Going international has many advantages for SMEs and their home region. To compete in global markets SMEs often need support from both local and regional authorities and business support organisations.
When planning activities aimed at increasing the business internationalisation, a detailed knowledge of the region's exporting potential, opportunities and forecasts can be invaluable. A lack of information means that the region has no basis for creating a comprehensive internationalisation strategy with business support programmes which can improve policies designed to help SMEs in the region.
In the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region in Poland, there was a gap around data and information about the local companies. This situation has now been changed thanks to the recommendations from SIE project. Toruń Development Agency was able to transfer the ‘Regional Observatory’ approach used by the International Chamber of Commerce in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region (France). The French partner’s business surveys are carried out every two years to obtain information on the level of internationalisation among companies in the region.
A similar study was conducted in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region as part of the SE Regional Action Plan and allowed key stakeholders to develop a forecast for demand for goods and services that could potentially be exported from the region. Priority industries and products with the largest export possibilities were also identified. Another result of the study was a list of target international markets, for potential exporters from the Kuyavian-Pomeranian ‘Voivodeship’.
The recommendations developed during the study will clearly be a valuable source of information and knowledge to enable local stakeholders to design effective export support policies in the region. Information obtained during the research will also be used to shape the region's economic strategy for internationalisation in the next few years.