The Indian textile industry increased its investment in textile machinery from Italian suppliers last year, making the country is the second largest market in the world for textile machinery imports.

Data from the Association of Italian Textile Machinery (ACIMIT) shows a sharp rise in machinery sales. It saw a 19% increase in the value of Italian textile machinery bought by companies in India in 2011, to reach EUR133m (US$175m). Overall, the country's textile machinery imports were worth some EUR1.11bn.

"Our companies have been observing developments in India for some time now," said ACIMIT president Sandro Salmoiraghi. "Business opportunities have multiplied, particularly in recent years, owing in part to the incentives set up by the Indian authorities to promote the modernisation of local industry."

ACIMIT is organising workshops in Mumbai and Ichalkaranji where Italian machinery manufacturers will present their latest offerings. Suppliers including Canalair, Cs Automazione, Fimat, Flainox, Itema, Jaeggli Meccanotessile, Ptmt, Smit and Testa will take part.

The workshops are part of a scheme called "Machines Italia in India", which is aimed at helping businesses in the sector to expand internationally.