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Colombian Entrepreneurs Are Afraid of Increased Import
Entrepreneurs of the leather, footwear and leather goods sector have voiced their reservations about the possible modification of customs duties proposed by the Colombian government to combat the rise of the local currency, the Colombian peso, in terms of the US dollar. The fear is that the proposed changes could open the door to cheap imports of shoes and leather goods from China and other Asian countries.

ImageThe president of the Colombian Association of the Footwear and Leather Goods Industries (ACICAM), Luis Gustavo Florez, said that it is imperative to maintain present duties of 35% to contain massive imports from Asia. The matter has to be very carefully considered to avoid serious problems and distortions in the country’s production chain. At the same time Florez asked the government to consider establishing an export tax on leather sent to China since large exports of this raw material are causing difficulties for local manufacturers.

It is vital to carry out a complete reevaluation of the measures proposed and the changes in customs duties which are designed to offset the strength of the peso, which has gained almost 20% against the US dollar in the last year. The aim should be to insulate the productive sectors of the economy from any such changes.

(Source:, 6.9.2010, Jana Fuhrmannová)

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