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Milan - Santoni Spa, part of the Lonati Group has been honoured with a major prize at the China Awards 2011 in the category ?Creatori di Valore? in the Textile Machines category.

WInners of the prize are selected by an authoritative jury from the Italy-China Foundation, presided over by one of Italy's most famous, elderly dignitaries, Cesare Romiti, and is awarded to companies, institutions and personalities, both Italian and Chinese, who have ?made the best of the opportunities offered by the economic and cultural relations between Italy and China.?

In particular, the ?Creatori di Valore? prize is dedicated to those Italian Companies who have accomplished the best performances with China working in regions and business sectors of high export growth.

With Mr Ettore Lonati, President of the Lonati Groupo, and Mr Tiberio Lonati, CEO of Santoni, both in China for the vital Yiwu Exhibition, a key exhibition in the sock and hosiery machine and seamless knitting machine sector, the prize was awarded to their brother, Mr. Fausto Lonati, Chief Executive of the Group.

The sixth edition of the China Awards was organised by the Italy-China Foundation in partnership with business newspaper, Milano Finanza and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China, as well as the patronage of the Italo-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Italian Ministries of Economic Development, Foreign Affairs and the Environment, and the cooperation of Bank Intesa, Sanpaolo and Wind.

In total, seven categories of prizes were assigned in the presence of H E the Ambassador of China to Italy and other honorary guests in front of an audience of 250 entrepreneurs at a charity dinner at the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.

The proceeds of the dinner were donated to the LifeLine Express project, a hospital-train that travels to the most remote regions of China to cure optical cataracts, an illness that afflicts more than 400,000 persons in China each year, including children

?The Santoni Company in China, Santoni-Shanghai, was established in 2004 following a decision by the Lonati brothers who always saw China as an enormous development opportunity and never as a menace to be defensive about,? the company said in a statement. ?Up to then, the various companies of the family Group had reached considerable levels of exports to the ?Land of the Dragon? but the vigorous dynamicism of the local customers and the unceasing Chinese growth led to the feeling that despite their high commercial presence in that area, more should be done.

?And from this came the Jinshan project in the Shanghai area - an industrial development plan tailored to Chinese culture. This was not a project of delocalization but an intention to strengthen the international organization of the Group and contribute a positive effect on operations at the company?s Brescia headquarters and the saturation that has happened in recent years. To occupy space on the markets, innovate and remain close to the customers was the only way to match the new Chinese competitors.

?A small group of Italian young men with strong ideas and much determination, guided by a manager like Gianpietro Belotti and excellent backing from trustworthy local partners, all within the frame of a well planned strategy, meant that within five years (2010), the company had achieved net annual revenues of over one billion RMB and now employs over 25O people.

?It has included in its network a solid chain of local suppliers and has also succeeded in two acquisitions of local competitive companies. After beginning in a rented plant, Santoni?s Shanghai business now operates out of a 100,000 square metre site with further expansion in progress which as well as featuring the new Santoni-Shanghai plants, will also contain around ten companies owned by consolidated suppliers. This is expected to be completed within 2012.

?Participation with local University Institutes and the recent qualification of Santoni as a High Tech Company have confirmed both the success of the investment, and the commitment of the Group in the Textile Machine sector as well as strengthening its establishment on Chinese territory.

?Finally it is fair to point out - also as a deserved recognition for the good work achieved by the Lonati Brothers - that their CEO of Santoni, Tiberio Lonati, has been named Honorary President of the Chinese Association of Textile Producers in the Seamless sector.


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