Throughout our 20-year history, we have collaborated with more than 700 chambers of commerce, business associations and export promotion agencies, in training projects, technical assistance and international export promotion.
In many of these projects there was participation and contribution of resources of governments or cooperation organizations, in turn supported by sovereign governments. In all these cases, we have closely followed the evolution of these projects, their impact on the evolution of exports (especially of small and medium-sized companies) and consequently, on the generation of employment and economic growth in the country in question.
We have also witnessed how political ups and downs, as well as the economic volatility of sovereigns, have ruined efforts to cement sustainable export promotion and development strategies. However, the positive view of the problem has allowed us to take note of certain lessons that should be considered when formulating and implementing any national or sectorial strategy for the promotion and development of exports, which we share below:
1) Export Excellence: any export strategy must stimulate the private sector to achieve standards of excellence, incentivizing those who achieve it with benefits, and showing the rest of the companies the advantages of striving to reach that standard. This premise is key to focus resources on companies that strive to excel, to innovate, to invest in specialized human and technical resources to compete on a global scale. These export “gazelles” are the ones that can most possibly generate an accelerating effect on the exports of their sector and “set an example” to the rest, to align them in a series of parameters, behaviors and characteristics that make a company with capabilities of compete globally.
2) Prioritization of Sectors: any export strategy must consider and prioritize sectors or industries with a better prospect of international growth. Of course, this analysis must start from considerations such as the contribution of each sector to GDP and employment, the capacity to innovate, the density of SMEs (indisputable generators of employment) over the total, among other factors. However, what cannot be ignored is the collated analysis of each industry, regarding the behavior of international demand, which implies evaluating with an inductive method, the evolution of world imports, changes in production and consumption patterns global, product substitution processes, and the impact of new technologies on the way they are produced and marketed. Only certain sectors with competitive advantages and capabilities, focused on the direction in which world trade is heading, should be prioritized.
3) Ecosystem Vision / Bottom Up Methodology: any export strategy has to consider the expectations and needs of all the stakeholders of the sectorial or national export ecosystem. A program or policy designed from the technical officials of the responsible agencies, without considering the needs of the basic units of the ecosystem of the sector to benefit, is doomed to failure. exporting companies (tractors) referring to each prioritized industry. On the contrary, a design with a system vision, where companies, the unions that represent them, the service providers necessary for export and technical trade facilitation organizations participate from the beginning, will form an export ecosystem that actively involves all, with the consequent positive impact on its results.
4) Process Virtualization: any export strategy must be strongly based on the use of NICTs to achieve competitive sectorial advantages in the phases of access to information on international markets (focus on trends in use and consumption of prioritized products and services that trigger innovation processes within companies), trade facilitation (complete digitization of export procedures) and international promotion (business rounds, virtual fairs and b2b ecommerce platforms). This does not necessarily imply a direct investment by sovereigns, but rather reinforces the idea expressed in the previous point, where the ecosystem vision will allow the incorporation of “players” that provide appropriate technological solutions to the sector or industry in question. What the COVID19 pandemic makes clear is the dire need to virtualize a large part of the export ecosystem processes, as a premise to compete on a global scale.
RGX makes its experience and methods available to organizations that seek to make efficient and sustainable use of the resources applied to the promotion and development of exports.