SIPPO Import Promotion Forum: Building relationships between BSOs and Swiss importer networks

SIPPO's Import Promotion Forum, held in a new format in 2023, facilitates the exchange between BSOs from SIPPO countries and Swiss import/import promotion organisations, Swiss trade associations active in the SIPPO sectors and Swiss importer networks. We will look back to the successful event in 2023 and outline the program of the next Forum that will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 12 June 2024.

Import Promotion Forum 2024 and 2023

SIPPO’s  Import Promotion Forum has a long tradition. It served and will serve in the future as an important instrument to bridge the critical last mile from BSOs and their members prepared to export to importer networks in Switzerland and Europe. In this way, the Import Promotion Forum promotes the development of sustainable, effective trade networks independent of SIPPO. It brings together exporters with importers (or their intermediaries) looking for new sources of sustainable products and services.

This year's SIPPO Import Promotion Forum will take place on 12 June 2024 at the SwissTech Convention Center at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. The main topic is "For trade networks that work: Identifying and addressing regulations impacting trade".

See more details re the programme of the Import Promotion Forum 2024 in the attached flyer below!

Successful new format of the 2023 SIPPO Import Promotion Forum
The Import Promotion Forum 2023 was held in Ittigen near Bern (Switzerland) in June 2023. The numerous representatives of the BSOs were welcomed by representatives of SECO, Monika Rubiolo, Head of Trade Promotion and Marco Kräuchi, Programme Manager, and the SIPPO Advisory Board, in which importers play an important role. "We were very pleased to welcome so many BSOs to this first edition of the repositioned Import Promotion Forum," confirmed Clément Graf, Head of Programme at SIPPO.

BSOs from many SIPPO countries
At this first Import Promotion Forum in the new format, SIPPO was very pleased to welcome a great number of BSOs from almost all SIPPO countries:

  • Indonesia Essential Oil Council (DAI/Indonesia)
  • Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) and Cape Town & Western Cape Tourism, Trade & Investment (Wesgro/South Africa)
  • The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS/Serbia)
  • Association Marocaine Des Exportateurs (ASMEX/Morocco)
  • PROCOLOMBIA and Asociación Colombiana de Turismo Responsable (ACOTUR/Colombia)
  • PROEKSPORT (Albania)
  • Invest North Macedonia
  • Foreign Trade Chamber Bosnia and Herzegovina

Following the presentation of their activities by all SIPPO country teams, the group discussions brought together elements that promote or hinder export efforts from SIPPO partner countries to Switzerland and the EU.

Enablers: Sustainability, certification, financing models
One very important aspect is sustainability in its many facets. Sustainability, according to the unanimous opinion, will shape all export efforts in the future. Consumers want to know more and more precisely under what conditions a product is manufactured and what substances it contains. Traceability is therefore becoming increasingly important.

Important areas for both importers and BSO with its export-ready companies are, among many others, certification and knowledge of existing and upcoming regulations. If market trends are carefully followed, they enable producers and importers to plan ahead of market needs and to take advantage of new market opportunities more quickly. It is also important for each individual company to constantly strive for better competitiveness. An important driver are financing models to support companies at the beginning or in difficult phases of the development of their businesses.

Disruptors: Supply chains, political circumstances
Difficult political circumstances as well as difficulties with trade chains were identified as some of the significant barriers to exporting.

Important role of trust
Trust, together with good personal contacts, were mentioned as important stabilising factors for a good trade relationship, although it was immediately mentioned that especially in this area great attention should be paid to cultural differences.

Opening up new contacts
Finally, it was also pointed out that SIPPO, together with the Advisory Board, will continue their efforts to establish contacts in Switzerland with Importer Networks and thus help strengthen SIPPO partner BSOs’ international network.

Programme Import Promotion Forum 2024


((Parts of this article were published in SIPPO’s newsletter in September 2023. If you would like to receive the newsletter first hand, register here))

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