The good practice of IERC allows Bulgarian SMEs to have commercial offices without the need to maintain staff abroad.
International Economic Relation Center (IERC) implements the external economic priorities of the Bulgarian Industrial Association and support companies and organizations in their international activities.
The ‘Remote commercial office’ is a specific service provided by IERC to SMEs in order to easies their access to foreign markets, to facilitate effective international partnerships, to lower the costs for companies willing or in the process of internationalisation.
The practice supports and helps enhance the SME internalisation as it is:
• Allowing Bulgarian SMEs to have commercial offices without the need to maintain staff;
• Assuming almost all functions that fall under the responsibilities of the local representative of the company;
• Providing market information and market access, restrictions and specific features, contact details of potential partners in countries of choice, initial commercial communication, consultations on industrial property rights, consultations on European funding programs, organizing participation in business mission and exhibitions;
• Tracking and updating the opportunities for local and international exhibitions, establishing contacts and organizing business meetings with clients;
• Preparing profiles (Business Cooperation Profiles) of Bulgarian companies and service users that are sent to potential foreign partners.
The service is not free of charge for SMEs. The price paid by SMEs is different for every targeted country.
For running of the GP are engaged 4 people from IERC. The costs incurred for realization of the GP are covered by the price of the service provided to SMEs.
More than 70 business support organizations in different countries are involved on a base of signed agreements for cooperation.
Evidence of success
Since the setting up of the GP, the number of supported enterprises is more than 20 per year.
The GP is implemented without any public financial support. SMEs willing to use the service pay a fee that covers the incurred expenditures on behalf of IERC.
Potential for learning or transfer
Potentialy for transfer are the methodology and know-how for facilitating effective international partnerships and providing to SMEs easier access to foreign markets on low price.
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