Pedro Neto, Parter Corporate Finance Moneris, in an interview with the Jornal de Leiria addresses the issue of Portuguese internationalization processes. Your challenges and opportunities.
Is Portugal really having an appropriate strategy in terms of internationalisation?
Portugal’s commitment to the design of the increase in internationalization processes and achieving the volume of exports has had excellent results, which are visible in the increase for example between 2005 and 2018, where national exports from 27% to 44% of GDP, and, according to the pro-jecções of Banco de Portugal, in 2021 the target was 50% of GDP.
This is because the only path portugal must follow, because economies are increasingly interconnected, where, those who are not glo-scored, will more easily be “outdated” and will be “out of the market”, especially as Por-tugal, having an internal market extremely small mind, if you don’t look at exports as part of the business’s sustainability strategy, it could be “fatal.”
However, these values are very supportive of the need that companies felt in “leaving” Portugal in the crisis of 2009, as well as in increasing tourist intensity. These factors will have to be continued sus-tentable, because if it does not happen, we may risk a decline in the exporting intensi-dade.
Here, Portugal has to clearly bet on areas that are still far below the neces-sário, which is the clear bet of the Brand “Portugal”. This will be done not only through actions that have been carried out by some bodies, associations and economic operators, but also by the rulers, giving exem plos and clear signs to the internal-nal community that Portugal is a serious and professional country . Support under the
Portugal 2020 for the promotion of internationalization are the appropriate?
In general, the support framed under Portugal 2020 is adequate, both at the level of the typology of framed shares (fei-ras, commercial missions and market prospecting and marketing actions), as well as with regard to the amounts financed.
However, there have initially been some delays in the level of approvals (in this final stretch of the Community qua-dro has been filled with for-ma célere) and financial flows, which have hampered some of the strategies to be carried out by several operators Economic.
What is the role of the Associations and Chambers of Commerce in this design?
These entities allow for example that companies participating in their projects privileged access to some agents and operated-res in the markets where they carry out the shares, which is sometimes difficult, individually.
On the other hand, they can somehow develop a joint strategy, alavan-cando the individual actions of companies, to a level of corporate image, where the brand “Portugal” is indeed the design. In addition to other advantages of these bodies in internationalisation processes, and given their experience, they can address some weaknesses that some economic actors may have, when approaching external markets, such as any i have not known the market, how to negotiate, the form of partnership development, or even in the operationalisation of effective export.
Are companies prepared for internationalization processes?
The maturity of companies has been growing exponentially with regard to their preparation for international processes, whether effective internationalization or only at export level.
However, and the result of some of the typology of the structure of Portuguese companies (especially at the level of inherent weaknesses of low levels of integration of qualified personnel, of fragile own capi-such, of an essential management based on the family structure, among others), there are still many challenges.
Thus, companies have to be aware that, although we may call ourselves “adventurers”, this facet and characteristic, essential in the time of the discoveries, can no longer apply in today’s times, because the variá-veis are very different and much more com-plexus.
In a global market, working in a network (another factor in which Portugal has a cultural deficit) and based on partnerships, is essential and a critical factor of success.
Is the choice of markets made appropriately?
Many companies still go to the markets without a defined strategy, still prevailing the “ant strategy”, that is, go where others are going and embarking on stories. It is still found that the main strategy is based on points such as “the market is giving, come on!”; “it’s easier, because they speak our water! …, often disdecorating differing issues, such as risk-country, local legislation, non-payment risks, profit remes, logistical risks, among others. However, since there are indeed points that are various for the development of an internationalisation strategy, they will certainly not be the only ones to take into account, because sometimes it may be more correct to go to other merchants where for example there is still no so many economic operators, or for others where our product is most appropriate, in having to penetrate the market. It may be more difficult, but the normal life of a tam-bém company is no longer easy so you will have to face it as another “dasafio”, and for which we have to be well prepared and qualified, because internationalize also “comes out expensive!”.
How could we have more competitive companies for internationalization actions?
According to the experience lived, it can be simple, first going through companies to realize that it is necessary to be open to professional opinions “from outside”, thus supporting the definition of the strategy and implementation of the internationalization process.
Second, to define the necessary investment to the process, from the qualification of its human recur, to the adaptation of products and services to the markets, as well as the way of entering the markets, which pose be varied, and can go through models of franchising, joint ven-tures, or direct investment, where the risks of each one will certainly be distinct.
How has Moneris been supporting the designs of internationalization?
Moneris has been supporting internationalization processes both directly to businesses and through projects developed by Associations and Chambers of Commerce. This support is often limited to the simple preparation and monitoring of applications to Portugal 2020, or, in many cases that we have been monitoring, in direct monitoring of internationalization processes, going through:
• Definition of stratégios plans;
• Development of market studies
• Marketing plan
• Visits to markets, in order to perceive, on site, the commercial practices and existing opportunities;
• Development or participation in commercial mis-sons, with B2B meetings, in order to be able to establish the pair-cerias or commercial interactions;
• Processes of search and selection of partners or distributors in the markets, if this is the strategy;
• Participation in fairs or forts; Or
• Development of presentation sessions in the markets;