The third World Footwear Congress, launched by the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry, will be held on Apr. 26 and 27 at Logroño, in the Basque region of Spain. The first two editions, which were both held in Brussels, enabled Asian and European producers to discuss their experiences and anti-dumping taxes. At the next edition, Fritz Harald Wenig, the European commissioner for trade defense instruments, is expected to discuss Europe’s intellectual property rights concerning footwear models. Other speakers will include Zhang Shuhua, the female president of the Chinese footwear industry, Peter Mangione, president of the federation of U.S. shoe retail chains, Ram Balasubramaniam, president of the Indian group Tata International, and Ygor Gorski, president of the European shoe retailers’ federation.

Before the World Footwear Forum, on Apr. 17, CEC will present for the first time in Bologna the results of its R&D project, CEC-Made-Shoe, in the context of the SIMAC show. Involving 54 partners, and investment of €20.4 million and a contribution by the European Union of €10.4 million, the project began in October 2004. One of the aims has been to move the footwear sector from a product-centered approach to a human-centered approach, incorporating several aspects of comfort and customization while respecting the environment.