The forthcoming International Exhibition of Equipment and Technology for Light Industry due to take place in Moscow at the end of this month is being seen by Italian textile machinery manufacturers as a major opportunity to increase business with Russia.

According to the ACMT (the leading Italian organisation representing the interests of machinery manufacturers), Russia is now one of the fastest growing markets for its members' products.

According to ACMT figures, sales to Russian manufacturers topped 22.6 million euros last year, up six per cent on 2002 levels.

"All sectors of the Russian industry are interested in buying Italian, but the most eager are spinners whose imports account for 41 per cent of the total, followed by specialist finishers at 26 per cent and then knitters at 21 per cent," say the Italians.

By Sonia Roberts.