Over 50 projects were presented by the companies of the footwear industry cluster within the Portugal 2020. It’s a total investment of over 300 million euros, especially for the technological modernization process. Meanwhile, there will be created 400 new jobs.
It’s a practical interpretation of the Strategic Plan of the Portuguese Footwear Cluster, FOOTure2020, which announced the aim of “achieving [by the end of the decade] a qualitative leap on the international establishment process of the Portuguese footwear, setting this industry as a fundamental point of reference worldwide. This process of affirmation should be based on the creativity and sophistication that the Portuguese market has to offer through its products, producing processes and business models, to allow the continuing investment in market segments in which the choice is based more on the excellent taste than the price. Moreover, the maintenance of the national productive base is a necessary condition for a good market position because it allows flexibility, response speed and quality of products, which enables a differential from the competition. “Well, the high competitiveness necessary to keep the production base can’t jeopardize the high standards of sustainability and social responsibility. Quite to the contrary, they must support those issues. To this end, the footwear industry cluster assumes the knowledge and innovation as one of its core values”.
Leandro de Melo, the Director General of the Footwear Technology Centre of Portugal (CTCP), emphasizes that, “at this first round of projects, were presented modernization proposals for 54 footwear companies”. The total amount of investment “rounds 33 million euros”, of which a significant portion, about half of the value, is directly linked to the investment in new production equipment and improvement of industrial units. The Portuguese footwear industry conquered the statute of the most modern in the world, in the last decade, as a result of the continuous investment in the latest technologies and in advanced technological solutions. It’s important for us to continue this path, to assure the flexibility, capability and quick response from our companies, in contrast with our competition”.