Cleto Sagripanti, the newly elected president of the Italian footwear association, Anci, has expressed great concern after the government announced plans to scrap the Italian trade commission, ICE, and transfer its international activities to the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ICE has been a significant partner of Anci in promoting Italian shoes abroad.

Sagripanti said that that the association is not only worried about the elimination of ICE but also about “an obvious confusion regarding future foreign trade policies.” It is important that the new structure guarantee the utmost attention to small and medium-sized companies, which form the bulk of the Italian footwear industry, he pointed out.

ICE has been an essential partner for the promotion of Italian shoes abroad in events such as Obuv Mir Kozi and Shoes From Italy in Moscow and MOC-Moda Made in Italy in Munich.

Anci aims to open an office for external and international relationships to promote the internationalization of Italian companies. It will seek to obtain regional, national and European financing for Anci members and foster cooperation agreements with the banking system and the national employers' confederation, Confindustria. The office will also help companies create networks and merge.

To protect the Italian manufacturing industry, Anci will also reinforce its relationship with its European counterpart, CEC, to obtain reciprocity in Europe for customs duties imposed by other trading blocs.

As part of Anci's plans to exploit new technologies, the association is scheduled to launch a web TV in the autumn.