by the Consulate General of Italy in HCMC.
These 26 Italian firms specialize in designing, manufacturing and
supplying footwear, leather goods and tanning machinery, equipment and
technologies such as measuring, pressing, cutting, pulling over lasting
and finishing machines, integrated lines, and chemicals used for leather
and footwear production. They are showcasing at the exhibition their
breakthrough products using latest technologies.
Paolo Lemma said that most of the Italian exhibitors have distributors,
agents and representative offices in Vietnam. They are on the lookout
for more opportunities in the growing Vietnamese market while
consolidating cooperative relationships with their current local
According to ASSOMAC President Gabriella Marchioni Bocca, who leads the
Italian business mission at the exhibition, the presence of Italian
firms with their exclusive capabilities over the past years have
supported the development of Vietnam’s leather and footwear industry.
Strengths of Italian firms lie in not only product quality but also
their abilities to tailor to customers’ needs. These have made Italian
firms competitive on the markets, the ASSOMAC president said. She added
that Italian firms always give special attention to detailed demands of
The Italy-Vietnam Footwear Technology Center, which was opened in the
southern province of Binh Duong last year, is the result of cooperation
between the Italian Trade Agency, the ASSOMAC and the Vietnam Leather,
Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO).
Vietnam has become the third biggest shoes making country and the
second biggest shoes exporter after China. Such an achievement is
attributed to huge local and foreign investments in the industry and
efforts of local firms.
For foreign suppliers of shoes making machinery, Vietnam is a potential
market for them to introduce technologies and products. Vietnam is
becoming a destination for footwear outsourcing firms, and manufacturers
that shift sourcing from China.
Such a shift results from footwear manufacturers that want to benefit
from the free trade agreements which Vietnam has signed and that seek to
reduce their exposure to risks of rising production and environmental
costs. All this has made Vietnam a global footwear workshop. Another
concern of footwear firms is the U.S.-China trade war.
Data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that Vietnam’s
2017 footwear exports picked up 12.7% to US$14.65 billion. In the first
half of this year, the figure was put at US$7.79 billion.
Italian footwear machinery suppliers export over three-thirds of their
output to 100 countries and territories each year. The aforementioned
statistics of Vietnam’s footwear export performance indicate that
Vietnam is an attractive market for Italian firms.