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Italy Invests Millions to Increase Textile and Leather Exports to US

Italy’s vice minister of economic development, Carlo Calenda, on Monday announced a 20 million euro, or $21.6 million, initiative to promote the country’s textile, fashion and leather goods in the U.S. market.

The year-long, multi-tiered strategy includes trade shows and special events, alliances with fashion retailers, incoming services in Italy and a major media campaign.

According to the Italian Trade Agency, exports to the U.S. totaled 5.2 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in 2014, up 11 percent from the previous year. Now the country is hoping to continue on that trajectory by capitalizing on the dollar’s strength and capturing the attention of the under-25 demographic.

The news comes as a bevy of trade shows highlighting Italian textiles are taking place this week in New York: Nearly 90 exhibitors (23 of whom are more than 100 years old) are showcasing their wares at the first-ever U.S. edition of Milano Unica at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Jul. 20-22; leather fair Lineapelle is making its stateside debut, too, presenting 50 labels at the Metropolitan Pavilion Jul. 21-22; and MRket, also at the Javits, will feature 56 companies as part of the Padiglione Italiano pavilion.