Exports of footwear from Colombia increased by 7 percent between January and April 2011, marking an important recovery for the sector. According to a report by Acicam, the country's shoe and leather industry association, the good performance arrives after exports went down by 19.23 percent in the same period of 2011. It is also regarded by the sector as a good indicator after the recent signing of a free trade agreement with the U.S. The data in the report also showed that while the local footwear production continued to increase by 14.7 percent, it did so at a slower pace than a year ago, when the growth rate reached 22.2 percent.