DR is fifth footwear exporter to US
Minister of Industry and Commerce Jose del Castillo Savinon says that the Dominican Republic has become the fifth largest exporter of leather footwear to the United States in the world. These products are manufactured in Dominican industrial free zones.
In 2015, the country exported more than US$300 million worth of footwear. Del Castillo made the statements while delivering the keynote speech at the First Product Development Convention held in Santiago, sponsored by Rocky Brands and attended by 20 global companies. Del Castillo described how Santiago has become a center for footwear manufacture of many well-known brands. He said the DR is now the world’s leading exporter of slippers to the US. By diversifying the offer, the DR is now becoming a leader in canvas footwear with rubber soles.
In 2015, the DR produced 15 million pairs of shoes. There are prospects for the country to increase production to 50 million pairs of shoes by 2020. Almost all of these shoes are exported.
To meet the demand for skilled labor, the Footwear Training Institute was created to train the workforce in footwear manufacture. There will soon also be training in design and footwear technologies to consolidate the Dominican Republic as a regional leader in the footwear industry.
Del Castillo said that companies were relocating to the DR from Asia and the United States. He said that the footwear companies currently employ 19,000 people but growth projections point to another 35,000 jobs being created in the sector by 2017.
Rocky Brands CEO Dave Sharp described the event as a forum to show US investors’ commitment to investing more capital in the footwear industry. He commented that if this was not the best moment, it was one of the best moments to invest in the country. He praised the country’s economic stability, and the fact that the Consumer Price Index is one of the lowest in Latin America over the past four years and that the dollar exchange rate is stable.
National Free Zones Council director Luisa Fernandez also attended the event.
May 7, 2016
Category: DR News |