A total of 49 Balearic shoe companies yesterday took part in the “Shoe Fashion” Fair in Madrid, where they warned that the industry is not experiencing a good time at the moment. This is mainly because the presence of Asian shoes on the market had caused a fall of three percent in exports compared with last year.
The Balearic Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy, Josep Cardona, asked for more help from the national Government to offset the low prices of Asian shoes as it is very difficult for Balearic shoe makers to compete with these. Cardona said it was “intolerable” that, because of the economic interests of the European Union and Spain in particular to woo the Asiatic markets in order to get big industry contracts, “manufacturing industries are used as an exchange rate”. Cardona criticised the national Government for “keeping quiet and looking the other way” when the “only thing” that the companies are asking for is “to be able to compete on an equal footing”. The Shoe Fashion Fair, which is one of the most important events in the industry's calendar and is included within International Shoe and Hand Made Goods Week, closes today.