The president of the Portuguese Association of Footwear Manufacturers, Luís Onofre, was named the president of the European Confederation of the sector for the next three years, in a demonstration of the international prestige of Portugal in this industry, announced today the minister of the Economy.
“The president of the Portuguese Association of Footwear, Components, Leather Goods and Substitutes, Luís Onofre, has just been appointed president of the European Confederation of Footwear Industries (CEC), “said Pedro Siza Vieira, a visit to the delegation of 90 Portuguese companies that will participate until Wednesday in Milan, in the biggest international fair of the footwear sector, Micam.
Speaking to journalists, the minister emphasized that this was a “distinction not only for the person and his leadership but also a reflection of the importance that the European confederation attaches to the sector in Portugal”, and that will allow the country ” to contribute for the affirmation of the European industry, but particularly for the elevation of the image of Portugal “.
“The way the world appreciates the course of the Portuguese footwear industry is impressive, it is a case study and an international example and in the country,” said Siza Vieira.
According to Luís Onofre, the presidency of the CEC – which takes over from May onwards – “is a personal prestige” and for the sector, which he intends to take advantage of “to help the Portuguese industry to be increasingly recognized internationally” and to evaluate with more depth “some situations that are happening at the level of Europe“.
Stating “impressed by the Portuguese presence” at the Milan fair, where Portugal stands out as the second largest foreign delegation, after Spain, the Deputy Minister of Economy stressed the role of “support” that has been developed by the APICCAPS, pointing it as “protagonist of the remarkable transformation” of the national industry of the sector.
Regarding the performance of the Portuguese footwear sector in 2018, according to the latest data from the National Statistics Institute (INE), exports increased by 0.98% in volume (to close to 84 million pairs), but decreased by 2, 85% in value (to 1,904 million euros), Siza Vieira considered that “the great work that must continue to do is in the diversification of markets and external promotion“.
“This slight reduction in export turnover also has to do with the fact that international consumers are evolving in their preferences and there is now some demand for alternative non-skin materials that are not so expensive,” he said.
However, he said, “Portuguese companies have been able to adapt to these changes in demand“, and the national industry stands out because it is “very flexible, fast and able to respond to market needs.”
At the level of external promotion, Siza Vieira pointed out the investment of 16 million euros scheduled for this year by APICCAPS, with the support of the Compete Program, plus an additional two million euros in the valorization of Portuguese brands.