The INSIGHT Observatory was created through a partnership between the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP) and E-Monitor to understand the reality of the internationalization of SMEs.
The survey results were presented at a ceremony that took place on January 12 at the Chamber of Commerce in Lisbon.
Among 1000 companies approached, this first survey had responses from 873 SMEs: 30% from the industrial sector, 25% from transport, accommodation and “open door” services and 15% from retail trade. A response rate of 87.3% that Rui Dias Alves, responsible for the project, considered a success.
In short, one of the biggest conclusions to be drawn from this study is that companies are aware that they need internationalization to be successful and, in fact, they implement this idea. 35% of internationalized companies are already present in more than five markets, mostly in Spain (51%), Angola (43%) and France (41%).
One of these cases is, precisely, Ship4you, one of the companies surveyed with a strong presence in France, which is justified by the predisposition of the French for online shopping. Cristina Coelho, CEO of Ship4you, interviewed as part of this study, lamented to ECO – the news portal about Online Economy – the difficulty in conquering the Portuguese market, as it is one of her main objectives. However, she considers that “the foreign market has arrived to support the business, which is said to be intermittent, due to the constant dependence on the sales of its customers”.
Ship4you is, precisely, a real example of the adjustment capacity of Portuguese SMEs: “We are able to put tests into practice in markets like Ukraine, because our system has the ability to speak several languages. We are currently receiving and registering orders in Japanese.”, said Cristina Coelho.
The CEO also adds that what is done in Portugal is good and should be made the most of: “I have the warehouses here and I make shipments from here to France, using our couriers and people ask me why. It has to do with our ability to manage, with being able to get around certain types of solutions, with our quality of service and the quality of service of our postal services which, against all odds, have quality”.
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