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Gianluigi Barettoni: the Winning Formula for Networking

Gianluigi Barettoni, President of AFEMO, the Italian Association of Jewelry Machinery Manufacturers and Exporters, speaks about the sector’s current situation and its future international prospects

«The past year was certainly very positive. The three-year agreement with IEG Italian exhibition Group confirms a historical collaboration in the organization of TGOLD, which is extremely important for AFEMO and its associates. At the same time, the Uzbekistan project, which was launched in January 2019, saw the first part already in operation in October and November. The Uzbek government, through the local category Association, was eager to have AFEMO as a reference point for jewelry production technologies and precious metal refining systems. I maintain that it also confirms that, when forces are joined, cooperation can lead to great results. In fact, for the first time, we went to a country with 15 of our best companies and our image also benefitted by becoming stronger. We took a “system”, a way of thinking and our presentation style. Other countries are better than us at exploiting these opportunities.
We Italians are traditionally “free agents”, but when we make a team, we are able to get excellent results. The Uzbekistan project will continue in 2020 and 2021. However, we can say that, with this action, we have opened a new road and our companies are now asking us to evaluate other markets in which to be able to do the same. There will certainly be new markets. I can think of the Philippines, Laos, Miramar, Bhutan and Vietnam.
Although we operate in a niche sector, it is one that englobes all of Made in Italy’s strong points: mainly small and medium-sized enterprises with a strong tradition behind them and an enormous capacity to invest in research and development. Furthermore, it has a highly-developed awareness of the customer’s needs, with made- to-measure designs, purposely studied for every individual case. A tailored work that, together with assistance, in-house technician training and after-sales services, makes our companies one of the Italian economy’s crowning glories.
80/85% of AFEMO member companies’ turnovers is generated by foreign sales. The situation in China, considering what is happening in Hong Kong at the moment, is to be closely monitored, even though it is a financial and economical hub and not a production area. We have to see what will happen regarding the trade shows held in Hong Kong since we have received news of a considerable drop in the number of visitors. To this regard, we are sure that our part- nership with IEG will allow us to make the most appropriate considerations in order to maintain and develop business in such a fundamentally important geographical region. The T.Gold appointment, an event that we feel as “ours”, aims at turning the show into an increasingly more international moment of encounter. Our activity regards selecting buyers and the companies that want to exhibit at T.Gold for the first time. This year, we also experimented our presence for the first time at Vicenzaoro September, with T.Evolution, a project that is still in the pipeline for development when the right areas come up. At the moment its purpose is to present prototypes, alloys, small components, in short, the “lighter” part of our production».

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