In the first quarter imports of footwear amounted to 9.5 million pairs totaled US$51.6 million an increase of 37% compared to the parallel period last year
According to Gershon Broshi, representative of Israeli Manufacturers Association and CEO of Caligula Industries, bulk imports of footwear from the Far East at cheap prices is causing serious harm to the industry.
In the first quarter of 2007, imports of footwear amounted to 9.5 million pairs totaled US$51.6 million an increase of 37% compared to the parallel period last year. Imports from China increased 44%, at a cost of US$32.8 million.
Imports of footwear from China increased 24% to 20.7 million items at a cost of 80.3m.
According to the footwear manufacturers, shoes imported from the Far East are inferior in quality and are not suited to the size and shape of Israelis’ feet or the local climate. However, the cheap prices of these imported shoes have made it difficult for them to compete on equal terms.
Footwear manufacturers and the Manufacturers Association are expected to ask the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labor to impose dumping duties on imports from the Far East, in line with Taiwan, which imposed dumping duties of 43.46% on imports of leather goods from most countries in the Far East.
Sales of footwear in Israel will increase this year by 7% to US$135 million. Exports of footwear will be increased by 5% to US$40m.
The sector currently has 1,800 employees, compared with 4,000 employees ten years ago.