Cobblers unite against China

  • 2005-06-15
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - Lithuanian manufacturers of footwear are joining forces with their Italian colleagues in their battle against cheap footwear imports from China.

Kestutis Deltuva, CEO of Lituanica, a major shoe manufacturer, said that Lithuanian shoemakers support Italian producers in the latter's demand that the European Union take action to curb cheap Chinese shoe imports.

"We agree with what is stated in the report by the director general of the National Association of Italian Shoemakers and are preparing an appeal by the Lithuanian Apparel and Textile Industry Association to the European Commission," Deltuva told the business daily Verslo Zinios.

As a result of falling demand in Europe, Lithuanian footwear production dropped by 21 percent in the first four months of this year, compared with the same period a year ago. Among major footwear producers, only Lituanica and Sabalin have continued operations. Competition has forced Apavikta, a Vilnius-based company, to cease output.

Italian producers are claiming that Chinese shoes are so cheap their retail cost is less than the leather Italians need to make a pair of shoes.