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The U.S. sets eyes on Nicaragua as footwear supplier
The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), in its recently published 2012 Annual Footwear Sourcing Forecast, showcased Nicaragua as a “rising star” with great potential to increase its footwear exports to the U.S.
According to the 2012 forecast, U.S. footwear imports from China accounted for 85.3 percent of all U.S. footwear imports in 2011, the lowest market percentage in seven years.
The U.S. should thus seek to restructure its sourcing strategies and options due to China’s increasing prices, shortages in labor and increased compliance costs, and “keep an eye on Cambodia, Bangladesh and Nicaragua”.
Additionally, the report mentions that imports into the U.S. will continue to grow from US$22.7 billion in 2011 to US$25.2 billion by 2016, which gives room for emerging sources, such as Nicaragua, to substantially increase their exports into the country.
Due to the positive development and investment opportunities in Nicaragua’s footwear manufacturing sector, the country will be hosting an international forum titled “Nicaragua, The Right Step”, during June 13th and 14th, in the city of Managua. The event organized by PRONicaragua, the official investment promotion agency of Nicaragua, will give participants the unique opportunity to learn why the country has become an attractive and increasingly competitive production platform for this industry. Renowned international speakers and participants are expected to attend this unprecedented event.
Schmidt Irmaos, a Brazilian women's footwear manufacturing company, began operations in Nicaragua in 2010, with plans to generate up to 4,000 job opportunities. Brazilian shoe manufacturer ANIGER also began operations in the country in 2011 with plans to create a total of 1,200 jobs and produce up to 10,000 pairs of shoes a day.
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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.