THE Enterprise Europe Network has opened 15 contact points in China and South Korea, giving European SMEs easier access to these attractive markets. This was announced at the third annual conference of the European Enterprise Network in Antwerp.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani underlined that competition from companies outside the EU has become more intense as a result of the financial crisis. SMEs need open markets and fair competition in order to be competitive.
Today, 25% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the EU export or have exported at some point during the last 3 years, a share which is expected to increase considerably.
To support SMEs ready to do business abroad, the Network has extended it's reach to Asia, with additional contact points in China and more planned in Japan. With 589 partner organisations covering 47 countries including all 27 EU Member States, the Network acts as an innovative and unique business support channel to help companies to internationalise.
There are now 10 partner organisations in China, in cities including Guangzhou, Xiamen and Hangzhou, and five in South Korea, including centres in Seoul and the research hub in Daejeon. More than two million European companies have tapped into the Enterprise Europe Network since its launch in early 2008 to grow their businesses as highlighted by the following examples.
When a Swedish chocolate firm wanted to expand into China, it was brought quickly in contact via its home office in Borlänge with the Network's office in Wuhan, and together they found the right partner to distribute and promote its brand. Now the company is setting up a sales office in China.
Here in the North East, local company Nurvex has expanded its business operations to China with the assistance of the regional Enterprise Europe Network and has opened a sales office in Zhuzhou.
The Network itself was launched in February 2008 by the European Commission and is a key part of the EU's Competitiveness and Innovation Programme.
It offers practical support and advice to more than two million European small businesses, helping them to make the most of international opportunities from both an importing, exporting and wider business partnership perspective.
Spanning 47 countries, including EU Member States and candidate countries, the US, Russia, China, Mexico and South Korea, the Network is well placed to help business trade beyond national and EU borders.
The services are delivered through 589 specialist business and technology organisations with 3,000 expert staff members. The Network also provides information on EU legislation and funding, offers advice on how to develop an innovative idea and helps companies to increase their chances of success when applying for EU funding.
Source: European Commission – Enterprise & Industry
Contact: Enterprise Europe Network 01740 625782 www.een-northeast.co.uk