In the first ten months of 2018, Ukraine exported shoes worth $149 million, 23.1 percent more as compared to the same period of the previous year, says the Ukraine Light Industry Association (UkrLehProm). It pointed out, however, that the country's international trade in the sector is bringing not only opportunities, but also significant threats to the domestic shoe industry.

As of now, imports of shoes from several countries to Ukraine remain uncontrolled, said Tatiana Isovit, chairman of UkrLehProm, at a press-conference in Kiev. Analyzing statistical information on imports from China, Turkey and Poland, UkrLehProm discovered a discouraging discrepancy. The statistical services of these countries show total exports of light industry products to Ukraine amount to $1.079 billion, while according to the Ukraine's State Statistical Service the figure is only $483 million.

This means that a large number of shoes and other products is coming into Ukraine illegally, according to Isovit. There are products presumably from Turkey and China of “unknown origin” and poor quality everywhere on the Ukrainian market, and they are being sold without any registration or control, Isovit claimed.

Coincidentally, the Ukrainian government is currently negotiating free-trade agreements with Turkey and China. If concluded, these trade deals would kill the country's light industry, Isovit predicted, as Turkey and China have large industries with rather competitive production costs.