Portugal’s shoemakers want to sell more products to China and other places outside the European Union, and are spending money on marketing in 2016 to achieve that, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported this week.
The industry predicts a difficult year for the sector in European markets added Lusa.
Portugal is currently the fifth largest supplier of shoes for the China market, said Paulo Gonçalves, spokesman for APICCAPS – the Portuguese Footwear, Components, Leather Goods Manufacturers’ Association.
He added Chinese consumers like the quality of Portuguese shoes, despite the fact a pair can cost five times more than a pair made in China.
The spokesman said the industry aims to increase the weighting of its non-EU exports; to 20 percent of all exports by 2020. Over the past ten years, exports of Portuguese shoes to non-EU markets rose by “more than 30 percent per year”, namely to markets including the United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Japan, China and Australia, he added.
“In the next five years we will invest 80 million euros (US$89.2 million) in internationalisation [strategies],” said Mr Goncalves. Australia is also being targeted by Portuguese shoemakers via marketing investment this year. Such exports to Australia have been growing, with sales currently valued at 15 million euros per year, Mr Gonçalves said.