An interview with Josè Sanchis, F.I.C.E President, who explains the success of the footwear industry in the Iberian Peninsula.

Founded in 1977, FICE represents around 90% of Spanish shoe businesses; the association is constantly committed to promoting “Made In Spain” products following a strategy that leads to greater international awareness of the quality of Spanish shoes. We interviewed Josè Sanchis, the newly elected president of the association, trying to fathom the reasons that have made Spain one of the most interesting countries in the international footwear industry.

Why should a buyer purchase a Spanish product?

Spain is the second most important country in Europe in terms of footwear production. Our products are an excellent mix of creativity, design, quality, innovation and price. In 2012, more than 130 million people worldwide have worn shoes made in Spain. This shows that the consumer knows the value of our products and appreciates their style and quality.

What are the reference markets for the Spanish products and what are the new horizons to explore?

In the last few years our brands have diversified their export markets, positioning themselves in more than 150 countries. This strategy has allowed Iberian brands to become more internationally recognised. In addition to traditional European markets, our members have focused on the Asian markets, the former Soviet bloc, the Middle East and the United States. Furthermore, our association will soon launch a project aimed at the penetration of the Latin American market.

What strategies does F.I.C.E implement to promote its members, especially in this period of crisis?

Our association supports Spanish companies worldwide by developing commercial and marketing strategies for every company and promoting the image of the “Made in Spain” brand as guarantee of a quality product at an international level. We are convinced that the most effective way to combat the crisis is to create business opportunities for our companies and to explore new markets.