Global growth lets Italian cotton manufacturer invest in R&D

Global growth lets Italian cotton manufacturer invest in R&D

The Albini group is an Italian manufacturer of fabric for shirts. In business since 1876 the company, headquartered in Bergamo, exports to over 80 countries around the world. The Albini Group generates 70% of its turnover from exports and has benefited from EU trade agreements with partners around the world.

In recent years the company has taken advantage of the EU's trade agreements with Chile, Mexico and South Korea. Relative to figures before the agreements were ratified, the company has seen its turnover in these countries increase by 25%, 45% and 38% respectively. Such strong business is largely due to an improved business environment and a reduction in customs duties and other barriers to trade.

The Albini Group presently operates seven plants, four in Italy, one in the Czech Republic and two in Egypt. These plants are located where the finest cotton in the world can be cultivated and the company has undertaken a study to understand how to obtain the highest quality from the finest raw materials and make best use of innovation in fabrics. Indeed, each year the company invests 10% of its turnover in research and development. In 2015 it ended a four-year cycle of over €32 million investments to modernize plants making them more productive and flexible.

In general terms Italy has benefited widely from the EU's trade agreements. Since the agreement with South Korea, for example, the value of Italian exports there has increased by 54%. For Chile, that value has increased by 136% since the agreement entered into force in 2003.