Issue: Sep 2008


Helping developing countries export into the EU - CBI



Helping developing countries export into the EU - CBI

by James Hilton

The Netherlands-based Centre for the Promotion of Import (CBI), helps developing countries export to the European Union.
“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. 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. About 40% of the companies are successful after a period of three to four years in serious export orders (more than Euro 100,000, - a year),” says Cor Dieleman, program manager, trade promotion, CBI in an earlier interview to AI.
CBI already has two programs aimed at the automotive sector and is planning a third this year. Related programs deal with subcontracting, castings and forgings, drives, transmissions, hydraulics, tooling and electronic components. Out of a total of about 500 companies, 200 were selected for participation in the programs This year, apart from the new program 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 programs for companies CBI has also specific programs 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.
Automotive Industries caught up with Dieleman, and asked him why the CBI was starting a third program for automotive companies.
Dieleman: We have a number of “new” countries like the Balkan countries, while in our “traditional” countries there are many companies that want to expand into exports. We have received good interest from the automotive sector in Europe – various OEMs that are looking for new suppliers.
AI: How do you think the recession in the US is impacting automotive suppliers in these countries?
Dieleman:
Companies that have a traditional market in US may look now for opportunities in new markets like Europe. Obviously Europe is relatively mature market so companies may not find that customers are waiting for them.
AI: What advice would you give automotive companies in developing countries today?
Dieleman:
Price can be a starting point, but quality and delivery times can be much more important in the end. 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.
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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