The 48th edition of OBUV Mir Kozhi, the exhibition organized by Bologna Fiere and Assocalzaturifici, is about to open at Moscow Expocentre. It is due to close on Friday. 220 brands, coming from 12 countries, will take part in the fair which will house their collections on an area of about 4,800 square metres. There will be about 150 Italian companies (200 brands) looking for Russian buyers. “Manning such market is of paramount importance for our business”, says Annarita Pilotti, president of Assocalzaturifici. “In the first six months of 2017 footwear Italian export to Russia increased by 17% in terms of value and by 27,6% in terms of volumes, as over 3 million pair of shoes have been sold. A comforting recovery, still partial though, as current sales have been decreasing by 45% as for value and by 27% as for volumes compared to 2013 first term”. “Expectations on OBUV are good. We are not expecting any further slowdown at all…” says Marino Fabiani, co-director, along with Arturo Venanzi, of CSI Lab at Assocalzaturifici. “Thanks to an updated space layout and fully renovated exhibition areas we give companies a chance to show off their collections on exhibit. ICE is considerably helping us spotting potential heavy buyers of made in Italy products”, points out Venanzi. Exhibitors look for stability after the market going remarkably up and down over the last years, mirroring Russian currency volatility. At OBUV a few leather goods companies, supported by AIMPES, will exhibit as well. The aim is to open new trade channels in a business market that purchased, in 2016, a bigger number of Italian bags (+13,6%).