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Spanish footwear companies bet on internationalisation despite economic slowdown

Jan 15, 2024 Spain
Spanish footwear companies bet on internationalisation despite economic slowdown
Spanish companies continue to work towards internationalisation, despite the difficult period the footwear sector is experiencing due to inflation and falling consumption, says FICE
According to the Federation of Spanish Footwear Industries (FICE), 353 Spanish companies participated in 2023 in the International Promotion Plan coordinated by the organisation, 17% more than in 2022, but still 28% below pre-pandemic levels (2019). This included attending international trade fairs such as MICAM and Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags (Italy), Shoes Dusseldorf (Germany), and Coterie&Magic NY (US).

For the President of FICE and recently appointed President of CEC, Rosana Perán, this figure “shows that our companies are still committed to internationalisation, even if the sector is expected to slow down in 2024”. Given the current geopolitical situation, the rise in inflation and the fall in consumption, she believes that the fact that footwear companies continue to attend international trade fairs is “a sign of the resilience of the sector”.

“After a year 2022 with record export figures, both in value (3 058 million euros) and in volume (159 million pairs), the sector has experienced a decline in sales in 2023. Compared to 2022, we exported fewer pairs, which is evidence of the slowdown that has occurred in the second half of 2023 and which will worsen in 2024”. The latest available data shows that footwear exports in the first nine months of 2023 reached 2 506.5 million euros and 122.8 million pairs, reflecting an increase in value of 8.2% and a decrease in volume of 1.5%, as compared to the same period of the previous year.

In the statement, the President of FICE also highlighted the support given to the sector by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) in the framework of the Sectoral Plan for Footwear 2023 signed between the two organisations, which amounted to 480 000 euros. “The plan has been 100% implemented and a total of 250 companies have benefited from this support”. In addition, the sector has benefited from 340 000 euros of support in 2023 from the ICEX Brexit Programme, which aimed to help export businesses offset additional costs following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

On another note, Perán said,  “a dozen companies have participated in the Global Through Innovation project, coordinated by FICE, which started in 2020 and ended in 2023. 600 000 euros have been invested in projects to improve innovation and digitalisation, of which ICEX has covered 50%”.


Image Credits: bespokeunit.com

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