« E-export » was one of the two main topics of the 2nd International SME Forum in France, organized from 14 June by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and attended by some 400 small and medium-sized businesses. The event highlighted the strengths and weaknesses in France in terms of e-export. In October, another series of events was organized to introduce a group of digital technology start-ups to potential clients in China.
French E-export Forum
Mounir Mahjoubi, new head of the Conseil national du numérique (CNNum), designed to analyse and formulate the impact of digitalization on French society and the economy, said that in France “5 % of SMEs use internet to export and only 15 % sell on-line. It’s not good enough”, Some of the hindrances he mentioned were : getting finance to develop a web site, resorting to internal resources to process orders, customs rules to deliver abroad, high cost of the logistical chain (delivery costs)… He added “the French companies that have made their products available on-line have 40% more chances of selling abroad”.
However two examples of business that had successfully developed heir exports thanks to Internet were showcased at the Forum : the kitchen-ware manufacturer Cristel and the cosmetics firm Kadalys. Cristel started being present on the internet in 1999 and now its internet sales abroad represent about 15 % of its turnover.
The other showcased French business, Kadalys, is a pioneer SME in natural cosmetics exports. Half of its sales are abroad, largely thanks to its presence on internet, mostly to the Asia region (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Australia).
Start-up laureates taken to China
In October, a partnership between business support agencies “Business France” and Bpifrance organized a trip to China for award-winning French start-up companies. The selection and trip benefited from the support of Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei, and its innovation competition setup Digital In-Pulse 2016.
On 24 October, the 11 selected start-ups took off for China for 14 days of immersion in China’s most important digital technology ecosystems, with business meetings scheduled to enable them to present their products to potential clients. They are all young high-tech innovators in the digital technology field.
2.6 million companies have chosen to be listed on pan-European website Europages.
« Une semaine dans les valises des jeunes pousses de la French Tech Tour », Les Échos – Nov 3, 2016
« Export / Forum des PME à l’international : les PME françaises peuvent mieux faire dans l’e-export » – LeMoci.com-Jun 15, 2016