World Congress of Footwear to be held in León
By Jade Arroyo
The nearby city of León, Guanajuato, famous for its tanneries and shoe industry, will host the fifth World Congress of Footwear (Congreso Mundial del Calzado) on November 24 and 25 of this year. This was revealed at the most recent International Fair of Tourism (FITUR) by the tourism director Manuel López Santamaría, representing León’s mayor, Barbara Botello. This congress was created 10 years ago by the CEC (European Confederation of the Footwear Industry) and provides a meeting point and open platform to discuss changes and challenges facing the shoe industry in a world of globalization.
León was chosen by the CEC as the site for this year’s congress in Paris. According to official information, the agreement was signed by Jean Pierre Renaudin, president of CEC; Miguel A. Plascencia, president of the organizing committee of the Congress; Ysmael López García, president of the CICEG; and Carlo Benedetti Cavaliere, president of ANPIC. Witnesses to the signing included Agustín García López, ambassador of Mexico in France; Fernando Olivera Rocha, tourism secretary; and Manuel López Santamaría, director of tourism in León. This congress will focus on three main topics: the evolution of international consumption and spreading of the market; distribution channels in the market, the importance of fairs, and the need to distribute on multiple levels; and problems faced in leather production and the lack of balance between supply and demand. For 2014, the arrival of 500 leaders in the footwear industry is expected. Miguel Angel Plascencia, president of the organizing committee, said: “Hosting the congress has been the result of a great effort by the institutions involved. For the organizing committee it will be a pleasure to receive all of you in the city of León, a place where yearly over 170 million pairs of shoes are made.” Tourism Secretary Fernando Rocha added: “Besides representing 70 percent of the national production of shoes, in 2013 León hosted 93 congresses and conventions, which represented an economic gain of over 397 million pesos. This shows why the city was named the next site of the World Congress of Footwear.”