The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America has deemed Nicaragua a “rising star” that has great potential as a big supplier of footwear to the U.S. The FDRA, in its 2012 Annual Footwear Sourcing Forecast, noted that China was the source of 85.3 percent of all shoe imports in the U.S. last year – the lowest it has been in seven years. The report urges the U.S. to look at options in sourcing, and makes special note of Nicaragua, Cambodia and Bangladesh as footwear sources. Imports in 2011 reached $22.7 billion, and that is expected to grow to $25.2 billion by 2016, so even small players such as Nicaragua have a chance to make a big footprint. The country is hosting Nicaragua, the Right Step? in Managua to inform participants of the benefits of doing business there, and of its competitive shoemaking industry. The forum will be held June 13-14.