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    Strategic Workshop for members of the Trade Support Network in Uzbekistan

    Yolanda Gibb delivered a three day Service Portfolio Workshop in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, organised by the UNDP office of Tashkent, in collaboration with the International Trade Centre in Geneva. The objective of the workshop was to help the Uzbek trade support network to design, develop and deliver services that assist enterprises to compete in global markets.

    Trade Support Organisations must understand the key challenges faced by enterprises (especially SME) when competing globally and use this understanding to help companies address these issues. To do this effectively, they must adopt a business like approach and offer practical and timely services. Participants mapped the needs of Uzbek companies and drew on best practice around the world to develop ideas for services.

    A second important objective of the workshop was to provide a forum that allowed the different institutions to network and share their experiences. This facilitated the building of a spirit of cooperation amongst the institutions present, which is expected to result in the development of joint initiatives.

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    Development of a sustainable model of distribution in the agro-food sector in Malawi

    we-R-net has been working with a medium sized company in Malawi to develop a distribution model and marketing plan which is seeking to convert farmers to the use of a better type of seed in order to support the transition from subsistence farming to the commercialization of surplus crop, thereby improving the livelihoods of local farmers.


    Currently there are a number of barriers to this endeavour. They include a general lack of awareness about the new varieties; the tendency for farmers to re-use their own seeds rather than make the investment in purchasing the new variety; the lack of knowledge about how to cultivate the crop leading to disappointing harvest results; the need for a critical mass of crop in order to increase the negotiating power of the farmers; the need for real time information about prices and demand on the part of the farming communities; and the general disconnect between the producers and the companies which purchase the crop.


    The focus of the work currently being undertaken seeks to find ways to overcome these barriers by identifying actions that will change the market dynamics over time.

    Using intangible assets to boost competitiveness and go international

    When small and medium enterprises decide to take their business into international markets, their competitive advantage does not always travel easily.


    This is because it is often grounded in the reputation of the company, the close relationship it has developed with its customers over the years, its flexibility and capacity to react to the customer’s needs. What’s more, more often than note, the reputation of the owner manager and the image of his company are often one and the same.


    These are all essentially intangible assets, but often they have been allowed to evolve tacitly. In order to transcend potential barriers to international markets, the entrepreneur must leverage these assets and find ways to make them more explicit.


    Strategies can include paying more attention to developing a brand or trademark, building a stronger reputation online, and developing structures and processes that will allow the company to continue to deliver on promises such as speed of reaction or flexible response.


    We are currently working on a number of tools and methodologies to help companies leverage their intangible assets to help them develop stronger competitive advantages and grow their business.

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    Last call for participation in the Internationalization Programme for SMEs in Cadiz closes

    The third and last call for participants in the programme to support the internationalization of small and medium enterprises in the Province of Cadiz, promoted by EOI and the Deputation of Cadiz, closed this month.


    With the 32 companies in the agro-food sector that have joined the programme following this call, the total number of participating companies has exceeded 90.

    The importance of intangible assets for business competitiveness

    As the first phase of our latest research into the importance of Intangible Assets to improving the competitiveness of companies and regions, we take this opportunity to share with you some of the insights generated.


    In recent years, the proportion of the book value represented by the physical assets of a company has gradually diminished. This is happening not only in businesses such as FaceBook or Google where we would expect physical assets to be less important, but also in sectors such as mining. However, whilst it is relatively easy to assess this “value gap“ in companies that are quoted on the stock exchange, it is much more difficult to pin it down in the case of small and medium enterprises, and so it is often ignored.


    We have been developing an approach specially designed to help SME identify, leverage and exploit their Intangible assets to improve their competitiveness.

    Andalusian companies visit Morocco to get to know the market and develop new business

    During the second half of March all three of the recently established export groups that were created as part of the programme launched by the Council of Andalusian Chambers of Commerce visited Morocco in order to find out first hand about the market and make contacts.

    This marks the third and last step of the programme that has followed a well-proven approach to ensuring that the group is ready and able to meet the challenges of the new market. This process began at the beginning of the year with a number of facilitated meetings that allowed the group to get to know each other and establish their degree of complementarity as well as set objectives for tackling the Moroccan market. Over the weeks, a team of experienced consultants has worked with them in order to prepare for this outward mission to the market.

    Morocco is an emerging market that has long had special links with Andalusia and has represented an important market for the community over the years. Though not the easiest of markets to enter, with careful planning and a relevant offer, a significant number of regional companies in a wide range of sectors have managed to carve out a niche for themselves.

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    Smart Living – An essential component of Smart City Projects

    It is easy to get caught up in the innovations and wonders based on the latest technology when we think about the concept of Smart Cities. But it is important not to forget that the real objective of these initiatives is to improve the quality of life of ordinary citizens of the city as well as the visitors it plays host to.

    NEOALISIOS was represented at the Krakow Technology Park conference on Smart Living, an event that forms part of an ongoing project to develop the concept of Smart Cityas it applies to the City of Krakow.

    Yolanda Gibb discussed the importance of the intangible factors that must be taken into account in order to develop the concept of Smart Leisure, with the objective of enabling people to take advantage of all the heritage and other intangible assets of the city.

    Launch of an Internationalization Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises in Cadiz

    On 28th November a programme aimed at small business in the agricultural sector based in the province of Cadiz was launched in the headquarters of ASAJA in Jerez. This programme, organized by the Diputación de Cádiz and the Escuela de Organización Industrial (EOI), is designed to help small and medium enterprises in the sector analyze their international potential and develop an action plan aimed at helping them expand internationally or consolidate their existing international position.

    The programme is based on one to one advisory sessions to help participating companies to improve their competitiveness; to expand or to consolidate their international business. Companies will have the opportunity to exchange experiences and gain access to best practices. The aim is to enable them to introduce and make the most of innovation as a driver of change and to develop the competencies necessary to improve their competitiveness.

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    Responding to the Challenges of Family Business in Croatia

    NEOALISIOS, together with ICE in the United Kingdom led the Family Business Forum organised by CEPOR, in partnership with Croatian Employers’ Association. The event was held in Zagreb on October 21, 2013.

    The main objective of the Forum is to encourage dialogue and public debate on the importance of family businesses in Croatia. One of the key challenges for family businesses in Croatia is the transfer of ownership and management from one generation to the next. Representatives of the different generations of family business members as well as institutions, policy makers and business support organisations participated in a lively debate on challenges and how to address them during a round table discussion. This was followed with a workshop to address these challenges, ending with a networking event.

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    Companies cooperate to develop their sales to Morocco

    The Council launched the programme with the objective of fostering enterprise cooperation as a means to going international, allowing companies to improve their ability to commercialise their offer whilst reducing the associated costs and risks. The programme provides them with a method for planning and working as a group, allowing them to work within a framework of objective based planning.


    The programme is being delivered by we-R-net, a group of professionals with more than two decades of experience in developing enterprise cooperation programmes. As a result, more than 150 export groups and consortia have been established over the years.


    The programme is aimed at groups of companies based in Andalusia who are already considering the idea of going international with a group of companies, allowing them to reduce costs, improve their offer, reduce risks and develop greater bargaining power.

    Tanzania: Enterprising attitudes and skillsare the key to a successful future

    How well are our young people prepared to meet the challenges of their future and to shape a fulfilling life for themselves?Are schools and colleges equipping them with the life skills they will need?

    More than ever before, young people need to be enterprising and pro-active, but the education system is often more focused on transmitting knowledge and passing exams. Teaching methods are often didactic and leave little room for experimentation, learning by doing and competence development.

    NEOALISIOS has been working with the Education Authority of Tanzania to provide secondary school teachers with the competencies and materials needed to teach in a more enterprising way. Following an intensive workshop with a group of lead teachers, the initiative will be rolled out to other schools around the country.

    Intangible Assets are the Key to Competitiveness

    The contribution of intangible assets to the value of a firm has been steadily increasing over the years. Companies need to be capable of recognising the role that these assets play in the development of their competitive advantage and leverage them in order to become more competitive in the market.

    NEOALISIOS is currently leading a project approved by the Corporacion Tecnologica de Andalucia to carry out further research into the development of tools that will help both companies and regions to get the most value from their intangible assets.

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    Fostering business relations between companies in Andalusia and Poland

    The Council of Chambers of Commerce in Andalusia is organising, together with we-R-net, an outward mission to Poland to take place during the first week of June.


    Ten companies from the food, industrial and textile sectors in Andalusia will take part in the outward mission which NEOALISIOS, part of the we-R-net group, is organising from their offices in Krakow. The objective of this trip is to identify opportunities for business development or investment opportunities that this highly interesting market can offer.


    During a period of four days the ten companies will have the opportunity to meet with importers, distributors and representatives, not only in Krakow where NEOALISIOS has its own office, but also in the capital, Warsaw, where there will be a show room and meeting point for customers, channel members and institutions involved in international trade from Poland will have a chance to meet with their Spanish counterparts.


    Poland is an emerging market in the European Union which offers a number of opportunities for Andalusian companies, helping to offset the difficulties we are currently facing in the national market, which make it difficult to grow. Poland is an exceptional opportunity for a number of sectors that are critical to the Andalusian economy, such as agro-food and industrial products.


    There are a number of factors that contribute to the attractiveness of the polish market: • It has experienced steady and sustainable growth, allowing a middle class to emerge which is gradually increasing levels of consumption • Preferential access to important structural funds for development and to encourage investment and consumption • Poland represents a market of 40 million consumers, and constitutes an excellent platform from which to gain access and make contacts in neighbouring countries such as Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belorussia and the Baltic Republic, among others.

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    Exports to increase this year

    A recent worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices published by Mercer revealed that the internationalisation of companies has risen over the last two years, and it is expected that this trend will continue in 2013.

    According to this study, more than 70 per cent of companies expect to increase the number of short-term international staff assignments while around 55 per cent expect to increase the number of long-term assignments. Generally the destination countries that are considered of greatest interest include the USA, China, Brazil and Australia, among others.

    Furthermore, the study highlights the importance of mobility strategies as incentives for the most valuable employees. The study shows that employees who have international experience tend to be promoted more quickly. Women only represent some 13% of these figures, although this figure has improved considerably since 2010.

    There are a number of benefits of having an international assignment policy in place, including the possibility of being able to offer specific technical capabilities that are not available locally, the development of leadership which enables knowledge transfer, providing leadership and direction which cannot be found locally and the ability to respond to the specific requirements of a project.

    Moreover, the study considers that this trend will continue, with international assignments related to technical aspects continuing, contributing to talent management and the implementation of the strategy.

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    Launch of the second year of the Advanced course for experts in Internationalisation

    The Cajasol Institute presents its second year of the Advanced Course for experts in internationalisation, which will take place between March and July of 2013.

    This advanced course for experts in internationalisation is aimed at entrepreneurs and company leaders who are looking to develop new business and new markets. A faculty that includes international specialists and offers a highly practical approach delivers the course, coordinated by we-r-net.

    Participants will gain a global understanding of international competitiveness, will improve their abilities to analyse and synthesise trends in the international environment, will have the opportunity to exchange experiences with other entrepreneurs and professionals in a multicultural environment. The entire course has an emphasis on action and solutions. The programme is delivered according to a timetable that makes it compatible with working hours.

    The course comprises 300 hours of which 144 are classroom based and will take place between march and june.

  • “El proceso de internacionalización en tres etapas: Querer, Poder, Hacer”
    Round table on “Three steps to successful internationalisation– I want, I can, I do.“

    The continually changing environment and the challenges of operating in an international market make it necessary for companies to develop internationalisation strategies which enable the organisation to deal effectively with the rising competition both in the domestic market and further afield.

    With this in mind the Cajasol Institute organised a round table on “The three steps to successful internationalisation – I want, I can, I do“, taking places on Tuesday on Tuesday 19th March in their head office in Hacienda Cartuja.

    Key contributors to the round table are Mr. Francisco Ortiz Domínguez, President of XTraice, and Mr. Christian Gross Guille, Advisor from the Agency for the Promotion of International Trade of Andalusia. The session will be moderated by Mr. Miguel Barcenilla Sanz, Contributor to the Master in Globalisation and International Business and the Advanced course in Enterprise internationalisation of the Cajasol Institute.

    The round table takes place between 18.00 and 20.00 hours.

    Entrance is free subject to prior reservation.

    Croatian Chamber of Commerce hosts Round Table on Supporting Small Business Internationalisation

    On 28th of January 2013 the Chamber of Commerce of Croatia in Zaghreb organised a round table attended by key institutions and policy makers to discuss strategies for improving the contribution of small and medium enterprises to exporting.

    Yolanda Gibb addressed the group, offering a framework to underpin the development of a national strategy for supporting SMEs that addresses the key problems and issue they face, drawing on extensive experience of designing and implementing internationalisation support programmes around the world.

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    we-R-net group successfully completes the first Course for Experts in Internationalisation in collaboration with the Cajasol Institute

    This course was coordinated and delivered by Preventia Gestion, drawing on an international faculty from the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland as well as a core team of Spanish experts, all carefully chosen for their subject knowledge, their teaching capability and above all, their practical business experience in order to offer a course which has a strong practical orientation in order to meet the expectations of the participant group.

    we-R-net has already begun to promote the second course (we note that there is already a high level of interest in the course). The lauch of the course, designed to be a regional point of reference in terms of internationalisation, is expected to take place early in 2013.

  • Misión Inversa para la Asociación Andaluza de Empresas Forestales
    Neoalisios organises an inward Mission of companies from Mexico and Poland for the Association of companies of the Forestry sector in Andalusia

    During the period from 26 to 28 September, Neoalisios organised an inward mission of companies from Poland and Mexico for the Association of companies of the Forestry sector of Andalusia. 15 companies from Andalusia took part in this event, with the objective of developing a first-hand understanding of the opportunities for the sector in both markets.

    The Director General of Forestry and Soil Management of the Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources of the Government of Mexico and the Director of the department responsible for the organisation and investigations of the Institution “National Forestry of Poland“, were just two of the experts who met with the companies of Andalusia in order to give them an overview of the potential that the Polish and Mexican markets represent.

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    Outward Mission to Mexico of the Andalusian Association of Telecommunication Installation Companies (FAITEL)

    In July 2102 members of the Andalusian Association of Telecommunication Installation companies (FAITEL) participated in the outward mission organized by NEOALISIOS Mexico to the capital of the home of Aztec culture. The mission which enabled participating companies to prospect the market and present their offers, forms part of the Internationalisation Plan that the association has put in place for 2012. The objective of the Plan is to provide support to more than 200 businesses that are currently members of the association in order to help them develop the market.

    This first point of contact has enabled participating companies to validate their expectations of the opportunities for doing business in Mexico, based on the individual and group meetings that were organised for them, depending on the profile of their counterparts.

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    Article by Miguel Barcenilla in the monthly magazine Andalucía Economía:

    The three pillars of internationalization: Your offer, the target market and the channel of distribution:

    weRnet had an article published in the June edition of the magazine Andalucía Economía (Andalusian Economy), which is dedicated to Andalusian exports. The article dealt with the three pillars on which any internationalization project undertaken by a company should be based. It also touched upon the importance of intangible assets as a critical factor in guaranteeing the success of an enterprise.

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    NEOALISIOS organises outward mission to Poland for Spanish companies in the forestry sector

    NEOALISIOS Poland organised an outward mission for eight member companies of the Andalusian Association of Forestry Companies (AAEF) wishing to assess the forestry market in Poland in May 2012. This action forms part of a broader plan which this important sector association is implementing in order to promote the sector abroad and facilitate the internationalisation of its member companies.

    This mission enabled both the companies and the association itself to get to know first-hand the opportunities offered by the Polish forestry sector, as they participated in a number of high-quality bilateral and group meetings with Polish companies and associations as well as with a range of institutions and government departments involved in the environmental sector.

    Launch of ETICOM Business Centre in Krakow
    On September 20th 2011 NEOALISIOS inaugurated the Business Centre of ETICOM, Association of ICT companies in Andalusia, Spain. The event was celebrated with a delegation of Spanish companies who participated in an inward mission. This marks a milestone in the strategic partnership with the association. NEOALISIOS Poland provides association members with a range of services to help them enter and succeed in the Polish market and is part of our strategy to foster business relationships between companies of both regions.