It`s only a three-hour time difference from Leather Inetrnational HQ in London, but after 24 hours travel time, we're finally on the ground here at the 39th edition of Fimec (International Fair for Leather, Chemical Products, Components, Machines, and Equipment for Footwear and Tanneries) in Novo Hamburgo, Brazil.
The first day is buzzing, with 600 exhibitors representing over 1,200 brands, which is a good indication until things wrap up on Friday.
Organized by Fenac and Novo Hamburgo City Hall, and supported by the leading leather-footwear organizations in Brazil, the fair has a long tradition and predominately focuses on the South American market. Fernando Bello, executive president at CICB, expressed optimism for the fair at this early stage, despite his impression that, overall, footwear is taking an back seat to automotive leather at present.
Fimec is one of the top events in the leather calendar, strengthened by the growth of emerging economies and its domestic market centered here in Novo Hamburgo, where 80% of the country`s footwear is produced.
It is estimated that this edition of Fimec will attract approximately 50,000 people across segments such as leather finishing, footwear and related leather product components, tanneries, machinery and chemical products.