TRIC European partner cooperation in action

Chamber Trade Sweden met with corresponding European partners who also support imports from developing countries, in June in Zurich. The group has been gathering for more than 5 years now to share best practices and develop joint activities. The partners are usually connected to the foreign ministries/Development Agencies of the respective countries and to federations of the business community linked to trade and sometimes to specific sectors. The network, called TRIC, consists of partners such as the German Import Promotion Desk (IPD) and GIZ, Dutch CBI, Swiss SIPPO, Belgian BTC, Finnpartnership, Norwegian Virke, Chamber Trade Sweden and International Trade Center (ITC), a joint agency for the World Trade Organization and United Nations to support internationalization of SMEs.

Over the past 5 years the TRIC network has shared experience on local partners, activities such as buyers’ missions, receiving delegation from developing countries, trainings, market intelligence and platforms. The last year we have been able to run joint activities in developing countries increasing the impact of the local partners and the local business society and strengthening the direct trade relations. In 2015 IPD and Chamber Trade Sweden made a joint buyers’ mission on fresh flowers from Germany and Sweden to Ethiopia. This mission has already resulted in direct trade between Sweden and Ethiopia.  Another example of the result of TRIC is the tool that ITC developed for SIPPO to assess export readiness for SMEs, a digital export fitness test. The tool can be used both as an entry requirement for participation in trainings in order to secure a minimum level of competence amongst participants but also to learn for yourself some minimum criteria and figures to have a knowledge about when entering new markets. This tool will be used by several partners. There is also a project on Fashion from Colombia that several partners are working on.

The participation of Chamber Trade Sweden in the TRIC network brings value both to Swedish SMEs that want to engage in trade and to SMEs from developing countries that are interested in exporting to the Swedish market.

Malin Dacke, Chamber Trade Sweden