Footwear production by Serbian manufacturer Boreli slumped to 488,000 pairs in 2003, a 20 per cent year-on-year decrease.

The company, based in Sombor, attributed the decline to the grey economy, lower public purchasing ability and the 20 per cent turnover tax placed on footwear and textile products.

According to Boreli CEO Mirko Vujanovic, the company's 2003 output was one of its lowest in six years.

He said the company's 2004 production target was 580,000 pairs of shoes, with an export rate of 57 per cent.