The 5th World Footwear Congress, the international most renowned meeting point for footwear stakeholders, included 678 persons from 32 different countries in Léon, México. The Mexican partners, CICEG and ANPIC, maximised the agenda by inviting the representatives of the associations and footwear chambers attending the Congress to an early breakfast on the second day before the Congress panels.

Miguel Plasencia, President of the 2014 Congress Organising Committee, thanked the participants for their support to the success of the Congress, which had proved to be an excellent opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing. However the President of the CEC (Confédération Européenne de l’Industrie de la Chaussure), Jean-Pierre Renaudin, recognised that this was not enough to anticipate problems and find ways to accommodate the diverse points of view of the globalised footwear economy. He added “the CEC would therefore like to propose the creation of an International Footwear Forum that would assembly representatives of the leading footwear national associations and confederations in the world on a yearly basis”. Renaudin further explained “the objective of this forum would be to meet under a previously agreed agenda in order to exchange information and best practices, address new problems encountered by footwear businesses and hopefully find convergences”.

The proposal obtained the unanimous acceptance of all associations’ representatives, who clearly supported the initiative, and it already received venue offers to host a first forum in 2015. The President of the CEC concluded: “We would first like to contact the other footwear national associations and confederations not present and invite them to join. This should be the first step to a global footwear dialogue between associations, which will maximise cooperation for the benefit of our global businesses”.