TRIC (Trade Related Instruments Connected) is a network of governmental organisations in EU and EFTA countries with a similar mandate to CBI, namely to improve export development. Janneke Vereijken, Team Manager Market Intelligence (MI) at CBI, points out that a key area in which TRIC members have been collaborating from the start is MI. “CBI takes a leading role in producing studies that are co-financed by some of the TRIC members,” she says.
All TRIC members work in a diverse range of disciplines. Mapping out the ones that members are currently covering makes the collaboration more effective and efficient. “A Swiss partner is very active in market entry activities whereas our Swedish colleagues are advanced in gender-related issues,” says Vereijken. CBI is renowned for its MI and good connections with Business Support Organisations (BSOs) in developing countries. “For all parties it is crucial to find out what our overlapping strengths are and where organisations can support one another.”
Creating a matrix of overlapping activities enables TRIC members to explore areas where closer cooperation is possible. Melanie van der Baaren-Haga, CBI Programme Manager Latin America and Asia and Module Manager Market Entry, explains that this will allow TRIC members to make full use of each other’s networks, thus improving the service to SMEs and BSOs.
Areas in which pilots of joint services can be introduced have already been identified, such as the home decoration sector in Vietnam, and the flower sector in Ethiopia. CBI has already analysed the value chains in these countries extensively. That information is now available to the entire TRIC network and forms a foundation for further cooperation within these countries.
An advantage of jointly tackling market-entry activities is that it makes the pool of European buyers that SMEs can export to much more diverse. “Whatever the platform, if we all use our network to connect SMEs to buyers it will become easier. ”
There’s much synergy to be won, assures Van der Baaren-Haga, but she feels that more coordination is needed to take the synergy and cooperation to the next level. “A dedicated coordinator to advance our joint agenda would be a boon,” she offers. “If we can improve our cooperation on a practical level we’ll be able to reduce that workload and have more time for SMEs.”> Read the full article