The main objective of the SICOMEX good practice is to foster SME internationalizacion processes by providing a permanent agent in selected markets.
The Valencia private sector is made-up of SMEs with limited resources, however, offering competitive products and services.
SICOMEX tackles the following barriers:
- Problems in identifying and contacting international markets
- Insufficient quantity of and/or untrained personnel
- Shortage of funds
- Difficulty in obtaining reliable foreign representation
ARVET, the Exporters of Manufactured Goods association, runs the programme. ARVET gathers over 200 manufacturers exporting some 600 million euros.
Beneficiaries: exporters in selected sectors (Hardware and Bricolage, Bath Equipment, Industrial Cleaning and Hygiene and Industrial Machinery)
Budget: the participants pay an annual fee and a success fee.
Duration: 24 months
Markets: Cuba, Egypt, Romania, Ivory Coast, Colombia, Peru, Balkan countries, India.
Sicomex provides an easy answer to the SMEs needs. The existing consortia require a more complex procedure and legal base.
The operational costs are shared by the participating companies.
The first step for ARVET is to recruit an expert in a specific international market, who acts as commercial agent for a small group of companies.
The expert travels to Spain to analyse each of the companies (from three to eight SMEs), including products or services, experience, resources, distribution channels, etc.
The expert is responsible for the market entry, working closely with the export department.

Resources needed

Management staff (one person) and agents (usually local), with expertise in the sector / market. There are currently 12 agents abroad responsible for the Project management. All monitoring can be done on line so a Project website is needed.

Evidence of success

Arvet associates are boosting exports and SICOMEX demand is increasing. In this context, new destinations are currently added to the Sicomex international network.
SICOMEX lowers the costs of internationalization and it serves as a springboard to world markets, particularly to new destinations. When major export markets are reaching to almost saturation point, growing in non-traditional market diversification has become even more important.

Difficulties encountered

The selection of local consultants is a very difficult task. The management of the group and the selection of participants are also two relevant matters. In this regard, Arvet developed a sound expertise and methodology.

Potential for learning or transfer

SICOMEX methodology and operating procedures are easy to follow and well stablished.
It is a scheme fully replicable in other regions or countries, since the programme has been running for many years successfully and it is applicable to different sectors.
This program has been particularly effective in small/difficult markets where the exporter prefers not to allocate a lot of human and financial resources.

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Main institution
ARVET Exporters Federation
Comunidad Valenciana, Spain (España)
Start Date
January 2012
End Date


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