On January 30, 2019, during two events organized at USH Pro Business, there were discussions on the topic of sustainability elements regarding the export of ecological products. During the first event, the participation of Romanian companies in the last edition of the international fair Middle East Natural & Organic Product Expo (MENOPE) was analyzed and proposals were made to help continue with the participation in December 2019 edition.
In this context, it was underlined that following the Swiss contribution at associative level, Inter-Bio Interprofessional Association of organic product chains was established, as well as the Association of Export Business Centers of professionals in the field of export development. Those present expressed their interest in participating in the international fair MENOPE, aking Inter-Bio to represent them and request the Ministry of Economy to finance the participation in this fair, as it is an element of sustainability for the program. A number of at least 10 companies have expressed interest in participating.
During the second event, that was dedicated to the BioConcept Prahova Valey cluster, the activity report of the cluster was presented, as well as the intentions regarding future activities in 2019.
For sustainability within this cluster, Clustero experts that attended the event suggested the strengthening of the management team, connecting the cluster to European collaborative platforms, strengthening relations with the financial-banking sector, achieving smart specializations between clusters and developing objectives with related fields of activity.
USH Pro Business presented the development strategy for an innovation ecosystem in the South Muntenia Region and the inclusion of the cluster in this system through the technology transfer center.
The following recommendations were made as elements of sustainability of the Swiss contribution but also of the financing from the state budget of the export business centers:
– Keep on participating in international fairs chosen through the Integrated Export Services Project for Romanian SMEs through national programs for at least another 3 years;
– Supporting the associative structures created through the Swiss-Romanian Program, clusters and interprofessional associations;
– Revision and adaptation of training manuals after the end of the program, based on ex-post analyzes;
– Introducing new training areas targeting: consortium exports, innovation management, development of dedicated services in the Export Business Centers in Bacău and Ploiești and in their extension in other regions;
– Introducting research and evaluation activities regarding the development stage of the companies in the market (SMART ASSESSMENT) in collaboration with the FIBL Switzerland Institute.
“We consider that the Swiss Contribution Program was a success from the perspective of the results of SMEs in the program. In addition to meeting the targets that were set in the program, it turns out that it had a multiplier effect that was difficult to anticipate at its launch. We refer in particular to the acquisition of managerial skills and open attitudes towards export alliances, the coagulation of new and indispensable associative structures for Romania as a country, such as: organic product chains, getting together all professionals that can do activities for the export business centers and, in this way obtaining the improvement of services, reviewing and enriching the export manuals, all reflecting the introduction of a new export culture in Romania “, said Mr. Costin Lianu, General Manager of USH Pro Business.
Representatives of the business environment, of the Swiss Embassy in Bucharest, teachers from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Spiru Haret University and from the University of Oil and Gas Ploiești, representatives of Clustero, ACEX, Inter-Bio and BioConcept Prahova Valley were present at the meeting.