Footwear manufacturers choose target markets for the Brazilian Footwear 2022-2023

The Brazilian Footwear, footwear exports promotion program developed by the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados) in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), began its renewal process and chose its target markets for the next agreement, for the biennium 2022/2023. The meeting between representatives of Apex-Brasil, Abicalçados, and footwear companies took place digitally on June 22.

On that occasion, the more than 30 footwear companies present began the selection process. Letícia Masselli, the coordinator of Abicalçados' Trade Promotion Unit, highlighted the representativeness of the participating companies. “Companies from the main Brazilian footwear clusters and from all segments were represented at the meeting, which shows the importance the agreement gained at this moment in which we foresee a recovery in the international market,” she says. 

With the discussion, the target markets were defined as the United States, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, France, and South Korea. The latter is the only one on the list that will be a target market for footwear manufacturers for the first time. "As this is the first time in this market, a study will be carried out before the beginning of actions by the Brazilian Footwear,” says the manager of the Brazilian Footwear at Apex-Brasil, Mariele Lais Christ. A novelty of the Program is that two countries were listed as secondary markets. They will be observed throughout the agreement. Russia and Saudi Arabia will be under analysis to map opportunities. 

The markets
According to Christ, all the selected countries are potential markets and point to relevant democratization, as they encompass the interests of companies of all sizes and with different levels of maturity when it comes to exports. “Companies that are starting their internationalization process are contemplated with actions in less challenging markets, such as Latin America, especially due to cultural similarities. More mature companies, conversely, seek more challenging countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea,” she exemplifies, noting that the objective of the agreement is to open up potential markets and also maintain and expand the presence in well-established markets. “Another relevant factor is the dispersion of target countries, covering all continents and having residual impacts on other countries that are important for our footwear,” she adds. 

Brazilian Footwear
Signed for the first time in 2000, the Brazilian Footwear is renewed every two years and aims to help footwear companies with internationalization processes. Actions geared towards trade promotion – such as the participation of Brazilian brands in international fairs and business networking meetings – and actions that seek to strengthen the image of Brazilian brands and the identity of made-in-Brazil shoes are promoted with the support of the program.

Positioned among the top five sectorial programs with Apex-Brasil – out of a total of more than 50 – the Brazilian Footwear has greatly diversified Brazilian footwear exports, going from 99 destinations (2000) to more than 160 destinations (2019). Altogether, the 328 member companies account for more than 70% of the total value generated by Brazilian footwear exports (USD 658 million in 2020).

With the resumption of international economic activity, due to the advance of vaccination against Covid-19 and the normalization of trade, Brazilian footwear exports are expected to increase. As projected by Abicalçados' Market Intelligence Unit, shipments will likely increase by 13% throughout 2021. Christ highlights that the Brazilian Footwear will play an essential role in estimating the increase in shipments. According to her, with the gradual resumption of in-person events, combined with digital gatherings (which became more prominent throughout 2020), more companies are expected to participate in the actions geared towards trade and image promotion carried out by the Brazilian Footwear.

Get to know the target markets for the Brazilian Footwear

United States
The main destination of Brazilian footwear exports since the industry began operating in the international market, the United States is the main footwear importers in the world. Between January and May of this year, U.S. companies imported 5.38 million Brazilian pairs, which generated USD 70.1 million, increases of 41.2% in volume and 21.6% in revenues compared to the same period last year. Currently, it is one of the target markets for the Brazilian Footwear. 

Colombia was already a target market for the Brazilian Footwear in the past, when exports to the country were qualified. It is a target market once again, allowing Brazilian shoes to be promoted through actions geared towards trade and image promotion. Between January and May, Colombians imported 3.16 million Brazilian pairs, which generated USD 10.4 million, an increase of 18.6% in volume and a decrease of 2.9% in revenues in comparison with the same period last year. 

United Kingdom
The United Kingdom renews its presence among the target markets for the Brazilian Footwear for 2022/2023. With a quite high average price of shoes imported from Brazil compared to the overall average (USD 15.27 against USD 6.56), it is an attractive market for companies that work with high value-added shoes. Between January and May, the United Kingdom imported 469.76 thousand Brazilian pairs, for which USD 7.17 million were paid, a decrease of 39.6% in volume and an increase of 0.6% in revenues in comparison with the same period in 2020.

France is a big buyer, especially in the private label model – with the customer's brand. Between January and May this year, the French imported 3.1 million Brazilian pairs, for which they paid USD 23.46 million, increases of 16.7% in volume and 20.5% in revenues in comparison with the same period in 2020. Currently, France is one of the target markets for the Brazilian Footwear.

United Arab Emirates
Having already been a target market for the Brazilian Footwear and being outside the list of markets of the 2019/2021 agreement, the United Arab Emirates is regarded as a great gateway for Brazilian products in the Persian Gulf, allowing the program to develop the countries of the block in an integrated way. Between January and May of this year, 326.1 thousand pairs were exported to the United Arab Emirates for USD 2.48 million, decreases of 8.3% in volume and 15.3% in revenues compared to the same period in 2020

South Korea
Debuting among the target markets for the Brazilian Footwear, South Korea will be the target of a market study before hosting actions geared towards trade and image promotion. The objective is to investigate the feasibility of Brazilian shoes in one of the most developed countries in the Asian continent. South Korea imported 439 thousand Brazilian pairs for USD 1.86 million between January and May, an increase of 2.6% in volume and a decrease of 25.6% in revenues in comparison with the same period last year. 



About the Brazilian Footwear:
The Brazilian Footwear is an exports promotion program developed by Abicalçados in partnership with Apex-Brasil. The program aims to increase exports of Brazilian footwear brands through actions aimed at development, trade promotion, and image, focusing on the international market. Learn more: |

About Apex-Brasil:
The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) works to promote Brazilian products and services abroad and to attract foreign investment into strategic sectors of the Brazilian economy. To reach these goals, Apex-Brasil carries out diverse trade promotion actions that aim to promote exports and to value Brazilian products and services abroad, such as prospective and trade missions, business networking meetings, support for the participation of Brazilian companies in important international fairs, and visits from foreign buyers and opinion formers to get to know the Brazilian manufacturing structure, among other business platforms that also aim to strengthen the Brazil brand.  Learn more: