The number of companies selling to other countries has gone from 90 in the first four months of 2016 to 121 in the same period this year.

The number of exporting companies in the regional footwear sector has increased by 34.44 per cent in the last year, from 90 in the first four months of the year 2016 to 121 in the same time period this year.

The community, through the Institute of Development, launched a year ago a specific plan for this sector, the program ' Murcia Calzado ', which puts special attention on enhancing the innovation and the internationalization of the companies that integrate it, as reported Sources of the regional executive.

The director of the Info, Joaquín Gómez, visited this Wednesday four of these companies in Moratalla and Caravaca de la Cruz and then held a meeting of work with representatives of the Jute Association of Caravaca de la Cruz.

"Two of the main axes of this plan are the impetus to the modernization of a sector characterized by the quality of its products with a specific bet to introduce the technologies 4.0 and the promotion of the internationalization, betting to consolidate markets Traditional like France, Italy or the United Kingdom, and diversify and capture new emerging markets, "Gomez said.

During the visit, the Director of the Regional Development Agency explained to the businessmen and members of the Association two of the latest initiatives implemented within the ' Murcia Calzado ' plan.

In terms of innovation, the Info is open from the end of last May, and until next August 21st, a line of aid to promote industrial design among SMEs in the sector.

The program, endowed with a budget of 300,000 euros, envisages on the one hand supports of up to 20,000 euros to promote the hiring of external services of innovation and a second modality, with AIDS of up to 50,000 euros, to stimulate the incorporation of Research staff or the purchase of equipment and materials that consolidate the design and innovation activities.

In terms of internationalisation, the companies in the regional footwear sector will participate for the first time, next August, at the Magic Platform International Fair in Las Vegas, which with more than 700 exhibitors and 1,600 brands from over 20 countries around the world is One of the most important quotes of this sector in the American market.

The participation in this fair, whose call is open until next July 26, joins the organization last September, and also in a pioneering way, a mission to the fair of footwear in Milan.

In addition, and for the second semester of the year, the plan contemplates the Organization for the first time of a trade mission to Australia and a ' showroom ' in the United Kingdom to promote the region of Murcia brand.

These promotional actions, as well as the organization of several trade missions focused on this sector, made exports of regional footwear increase up to 14 percent over the past year. In the first four months of this year, sales in the international markets already reach 47,890,000 euros, which places the region as the fifth most exporting province.

   Other actions of the Murcia footwear Plan

"With this specific support plan, the regional government is at the forefront of the Spanish Autonomous Communities in the modernization and improvement of the competitiveness of a sector, that of footwear, which counts in the region with a total of 178 companies concentrated in the Region of the northwest and representing 3.75 percent of the sector at the national level, "said the director of the Info.

Together with these two strategic lines, the Murcia Calzado Plan envisages other objectives such as the diversification of marketing channels; The impulse to training, with the development in Caravaca de la Cruz of a Dual vocational training model specializing in footwear and a medium-grade technical training cycle in footwear and fashion, or to increase efforts in the fight against the submerged economy and the pre Labor risk Grant.