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ITALIAN SHOES ABROARD FOLLOW THE PATH OF QUALITY PRODUCTION
The global market crisis has also changed the commercial balance of one of Made in Italyâ€™s key sectors, shoe production. The commercial centre of gravity has shifted from the domestic and Community markets, considered to be the distribution point of reference for the entire sector, to the Far East, with record export figures for China (+76%), Hong Kong (+35.4%), and Japan (+16%). The ANCI, the Italian national shoe manufacturers association, has analysed the aggregate export data, revealing sector trade result rankings showing that sales have tripled since 2000. The growth of exports to the Middle East (+15.4%) has also helped to balance the net slackening seen in the entire Euro zone. In fact, in Europe, where the total export value has dropped by 4.3%, the active trade balance of the sector in various States, among them France (+1.4%), the United Kingdom (+2.9%), and the Czech Republic (+5.3%), has fallen back exclusively in volume terms.
â€śThe world,â€ť noted the President of ANCI, Cleto Sagripanti, â€śis changing. The companies have done their bit by maintaining their export capacity in difficult times (+4% in the period January - May 2012), producing a medium price increase of 16%. The game is now being principally played in the foreign market, and it is there that we are investing. We have decided to internationalize our brand, choosing the emerging markets with the greatest growth potential and partners with competence in the targeted markets.â€ť Now more than ever, success for the member companies of ANCI is the result of efficient processes and quality in production. â€śWe are aware,â€ť continued Sagripanti, â€śthat we produce quality products which have not lost the appeal that has always distinguished Made in Italy shoes, as demonstrated by the acceptance of our medium price increases, even though we are in a distinctly unfavourable economic moment.â€ť
Quality, therefore, beginning with the medium â€“ high production segments, such as the boot area. Exports in this sector continue to grow, with production values showing a 9.2% increase over last year and volumes registering a 1.1% increase. Above all, the quality produced by the Italian shoe manufacturers who are members of ANCI has also permitted a volume growth in the leather-upper shoes, a sector which accounts for 80% of total production volumes. The export volume for this commodity sector has increased by 7%.
Going back to the trade markets, of note within the European zone is the brilliant performance of Switzerland which, in the first five months of this year, saw sales increase by 20%. And if at an international level it is the Asian countries which dominate, the economic indicators both the United States and Canada show a slight slowdown compared to 2011. After aggregation, these important export trends signal a 12.7% increase. The indicators are confirmed by the value of production differential, which increased in 2011 by 6.7% for a turnover of 7 billion Euros. The only indicator which has fallen slightly is the number of companies (5,605, down 3.4% compared to 2010). This did not in any case lead to a reduction in employment levels, which remained stable at 80 thousand employees. Again, the key success factors are the international performance and the quality, a combination which continues to maintain the high prestige of Italian shoes world-wide.