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First ETPOA CEO Conference Call

ETPOA held the first CEO  conference call today under its core mission to interlink European TPOs and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic through knowledge and experience sharing. Participants were:

  • Advantage Austria
  • Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
  • AICEP - Portugal Global
  • AWEX - Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency
  • Basque Trade & Investment
  • Bulgarian SME Promotion Agency
  • Enterprise Ireland
  • Enterprise Lithuania
  • Hungarian Export Promotion Agency
  • ICEX Spain Export and Investment
  • Spirit Slovenia

The main conclusions drawn from the CEO call were:

  • Most TPOs reacted similarly towards the pandemic in their effort to help SMEs; by creating platforms to provide unified information, offering consultant services and engaging more with SMEs, through digital tools or financial assistance
  • Some companies are experiencing problems with their traditional supply chains due to travel limitations, so they are refocusing on alternative national or regional providers
  • Based on the uncertainty about when and if international exhibitions and trade fairs will take place and the reduced number of companies that will be interested in participating, hybrid fairs and B2Bs expand participation to more potential customers
  • Increased costs of traveling out of Europe and the uncertainty and risk which is still associated with this make Europe the focus for SMEs for the upcoming period. ETPOA could fill in that gap by dedicating its collective efforts to other markets, especially for smaller European countries with fewer companies and resources.

Working together is the best way to overcome hurdles. A second CEO call is in for 3rd of June.