India gains as EU cuts Chinese shoe imports

Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: India is one of the three Asian countries to gain after the European Union (EU) imposed anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese leather shoes. Groupe Royer of France has cut imports of Chinese leather shoes by 85 percent this year, said company designer Romain Tamalet.

His company, which normally bought 20 million pairs of shoes from China, has now turned to India, Thailand and Indonesia for leather shoes.

Chinese leather-shoe manufacturers have been experiencing drop in orders from Europe due to the anti-dumping tariffs imposed by the European Union (EU) on leather shoes manufactured in the country.

"We have seen almost no European buyers visit our stall the whole day," said Wu Liming, a worker with the international trade department of the Kangnai Group Co., Ltd., one of China's biggest shoemakers, at the ongoing Canton Fair in Guangzhou, in China's Guangdong province.

Wu said the absence of European buyers was in contrast to the previous bi-annual export fair, where his company had many buyers from France, Denmark and Britain.

About 60 percent of the company's exports normally went to Europe, but the new tariffs, which would no doubt lead to increase in shoe prices in Europe, would compel European buyers to find suppliers from other countries, said Wu.

The EU decided to impose two-year duties of 16.5 percent on Chinese leather shoes from Oct 7. The Chinese shoemakers are planning to file a suit in the European Court of Justice against the EU tariffs.

China's commerce ministry said last week that it backed the efforts by Chinese shoemakers to safeguard their legitimate interests. European buyers have begun to buy shoes made of non-leather materials that are unaffected by the new tariffs in China.

Tamalet of Groupe Royer of France said: "For us, the new tariff is no good. Now we are obliged to import fewer leather shoes." Other buyers from Europe are showing more interest in slippers or textile shoes at the fair.

Chinese manufacturers have begun to extend their overseas markets, finding new buyers in North America, rather than relying too much on the European market.

Source: IANS
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