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1.- Characteristics of Cordovan jewellery industry:

This is a business community made up of, approximately, 1,000 small and medium-sized manufacturers, mainly. Nowadays, it is too fragmented. This is an industry that is particularly lively and enterprising, with a predominant position in the economy of the city, where it has a great and important weight. It employs around 15,000 people, whether directly or indirectly. It continues to be markedly characterized by handicrafts, although it is currently experiencing an intense mechanization stage. The main asset of Cordovan manufactures is their excellent quality-price ratio. At present time, the manufacture of Cordovan jewels approximately implies 60% of national production and it is present in the whole of our territory, as well as in the main countries in the world.

2.- Number of people engaged in the jewellery industry in Cordoba:

As stated in the previous section, there are around 15,000 people working in this industry, whether directly or indirectly.

3.- Main problems of the industry:

There are various problems that the Cordovan jewellery industry must face.

On the one hand, the excessive fragmentation of this industry, although Parque Joyero (Jewellery Park) has been created with the intention of putting an end to this aspect, as far as possible. The Law on Precious Metals is excessively strict for jewellery manufacturers, who are subjected to an implacable control that gives rise to an important and unfair discrimination as regards other industries and even as regards other jewellery manufacturing areas in the rest of the country. Nowadays, the premises of most manufacturers are not as suitable as they should, given that they do not comply with the ideal conditions required by manufacturing and industrializing processes; this problem will also be lessened with the creation of Parque Joyero.

Another pressing problem is the high level of non-payments, which are partially due to the persistence of some mercantile customs and traditions that are obsolete and insufficiently documented in some cases, although this problem is also disappearing.

Finally, unfair competition also damages the image of this industry.

4.- Turnover from last year and prospects for this year:

No official figures are known about internal turnover, although our estimates establish it at 80,000 million pesetas, approximately. In recent years, exports have reached an average value exceeding 14,000 or 15,000 millions per year, which places the jewellery industry among the leaders in terms of the external trade of the province.

For this year, similar figures are expected, with a certain upward trend thanks to the efforts that are being made in order to introduce this industry into new markets.

5.- Influence of jewellery on the Cordovan economy:

The jewellery industry is vital to the economy of the city, given that it is one of its essential pillars. It is one of the three leading industries in terms of exports, as well as in terms of external trade.

It would not be appropriate or significant to talk about percentages, given that it faces up to other industries with a far higher consumption index, for example, the vegetable oil industry.

6.- Number of people engaged in the jewellery industry in Cordoba:

At present time, there are almost 1,000 manufacturing companies registered in Cordoba, although an important number of them are small-sized companies.

7.- Future plans for the industry:

• Internationalization, by fostering the actions aimed at locating and consolidating new markets and the final establishment in those already existing.

• Modernization of the company at all levels.

• Implementation of the design, as a definitive weapon to achieve more competitiveness.

• Parque Joyero of Cordoba: It is an unprecedented project in the whole world.

8.- Needs of the industry:

• Greater support from administrations.

• Provision of more qualified employment.

• Modernization of companies, with the creation of new marketing methods and trends.

• The extremely important economic effort that the entrepreneur is obliged to make for the acquisition of raw materials –due to their high cost– would be palliated by the financing provided by administrations.

9.- Main markets for the Cordovan jewellery industry:

In addition to the domestic market, in which the Cordovan jewellery industry is greatly successful, exports are one of its main assets.

The main destinations are:

- France

- Portugal

- Germany

- USA

- Arab Countries

New markets are being located, and, at the same time, those already existing are being consolidated. To that end, in recent years, various grouped commercial actions have been carried out in France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Italy, Australia, Argentina, Dubai, and Mexico, among others.

10.- Export data:

As already stated, the national average of recent years shows figures for exports amounting to, approximately, 14,000 million pesetas per year, which are spectacularly remarkable in comparison with the 2,500 millions that were exported at the beginning of this decade.

Nowadays, there are around 100 companies that are regularly engaged in exports, in comparison with the 15 or 20 companies that were engaged in the export activity at the beginning of this decade; this approximately implies more than 10% of the total number of entrepreneurs registered, although from the said number we should distinguish those that, due to their small size, do not have the necessary capacity and infrastructure; this is something that the Association is fighting for with the various actions that are organized each year within the Export Promotion Plan (grouped participations in fairs, commercial missions, business encounters, etc.).

11.- Characteristics of companies:

In general, the companies of this industry are small and medium-sized companies. They keep their handicraft nature, although they are experiencing an accelerated mechanization stage. Entrepreneurs engaged in the Cordovan jewellery industry may be defined as aggressive in the various markets, lively and enterprising.

12.- Main competitive markets:

- Italy (although they sell a different kind of goods).

- Asian countries (that are competitive due to their cheap labour)

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