Overview Trade Promotion Organizations (TPOs), also known as Export Promotion Agencies, have come to play increasingly important roles, not just in countries’ national export strategies but also in a more general development perspective. A November 2006 study conducted by World Bank researchers opens amidst cries of “export or die!&quot;: Bolivia in 1985 was experiencing hyperinflation, and its President pointed dramatically to increased exports as the only possible solution to the crisis. The national export agency was thus created. It is interesting to note, as the World Bank working paper points out, that the number of national TPOs increased considerably during the 1960s, in order to boost exports and reduce trade deficits. This is quite natural, in an age when international commerce and the world economy were growing at a significant pace. Italy, for example, had emerged from postwar reconstruction, was rapidly building and consolidating its industrial base and established a firm foothold among the world’s chief industrialized and exporting economies. Italy ranks seventh among world exporters (WTO, 2007, most recent available figures). There is no disputing the fact that export promotion played a decisive role in launching Italian production onto the world stage and helping it to establish its international reputation. I might mention here that national TPOs, especially those of developing and emerging economies, have over the years been able to avail themselves of the services of the International Trade Center, a joint multilateral agency of the World Trade Organization-WTO and of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-UNCTAD. TPOs also work together within the framework of the World Trade Promotion Organization-WTPO. Its European counterpart is ETPO-European Trade Promotion Organization. In addition to providing a wealth of information and literature on what TPOs do, they offer the opportunity to conduct benchmarking exercises and periodic meetings to assess and evaluate the role of TPOs in a constantly changing environment. There are, of course, many different views on the actual effectiveness of TPOs in boosting a country’s exports. Though the literature on this subject is not extremely extensive, one ought to be aware of the fact that support for the view that TPOs are working to full potential is far from unanimous. A discussion of theoretical issues is beyond the purpose of our discussion today, nor am I an economist or an expert in the econometrics or statistics involved, but being aware of its complexity can offer a perspective from which to understand that there is a multi-faceted reality which poses constant challenges and requires continuous adaptation to changing conditions. Broadly speaking, let us confine ourselves to saying that, overall, TPOs are considered to have a positive effect on exports , though to varying degrees, owing to a number of factors : e.g. regional development, GDP per capita, size, institutional structure, independence, presence of the private sector, capacity for long-term planning, etc. A feature common to most TPOs is, of course, public sector support. This is of special significance in times of crisis. Though to varying degrees, Trade Promotion Organizations are basically government-funded and answer to a Ministry or other public supervisory body. This is justified by the need to ensure a country’s Small and Medium Enterprises with the type of support which they would be absolutely unable to provide for themselves, owing to the costs involved . Firstly, to supply information on the economic, political, legal and cultural aspects of a target foreign market - this is essential, if a firm is to stand any chance of competing against other firms operating on that market and which already have access to such information. Secondly, SMEs can benefit from external economies, cost-saving benefits which only a public agency can provide : group exhibits or official participations in trade fairs and other forms of collective trade promotion. Thirdly, “backing” by the state on international markets - meaning a state which is keen to provide its exporting and internationally-oriented firms with a generally healthy and efficient overall system (banking, export insurance, market intelligence, etc. - can lend vital “political” clout to a country’s SMEs' efforts on foreign markets.
The first three are common to the majority of government-funded trade promotion organizations. These offer companies the standard steps to be taken when confronted with the opportunity of working with new markets. For benchmarking purposes: certain sections - e.g. Country reports downloads, Trade Leads, Statistics, among others - required payment by credit card or “credits” that could be purchased either with a “Services Card” (i.e. yearly subscription) or separately. The system proved discouraging to users and uneconomical to manage. Thus free of charge since July 2007. Companies ought typically to do a self-check on their export readiness . Importance of consulting services . Training sets ICE apart from most other TPOs. A highly varied offering, both in Italy and abroad, targeting both young people, i.e. students, university graduates, (middle) management and technical staff in foreign SMEs and, indeed, entrepreneurs and businesspeople. ICE did ground-breaking work as far back as the early Sixties, establishing the CorCE for training export managers and experts in international trade. Training contributes significantly to economic and social development and at the same time offers a powerful tool for establishing and strengthening bilateral economic and commercial ties. Web site for foreign companies: www.italtrade.com . The Made in Italy Business Directory offers a database containing over 40,000 companies, arranged by sectors. Close functional interconnection with the Italian Portal www.ice.gov.it. Foreign companies have the opportunity to fill out an interactive form with their details and post offers/requests for products, services, investment opportunities etc. Their input is validated by the overseas ICE office involved, subsequently stored in the Trade Leads database and made available for retrieval by Italian companies using the information services in the Italian Portal.
Every day of the year, events organized by ICE are held somewhere in the world within the framework of the annual Promotional Programme. Not counting all the others (i.e. paid services to companies, associations or organizations, events within the framework of agreements with local public or private bodies, with universities and other academic institutions, etc. etc.). International Trade lies within the scope of this Ministry’s wider mandate for economic development. Underline this, as it indicates how not just exports but trade and investment in general contribute to economic growth.
development i.e. supply side? focusing better on markets implies focusing better on a sector’s export potential or capacity for investment
Bulgaria - Italy: a common exit strategy from the world recession
ICE - Italian Institute for Foreign Trade Economic Forum Bulgaria - Italy: a common exit strategy from the world recession Sofia, 7 June 2010
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE A Worldwide Network <ul><li>ICE - a Trade Promotion Organization under the Ministry of Economic Development </li></ul><ul><li>Head Office in Rome </li></ul><ul><li>116 offices in 88 countries </li></ul><ul><li>17 Regional Offices in Italy, that work with </li></ul><ul><li>local government and institutions </li></ul><ul><li>local business systems </li></ul><ul><li>to liaise with the international network </li></ul>
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE <ul><li>ICE provides advice, assistance and support to Italian SMEs on foreign markets. </li></ul><ul><li>Four “pillars” for this purpose: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>market information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>public promotion and marketing support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tailored services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>management and vocational training </li></ul></ul>
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE Government Support to Italian Exporters and Overseas Investors Public Promotion and Marketing Support <ul><li>The tools : </li></ul><ul><li>yearly Promotion Plan , funded by the Ministry and supplemented with private funding (60% - 40%) </li></ul><ul><li>geographical and sectoral focus </li></ul><ul><li>partnership agreements with the Italian Regions, Professional Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Trade Fair Organizations, Universities and others </li></ul><ul><li>targeted “Made in Italy” promotion plans </li></ul><ul><li>ICE-Association of Italian Banks-Confindustria government-led missions </li></ul>
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE Government Support to Italian Exporters and Overseas Investors P u b l i c Promotion and Marketing Support <ul><li>Crucial to the planning process: </li></ul><ul><li>“ market intelligence”, information and proposals received from ICE offices throughout the world </li></ul><ul><li>consultation with trade Associations, the Italian Regions and other partners </li></ul>
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE Services to firms <ul><li>specialized and customized paid services to advise and support Italian exporters and potential investors in foreign markets </li></ul>Training, a market strategy <ul><li>Cor.C.E., cooperation with academic institutions, internships in Italy and abroad </li></ul><ul><li>seminars for foreign operators , cooperation with local government and other institutions </li></ul>
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE Protection of Intellectual Property Intellectual Property Rights centers Specially trained personnel at selected ICE offices offering firms information, guidance and legal support. Markets are monitored. Special cases can warrant legal proceedings whose costs will be borne by the Italian government. <ul><li>China - Shanghai, Canton, Hong Kong </li></ul><ul><li>India - New Delhi </li></ul><ul><li>Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City </li></ul><ul><li>Turkey - Istanbul </li></ul><ul><li>South Korea - Seoul </li></ul><ul><li>United Arab Emirates - Dubai </li></ul><ul><li>Russia - Moscow </li></ul><ul><li>Brazil - Sao Paulo </li></ul><ul><li>United States - New York </li></ul>
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE ICE Sofia <ul><li>Italian Festival in Bulgaria (June), Plovdiv autumn Technical Fair (September-October) </li></ul><ul><li>53 events and initiatives in 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>substantial increase in requests for customized services for the Bulgarian market </li></ul>
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE ICE Sofia <ul><li>MoU with the Bulgarian SME Promotion Agency (BSMEPA) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 training courses in 3 years for Bulgarian SMEs, on international marketing and trade, quality control, food safety standards and certification, and more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>information exchange, cooperation in initiatives, projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MoU with the InvestBulgaria Agency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>information exchange, cooperation in country presentations </li></ul></ul>
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE Access to European Funds in South-Eastern and Central Europe European Funds Information Center Set up in 2007 - “New Member States” Project Specialized personnel providing: <ul><li>Bulgaria - Sofia </li></ul><ul><li>Czech Republic - Prague </li></ul><ul><li>Hungary - Budapest </li></ul><ul><li>Poland - Warsaw </li></ul><ul><li>Romania - Bucharest </li></ul><ul><li>Slovak Republic - Bratislava </li></ul><ul><li>information and guidance on EU Structural and Cohesion Funds </li></ul><ul><li>leads on works, services and supply tenders </li></ul><ul><li>presentations/seminars on business climate and investment opportunities </li></ul>ICE Sofia and other selected ICE offices
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE <ul><li>in-depth market studies and surveys on strategic export and investment opportunities in Bulgaria </li></ul><ul><li>enhanced promotion of the Bulgarian market in Italy, with country presentations and business encounters </li></ul><ul><li>supporting initiatives of immediate commercial interest </li></ul><ul><li>enhanced cooperation between public institutions on both sides, exchanges of experts, mutual consultancy on administrative practices </li></ul><ul><li>responding to demand for management training on international trade-related issues </li></ul>How can we contribute to a common exit strategy from the recession ?
ICE - ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN TRADE in Bulgaria Италиански Институт за Външна Търговия Секция за Насърчаване на Обмена към Посолството на Италия Бул. Княгиня Мария Луиза, 2 Бизнес Център ЦУМ, етаж 5 1000 София тел 00359 2 9861574, 9861618 Факс 00359 2 9817346 www.italtrade.com email: [email_address] Head Office in Rome Istituto nazionale per il Commercio Estero Via Liszt, 21 00144 Roma, Italia