Fabric manufacturers from the Biella region of Italy - an area that specialises in the production of wool and luxury fibre based men's suiting - are targeting China as a major export outlet over the next five years. With this in mind, fifteen of Biella's leading weavers will be going across to the Intertextile trade fair due to be held in Shanghai at the end of October."At the moment China is not a big market for Italian producers, but everyone in the team from Biella recognises its enormous potential," comments Dr Carlo Addis who is the resident ICE (Italian Institute for Foreign Trade) representative in Shanghai. He adds that the timing of Intertextile just a few days after the last of the major European fabric shows - news from which now regularly filters through to Chinese garment manufacturers - makes it an ideal sales platform from which to open up new trade contacts. "Potential customers, having already absorbed news about the latest styles and colour trends from the Internet, can then come to Shanghai and see the actual fabrics for themselves almost immediately after their European launch," says Dr Addis. "They come to the show in a buying mood inspired by the topicality of the merchandise and probably already imbued with the message that if they buy Italian they are buying quality." Overall, this season's Shanghai fair will feature ranges from 470 companies from 20 nations. Particular emphasis will be placed on Italy as 'a partner country', with ICE organising a special display pavilion at the centre of the apparel fabrics section.