Issue: Mar 2008


Automotive Industries caught up again with Cor Dieleman, program manager, trade promotion, CBI



by Clinton Wright

The Netherlands-based Centre for the Promotion of Import or CBI, helps developing countries export to the European Union. This is particularly useful for automotive companies. The CBI’s slew of services include visits by experts to companies that wish to export to EU nations, giving them advice and suggestions.

“Through an export marketing seminar the companies learn about the requirements of the market and how to address these. Further we expect the participant to write an export marketing plan if they don’t have one. After going through these phases and if we are convinced about them we offer them the possibility to present themselves in a major trade fair in Europe. It is not a free ride, the have to commit to and invest in these activities. Companies may not expect direct results from first time participation. About 40 percent of the companies is successful after a period of three to four years in serious export orders (more than Euro 100,000, - a year),” said Cor Dieleman, program manager, trade promotion, CBI in an earlier interview to AI.

The CBI already has two programs aimed at the automotive sector and is planning a third this year. Around 60 companies were chosen out of 150 applicants for these programs. Other related programmes deal with subcontracting, castings and forgings and , drives, transmissions, hydraulics, and tooling and electronic components. Out of a total of about 500 companies 200 were selected for participation in the programmes This year, apart from the new programme for the automotive sector new programs are planned for subcontracting castings and forgings, drives transmissions hydraulics and tooling and for electronics.

The ECP’s are targeted at companies in developing countries that have the capacity (or potential) to export to the EU. A company that complies to the following criteria can apply for an ECP need to be at least 51% locally owned, or (co-) owners who reside in another developing country with 25 to 500 employees. They should have no joint venture with a company based in a country with a classification of UMIC or higher, a compliance or the willingness to comply with EU market requirements. No licensing commitments that prohibit or limit export possibilities of products to the EU and competitive prices and sufficient production capacity.

Apart from programmes for companies CBI has also specific programmes for Business Support organizations in selected countries.

The CBI’s BSO development program consists of several institutional support modules tailored to the specific needs of selected organizations, countries and sectors.

The CBI was set up in 1971 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to help developing countries export to the European Union. Apart from helping companies in developing countries sell products to the EU, it also helps European importers source goods from developing countries.

In December, the CBI had two stands at the EuroMold World Fair held in Frankfurt. Euromold is a major exhibition for mould-making, tooling, design and application development. The CBI’s two stands offered space to a number of exporters from developing countries.

Automotive Industries caught up again with Cor Dieleman, program manager, trade promotion, CBI.

AI: What kind of response did your stalls receive at Euro Mold?

It was the first time we participated in Euromold and we are happy with the results. The companies that participated in the CBI pavilion had established some serious contacts.

AI: Why is the CBI starting a third program for automotive companies this year?

There are various reasons:

- we have a number of “new” countries like the Balkan countries;

- also in our”traditional” countries there are many companies that want to expand into exports

- we receive good interest from the automotive sector in Europe – various OEMs that are looking for new suppliers and who are seriously looking at some of the companies

AI: What kind of response do you think this new program will get from developing countries?

We expect to receive a good interest from producers / exporters in our target countries. Several have shown already interest to apply for the program.

AI: How do you think the recession in the US is impacting automotive suppliers in these countries and can CBI guide them at this time?

Companies that have a traditional market in US may look now for opportunities in new markets like Europe. CBI can indeed guide the companies that qualify for the program in this process. Obviously Europe is relatively mature market so companies may not expect that customers are waiting for them. Building a relationship cost time. It goes without saying that proper preparation is a must.

AI: What advice would you give automotive companies in developing countries today? And what advice would you give European importers who wish to source from these countries?

Quality, reliability and efficient production should be the major issues for them to work on. Further automotive companies in developing countries should follow developments in the global market carefully, in terms of technology and market developments, as well as news about plans of OEMs. Build a sound diversified customer base in terms of sectors and markets/ regions. Look also at related sectors like recreation vehicles, off-the-road vehicles, trailers, etc. When going for a market make sure you are well prepared. On the CBI website a wealth of information is available.

Sourcing should be a management decision, especially in producing companies. It should be prepared and defined well; timing, products to be sourced, targets etc.

Take sufficient time to study and for the start up for collecting information preparing technical files and collecting information on possible supply countries and companies. When there is a first delivery make an objective evaluation.

Price can be a starting point, but quality and delivery times can be much more important in the end.
CBI has suppliers is various sectors who have been audited by our experts. CBI can assist European buyers looking for new suppliers to find the right parties.


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