The company, which represents the first industrial investment of Brazilian capital to open operations in Nicaragua, was initially contacted by PRONicaragua, the country’s official investment promotion agency, to set up its operations under the country’s free zone regime in 2009 and is now producing 4.5 million shoes a year.
The company benefits from the agreements negotiated under DR-CAFTA, which allow the company to import leather from all over the world, assemble it in Nicaragua, and export the finished product to the United States tax free, as well as enjoys duty free access into the European market under the Generalized System of Preferences in force.
Mr. Tovar Schmidt, President of SCA Footwear Nicaragua S.A., expressed his satisfaction with the country, stating that “in December 2009 we were exploring investment opportunities in Central America and found that Nicaragua has very attractive qualities for our operations. The results to date have exceeded our expectations and we are confident we will achieve excellent production numbers in 2011.”
For its second phase in the country, SCA Footwear Nicaragua S.A. plans to expand its operations by mounting machinery that will treat and finish leather through the wet blue process. This new phase represents an additional investment of US$3 million and a generation of 500 additional jobs in the country, occupying an industrial area of around 28,000 square meters.
SCA Footwear Nicaragua S.A. is part of the Brazilian company Schmidt Irmãos Calçados founded in 1943, engaged in manufacturing women's footwear made of leather and/or synthetic materials. This company, based in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, is vertically integrated and, as of 1969, exports 100 percent of its production to markets in Europe, USA and Canada.
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PRONicaragua is the Nicaraguan Investment Promotion Agency, established in 2002. It is a non-profit, public-private institution whose mission is to generate economic growth and job creation in Nicaragua by attracting high-quality foreign direct investment. The agency provides complimentary support services to qualified investors seeking investment opportunities in our country.