Export and international market activities and the defined and improved schemes were shocked by the lock-downs cased by COVID-19. It significantly impacted the internationalization in various ways:

  • transportation was hurdled and became hardly predictable,
  • costumers and consumers changed their purchasing/consumption habits drastically,
  • local versus global trade faced an unprecedented dilemma, and local sourcing and green supply chain have come to the forefront of thinking.

Last year the results of the improvement on the policy instruments dealing with SME internationalization were monitored, however, not focusing on COVID impact. The impact is common for each partner region, therefore all the UpGradeSME partners agreed to be involved in the follow-up phase, to exploit opportunity in improving the relevant instruments for the post-covid era.

In the coming year a thorough investigation of the pandemic on internationalization will be carried out, aiming to develop not just to measure impact, but also to elaborate adequate reply mechanisms, leading to agile instrument planning and implementation. Our activities are going to focus on

  • analytical actions, including both quantifiable impacts and interviews for insights;
  • exchange of experience - stakeholder involvement about learnings of analytical phase
  • sharing learning with stakeholder groups about the policy instrument impact

Our activities will also cover extension of knowledge pool outside the partnership and interactive learning through peer-review sessions. This latter will be a physical event where partners discuss in-depth individual response actions one-by-one.