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Portuguese SMEs on a business map of Asia

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This was the launch of the Portugal Premium Experience, an initiative of the Associação Empresarial de Portugal (AEP) under the Next Challenge Asia project, which aims to support the internationalization of micro, small and medium Portuguese companies by demonstrating their potential. its products and promoting them in the agri-food sector, household, infrastructure (water and energy) and building materials. The event took place on October 25 and 26 last year in Vila Nova de Famalicán and introduced the work, products and quality of our small and medium-sized enterprises to at least 30 potential partners in the markets of Japan, South Korea and China, seeking synergy with Portugal.

Very close contact

Lectures, industry seminars, business presentations and company visits are some of the activities included in the initiative. There was an opportunity for networking and showcasing products.

The opening took place at the Casa das Artes in Famalicana, and in his speech, AEP administrator Paulo Vas emphasized “the importance of the Portuguese brand in supporting small and medium enterprises when they are about to start their internationalization process.” Afterwards, the 30 Asian businessmen present took part in industry seminars, the topics of which were “Potential of the Portuguese Agri-Food Sector” and “Potential of the Portuguese Sector “Home, Building Materials and Infrastructure (Water and Energy)”. On the same day, an exhibition of Portuguese products was held and, finally, a group of businessmen attended a conference organized by the Municipality of Famalicán on the theme “From Madein to Creudine – Added Value and Sustainability”.

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The next day, in strategic interest groups, about 30 businessmen from Japan, South Korea and China visited some of the local SMEs.

But all this is just the beginning. By mid-2023, the project plans to run three more promotions in the markets of Japan, South Korea and China, which will create opportunities for Portuguese SMEs to operate in more business markets.

“Market diversification is necessary to increase the competitiveness of our companies, especially in such a difficult time for the global economy. This project is an excellent entry into a huge market that has its own characteristics and deserves increased attention from our side in advising and monitoring entrepreneurs,” explains Luis Miguel Ribeiro, President of AEP.

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Digital research and tools

Next Challenge Asia, co-funded by Compete 2020, Portugal 2020 and the European Union through ERDF, provides important research and digital tools to support companies.

Three market studies have already been launched – one in each sector, related building materials and infrastructure – which provide insight into the international context and the value chain in the sectors, in addition to the strategic analysis of each of the markets according to the sector to which they are include, and analysis of competition, identifying the main players, as well as identifying entry methods and strategic options that should be used in the process of exporting to these markets. The study is freely available and can be downloaded at aepnextchallengeasia.com/estudos-de-mercado/

Digital tools have also been created to facilitate access to and knowledge of the project’s target markets, as well as to support the internationalization process end-to-end. They allow you to access information of interest about each of the markets. [Business Intelligence] and Maturity Self-diagnosis to start the process of internationalization for these specific markets. [Business Knowledge] and provide step-by-step guidance on a successful internationalization strategy (see box).

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Get ready for Asia

AEP aims to spread knowledge, educate SMEs and connect with the markets of Japan, South Korea and China. As part of Next Challenge Asia, the company will run three more promotions in the first half of 2023, one in each target market. Follow this whole project at aepnextchallengeasia.com

Tools help you make safe decisions

One of the ways to support the internationalization of AEP companies under Next Challenge Asia was to create digital tools that are a real weapon for entrepreneurs and allow them to design internationalization. Can be used separately. Together, they enable more efficient and complete decision making.

Business Intelligence: Knowledge of Target Markets

This tool allows you to characterize three markets, comparing and identifying the opportunities and key characteristics of each to help you make decisions.

Business Knowledge: Readiness Diagnostics

Based on a review of six core themes (knowledge, human capital, relational capital, financial capability, reputation and international vision), this tool allows a company to diagnose its level of preparedness in relation to critical success factors in order to start the process of internationalization into the target Asian markets.

Business strategy: outline a strategic plan

Created so that the entrepreneur can outline an individual strategic plan for entering the markets. This plan is achieved through a questionnaire that evaluates the main aspects of the company’s internal and external environment and sets short and medium term goals. The result will be a strategy for defining market segments, positioning and marketing mix.

AEP Next Asia

To use the tools for free, go to digital-tools.aepnextchallengeasia.com.

Source: Observador

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