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RGX has been selected by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

RGX Consulting

RGX has been selected by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

RGX - PNUD - International Market Research Process
RGX has been selected by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to develop a consultancy consisting of a study and survey of the exportable supply of Panama in 2021.
 
The study will involve:
– Identify the most relevant sectors and activities for the export of the country, participating in the process with leading entities of foreign trade in Panama.
– Interview Panamanian exporters from the primary, industrial and service sectors that make up the ProPanama database.
– Identify challenges of international competitiveness of the interviewed Panamanian exporters.
– Systematize and geolocate the exportable offer of more companies that are part of the PROPANAMA.GOB database.
– Analyze and identify international markets of greater opportunity for the growth of Panamanian exports, ensuring the use of the FTAs ​​in force in the country.
– Interview importers from the markets identified as having the greatest opportunity for the growth of Panama’s exports.
– Consolidate the guidelines of an export strategy for the sectors analyzed.
 
The consultancy, already running, will end in December 2021 and, with this, we hope to contribute to the management of ProPanama (Trade Promotion Agency of the country), for the growth of Panamanian exports.
 
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Export Acceleration Program in the Swiss Food sector

RGX Consulting

Export Acceleration Program in the Swiss Food sector

RGX - Swiss Food - Market study

We have been chosen by the Switzerland Switzerland Global Enterprise to promote an export acceleration program for 25 companies from 5 subsectors of the food sector: Beverages, Chocolate & Confectionery & Biscuits, Bakery & Cereals, Convenience Food, Dairy Products and Special nutrition & Health Food.
 
The program consists of evaluating the export competitiveness of each participating company, selecting the markets with the greatest opportunity to accelerate their exports, identifying potential clients in the target markets, and generating business meetings with buyers from those markets.
 
In addition, a market study will be prepared for each of the 5 participating subsectors, in aspirational markets indicated by the companies that comprise it.

The program began in July and will culminate in December 2021, and has the participation of highly competitive and innovative companies, including traditional chocolates and jams, to companies focused on food from sustainable sources and enriched with nutraceutical components.

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4 premises to support a sectorial export strategy

RGX Consulting

4 premises to support a sectorial export strategy

RGX - Data Concept - Market Profile

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.

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Successful management of participation of American buyers Food Fair Virtual of Ecuador

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Successful management of participation of American buyers Food Fair Virtual of Ecuador

In the first edition of the Food Fair Virtual Edition 2020, organized by the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters, we carried out our “Buyers Recruitment” service, achieving the participation of 5 buyers who participated in the event held from June 29 to July 7, 2020.

The Ecuadorian exportable supply corresponded to the sectors of:

  • Coffee and elaborated
  • Cocoa and processed
  • Processed foods
  • Non-traditional fruits
  • Banana and plantain
  • Fishing and aquaculture
  • Others in the food and beverage sector

Among our main tasks we work on the search for importers in the United States, and then invite them to know the Ecuadorian exportable offer on the virtual platform; at the same time we coordinate virtual b2b appointments.

At the end of the process, we remain in contact with American buyers to learn about their experiences, purchase intentions, and other observations of improvements in terms of the organization of the fair and virtual b2b. The American importers that participated were Carbamericas Inc, Distribuidora Limeña Inc, Miami Crab Corporation, World Variety Produce Inc and Grupo Neyi LLC

Thanking the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters (Fedexpor)  the trust placed in RGX for this work, we provide entities linked to export promotion the following recommendations for this type of event:

  • Have a catalog by sector and / or by company aimed at buyers in the target market, where emphasis is placed on logistics solutions for delivery at destination, financial, commercial and promotional support to international buyers and international quality standards achieved.
  • Most of the virtual platforms currently available on the market do not have the possibility of real-time translation, therefore, it is advisable to try to have your own staff who speak and understand the English language to negotiate.
  • At the end of the event, it is essential to periodically monitor the buyers who have participated, to know the assessment of the business appointments made with the exporters and to identify unsatisfied demands.

To learn more about our buyer recruitment service for virtual b2b events, contact us at customerservice@rgxonline.com and a consultant will contact you within 48 hours.

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Growth of industrial manufactured exports in Latin American countries contribution

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Growth of industrial manufactured exports in Latin American countries contribution

RGX - Uniform and Helmet - Market Study

In 2017 we conducted a study of the purchasing behavior of 2,170 small and medium-sized importing companies from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Peru and the United States, which was complemented in 2018 with the participation of 1,041 small and medium importers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States.

The panel of interviewees were importing companies with less than 150 employees, among which more than 1,000 companies from the industrial manufacturing sector participated (also from Apparel, Textile, high technology and automotive sectors). Those for purchasing or imports responsible answered a questionnaire that ran from the international supplier search stage to aspects of import logistics and supply chain.

In parallel, we are providing services for Export Promotion Agencies such as Promperú (Peru) and Proesa (El Salvador), which involve interviews with importers from practically all Latin American countries, as well as from the United States.

The results of the Study, as well as our regular contact with importers in America, allow us to identify international purchase or import behavior of these companies, which are highlighted below:

1) New international suppliers contract

34% of importers in this industry use Internet search engines to find new suppliers. At the same time, 21% do not look for them, but rather wait for potential suppliers to contact them digitally.

As a result of the pandemic, the concept of “low contact economy” was established among importers, which will intensify the trend of using search engines and online marketplaces, as the main mechanism of contact with new possible suppliers. This behavior highlights the need to equip exporters with habits, strategies and tools to position themselves adequately with potential buyers looking online.

With some exceptions, most Latin American countries are still lagging behind in the incorporation of online marketplaces, with tools for virtual business rounds, which connect the sector exportable supply with international demand online.

2) Importance of financing:

68% of importers of industrial manufactures have indicated that “flexible payment terms and / or financing” are a fundamental reason why they would choose a new supplier.

Making a more exhaustive breakdown, the countries that are most likely to change providers if they offer them “flexible payment terms or financing” are Panama, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.

In a context of less foreign trade activity (such as the pandemic), it is essential that financial institutions identify export “gazelles” (exporting SMEs with great export competitiveness) in their countries, and protect them from the recessive context, offering solutions of payment and financing that help them retain and attract new international clients who, to buy them, are going to request financing in the payment.

3) E -Commerce sector use:

Four out of ten importers indicated that they buy products online. Among them, 67% buy directly from the website of their supplier, the exporter. Additionally, 59% of importers state that the website of a supplier influences the evaluation of a new supplier, with the most valued content being the following:

  • Technical specification of the product
  • Product certification / product warranty
  • Section “Who we are / about us”
  • Export information on the particular product (commercial conditions, freight information/ transport, and others)

At the same time, a quarter of those surveyed (23%) mentioned having used B2B platforms, such as Alibaba, Amazon and / or eBay, among others, to make imports.

These results warrant technical assistance interventions with exporting SMEs to ensure that they have an online presence (web, marketplaces) in line with what international demand expects.

4) Import Logistics:

80% of industrial manufacturing importers admitted to having delays in the import process, while production delays are the main cause, as stated by exporters and importers.

The second and third most common obstacles indicated by importers were the additional import costs in customs, and national logistics, that is, the internal distribution of the product in the importer’s place.

While some more aggressive exporting economies are adopting policies to subsidize international transport, which allow greater competitiveness of exporters, others are negotiating alliances with large transport companies with the same objective. This “race” will be key to sustaining and increasing industrial manufacturing exports in the post-pandemic stage.

At RGX we collaborate with agencies and cameras through specific services that you can visit in the vertical menu on your right on this page.

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RGX obtains a high rating as a service provider from the Bogota Chamber of Commerce

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RGX obtains a high rating as a service provider from the Bogota Chamber of Commerce

The Bogota Chamber of Commerce annually conducts the evaluation process of its suppliers regarding the contracts it has signed with the Entity and that are in force or that were in force within the immediately preceding calendar year.

 The evaluation process is carried out by the contract supervisor, who analyzes compliance with the following criteria:

• Opportunity in the delivery of documents.

• Conformity of the good or service contracted.

• Opportunity to deliver goods or services.

• Timeliness in reporting.

• Timeliness in billing delivery.

• Compliance with guarantees.

RGX has provided, in 2018 and 2019, the service of international promoter of the Chamber’s Internationalization area, carrying out Business Plans and Business Agendas for exporting companies from Bogotá, in the USA, Europe and Latin America Markets, of the manufacturing sectors industrial, services and clothing.

The rating obtained was 86 points out of a possible total of 100. We thank the Bogota Chamber of Commerce for the rating granted, which reinforces our commitment to offer specialized services for business agendas and commercial plans in 54 markets.

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Defining export markets in the time of COVID-19

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Defining export markets in the time of COVID-19

RGX - Covid19 - Market Profile

In the context of the pandemic caused by COVID 19, the SMEs in the region need to make their best efforts to reach new export markets. As a contribution to meet this challenge, RGX recommends analyzing potential destination markets according to the variables below:

When trade agreements are in place, export opportunities increase because products can enter the market on a reduced or null tariff. This enables stronger price competitiveness against other origins.

We will examine the countries where the product of the exporting country is best accepted based on the product’s share of total imports by the country, using trade statistics of the previous year and also evaluating purchases from preceding years.

By analyzing the past 3 years, importing countries that have grown steadily and permanently in imports in general, and in the purchasing of the product under study in particular, can be identified. This “screening” technique will reveal what growing markets are more likely to accept import transactions.

Countries will be prioritized where the distance to the destination market is relatively short to enhance the exporter’s competitive advantage in terms of transportation costs and shipping times. In addition, geographic proximity reduces promotion costs and makes it easier to travel to the destination market, support the client or distributor, and stay closer to retail channels and end consumers.

Based on World Bank estimates, the average import tariff in the destination markets will be taken into consideration. Countries with a high tariff average will be left aside to avoid the impact on price competitiveness of the products shipped to these countries.

This indicator will identify the challenges and opportunities that can improve a country’s logistics performance. In addition, it will evaluate several logistics aspects based on the metrics of logistics efficiency. We will then prioritize markets where logistics performance can facilitate product distribution.

Based on World Bank data, customs clearance efficiency and speed is rated across countries, prioritizing formalities that are simple and predictable. Therefore, markets where customs clearance for imported products is more efficient will be weighed.

Given the current global pandemic, it is necessary to grant higher weight to international markets where the impact is less severe. Therefore, and using Google’s database, it is established that low impact will create a more favorable scenario for a country’s economic recovery.

Taking into account the current health emergency that is having worldwide impact, the major measures and precautions adopted at each recommended destination market will be weighed in terms of trade border operations (ports, airports, customs, bonded warehouse, among others) resulting from preventive actions against the spread of COVID-19.

The correct identification of an export market is an extremely important step to achieve business internationalization. For more information about our “Methodology to select export markets,” please send us an email to customerservice@rgxonline.com

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How to conduct online business meetings with importers?

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How to conduct online business meetings with importers?

Meeting RGX - Return Marketing Investment

The new international scenario poses a serious challenge to traditional businesses dedicated to promoting international trade among countries. A change of paradigm is just round the corner, and this new situation is forcing businesspeople, governments and chambers of commerce to continue to drive exports, but using digital tools.

Before the current stage, a “business trip” was common practice and involved a tremendous coordination and planning work: schedules for businesspeople, business meeting agendas with interested importers, and creating links with industry business chambers, associations and other key stakeholders.
While we wait for the new normal conditions to settle down, the current challenge means offering our businesspeople an incentive to go virtual little by little.

Within this framework, online business agendas are one of the services for which RGX is receiving the greatest demand, although we have been supporting this initiative before the pandemic. For example, we have been using this modality with businesses from the Bogota Chamber of Commerce since 2017. In addition, we developed virtual business agendas in cooperation with the Government of the City of Buenos Aires for companies enrolled in the Despega Talento [Talent Take-off] program in 2018 and coordinated a B2B virtual meeting with the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of El Salvador (PROESA) in 2019.

From the lessons learned over the past 3 years, we have selected the following recommendations for the entities that would like to perform well in online business meetings:

Our first recommendation is to identify export markets where the company is in a truly good position to export. Thanks to our proprietary “Methodology to select export markets” and based on key foreign trade variables (among which at present we are including the extent to which trade borders will remain open during the COVID 19 pandemic), we can weight the countries offering easier accessibility for the sector under analysis to sell its products. This is clearly the path to follow if you would like to find international market clients and invite them to an online meeting.

Identifying the buyer profile that exporters need, determines a key step to ensure that the meetings are truly productive for both buyers and sellers. The parameters that can be used to define a “Buyer Profile” are:

  • According to products you import: it is important to have the specific tariff positions of all products for a better focus.
  • According to annual turnover levels: priority ranges can be established according to the importer’s business volume.
  • According to commercial activity: importer, distributor, wholesaler, retail, supermarket, discount store, purchasing agent, broker, among others.
  • According to the position of the negotiator: depending on the sector, exporters need to negotiate with purchasing managers, import managers, CEO, IT manager, operations manager, quality manager, among the most common.
  • According to the channel it serves: this is a recurring theme that happens to us with our client PROESA, where there is a preference of Salvadoran exporters to negotiate with North American importers that serve the Hispanic channel in the US.

Meetings will have different outcomes, and the resulting requests for information and quotations may vary. Therefore, the organizer should follow up on exporters so that they do not delay their responses to the questions and demands identified during the meetings.

In addition, a few weeks after the meetings have been held, the organizer may continue to follow-up on exporters in order to become aware of the final results and any aspects that can be improved, and detect any process errors that could avoid the wasting of future resources.

Upon completion of the round of business meetings, it is advisable for the organizer to ask exporters how they feel about the process and organization of the business meetings in order to evaluate two large dimensions separately:

  1. Meeting organization: evaluations should consider the agenda-building process, schedule coordination, connectivity, advise on internationalization, orienting the importer to the target profile, time to meeting status reports, number of meetings held, relevance of proposed leads and willingness to re-schedule meetings that may have been frustrated.

  2. Closing of export business transactions: Exporters may or may not close an agreement with the proposed leads for several reasons, including the competitiveness of the internationally tradable goods and services, the way negotiations were conducted, prices, payment terms, support to customers, and offered Incoterms. Therefore, this evaluation is based on an internal analysis of the company’s export capabilities.

Intermediate entities, chambers of commerce, governments, export agencies and organizers of international fairs are turning to online meetings between exporters and importers. RGX can offer a specialized service mainly focusing on the best balance between the return on investment in international promotion and actual export results.

Meetings will have different outcomes, and the resulting requests for information and quotations may vary. Therefore, the organizer should follow up on exporters so that they do not delay their responses to the questions and demands identified during the meetings.

In addition, a few weeks after the meetings have been held, the organizer may continue to follow-up on exporters in order to become aware of the final results and any aspects that can be improved, and detect any process errors that could avoid the wasting of future resources.

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