The footwear and leather subsector is one of the most important export industries in the Dominican Republic. The success of this industry has been encouraged by a highly competitive local supply chain with increasing capacity for producing most of the raw materials and components required by footwear and leather products manufacturers.
In addition to major competitive advantages offered by the country for manufacturing activities, the footwear and leather industry has benefited from more than 50 years of technical experience, amassing a workforce brimming with skills and specific knowledge, especially in high-end leather shoes for European and American markets.
The local supply chain is integrated by 30 local and multinational corporations, including footwear manufacturers, tanneries, and component suppliers, generating over 14,000 direct jobs. Several companies have also been incorporating value-added activities within their production operations in the country, such as product design and development.
The footwear subsector has been designated as a top priority industry by the Government of the Dominican Republic. In 2014 the President created the National Footwear Commission with the purpose of identifying all necessary legal, economic, financial, and operative measures for achieving the goal of increasing footwear exports.
This Commission, co-chaired by the Minister of the Presidency, and the Minister of Industry and Commerce, is focusing particularly on supply chain and cluster development, financial instruments for export and investment on infrastructure and special projects, strengthening training programs, and exports promotion.