The South African Leather & Footwear sector remains a key priority providing sustainable employment and contributing to the enhancement of the SA industrial economy. The availability of local raw materials for downstream activities in the leather value chain sustains strategic industries such as automotive and furniture leather upholstery, leather goods and leather footwear.
Due to various micro-economic reforms, financial and non-financial support, cluster programmes enhancing the retail collaboration, this sector’s decline was stabilized by 2012 and has regained growth and competitiveness by 2015. The gross domestic capital formation improved by +76% from 2012 to 2015 and 28 new factories were established in the leather & footwear value chain as a result of improved business and investor confidence.
Due to the recent turn-around of the South African leather & footwear industry sectors from stagnation to rapid growth mainly, through local direct investment and government support, these sectors have become an appreciative inquiry to the potential local and foreign investors.
On 23 February 2017, during SIMAC Tanning Tech Exhibition in Milan, an Agreement of Cooperation was signed between the Italian Association of Manufacturers of Footwear, Leather Goods, Tannery Machines and Accessories (ASSOMAC) and the Leather & Footwear Directorate, Industrial Development Division, of the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa (the dti). The Agreement aims to enhance, strengthen and cultivate a relationship of technical support, training, research and development activities to reposition the South African leather & footwear industry in the global market.
Four South African shoe producers (Bolton Footwear, Froggie, Labora Shoes and Saddler) will be participating at Expo Riva Schuh, the leading international exhibition for volume production footwear taking place from 10 to 13 June 2017 at the Exhibition Area of Riva del Garda (HALL NEW C2 – Stand H23).
- Provide an overview of South Africa’s and Italy’s leather & footwear industry
- Share visions on how the industries of the two countries can cooperate
- Create awareness on opportunities in South Africa’s leather & footwear sector
- Create synergies between South African and Italian companies
- Italian and South African companies in the sector
- Representatives of Italian and South African trade & investment promotion institutions
- Consultants and traders
- Introduction of the subject and the speakers of the day (Ms. Marcella Uttaro, Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa in Milan)
- Welcome address ( Titi Nxumalo, Consul-General of South Africa in Milan)
- Presentations by the speakers (Mr. Jaywant Irkhede, Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa, and Mr. Mario Pucci, Assomac)
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