Hungary is the 11th country to be represented by CEC, the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry, led by Cleto Sagripanti. On Dec. 15, CEC general assembly in Brussels formalized the membership of the Association of the Hungarian Light Industry (AHLI), which represents manufacturers of shoes and components through a branch, the Hungarian Association for the Leather and Shoe Industry (BCE). The CEC will try to help the industry through the development of skills and by facilitating new partnerships for Hungarian companies in Europe. The local shoe industry suffered a steady decline during the ‘eighties, at which time it produced around 45 million pairs per year. Production levels have fallen to around 11 million pairs, while the number of people employed has declined from 40,000 to 6,700 people.