Assocalzaturifici takes the best of our production to the Obuv’ Mir Koži in Moscow from the 19th to the 22nd of March Constantly monitoring strategic markets for Italian footwear exports remains high amongst Assocalzaturifici’s priorities. Because of this Obuv’ Mir Koži, the international exhibition of footwear and leather goods organised at the Moscow Expocentre from March 19th to 22nd, continues to be a reference point in the world of international trade fairs dedicated to the sector. 130 Italian brands will be present at the event that, over four days, will present the Autumn/Winter 2019/2020 collections to buyers and members of the trade from the Republics of the Russian Federation and the states that gravitate in the commercial orbit of the Eurasian giant - like Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Obuv’ Mir Koži, in fact, after Milan's Micam remains the most prestigious international showcase and guarantees excellent visibility to Italian footwear companies, as well as reflecting the vitality and fervour of a market that pays great attention to the creativity, quality and craftsmanship that goes into a product - all factors that have always characterised our “know-how”. In 2017, more than 6.3 million pairs of Italian shoes were exported to Russia, for a total value of 380 million euros. In the first eleven months of 2018, Italy exported 5.2 million pairs, worth 316 million euros (down to 11.5% compared to the same period in 2017). Despite the unfavourable trend, Russia confirmed itself as the sixth reference market in terms of value and the eighth for volume in the world ranking of destination countries.
“Looking after this market remains key for our companies,” says Annarita Pilotti, President of Assocalzaturifici. “Our association continues to give operational support to companies that want to consolidate their business in an extremely crucial area for our export. Although attention to the price factor has become even more relevant, the Russian consumer continues to be eager for a quality product, representing the highest expression of the beautiful and well-made Italian products. Furthermore, the strong rise in online sales channels that has recently occurred offers Italian companies a further chance to easily penetrate this market”.
Unfortunately, the persistence of uncertainty in the political dialogue between Russia and the European Union, and the stagnation of domestic consumption due to continuous currency tensions still affect the area’s economy. “In a climate exacerbated by the presence of sanctions with respect to the access of Russian banks to financial capital, it is inevitable that our exports will be strongly penalised,” adds Pilotti. “We are also concerned about the tendency of the government to reinforce non-tariff barriers which, together with the new traceability measures – which are anything but clear -, risk creating a serious obstacle for our companies that want to enter in this market”. “Assocalzaturifici continues to invest in this area, supporting the efforts that Italian companies make every day to stay more and more competitive,” says Arturo Venanzi, Assocalzaturifici Councillor with responsibility for Russia and the CIS countries. “Our goal remains to identify high-profile buyers and quality contacts to increasingly make Obuv’ a business platform that brings together supply and demand. This is the reason for the renewed partnership with ITA Agency, which this year decided to also support the event with targeted investments, which are useful for consolidating the business of our companies in a fundamental area for our export”. In fact, for over 10 years ITA Agency has supported the event by helping to strengthen the image of Italian products through support actions, among which stands out the incoming of specialised operators. This is an important mapping work that aims to intercept the new Russian retail universe, which has undergone a profound transformation in recent years. Besides this, among the activities in support of the Italian companies present at the Fair, ITA Agency produced - through the Trade Obstacle Desk operating at their Moscow Office - an informative piece on the “New Unique Identification Marking System in the Russian Federation” that will be legally in place for footwear as of the 1st of July.
“The Italian position is strong for the high-end market, with our competitors lagging far behind,” says Pier Paolo Celeste, Director of ITA Agency, Moscow. “Despite the stationary nature of consumption, ITA Agency will implement a series of very useful initiatives to support Russian buyers and to offer more and more information to their customers. This is why the choice of delegates imposes a strict selection, favouring those who operate in cities where consumption is growing”. As part of Obuv’ there will be convivial moments in which business will leave room for Italian hospitality and know-how. In fact, during the event exhibitors and buyers will be able to take advantage of the daily catering available at the fair and of a series of services exclusively dedicated to them, available at the VIP Lounge.
Finally, on March the 20th, a cocktail evening will be held for operators within the ITA Lounge, located in Hall 3 of the Moscow Expocentre.
Milan, March 19, 2019