Obuv: Made in Italy meets up with the Russian market
In a climate characterised by political and economic uncertainties, the fall edition of Obuv mir Koži, the show dedicated to high-end footwear and leather goods, was kicked off at the Moscow Expocentre from 22 to 25 October.
An essential appointment for Italian businesses working in the market, Obuv plays host to 130 Made in Italy firms presented in an exhibition area of 3000 metres, which benefit from the promotional support of Assocalzaturifici. Among the many initiatives supporting the activities of Italian businesses, the Association organised a press conference today, 23 October, open to Russian and CIS area buyers, with the participation of President Annarita Pilotti and Moscow ICE Director Pier Paolo Celeste, during which Italian export numbers towards Russia were presented. In 2017, more than 6 million pairs of Italian footwear for a total value of 379 million euros were exported to Russia, while more than 161 million euros in value (for a drop of -8%) were recorded during the first six months of 2018. In the entire CIS area, Italian exports were worth 483 million euros in 2017, and a further 212 million euros were registered during the first six months of 2018 (down -5.3%).
“Obuv mir Koži remains an essential event for our businesses: it is the ideal setting for highlighting the maximum quality, creativity, and research expressed by Italian companies – declared Annarita Pilotti – Unfortunately, the persisting uncertainty surrounding its political dialogue with the European Union and the stagnation of the domestic market resulting from continuing problems with its currency, still serve as the backdrop to the economy in this area. In a climate further aggravated by the measures limiting access to Russian banks and financial capital, it is inevitable that our exports are significantly penalized. Fortunately, the Italian government is fully committed to resolving the by now persisting situation”.
Notwithstanding the drop in exports, Italians continue to believe in this market and in their participation in Obuv, with proof of this to be found in the collections and projects developed ad hoc for it, which are greatly appreciated by Russian buyers. “During the first seven months, the Russian Federation imported more than 850 thousand euros per day in Italian footwear and leather goods, thus underlining a position which, although it comes in only second after Chinese products, is first when it comes to the range of high-end production and quality, with our competitors lagging quite far behind us. – commented Pier Paolo Celeste – With consumer purchasing power starting to rise, we expect a further improvement in sales”.
Although the Obuv observatory awaits the full recovery of the market, it is quite aware of the way Italian quality footwear and the excellence of Made in Italy is highly perceived in this market.