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Assocalzaturifici continues to invest in the Russian market
The fall edition of Obuv Mir Koži, the event organised by Assocalzaturifici and Bologna Fiere representing the most important event for mid-range to high end footwear in Russia, closed with highs and lows.

Obuv Mir Koži closes: Assocalzaturifici continues to invest in the Russian market despite the delicate economic situation

The event, held September 29 through October 2 at Expocentr in Moscow, saw the participation of 132 Italian companies presenting their spring/summer 2016 collections in 3,600 sqm of exhibition space. Obuv Mir Koži certainly confirmed its strategic role as a prestigious showcase for Italian footwear companies and a highly visible platform for all the other markets in the CIS area.

It is still a key event for collecting orders, primarily from small to mid-sized customers with an interest in Italian-made fashions who do not regularly travel to Milan for theMICAM and therefore view the Moscow event as their best opportunity to meet with Italian footwear makers. Obuv Mir Koži saw an inevitable overall drop in orders, the result of a situation that is still critical and continues to cause much concern in the business community.

“Assocalzaturifici intends to continue investing in the Russian market and the CIS nations, fine-tuning its trade fair programme and renewing Obuv Mir Koži, which needs to evolve in response to the difficult situation, despite its undeniable importance as a key event for our companies on these markets," explains Arturo Venanzi, Director and Coordinator of Assocalzaturifici's Laboratorio Russia group. "We're working hand in hand with the Foreign Trade Agency on initiatives aimed at further improving the quality of incoming buyers in the area: in this edition we offered a special service for 48 selected buyers from all over the Federation, offering reception and hospitality in an exclusive lounge. We want to continue with initiatives of this type aimed at improving the quality of business contacts in order to optimise the time and resources invested by Italian companies in the event. We will also be working on innovative new formulas for intercepting more and more new buyers throughout the area, with targeted scouting operations for Italian-made footwear”.

The emerging snapshot of Italy's footwear exports to CIS nations remains critical. Italy's total footwear sales in the first 6 months of 2015 have fallen by more than a third in terms of both quantity and value over last year's already unsatisfactory levels. The drop in volume was 35.6% in Russia, 52% in Ukraine and 22.6% in Kazakhstan. These figures are particularly worrying in view of the fact that in 2014, Russia ranked sixth in terms of value and ninth in terms of volume in the list of destination countries for Italian footwear exports, confirming its status as a strategic export market.

“Our Association wants to maintain the institutions' focus on the Russian market," says Assocalzaturifici Chair Annarita Pilotti. "First of all, we will continue to press the government to support the footwear sector on crucial issues, such as opposition to economic sanctions, which the European Union has renewed until January 2016, and investment in promotion of Italian-made footwear on the Russian market. At Obuv Mir Koži we met with a delegation of members of the European parliament including the Honourable Elisabetta Gardini, the Honourable Stefano Maullu, the Honourable Alessandra Mussolini and the Honourable Aldo Patriciello, to ensure that they are aware of the important role Italy has to play in European institutions - both the Parliament and the Council - to achieve concrete, clear dialogue with Russia aimed at eliminating the sanctions. This is the only way to create the climate of trust and stability necessary to resume trade on the Russian market, of such great importance for Italian enterprise”.



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