The Italian footwear industry association, Anci, has signed a preliminary agreement with Fiera Milano, which organizes trade shows in Italy as well as abroad, to hold a new Chinese edition of Micam sometime during the first half of next year. In an initiative called “Micam nel Mondo” (Micam in the World), Anci is also considering using Micam's strong brand name to hold similar fairs in other countries at a later stage in other strategic markets for Italian footwear, starting perhaps with the U.S. and Japan.

Officials of Anci say that they want to follow the same successful business model of the Micam show in Milan. While highlighting the Italian shoe industry, the Chinese fair will be open for participation by companies from other countries. Furthermore, all the future foreign Micam shows will concentrate on the medium and upper-medium segments of the market.

Fice, the Spanish shoe industry association, has already expressed interest in participating in the Chinese project. Anci has already sounded out many candidates for the exhibition in Italy and abroad, but it expects to have all the details of the project, including the dates and the venue, by the time of the next Micam show in Milan in September.

Tentatively, Anci is looking at April as the best possible date for the first show, which is expected to be held twice a year. The fair will be held either in Beijing or in Shanghai. As a generic target, Anci would like to take between 150 and 200 selected firms to the first show, hosting the exhibitors in stands of 12 to 14 square meters.

Gimmy Baldinini, a vice president of Anci with a lot of experience with foreign markets, is coordinating Micam's new project. He is working on the Chinese program together with another member of the executive board, Arturo Venanzi of Franceschetti, who is in charge of the Asian market at large.

Anci continues to be very active in promoting the Italian industry in foreign mature and emerging markets through other types of fairs, such as Moda Made in Italy in Munich and Obuv in Moscow, and a long series of workshops and trade missions in other parts of the world.

China has come to the foreground because of the tremendous development of its domestic market. Combined with Hong Kong, China has become Italy's seventh-biggest market for Italian footwear, larger than Spain. The same thing has been happening in the area of apparel, prodding the Italian textile industry to export the Milano Unica show to Beijing as part of the Intertextile trade fair organized by Messe Frankfurt.

After looking at other potential partners with experience in the organization of trade shows, Anci picked Fiera Milano for its internationalization project. It is the organizer of the Micam show in Milan, and like Anci, it is seeking to increase its international presence, starting with China, India, Russia and Brazil.

The launch of the Chinese show may coincide with the start-up of an online shop for shoes made in Italy for the Chinese market, where e-commerce is very developed, similar to its website. The move may be preceded by a soft launch to test the market. In any case, Anci wants to make sure beforehand that it will be shielded from any possible counterfeiting problems.