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New Portal Helps SMEs ‘Go International’

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"With the new 'SME Internationalisation Portal' we are offering a one-stop-shop for European companies looking for public support services to help them 'go international'," says Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission.

To help EU-based SMEs extend their business to markets beyond the EU, the European Commission recently launched the SME Internationalisation Portal. The Portal aims to give SMEs clear and easy access to the broad range of existing public services.

A key component of the Portal is a database giving EU SMEs details of public support service providers, both locally and in international growth markets.

The database is free, open to the public and contains some 300 service providers that cover approximately 1 200 support services. The database includes a number of search categories, including:

  • SME’s country of origin;
  • Services available in other Member States;
  • Services available from the EU;
  • Services available in the target market.

The search results can be further refined by defining types of internationalisation (import, export, foreign direct investment etc.), specific services or languages spoken by the SME.

Public service providers for SMEs looking to expand beyond the EU are invited to register via the portal's homepage (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/smeip/) and add their service offer to the database.

The SME Internationalisation Portal also provides links to the European Commission's "Market Access Database" (http://madb.europa.eu/), which provides market access information for individual growth markets.

Internationalisation: an opportunity for SMEs

In a globalised world, EU-based SMEs need to be able to withstand increasing competition from developed and emerging economies and to capitalise on the market opportunities these countries provide. "With the new 'SME Internationalisation Portal' we are offering a one-stop-shop for European companies looking for public support services to help them 'go international'," says Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission.

Public support programmes are key in promoting SME internationalisation. A study conducted by the European Commission in 2011 showed that, on average, public support programmes increased SME’s turnover in the target market by 28 %.

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