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Brazilian footwear industry worried with protectionism in the region

Oct 26, 2016 Brazil
Brazilian footwear industry worried with protectionism in the region
Representatives from the Brazilian Shoe Manufacturers Association (Abicalçados) have met with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Services to discuss some of the concerns regarding trade with some neighbor countries
According to Abicalçados, informal barriers in place in Argentina have already impacted the Brazilian footwear industry in 3.8 million US dollars so far in the current year. Heitor Klein, Executive President of Abicalçados, highlights issues in entering the Argentinean market which are negatively impacting the industry since 2000, despite some periods of easiness in the trade relations. The Director also underlined the existence of a high volume of pending licenses, which is delaying the entry of Brazilian shoes into the Argentinian market.

This takes particular relevance as Argentina is the second most important market for the Brazilian industry, in terms of quantities exported but also in terms of recognition of the Brazilian brands: ”Our performance in the past decade has exceeded the mark of 200 million US dollars, and with a high market share. However, some protectionist measures, ended up changing the picture, and now, Asian countries dominate the Argentinian imports market".

According to Abicalçados, two other countries have being added to their list of concerns. Brazilian companies are allegedly facing extra barriers to trade their products into Bolivia, the fifth largest market for Brazilian footwear, as bureaucracy is intensifying. According to Abicalçados, this has resulted in a drop of 19% in exports to that market, during the first nine months of the financial year.

Colombia, which recently created new laws to flight counterfeiting and money laundering, set up import duties and minimum prices for imports which are impacting many Brazilian products. One of the decrees, will increase import duties from 18% to 35%: "That will impact in particular the Brazilian exporters of sandals, which have a relevant market in Colombia," warned Mr. Klein.

The Brazilian Government promissed to study the dossier.

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