Forty-one Portuguese footwear companies are participating, from Sunday to Tuesday, in the main international fair of the sector, in Milan, determined to “consolidate business” after the record exports beaten in the first half of this year.
The entourage that will head to MICAM joins a group of 35 Portuguese companies – 13 making footwear components and 22 tanneries, one of the “largest ever Portuguese delegations” – with a marked presence in Lineapelle, the most important international fair dedicated to leather, accessories and components for footwear, whose 100th edition takes place from Tuesday to Thursday, also in Milan.
“MICAM is the main fair of the sector and is very relevant for national companies since it brings together the major players in the sector worldwide,” said the president of the Portuguese Association of Footwear, Components, Leather Goods and its Implements (APICCAPS), which organises the Portuguese participation in the events, quoted in a statement.
According to Luis Onofre, the Portuguese presence at the fair “is of the utmost importance to consolidate the business, at a time when the Portuguese industry gives signs of vitality in international markets,” and he is convinced that 2022 will be “a year of strong affirmation of the Portuguese footwear in foreign markets.
In the first half of this year, Portugal exported 40 million pairs of shoes worth €957 million, which represents a growth of 22% and 27.5%, respectively, in quantity and value, compared with the same period of 2021 and stands out as “the best performance ever”.
Relative to 2019, prior to the pandemic, Portuguese footwear exports have grown by 12.2%.
“This is the best performance ever of Portuguese footwear in foreign markets, even surpassing the historical maximum of 2017,” highlights the APICCAPS.
According to the association, Portuguese footwear “is growing in almost all the most relevant markets”.
“In Europe, the growth amounts to 26.2%, with emphasis on the growths in Germany (17% up to €218 million), France (31% up to €185 million) and the Netherlands (31.2% up to 146 million euros). Similarly, the good performance in the United Kingdom continues with the growth of 34% to €55 million”, he adds.
The “major highlight” is, however, the growth of Portuguese footwear in extra-EU markets, particularly in the U.S., where the year-on-year increase until June was 66% to €55 million.
Also noteworthy is the increase in sales to Canada (32% up to €13 million) and Japan (45% up to €5 million), highlighted by APICCAPS as translating as “an excellent performance”.
“The data from the first half of 2022 confirm that the Portuguese footwear did, during the pandemic, its homework and therefore is gaining ground to its more direct competitors,” says Luís Onofre.
Even so, the association leader warns that it is necessary to pay attention to external signs, adding that the “pandemic, the war in Ukraine and inflation are more than enough reasons to be cautious about the business.
Portugal’s minister of the economy and maritime affairs, António Costa e Silva, and the secretary of state for the economy, João Neves, will visit the national delegation at MICAM on Sunday, the first day of the fair.
Aimed at presenting “the major trends” for the 2023 spring-summer season, MICAM has among the main novelties of this 94th edition an “extensive agenda” of lectures organised by international consultancy WGSN, in the MICAM X area, a “stage for the most innovative high-tech proposals and will function as a meeting point for companies and speakers from all over the world”.
“With a unique calendar of events, the MICAM X will be a space for debate on the unknowns of the future, seeking new ways to interpret the new developments that are changing the ‘rules of the game’,” emphasises the APICCAPS, advancing that the lectures will be divided between the themes ‘art’, ‘fashion’, ‘tradition and future’, ‘trends and materials’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘future of retail’.
The ‘Emerging Designers’ space will once again receive the proposals of 12 young talents, under the motto ‘Research, Sustainability, Originality’, and this is also the edition of the ‘Glamorous ball’, the third and last chapter of the ‘MICAM Glass Slipper’, the ‘MICAM fairy tale’ that served as the motto for the event’s promotional campaign.