The change in a country’s production model clearly passes through the production of exportable goods. Thus, it is absolutely imperative that the manufacturing base of a country is strengthened, which in turn will create new jobs, both in industry and in the various satellite activities supporting and complementing industry. Within this context, and based on the changes taking place globally due to the economic and social crisis, the internationalization of enterprises and the opening of new markets are the only ways in which our economy is going to bounce back and return to growth. And it is for that reason that we argue that industry and manufacturing activity must return to the core of development policy, and with one goal in mind: to implement outward-looking actions with internationally competitive and internationally exportable products.
Within the context of the European programmes European Actions for GlobaL tradE – ΕAGLE ONE and EAGLE TWO, which are co-financed by the European Commission and in particular through the programme COSME (2014 – 2020), FING is working in collaboration with the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Belgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hajdu-Bihar County Hungary, the Lithuanian Innovation Centre and the Federation of Industries of Sicily to enhance the internationalization of European companies to Third Countries.
As part of the EAGLE programmes, FING of the EU programme “European Actions for GlobaL tradE – TWO (EAGLE2)” the Federation is arranging trade missions to Taiwan and Iran, in June and October respectively.
Taiwan is a nation of great economic and strategic significance in East Asia, linking as it does Europe, America, Japan and the emerging markets of Asia, as well as constituting a bridgehead between China and the international markets. Taiwan attracts a large amount of investment and offers tax incentives for specific interest sectors.
The GDP of Taiwan is the 19th largest in the world based on purchasing power. The workers of Taiwan have the largest disposable income compared with their counterparts in Korea, Japan, France and the UK. The increase in the population’s earnings goes hand-in-hand with the increase in consumption, including the importation of foreign goods. In total, 40% of its consumer goods are imported.
The trade mission concerns companies from all sectors, with particular emphasis on food, drinks and packaging. It should be stressed here that the food and drinks sector is the fifth largest industry in Taiwan and one of the fastest growing parts of the Taiwanese economy. The local supermarkets, hypermarkets and specialized food stores have increased the range of imported foodstuffs to cover the ever increasing demand. The most important sectors of interest for foodstuffs imported to Taiwan from European companies are catering and the supply of food to places of entertainment, hotels, restaurants, etc.
On the other hand, Iran is the second largest economy in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, with an estimated nominal GDP to the tune of £315 billion for 2015. Iran also has the second largest population (80 million) in the Middle East, after Egypt. More than 60% of its population is under 30 years of age, and it has a highly educated workforce. Trade between Europe and Iran stands at £6.4 billion and is forecast to quadruple in the next two years.
The trade mission is also somewhat exploratory, and aims to find out more about the business world in Teheran.
This exploratory trade mission has the objective of giving companies a first glimpse of the ongoing developing opportunities for trade with Iran. Particularly for European companies intending to enter the Iranian market for the first time, market research will be undertaken so as to identify possible partnerships with local enterprises.