The president of Brazil’s footwear trade association (Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Calçados) (Abicalçados), Élcio Jacometti, says the valorization of Brazilian currency against the dollar and predatory competition by Chinese exporters are the principal causes of the crisis the sector is going through.
"We cannot compete with shoes that come into Brazil costing US$ 0.50 a pair, when we know that that is less than what shoestrings cost," complains Jacometti, who met with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and other authorities in Brasília last week.
The government has announced credit for the sector and says that customs officials will crackdown on the entrance of underpriced Chinese goods. And a work group was set up to study tax exemptions on machinery and equipment for the footwear sector.
Brazilian shoe manufacturers have been promoting their product overseas, the whole year. Earlier this year there was a showroom for Brazilian Shoes, in Argentina, followed by participation in the World Shoe Association (WSA), a trade show in Las Vegas in the United States.
The program developed by the Brazilian Association of Shoe Manufacturers (Abicalçados) and the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex) took about 20 companies to Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, where the companies Bottero, Klin, Lia Line, Merky, Crysalis, Pé com Pé, Pimpolho, Kidy, Vissi, Lindi, Record and Scamber among other, were present.
In Las Vegas, 11 brands participated in an individual or group manner. In the institutional stand there were the companies Bical, Morenatom and Kiuty. Azaléia, Planet Shoe, Bibi, Dakota, Francesca Giobbi, Klin, Mauricio Medeiros and Pampili had their own spaces.