JAS Export, the largest member of the JAS shoemaking group, nearly doubled its exports in 1997, the company's executive director, Jozef Štalmach, said on March 13, adding that he sees prospects for further growth in 1998. "We managed to re-orient our focus to markets in Germany, Scandinavia and the United States, and away from markets in the former Soviet Union which had disintegrated and almost caused the collapse of our company," Štalmach said. Last year, the company exported 1.33 million pairs of shoes on output of 2.27 million, a 69.6 percent increase compared to the 784,000 pairs exported on total output of 2.6 million in 1996. Štalmach added the company plans to increase its exports to 1.42 million pairs this year, on unchanged output. In 1989, JAS exported four million pairs of shoes to Russia and roughly a million pairs to western countries.