Although the past year was less positive than the previous ones, as pointed out by Gabriella Marchioni Bocca (President of Assomac), Italy confirmed its global leadership in the manufacturing of machines for the leather and footwear industry; in contrast, China has been slowing down, therefore losing some ground. Reading through the business trend report issued by the Association of Manufacturers and Suppliers of Machinery and Technology for Footwear, Leather Goods and Tanneries, you can see that in 2017 machinery exports reached, in terms of revenues, 940 million euros, that is, +6,3% on annual basis. Italy, whose exports are worth 47% of the overall business incomes, went up by 10%, whereas second-best ranked China increased its turnover by 8,4% “only”. In 2015, China had shortened the gap, bringing it to around 157 million euros (Italy’s export revenues amounted to 353,1 million euros, in front of China’s 196,2 million euros); now the gap has turned larger, 175 million euros (444 million euros in front of 268,4). As regards machines for tanneries, the business trend is even sharper. Italy, whose exports are worth 69% of total revenues, went up, throughout the year, by 13,3%, therefore keeping China (+35,1%) at a safe distance: 176,6 million euros in front of 48. On the other hand, things are different when it comes to machinery for footwear: looking at the export trend, Italy is chasing China. Despite a declining business (-8% on annual basis), Italian manufacturers improved their performance (+12,6%), while Chinese competitors slowed down considerably (-22,5%): in 2015, the export revenues gap between the countries amounted to about 93 million euros; in 2017 it went down to 9 million euros only (132,8 million euros in front of 123,3). Ultimately, as for machines for leather goods, Italy’s best competitor is Taiwan (45 and 31,6 million euros respectively).