World Footwear Congress
World Footwear Congress 2019
World Footwear Congress 2019 will be held in Naples on 4th-5th April 2019.
This edition will focus on the topic “Digitalisation for a sustainable footwear industry” and will bring together high-level international speakers and experts to discuss digitalisation and sustainability and their significance for the future of the footwear sector. In addition to keynote speeches and roundtables, the programme will also feature visits to local footwear factories.
A website dedicated to the event is available.
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The CEC created the World Footwear Congress more than ten years ago as a platform to discuss the constant changes and challenges that this dynamic industry has been facing since the beginning of the globalization. The Congress serves in particular for the promotion a free and fair global market with equal chances for all on a reciprocal basis, while increasing international collaboration. The event is open to all categories of worldwide footwear stakeholders (manufacturers and retailers, sector associations, technological and educational centers, policy makers, journalists, etc), although the main beneficiaries are intended to be the businesses of the footwear sector.
The first three editions of the Congress took place in Europe - April 2003 and April 2005 in Brussels (Belgium) and April 2007 in La Rioja (Spain). Then, CEC Members agreed to expand the debate to other relevant geographical zones around the world in order to strengthen the collaboration between all relevant parties, including public authorities, and increase market opportunities for businesses. As a result, in November 2011, the Congress was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a Member of the South Common Market (MERCOSUR), with an attendance of nearly 500 participants and guest speakers from around the world. Our latest edition took place in Leon, State of Guanajuato, Mexico on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th November 2014. Mexico was chosen because it was a clear example of an open market, on top of being the most competitive among the candidates. The country has a significant number of free trade agreements signed with major trading partners around the world, and it is also a member of the North America Trade Agreement (NAFTA), together with Canada and USA. Furthermore, Leon produces 70% of the 244 million pairs of shoes made in Mexico, and it is one of the major production areas in the world, with an industry characterized by a strong commitment to high international quality standards and a passion for design and innovation. The Congress was titled “Keeping One Step Ahead: meeting the challenges of the footwear sector”, and the participants had the opportunity to discuss how the footwear sector keeps ahead of consumers' demands, business needs and globalization.