Nonetheless, its incredibly fast emergence has not yet allowed us to predict how long it will last and what the concrete repercussions will be regarding our sector. Following a 2007 that ended with excellent results, the first semester of 2008 continued to show signs of growth, and the year’s main event, Glasstec, held in Düsseldorf in October, was very lively.
Naturally, the international financial crisis of recent months cannot be ignored, above all because even the leading international experts are not able to make reliable short- and medium-term forecasts.
Commentary is simply limited to analyzing events day-by-day, making comparisons with the past that are, at times, somewhat rash.
The recurring opinion among analysts indicates that the systems and machinery industry will undergo the greatest difficulties in 2009, when the positive effects of the previous two years will have ended.
As mentioned, the crisis should not be underestimated, nor even ignored, however past experience has taught us how our sector is often unharmed, or at most is less affected than others, by various crises or traumatic events that occur around the world. Therefore, even in this difficult period, the hope is that our businesses will not lose confidence and the ability to react, remaining focused on the values of the real economy, productivity and attention to the market.
Trade associations can in such times represent a source of assistance and input in identifying new areas for growth. If, as highlighted in this issue, companies persist in their research, it is quite likely that, in our specific case, the technological leadership in glass processing machinery held by Italy can be further strengthened.
In the meantime, 2009 is about to begin: nobody now knows what obstacles we will need to overcome, however we do know that Vitrum 2009 will be the finish line to be crossed in a year that analysts expect to be difficult.
Nonetheless, we are certain that our confidence in the men and women who work in this business is justified, and therefore we expect that by October 2009 the worst will be over and the opportunities arising from the latest developments will be taken up again with new zeal.