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EC helps SMEs enter Asian market

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As one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, Southeast Asia offers a wealth of opportunity for European businesses eyeing foreign markets. But despite the potential for growth, the region also poses numerous challenges, including different attitudes towards intellectual property rights. To help European SMEs navigate these differences, the Commission is excited to launch the ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk.

The European Commission is committed to offering practical advice to European SMEs so they can create their own success stories in Southeast Asia. As the ninth-largest economy in the world, the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) represent enormous opportunities.

But at the same time, different customs, laws and regulations introduce daunting challenges for SMEs, especially when it comes to effectively protecting intellectual property rights (IPR).

In a bid to help EU SMEs and build upon the highly successful China IPR SME Helpdesk, the European Commission launched the ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk in April 2013. The Helpdesk specialises in helping European SMEs overcome challenges related to discrepancies in IPR protection, and is an invaluable tool to European SMEs looking to grow their businesses abroad.

‘Compared to multinational corporations, SMEs face unique challenges entering international markets,’ European SME Envoy Daniel Calleja said. ‘The Helpdesk will provide tailored services which address their specific needs, empowering European businesses to prosperously expand to Southeast Asia.’

The Commission’s sponsored facility makes sure that SMEs ‘know before they go’ – that they invest and trade safely, and that they know their IPR rights and risks. This unique, free service provides business-focused advice through its online portal, helpline services, training workshops and published materials.


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