ANFAO, the peak body for the Italian eyewear industry, has devised a rescue plan for the ailing industry.
“This is a highly complex moment for the economy, with evident difficulties that have yet to be overcome, sector businesses, above all small and mid-sized ones, require support interventions,” says ANFAO’s recently installed President Vittorio Tabacchi.
“This is why ANFAO, the Italian Optical Goods Manufacturers’ Association, in addition to striving to increase institutional awareness and guarantee targeted sector measures, has decided to take direct action to support its member companies.”
Promoted and financed by ANFAO with the sponsorship of MIDO (the international optics, optometry and ophthalmologic show), the group says this innovation is an extraordinary plan to promote internationalisation, which will allow associate companies to participate collectively in the most strategic sector fairs to be held between this month (September) and the end of this year.
“ANFAO has invested in and is committed to promoting the sector on multiple fronts. Some petitions presented to Institutions were partially granted, like the request to recognise the value of research and development in samples and the attempt to facilitate access to credit, while others are still pending and continue to be the object of our lobbying activities,” says Mr. Tabacchi.
“In this context, where priorities clearly do not depend on us and have not been defined, it was necessary to propose something concrete and effective in the short term. This is why we came up with and financed an extraordinary plan for associate companies so that they can act in this delicate moment and continue being present on the main and most interesting world markets.
“Market presence must begin with Italy. The Rome date, which will include frame manufacturers and all the main lens manufacturers, will be an opportunity for small and mid-sized companies that have not yet attained a structured and organised distribution in our country, to present themselves to the entire Italian optics sector with absolute visibility and an opportunity to meet with all the leading sector operators,” Mr. Tabacchi states.
ANFAO says that after Rome, there will be many opportunities for member companies to participate in important fairs through the ANFAO promotional plan, including Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, IOFT in Tokyo, Hong Kong Optical Fair, Vision Canada in Calgary and Optik Istanbul.
ANFAO reiterates that internationalisation has always been a fundamental value of Italian eyewear companies, allowing them to consolidate their position worldwide.
According to Paolo Cannicci, Vice President of ANFAO and President of the Internationalisation Commission: “In addition to traditional markets like the United States, we are careful to consider potential and more promising markets. For this reason, we are heading to the Canadian Fair. Japan continues to be an opportunity to propose high-end products with a strong sense of innovation and technology in a market that has always manifested its appreciation of such attributes. Turkey serves as a testing ground for the receptiveness of the entire Middle East market. Finally, we will be present in Hong Kong, which has confirmed itself as the crossroads of Asia, in the area dedicated to design to testify to the excellence of eyewear made in Italy.”
He says ANFAO together with the Italian Foreign Trade Institute will next year turn its attention to the Indian market as part of its worldwide push to promote the Italian eyewear industry.
“This will be a business mission in a country where Italian presence in the sector is still barely structured, but may represent a considerable user basin for our products,” says Mr. Cannicci.