In more than twenty years of holding Proposte, the international side of the show has grown steadily. Every year, the show gets visitors from 80 or so countries from around the globe and it is now a given that European-made textiles lay down the law across all markets when it comes to decoration.

The time had come for Proposte to open its doors in other countries, too, while still staying true to its image, high-end content and selective approach. To establish ever-closer contacts with customers, the show wanted to set its sights beyond Cernobbio, exporting the great textile heritage of its exhibiting industries, for whom design, culture and technology have become essential.

Having scrutinised the various opportunities, China – a huge country that has seen its economy and customs evolve at an unrivalled rate – was decided upon.

At Proposte held in Cernobbio last May, the Proposte China Project was launched, and the show accepted Messe Frankfurt's offer to take part in the Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles show autumn edition from 27-29th August. 23 companies signed up to the initiative and were brought together under one roof in the Proposte Pavilion with an image as far as possible in line with that of the Italian edition.

Plenty of quality contacts were established with visitors, mainly from Asian countries, more specifically China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, followed by Russia, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

Visitors mainly fell into the categories of interior designers, wholesalers, distributors and operators in the contract market.

All visitors were drawn to the Made in Europe brand, which is the distinguishing feature of the show. European interior decoration is evidently a model that Asian visitors are keen to follow now that they are pursuing more refined lifestyles.

Despite the Chinese government recently stating that the western way of life is not to be imitated, schools and courses in almost all Asian countries are showing a bias towards design, architecture and furniture, clearly demonstrating that the emerging class aspires to the lifestyle of western countries.

Exhibitors unanimously agreed that getting together with Messe Frankfurt was a positive move, enabling Proposte to draw on existing experience in a country so far removed from its own, and reduce the associated costs and risks.