The Brazilian Association of Shoe Manufacturers (Abicalçados) will have a lot to cheer about on the export front as it celebrates its 25th anniversary with a reception and dinner in the hometown of its headquarters, Novo Hamburgo. Since 2000, Abicalçados has been working together with APEX, the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency, on promoting the country’s shoe industry internationally.

Shoe exports from Brazil were up by 12.7 percent in the first two months of 2008 compared with the period in 2007, for a total of 39 million pairs of shoes sold outside the country. Revenues from exports, as reported by the Brazilian Association of Shoe Manufacturers (Abicalçados), grew by 6.1 percent to reach $368.6 million. The association, however, was concerned about the increasing proportion of taken up by shoes with synthetic and textile uppers, a total of 24.4 million pairs in the period, compared with about 13.5 million pairs of leather shoes.

Brazilian exhibitors at the recent GDS fair said they registered orders for $4.1 million, with the expectation of generating about the same value in the next 12 months from contacts made at the show. Via Uno made contacts with new customers in the UK and agreed on a franchised store in Greece. Anatomic Gel opened the market in Israel and made new contacts in the Netherlands and Belgium. Ramarim said it got better results at the Düsseldorf fair than at MICAM in Milan.