In press conference, shoemakers warn of predatory competition

Conference happened during the BFSHOW, in São Paulo


In addition to data and projections of the national footwear industry, the press conference held today (22) at BFSHOW, in São Paulo/SP, highlighted the impact of floods for the sector in Rio Grande do Sul and the importance of defending the activity from unfair competition, especially the one imposed by international e-commerce platforms, which are currently exempt from import taxes on shipments of up to US$ 50.

The executive president of the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados), Haroldo Ferreira, opened the meeting with national and international journalists highlighting the figures of the sector, which had a productive drop in 2023, of 2.3%, mainly impacted by the setback in exports, which went down 16.6% that year. For 2024, however, expectations are more positive. "In 2024, production should grow between 0.9% and 2.2%, pulled, once again, by the domestic market. Domestic consumption should increase between 2.4% and 3.8%, while exports should register the second consecutive drop, between 5% and 9.7%,” he said.

According to Ferreira, in addition to the international cooling environment, especially due to interest rates in the main economies, the normalization of freight prices - which has provided China's reinsertion into the international market - unfair competition with international e-commerce platforms has been impacting the activity. “We do not want benefits, we want to have parity of conditions to compete. Currently, the domestic industry pays cascading taxes, while these large platforms send their shipments of up to US$ 50 with full exemption from import tax. The fact has been harming the sector", he warned, stressing that the national footwear industry could grow much more domestically, were it not for this predatory competition, especially with Asian footwear. "We have the capacity to grow more, what we need is consumers for our products in the domestic market, flooded by Asian productions. We are exporting jobs, " he concluded.

The Abicalçados executive also spoke about the payroll exemption. After a long imbroglio with the Federal Government, which filed a lawsuit in the Brazilian Supreme Court to overturn the renewal of the measure, approved in the National Congress, an agreement was reached with the Ministry of Finance so that the collection of the payroll tax rate would continue to be suspended in 2024, starting to have hybrid collection in 2025, 2026 and 2027, and returning in full in 2028.

Success and move to SP
The commercial and visitation success of the second edition of BFSHOW and the move of the fair definitively to the capital of São Paulo was the theme of the speech of the CEO of NürnbergMesse Brasil, João Paulo Picolo. With more than 300 footwear brands from all over Brazil, which account for more than 80% of the national footwear production, BFSHOW is expected to receive more than 10 thousand people during its three days of realization (May 21st to 23rd). “BFSHOW shows the strength of the national footwear industry. Only on the first day (21), we received more than the entire audience registered in the first edition, in Porto Alegre/RS”, he celebrated.

The CEO also stressed the sustainability of the event, since most of the waste generated, which can be recycled, will be reused. "Waste management is a current concern at NürnbergMesse Brasil in all its 14 events in Brazil,” he added. Picolo also announced the move of the fair to São Paulo. "Logistics is much improved. The next edition of the Fair will be held between November 11th and 13th, this time in the New Anhembi District, in São Paulo”, he announced.

Pride and announcement
The Business Director of the Brazilian Agency for Export and Investment Promotion (ApexBrasil), Ana Repezza, highlighted the pride of supporting BFSHOW, which is expected to receive more than 300 international buyers from 60 countries. “We have a long-standing partnership with Abicalçados, through Brazilian Footwear, and I must say how proud we are, because it is a prominent project in the Agency,” she said. About the fair, the director said that she talked with many exhibitors and buyers. “People are impressed with the organization and especially with the resilience of the Gaucho brands, which even affected by the floods made a point of being present”, she pointed out.

Ana also announced a contribution of R$ 11 million for micro and small companies affected by the climate catastrophe in Rio Grande do Sul. "In the coming days, ApexBrasil will publish a normative instruction to help companies in commercial actions for export, in the purchase of machinery and raw materials,” she said.

Collective construction of the national footwear sector, BFSHOW was attended by entrepreneurs from different footwear regions and segments in their meeting with the press. Pedro Bartelle, CEO of Vulcabras, Ana Carolina Grings, vice president of Piccadilly; Junior SIlva, Director of Chromic Femme; Maria Colli, president of Pampili; Sergio Bocayuva, CEO of Usaflex; and Giuliano Spinelli, director of PG4 Galleria.

In addition to business and networking, exhibitors, shopkeepers and importers who visit BFSHOW can help people affected by the floods by engaging in the Next Steps RS Movement, created by Abicalçados in partnership with entities in the footwear production chain and entrepreneurs in the sector. At the fair, there are several totems with QR code to send PIX to the Movement that is raising financial resources that will be directed to the restructuring of the living conditions of the impacted footwear-related families.

BFSHOW runs until May 23rd, 2024, at the Transamerica Expo Center in São Paulo. Do your Pre-Accreditation here for free to visit the event and take advantage of the best opportunities at the largest footwear fair in Brazil.