The Chamber of Commerce of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Tenerife Island Council, through the delegated area of External Action, support the companies of the province in their internationalisation with a plan of missions that includes six countries, the initial advice to 20 new companies, consultancy and financial support in the digital strategy for another seven and training for companies that want to be suppliers of the United Nations.
The Delegate Councillor for External Action of the Cabildo of Tenerife, Liskel Álvarez, pointed out that “in total, companies will be able to access 75,000 euros of European Funds linked to internationalisation”. In addition, a mission plan has been approved for 2023 that includes six countries, initial advice for 20 new companies, consultancy and financial support in the digital strategy for another seven and training for companies that want to be suppliers to the United Nations, among other actions to promote the internationalisation of island companies with internationalisation potential.
Álvarez said that “this year the trade mission plan focuses on Europe and Africa. Four trade missions to Portugal, Italy, Ivory Coast and Ghana have been scheduled”. “In addition, there will be visits to the Berlin International Tourism Fair and the Annecyl International Animation Festival in France, both of which are essential stops for the tourism and audiovisual sectors, both of which are of great interest to the island’s economy”. Interested companies will be provided with a personalised agenda, as well as a travel grant to help finance their travel and accommodation expenses, as well as their participation in the fair, he explained.
For Álvarez, “the internationalisation of companies is synonymous with the generation of the economy and employment, and to encourage and help Tenerife’s SMEs that want to start going abroad, the second edition of the Tenerife + Global programme is being launched this year. In total, in 2023 there will be 20 places and those selected will be accompanied by various experts specialising in different branches of foreign trade.” “The aim is that the company can start selling abroad reducing the risks,” he explained.
Álvarez added that the call for the Xpande Digital programme has also just been launched, to boost companies’ online sales. “In total, seven places have been made available. The beneficiary companies will undergo a diagnosis of their website and social networks, in order to establish a digital marketing strategy. In addition, each one will receive financial aid of 4,000 euros with 85% financing from Feder to carry out the necessary improvements or to reinforce their promotional campaigns for the foreign market”.
For his part, the president of the Foreign Trade Commission of the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Arturo Escuder, thanked the collaboration of the Cabildo of Tenerife, “since the union of both entities allows the Chamber of Commerce to manage European funds and carry out initiatives with exclusive funding from the Cabildo with outstanding programmes at national level such as “Tenerife Licita”.
Escuder indicated that, in the last four years, companies in this province have obtained more than 400,000 euros from the European Regional Fund (Feder) for their internationalisation, which would not have been possible without the 15% co-financing from the Island Corporation.
The President of Foreign Trade also highlighted the good results of the Tenerife Licita programme, “the visit of two technicians from the World Food Programme to the Canary Islands to meet the companies that produce gofio for distribution in Africa is related to the activity developed by Tenerife Licita, financed 100% by the Cabildo of Tenerife and whose model is being replicated by other administrations”. He added that all the internationalisation programmes include training and advice.
Altogether more than 30 training actions will be carried out, aimed at companies and professionals, on subjects as diverse as: new markets, taxation, new technologies associated with internationalisation, documents, contracting terms, legal aspects and international public procurement. Last year, more than 800 people signed up for this training.
Canary Islands: Export and Import Guide
The Chamber of Commerce, together with the Cabildo of Tenerife, the territorial delegation of Commerce, the State and regional Tax Agency, as well as the provincial offices of Foreign Health, Animal Health and Phytosanitary Control, have joined forces to update the Guide to Exporting and Importing from the Canary Islands, a key document that covers all the aspects to be taken into account by a company wishing to acquire or sell products from other countries. It is the only official document that is adapted to the reality of the Canary Islands and covers local taxes, available transport subsidies and the particularities of the Canary Islands in terms of the protection of plant species.
A new feature this year is the regulation of dual-use material, which can be used for both civil and military purposes. Mention is also made of the new Plastics Tax, which came into force in January. Likewise, import controls on electrical and electronic equipment and on batteries and accumulators are also included. Finally, some modifications have been made with regard to the control of protected species and the Foreign Health regulations.
Tenerife Licita, a public-private consortium
“Tenerife Licita” maintains its strategy for companies in the province to do business with the United Nations, one of the largest customers in the world, with a portfolio of 29,500 million dollars. In this respect, five companies will be offered the specialised training programme to become a supplier of this multilateral organisation. This programme, which is jointly promoted by the Cabildo of Tenerife and the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is the United Nations Trade Promotion Agency.
As a result, a visit was made to the headquarters of the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), both of which are located in Rome (Italy), accompanying a chemical company from Tenerife that offers a solution to agricultural and forestry pests.
The organisation is also interested in increasing purchases of gofio as a solution to hunger on the African continent and has contacted several local companies to this end. It is also working with other multinational entities and is preparing a visit to the European Investment Bank (EIB) to find out about the projects to be financed in the coming years, as well as the beneficiary countries. The logistics base in Las Palmas has also asked local companies to supply 5,000 wooden or plastic pallets for the storage of food products.