The project Integrated export services for SMEs in Romania, the Swiss-Romanian cooperation program for reducing the economic and social disparities within the enlarged European Union

The project "Integrated export services for SMEs in Romania", the Swiss-Romanian cooperation program for reducing the economic and social disparities within the enlarged European Union

31 companies and two clusters in the fields of organic farming and furniture production will exhibit at six international fairs.

The selection of the 15 companies in the furniture production sector and the 16 companies and two clusters in the field of organic agriculture will be finalized, which will participate in the second module of the project "Export Services for SMEs in Romania" at six international fairs.

The companies were selected from among the 80 graduates of the intensive entrepreneurial export training program organized in the first module of the project.

The criteria for the classification of the companies were: the degree of elaboration of the export strategy; the added value of the product; the degree of innovation of the firm; branding quality and promotion materials; production capacity and technological endowments; managerial preparation of the company to meet the requirements of international markets.

Trade fairs, located mainly outside the European Union, in countries such as Malaysia, China United Arab Emirates and Turkey, offer Romanian producers the opportunity to explore difficult markets to penetrate individually because of the high costs of participation in exhibitions, cultural differences and limited access to information

In parallel with the individual training of exhibitors, in order to find strategic partners for access to different distribution networks and to present the quality of Romanian products on local markets, a promotion campaign is conducted through media channels and networks by profile associations.

At the end of the first module, the impact on the business environment of the training program developed with the support of the two pilot Centers for Exports (CAE) in Ploiesti and Bacau, developed in the first stage of the project, was also analyzed.

The debate took place at a conference attended by more than 120 representatives of associations, clusters, employers' organizations, the media, public institutions and SMEs.

The event also offered the opportunity to identify development and sustainability directions of the CAE, facing the challenge of using the accumulated experience to allow service continuity after the project's completion, as well as creating a replicable business model in other regions of Romania.

As a result of the training program, the participating SMEs said they feel ready to approach the foreign markets with new or improved products, with a brand adapted to the international business environment and with a different view of the steps to be taken to export.

Although the results are still incipient at national level, CAEs have the potential to become business models with a real impact on export development, as they are directly linked to other export support tools administered by the Ministry for the Business and Commerce Environment such as participation in international promotional events or funding programs.

The project "Integrated Export Services for SMEs in Romania" is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland, through the Swiss Contribution, amounting to 7,891,553 RON. Following the public procurement procedure organized by the Ministry of Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship. This project is carried out by the association of Proconsult - Prahova Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Inpulse Partners - TDP Partners.