ABEST was set up in 2003 and is a non-profit association whose purpose is to strengthen and promote the national fashion industry, seeking excellence in quality, design and identity. The Association also attempts to develop brands/labels with an international reach, guarantee the authenticity and creativity of its collections; promote the Brazilian life-style as well as making a contribution to Brazilian fashion as a whole. In 2006 the association consisted of 51 organizations. It had a turnover of US$ 12 million, exporting well designed quality products to 38 countries. Today ABEST represents 51 brands in Brazil and exports to 48 countries. It is constantly attempting to penetrate of new markets and maintain close relations with already established clients (shops, trade shows, exhibitions) in more than 90 countries. APEX, the Ministry of Tourism and the Brazilian Association of Leather, Shoes and Footwear Components Companies (Assintecal) have supported ABEST its attempt to set up showrooms, promoting shows and producing goods catalogues.