Brazil's Export and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) and the Brazilian Association of Shoe Manufacturers (Abicalçados) signed the fifth part of the Integrated Sector Program for Promotion of Shoe Exports. The program's funds, totaling 52.3 million reais (US$ 22.2 million), have been in use since November 2008 and will be invested up until 2010.
Under the program, the Brazilian Footwear project is one of the ApexBrasil's largest. The signing of the partnership aims to increase the share of Brazilian shoes in the global market, expand the exporter base, i.e., the number of companies, and open up new target markets.
Besides, the project is going to consolidate sales in countries that have already been conquered, increasing exports of shoes with new added value.
According to the project manager at ApexBrasil, Deborah Rossouni, the organization currently has an important share of the export market. However, it is a relatively small share, compared with shoe sales worldwide.
In this new phase, the agreement proposes a few changes. "Our goals are to increase the number of companies participating in the project. The aim is to go from 405 companies to 500 by 2010. We also expect to increase the export values, which were around US$ 700 million in 2008. The goal until 2010 is to reach US$ 1.2 billion," he said.
To the executive director at Abicalçados, Heitor Klein, promotional actions abroad by the Brazilian shoe industry are showing very strong growth. "We went from a regime by which we used to operate through outsourcing for large international brands, to a model of owned brands in which the management of promotion, sales and distribution are gaining space in foreign countries," he explained.
According to Klein, it used to be very difficult to find Brazilian companies and brands at international events for the shoe industry. "Nowadays, this is quite common. There is a reasonable number of companies that go to fairs, making the Brazilian brand known in the international market," he said.
The Abicalçados celebrated the agreement established with Apex-Brazil. According to Heitor Klein, with this perspective of growth in the export sector and the funds that are being invested, there might be a recovery in foreign sales that were harmed in recent months due to the value of the currency.
"With the appreciation of the real (the Brazilian currency) against the dollar, we reckon that it is possible to resume growth of industrial activity and increase the number of jobs," said Klein.