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The international Furniture Go International project was presented to 70 companies
21. Oct. 2021 @ 11:00 – 13:00
Nearly 70 European companies attended the first public meeting of the Furniture Go International (FGOI) project, which will allow them to penetrate new markets such as the US, Canada, Egypt and South Africa.
Understanding the needs of the end customer and the market has been identified as a major challenge to the success of this project and exports in general.
In the first year of the project, the aim will be to match the product portfolio of the participating SMEs with the needs of the target markets .
The meeting, which took place on 21 October 2021 in hybrid form, was attended by 8 European clusters leading the project and 5 to 7 SMEs associated with each of them. The meeting is attended by companies whose profile best meets the objectives of the project Furniture Go Internationa l (FGOI) and are most interested in the internationalization proposal. The call for SME participants is and will remain open to others in the furniture, wood and decoration sectors who are willing to become actively involved and target the markets of the United States, Canada, Egypt or South Africa.
The project will focus on implementing a common internationalization strategy, gathering and processing all the information and experience needed to enter new markets with the greatest potential for success. Over three years, the project includes market analysis, trade missions, international integration activities and the establishment of ongoing contacts in each of the interesting markets to help overcome barriers on the ground.
The initial FGOI meeting began with a short presentation of the project and a presentation of the included clusters from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Spain, Slovenia and Sweden. During the live quiz, SME representatives were able to answer anonymously about their main obstacles to internationalization and choose the country with which they are most interested in doing business. The main challenge for exports outside the EU was the lack of reliable and up-to-date information on target new markets (59% of respondents). Other important challenges are the lack of representative offices in foreign markets and logistics (53%) and ambiguities regarding foreign legislation, technical requirements, producer responsibility (38%) and transport and intercultural differences.
Although SME representatives overwhelmingly (40%) voted to open the first new business in the US, and Egypt was the least export destination (13%), things changed quickly at the Q&A session that closed the event. Some participants, who already had experience with Egyptian business partners, described the fact that in recent years they are building a new capital on the outskirts of Cairo that will accommodate 6.5 million people. Egypt’s new administrative capital is expected to cost about $ 40 billion. And as one SME representative said: ‘they will need a lot of furniture for that’.
Furniture Go International (FGOI) is a project led by eight clusters from six European countries and funded by the European Commission. It is expected that 50 to 100 small and medium-sized companies in the furniture and related industries will be directly involved in this 100% results-oriented project.
Participating clusters are: TFC – Transilvanian Furniture Cluster (Romania), HABIC – Basque equipment, furniture and design cluster (Spain), WIC – Wood Industry Cluster (Slovenia), KCN – Cluster of Czech Furniture Manufacturers (Czech Republic), ICS – Interior Cluster Sweden (Sweden), PRO WOOD – Regional wood Cluster (Romania), BFC – Bulgarian furniture Cluster (Bulgaria) and HCB – Habitat Cluster Barcelona (Spain). In total, the clusters include more than 500 companies, mostly SMEs.