Cleto Sagripanti re-elected as CEC PresidentAt the CEC General Assembly, held at the Chamber of Commerce of Venice and Rovigo in Venice, Cleto Sagripanti was re-elected to a second term as President of CEC.
After two years devoted to the footwear industry and its needs and interests, and in particular to re-shoring, access to markets, internationalisation of SMEs, and to the simplification of regulations, Cleto Sagripanti has been re-elected as President of the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC).
His nomination has been enthusiastically welcomed by the members, satisfied with his work and his commitment as spokesperson of the European industry.
In the last few years, CEC has encouraged and achieved positive results for the European footwear sector. An example of this is the recent conclusion of the trade agreement between the EU and Japan, with the complete elimination of the prohibitive tariff quota system, the reduction of tariffs into Japan from 30% to 21%, and their complete liberalisation within 10 years. “Negotiations have been long and difficult due to the highly protected Japanese footwear, but in the end we have reached an agreement concerning, in particular, the rules of origin, which provide for an alternative formula in line with the current rules of origin already undersigned with the EU-Korea agreement - Cleto Sagripanti explained - Japan is one of the strategic markets for European footwear, and its consumers are among the most demanding. In this way, they will be able to appreciate the high quality and standards of the shoes manufactured in Europe even more”.
Other challenges regard the negotiations for a free trade agreement with Mercosur, the delineation of an industrial policy that takes into account specific sectors in collaboration with the European Commission and facilitates the digitalisation of European footwear companies in order to maximise their export and sales potential.
Precisely on the latter issue, CEC is working to enhance the digital skills of employees and exploring trustworthy extra-European online markets, in order to enable European footwear companies to safely and easily sell their shoes directly to consumers. With the slowdown of physical stores and the fast growth of e-commerce, CEC sees digitalisation as one of the priorities to pursue.
So, President Sagripanti will continue working with CEC in order to push for a more favourable agenda for European footwear, and will retain focus on the fast political, economic and technological changes that are affecting the industry and the consumers’ expectations.
“Our industry continuously faces many challenges, whether in manufacturing, skills-needs, export performance, and selling channels, but these should be considered as opportunities to thrive and make our footwear industry stronger than ever”
President Sagripanti declared, beginning his new term with optimism.