June 28, 2012 Florent Schlaeppi by Florent Schlaeppi
Co-Founder & CEO @Novertur
in International Trade

""EPAs are working on the first perception partners and clients will have from your company, knowing where you come from.""

4 reasons why export promotion agencies are useful to your business

The sound of Atlantic Ocean’s waves crashing into the sand of Ipanema beach makes you dream? You’ve always wondered how the Great Wall of China looks like? If your not travelling for your own entertainment purpose, you may have a chance to experience international adventure leading your business abroad. However, for this to succeed, you must achieve internationalization successfully. Export promotion agencies (EPAs) are here to help you. TheRightSocialMedia.com presents 4 reasons why EPAs are useful to expand your business abroad emphasizing, as usual, business networking aspects…


1 – EPAs build the image of your country and its industry

Well, who would deny the importance of the “made in”? The country-of-origin of a product remains an important label determining the competitive advantages of a nation’s economy and building the image’s perception of national companies. Swiss watches are precise. German machineries are sturdy. Italian design is elegant. Chinese manufactures are cheap. All these stereotypes depend on the image of a country people have assimilated. Some may be positive and other harmful to your business. EPAs work on the positive attitude towards your country in order to emphasize your competitive advantages. In that respect, they promote successful industries, open offices abroad, communicate and praise the quality, elegance, or low costs of your economic activities. EPAs are therefore working on the first perception partners and clients will have from your company, knowing where you come from.


2 – EPAs offer technical assistance to exporters

Going international is a tough task requiring skills and resources in order to capture knowledge on finance, logistics, customs or pricing. Trade services providers help companies with these challenges, but their advices are expensive. EPAs offer affordable technical assistance to companies with trainings and information about technical aspects of exporting activities. EPAs allow exporting companies to access information and technical support in their internationalization’s activities.


3 – EPAs organize stands and support you on trade fairs

Developing a business network is a key success factor to internationalization. A traditional way to practice business networking, meet trade partners and start business relationships is the participation to trade fairs. EPAs organize stands and pavilions dedicated to the promotion of nation’s companies on foreign trade fairs. Companies can benefit from a space on the pavilion for an affordable price and can “have a bigger impact with less efforts” (Osec, http://www.osec.ch/en/services/Swiss%20Pavilion). The SWISS Pavilion system provided by Osec (the Swiss trade promotion agency) is a very good example of such services.


4 – EPAs provide marketing support and contacts

One crucial problem encountered by companies (and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises) is the lack of information and knowledge on a given market of export. EPAs do their possible to provide market research as well as general information and contact databases to companies. Filling the market research gap can be done easily with market flashes or deeper analysis. Other information on business practices, distributing channels, or relational aspects may be more difficult to gather. Contact databases may provide relevant networks allowing the access to information and resources.





Belfarji et al. (2011), “Networks and relationships as informal barriers in international trade”, unpublished research, University of Neuchâtel, Enterprise Institute.

Kotabe M., Crinkota M.R. (1992), “State government promotion of manufacturing exports: A gap analysis”,Journal of International Business Studies, 23(4)

Lederman D., Olarreaga M., Payton L. (2010), “Export promotion agencies: Do they really work?”, Journal of Development Economics, 91.

Lederman D., Olarreaga M., Payton L. (2006), “Export promotion agencies: What work and what doesn’t”,World Bank Policy Reaserch Working Paper.

“Swiss Pavilion”, Osec Business Network Switzerland, http://www.osec.ch/en/services/Swiss%20Pavilion

Florent Schlaeppi

Florent Schlaeppi

Born Entrepreneur and passionate about new ventures, Florent likes to undertake and innovate. After several years working at eBay, he co-founds Novertur, TRSM and Business-Monitor. Florent shares his views on how social media can support international business expansion.


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