Many in the Italian fashion and textile sector were ringing their hands this month, as another year drew to a close with no progress on making product origin labels mandatory in the European Union. That thorny issue has been on the table for years, and industry leaders had hoped that from July through December – with Italy presiding over the Council – new legislation would finally pass.

Still, there was some cause for holiday cheer: the Italian government released its 2015-2017 spending plan this month, with significant investments slated for the promotion of all things Made in Italy. In all, 220 million euros, or about $267.5 million at current exchange, are on the table, with 130 million euros, or $158.1 million, allotted for 2015 alone – the year Milan hosts the World Expo.

In local media reports, Italy’s deputy minister for economic development Carlo Calenda has emphasized the need for government to support fashion and textile trade shows, as well as small- and medium-sized businesses that need help promoting their products abroad. “Agree with #matteorenzi: Next year, we’ll go on an industry mission in the #Usa, a country where #madeinitaly can export much more,” Calenda tweeted recently, alluding to a major promotional tour planned for 2015 in the US and highlighting the economic policies of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

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