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06/07/2017 - 07:00hs

Libyan buys 40,000 shoe pairs at Francal

Mohamed Swayeb, from firm Schuhmacher Medtech, which operates in footwear retail and distribution, placed orders in the São Paulo fair. Swayeb and Mohammed Ghaddar, from Oman, visited the Arab Chamber.

Isaura Daniel/ANBA

The importers were welcomed by Arab Chamber directors and staff team

São Paulo – An importer from Libya bought from 30,000 to 40,000 pairs of shoes during Francal, the footwear trade show that ended this Wednesday (5) in the city of São Paulo. Mohamed Swayeb is a purchasing representative of firm Schuhmacher Medtech, which distributes the products and is the owner of store chain Al Khaleej.

The importer visited this Wednesday the headquarters of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, which partnered with Francal’s organizers in inviting and providing support services to Arab executives during the event. Mohammed M. Ghaddar, president of store chain Shoe Palace, from Oman, also visited the Arab Chamber. Both were welcomed by the Arab Chamber’s directors Wiliam Atui and Mohamad Abdouni Neto and Operations director Maurício Borges.

Swayeb started buying footwear from Brazil nearly a year ago. The company owns ten stores in Libya, one in Egypt and one in Germany. It also distributes the products. The Libyan says that he was in Italy, in 2007, when he read the inscription “made in Brazil” in a shoe. From there, he took an airplane to Brazil searching for footwear. Not knowing the country or the industry, he found help from William Atui, a business partner of his brother.

Swayeb was back in January 2016 for Couromoda, a fair that takes place every January in São Paulo. There, he made USD 100,000 worth of orders for footwear. His third visit to Brazil was to attend Francal this year. To ANBA, he pointed out the comfort and perfect delivery of Brazilian footwear. “Our clients really enjoy the product from Brazil,” says Swayeb.

The importer buys and sells women’s, men’s and children’s footwear. He distributes 500 containers' worth of shoes per year, among the products heading to the stores and to third-parties. Swayeb graded out Francal positively and said that he bought mainly summer footwear, which are plenty worn in Libya, but also models for cold weather. 

Ghaddar, coming from Oman, was also very impressed with the fair and the organization. He said that he found in it the best footwear companies of Brazil. “The Francal staff team is very friendly, like a family, and I will come back to Francal every time,” he said, thanking also the support of the Arab Chamber. The business owner, who wasn’t familiar with Brazilian footwear, decided to attend the trade show after the Arab Chamber invited him.

Isaura Daniel/ANBA

Ghaddar (R) got to know the headquarters of the Arab Chamber

The Arab Chamber and Francal partnered to invite the Arabs. The Arab Chamber had a spot within the International Lounge at Francal and provided support so the Arab importers could find suppliers to their demands. Maurício Borges underscored this partnership. “The participation was promising, it generated positive results to the Brazilian companies taking part in the trade show. With the partnership we were able to also generate business to Arab entrepreneurs that had never thought to come to Brazil,” said Borges, mentioning Shoe Palace as an example.

The Arab importers at Francal relied on support from the Arab Brazilian Chamber’s Market Intelligence assistant Mohamed Hassanein Aly and commercial advisor João Bianchini. Chamber board members including Atui, Abdouni Neto and Mohamad Orra Mourad were also in attendance and spoke with the importers. Besides Omani and Libyan companies, Francal welcomed Arab importers from countries including Morocco, the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Between 1,500 and 2,000 importers were expected to attend Francal. The event featured 500 exhibitors showcasing 1,500 brands over 42,000 sqm of floor space at Expo Center Norte.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani & Gabriel Pomerancblum

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