Like the multinational WEG, from Jaraguá do Sul, which closed its first deals abroad starting in Paraguay – exporting electric motors, by land transport, via Foz do Iguaçu –, now it is the turn of micro and small companies from Santa Catarina to pioneer the external market by Paraguay, and also by Chile. In the last two weeks, through the SC- Export program , 41 companies projected closing US$2.096 million in business with Paraguay and US$1.45 million in exports with Chile, for the next 12 months. This is the result of a partnership between the State Government and Univali , sponsorship by Portonave and support from the University of the West of Santa Catarina (Unoesc), the University of the Extreme South ( Unesc ) and the University of Blumenau ( Furb ).
“There were 328 meetings, in Paraguay and Chile, which were able to provide this excellent result. On average, there were nine meetings with buyers per company of SC in Paraguay alone and six in Chile. With this, we opened important doors for these micro and small companies in Santa Catarina, which has always been a theme close to the heart of governor Jorginho Mello and also vice-governor Marilisa Boehm”, informed the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Juliano Froehner.
For the State Government, continued the secretary, this pilot project stands out as an innovative public policy in international trade promotion. It also aims to design partnerships with students benefiting from the Free University program through the Acafe system, as it happened on these two trips where Univali students and researchers worked to prepare companies by generating catalogues, demand studies, price formation, websites in a foreign language, logistical study, export plan, among other actions.
Univali Business School, Giselda Cherem, explained that, if more than 50% of formal work in SC comes from micro and small companies, it no longer made sense for just 4% export, if they are producers of high value-added goods. “For this reason, Univali and three other universities in the Acafe system are qualifying these companies to export in a safe and planned way. And with the SC- EXport pilot project, we want to prove that what is needed for MSE exports to happen in a more optimized way is, certainly, a more strategic and punctual partnership like this.”
More jobs and income for SC
When leading the mission in Santiago (Chile), vice-governor Marilisa Boehm stated that presenting Santa Catarina products directly to Chilean buyers with these consolidated results proves that the initiative was successful. “We just have got to celebrate. Certainly, the new opportunities are reflected in more jobs, more income and development of our state, our municipalities, in the short, medium and long term.”
Export ‘s actions were also celebrated by participating entrepreneurs. “We already had some initial contacts with customers in regions close to Ciudad del Este, and our desire was to be able to go further ‘beyond the border’. And the assertiveness of this program in bringing us real potential customers was incredible. All of them, directly or indirectly, can bring us excellent results in the coming months”, said Hercilio Rosa, from TGM Machines and Equipments.
João Vitor Marcon De Nez , from Chelli Food, described the experience as “memorable, an opportunity to take our brand to the world, adding value and recognition. And it was a great pleasure as an entrepreneur to have the support of the government and universities on our side.”
Representing the company that produces pillows from Joinville Marcbrayn – one of the first of the delegation to Chile to close deals –, commercial manager Jones Vieira said that the sale happened in the first contact made during the business round. “We had no idea where to start prospecting, and all the support from the project opened doors for us and shortened paths.”
“The SC- Export program is proof of how strong we are and how much we can grow when companies, governments and similar entities come together for a purpose. In just one day, we made contact with 11 new partners for the marketing and distribution of our brand products”, reinforced Jandilson Klein, CEO and director of operations at Moinho Jaraguá.
Boost for micro and small entrepreneurs
The objective of the Business Mission is to initiate a dialogue and alliance with the country for the SC-Export program, which will aim to promote and boost foreign trade for micro and small companies in Santa Catarina.
For César Winck , director of commerce and services at the Secretariat of Industry, Commerce and Services ( Sicos ) who accompanied the mission to Paraguay representing Secretary Silvio Dreveck , together with the individual microentrepreneur manager, Laryssa Schmitz, the meetings are a way to further strengthen relations with the neighboring country. “In the last quarter, Paraguay was the 7th country that purchased the most products from Santa Catarina and the 10th that sent the most inputs to the State. In other words, we need to be close to them. Furthermore, the visit to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce was an opportunity to understand how the country’s institution works, it was a time to share and listen to experiences”, he adds.
In Chile, Sicos was represented by the director of micro and small companies, Fabiano Ceretta , who informed that, currently, micro and small companies represent only 4% of total exports. “This is a number that we want and need to see grow. And the Government was a catalyst, accelerating discussions, consolidating partnerships and demonstrating our continued commitment to the growth and prosperity of our businesspeople and Santa Catarina as a whole.”
Photo: Richard Casas/GVG