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Arab countries take greater share of Brazilian exports

Image © Paul Wilhelm

Exports of footwear from Brazil to Arab countries between January and July 2014 amounted to $35.16 million – up by 23.8 per cent from the same period last year, according to figures supplied by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade and compiled by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. By contrast, total Brazilian footwear exports were down by 2.61 per cent to $728 million. This means that the Middle East and North Africa’s overall share of Brazilian footwear exports increased from 3.9 per cent to almost 5 per cent.

According to Cristiano Körbes, projects manager at the Brazilian Footwear Industry Association (Abicalçados), the rise in sales to Arab countries is due to higher consumption combined with the fact that several major Brazilian brands are targeting the Arab markets. A number of Brazilian brands have proprietary stores, most notably in the United Arab Emirates.

José Carlos Brigagão do Couto, chairman of the Footwear Industry Union of Franca (Sindifranca) – a city in the state of São Paulo – believes that as sales of Brazilian shoes to the United States declined and Asian competition increased, manufacturers in Brazil searched for new markets. They began to offer specific products and proprietary brands tailored to each market’s demands in terms of design and pricing – the top selling shoes to Arab countries being dress shoes for men, some types of comfort shoes, sandals, flip-flops and shoes with rubber uppers.

Asian competition, especially from China, is reported to have not detracted from Brazilian exports to Arab countries, because these markets – especially the Gulf countries – are predominantly importers and so have no trade barriers in place against foreign purchases

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Several Brazilian brands are now targeting Arab markets.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 4 of the October 2014 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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