Better Access to Unfamiliar Markets Thanks to S-GE and Credit Suisse
Personal contact and dialogue are especially important when exporting to remote markets.
Swiss company Regloplas AG is the global leader in the niche market of temperature control technology. The SME operates internationally, with subsidiaries in Germany, France, the US and China as well as its own service organizations in more than 50 countries. It therefore knows what’s important when it comes to doing business in foreign markets with unfamiliar cultures. Therefore, the company – which generates 92 percent of its revenue through exports – invests heavily in personal relationships and being close to its customers. Regular meetings and dialogue with the top level of management are particularly important for building business relationships, especially in foreign or culturally unfamiliar markets. CEO Christian Eckert comments, “We travel a great deal because personal relationships promote customer loyalty. They also help us clarify market potential and build export networks.” This is where Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) provides its support, helping SMEs like Regloplas AG to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of entering a market, supplying local contacts and partners, and highlighting new business opportunities in all potential export destinations, whether in the Middle East, the US or China. No other region has seen such rapid growth of an increasingly affluent middle class in recent years as Asia. This rising middle class will double worldwide over the next 15 years from today’s 2.5 billion to 5 billion consumers. After China, the US and the EU, Southeast Asia is the fourth largest economic community.
Biazzi SA has also recognized the potential in Asia. The globally active company has been developing technologies and plants for the chemical industry for over 80 years – most recently in Indonesia. S-GE prepared a detailed market study for Biazzi SA and identified 20 potential distribution partners. “The company currently collaborates with a single partner, and efforts to build and expand the customer network are in full swing,” says Bruno Tettamanti, Head of Marketing & Sales. “We’ve already had positive experiences with S-GE in the US and Singapore, and the project in Indonesia bears that out.”
S-GE opened up a new Swiss Business Hub in Indonesia in the summer of 2017 to better support Swiss SMEs in Asian growth markets. In addition, S-GE is also represented in the region with Swiss Business Hubs in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore. The Swiss Business Hubs are part of S-GE’s global network. They are located within a Swiss embassy or Swiss consulate general. The local teams support Swiss companies with entering local markets and inform foreign companies about the advantages of setting up a subsidiary in Switzerland. Due to their official status in the Swiss embassies, the teams’ contacts include government representatives, businesses and local customers, sales agents and government agencies. They know the cultural differences and they open doors to reach the right decision makers. SMEs need a long-term perspective in Asia in particular, along with a clear market entry strategy, the right local partner and a personal relationship with their customers that is built on trust. S-GE helps SMEs establish a dialogue with potential business partners in target markets through specific services like the Swiss Pavilions, which Swiss companies can join at international trade conferences, or entrepreneur trips abroad. Through membership in S-GE, SMEs like Biazzi SA and Regloplas AG can also benefit from a networked community of more than 2,200 members.
Customs, bureaucracy and constantly changing regulations are additional challenges that SMEs need to overcome and which discourage many export companies from putting down roots in Indonesia or other distant countries. S-GE supports SMEs with the proper application of export formalities, free trade agreements and questions about the origin of goods – with checklists, FAQs, a customs database and individual declarations. The Export Help Team at S-GE responds to SMEs within 24 hours, and one hour’s worth of research is free of charge.