FLORENCE — The Italian government continues to invest in the fashion industry.

During the inaugural press conference of international men’s wear trade show Pitti Uomo held here Tuesday, Italy’s deputy minister for economic development Claudio Calenda revealed that this year the government will invest 36 million euros, or $42.4 million at current exchange rate, in the country’s fashion system.

In particular, Calenda said that, along with the Italian Fashion Chamber, Pitti Immagine, Sistema Moda Italia and a delegation of the country’s most important textile districts, – Como, Prato and Biella – the government set up a plan to help the development of the fashion industry both nationally and internationally.

This will include the development of the Milano Unica textile show, which will also be launched in the U.S. “The U.S. is a key market, they are growing a lot and the dollar is strong now,” said Calenda. “The U.S. is the first country for our fashion industry and this can generate exports valued at about 10 billion euros, or $11.8 billion.”

Among the Italian trade shows to be supported by the government is also yarn fair Filo, leather trade shows Mipel, Lineapelle, footwear fair Micam, as well as Florentine children’s wear show Pitti Bimbo. As last season, Pitti Uomo will receive a sum of 2 million euros, or $2.4 million.

To boost the international growth of the domestic fashion and textile companies, Calenda highlighted the need to help small and medium-sized brands to penetrate into foreign markets through special agreements with international retailers open to welcome new brands into their doors.

“We also have to exalt the specific vocation of each fashion city,” said Calenda, noting that while Milan is “the city of the grand runway shows” and Pitti is the men’s wear mecca, Rome should become the final destination for young talents. “AltaRoma, which I think should be renamed, could become a hub to cultivate national and international talents.”

Fashion and textile won’t be the only industries to benefit from the government’s support. In fact, Calenda said this year, which is quite crucial for the country also because it’s hosting the Universal Exhibition opening in May in Milan, the Italian government will invest a total of 261 million, or $307.5 million, in a wide range of companies manufacturing Made in Italy products.

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