A total of 19 Brazilian companies in the footwear, handbag and accessories sectors, as well as 13 footwear and leather machinery manufacturers, have confirmed their participation at the upcoming edition of IFLS+EICI. According to Assintecal, the Brazilian Association of Companies of Components for Leather, Footwear and Manufactured Goods, the footwear and accessories components sector alone expects to exceed the volume of business achieved last year. In August 2016, the sector is reported to have generated some US$18,000 worth of direct business during the event, and another US$ 923,000 in the months that followed their participation.

“Colombia is an important target market for Brazil. Between 2008 and 2014, the cumulative growth rate of the production for domestic consumption was 40%, while the demand for shoes grew 48%”, said Assintecal in a statement. The number of shoes produced in Colombia is reported to have increased from 66 million pairs in 2008 to 90 million pairs in 2014.

Considering Colombia’s growing economy, as well as the geographical and cultural proximity that are said to facilitate the business process, Brazilian manufacturers of machinery for the footwear and leather industries, are also marking their presence at the event with the assistance of the Brazilian Association of Leather and Footwear Machinery Manufacturers (Abrameq). According to Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, bilateral trade between Brazil and Colombia increased 165% between 2005 and 2014.