Events Ascame/ April 5, 2024/ Ascame members, Featured

INFORMARE is the Special Agency of Frosinone Latina Chamber of Commerce that provides comprehensive support and assistance to SMEs in the Frosinone and Latina regions. Its primary goal is to facilitate the growth and the development of companies in these areas by offering a range of specialized services tailored to their needs. Specifically, INFORMARE offers specialized services, programs, and initiatives addressed to the needs of companies, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders in their respective sectors. They may focus on areas such as international trade, innovation, entrepreneurship, industry-specific development, or regional economic development. In order to have more details about the support of this institution to local companies we interviewed Mrs. Carla Picozza, who is the Board Member of INFORMARE with responsibility for internationalization. Mrs. Picozza also reflects on the main challenges facing in this region in comparison with other Mediterranean countries.

What kind of support do you give to companies?
The opening to international markets represents a great opportunity for business growth and the economy of the territories. That’s why INFORMARE provides assistance to entrepreneurs who want to expand their customer portfolio abroad, guiding them in choosing the most suitable ones for their needs and ensuring continuous consultancy and training. The Special Agency indeed offers strategic assistance for identifying the right counterpart in the market and support on international trade techniques to the business system and the territory it operates in. It organizes B2B meetings, both in Italy and abroad, with qualified operators. Apart from this, our agency coordinates participation in international fairs and events to facilitate the meeting between supply and demand, and ensures relations with the strategic axis of international markets, and also trains sector professionals.

In your opinion, what are the main obstacles that local companies need to overcome when looking to develop their activities abroad?
We believe there are several key obstacles that local companies often face when seeking to develop their activities abroad. Firstly, the lack of comprehensive market research and understanding of the target market’s dynamics, consumer behavior, and cultural nuances can hinder companies from effectively penetrating new markets. Secondly, adhering to foreign regulatory frameworks, navigating complex legal systems, and ensuring compliance with international laws can pose significant challenges for companies expanding abroad. Thirdly, limited access to capital, foreign exchange risks, and high initial investment costs can impede companies’ ability to expand internationally. In addition, language and communication barriers, cultural differences -misalignment with local cultural norms, values, and business practices can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and failure to establish trust and credibility in foreign markets-, logistical challenges, competition from established local and international competitors in target markets, recruiting and retaining qualified talent, political and economic instability, and lack of agility, adaptability, and flexibility to respond to evolving market dynamics, consumer preferences, and competitive pressures. Addressing these obstacles requires a strategic approach, proactive planning, investment in resources and capabilities, collaboration with local partners, and a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation in the global marketplace.

Do you think that local companies in your region share the same challenges than other Mediterranean companies?
Companies in the Frosinone and Latina regions may share some common challenges with other Mediterranean companies due to similar geographic, economic, and cultural factors. However, there are specific circumstances to these regions that distinguish them from other Mediterranean businesses. On one hand, there are similar challenges, such as: market access -difficulties in accessing foreign markets due to language barriers, regulatory complexities, and cultural differences, financial constraints -limited access to capital and high initial investment costs-, cultural differences -understanding and adapting to cultural nuances in target markets- and logistical challenges -managing supply chains, transportation logistics, and distribution networks across borders-. On the other hand, we should talk about unique challenges, such as: the industrial landscape of Frosinone and Latina regions -with specific sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, or tourism-, local economic conditions -regional economic development policies, infrastructure availability, and workforce demographics- and the level of government support, investment incentives, and business development programs available in central Italy that may differ from those in other Mediterranean countries. While there may be similarities in challenges faced by companies in Frosinone, Latina, and other Mediterranean regions, it’s essential to recognize the unique context and characteristics of each locality when addressing internationalization barriers. Tailoring strategies to leverage strengths and mitigate weaknesses specific to the region is crucial for successful international expansion. Collaboration with regional business associations, government agencies, and international trade organizations can also help address common challenges and foster economic growth in these regions.

It is essential to recognize the context and characteristics of each locality when addressing internationalization barriers. Collaboration with regional business associations, government agencies, and international trade organizations can help address common challenges and foster economic growth in these regions

What is the focus of your training courses? What are the main needs and how do you respond to them?
Frosinone Latina Chamber of Commerce and INFORMARE promote the training and updating path on International Trade Techniques aimed at businesses in the Frosinone and Latina region. This training program provides a comprehensive and structured overview of all conceptual and operational tools for addressing foreign markets. Critical issues and opportunities in business internationalization are analyzed, with particular attention to choosing the target market, understanding and implementing international trade techniques, and planning strategic and operational marketing activities. The course also aims to provide tools for proactively managing the main legal, tax, and customs issues that may arise in foreign commercial operations. The training program is addressed to SMEs, entrepreneurs, commercial office staff, and professionals based in the province of Frosinone and/or Latina.

What innovative solutions do you propose to foster sustainable tourism in your region?
It is essential to implement innovative solutions that promote responsible travel, preserve cultural and natural heritage, and support local communities. We can highlight some proposals, such as an eco-friendly accommodation by incentivizing the adoption of eco-friendly practices by hotels, guesthouses, and other accommodation providers, such as energy-efficient systems, waste reduction measures, and sustainable building designs. Another proposal is promoting slow tourism concepts that emphasize immersive, low-impact travel experiences, such as hiking and cycling tours, agritourism experiences on local farms, and culinary tours highlighting traditional cuisine and locally sourced ingredients. In addition, we invest in the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage sites, historical landmarks, and architectural treasures in the Frosinone and Latina regions. It is crucial to collaborate with heritage preservation organizations, local communities, and government agencies to ensure the sustainable management of cultural assets and promote their significance to visitors. Another innovative solution regards with promoting sustainable transport options, such as electric vehicle rentals, bicycle-sharing programs, and public transportation services.

In what sense cooperation is the key to advance towards a greener and prosperous Mediterranean?
The challenges of sustainability, climate change, and economic development transcend national borders and require collective action. By working together, countries, regions, public institutions, and private sectors can leverage their resources, expertise, and networks to address common environmental and socioeconomic goals effectively. By fostering cooperation between the public and private sector in the Frosinone and Latina regions, we can unlock the full potential of green growth, create new opportunities for prosperity, and build a more sustainable and resilient future for all stakeholders in the Mediterranean region.

Some of your trainings focus on digital export and ecommerce. What are the new trends to consider?
In the realm of digital export and e-commerce, staying abreast of emerging trends is crucial for companies to remain competitive and capitalize on new opportunities. For instance, cross-border e-commerce continues to grow rapidly, fueled by increasing internet penetration, mobile device usage, and consumer demand for international products. Companies should explore opportunities to expand their reach beyond domestic markets and tap into global consumer markets through online platforms and marketplaces. Another trend to consider is sustainable and ethical e-commerce because there is a growing demand for sustainable and ethically sourced products. Companies that prioritize sustainability, eco-friendly practices, fair trade, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives can appeal to conscientious consumers and differentiate themselves in the market.

In addition, subscription-based business models, offering products and services on a recurring basis, are gaining popularity across various industries. Subscriptions provide companies with predictable revenue streams, foster customer loyalty, and offer convenience for consumers who prefer automated replenishment of essential items. Finally, I would like to talk about regulatory compliance and data privacy. With the increasing focus on data privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States, companies must prioritize compliance and safeguard customer data. Implementing robust data protection measures, transparent privacy policies, and secure payment processing systems are essential to building trust and credibility with consumers.

By fostering cooperation between the public and private sector in the Frosinone and Latina regions, we can unlock the full potential of green growth, create new opportunities for prosperity, and build a more sustainable and resilient future for all stakeholders in the Mediterranean region

Mediterranean region faces lots of challenges, such as sustainable transition and climate change, digitalization, lack of women entrepreneurs and geopolitics conflicts. Are you optimistic about the future of the region?
Despite the significant challenges facing the Mediterranean region today, I remain cautiously optimistic about its future. While the region faces complex and interconnected issues such as sustainable transition and climate change, digitalization, and geopolitical conflicts, there are also opportunities for positive change and transformation. Some of these challenges can potentially become great opportunities in the short term. For instance, the urgent need to address climate change and transition to a more sustainable economy presents significant challenges, but also opportunities for innovation, investment, and job creation. By embracing renewable energy sources, implementing energy efficiency measures, adopting sustainable agriculture practices, and promoting eco-tourism, the Mediterranean region can foster economic growth while reducing its environmental footprint. Another example is digitalization: embracing digital technologies, such as e-commerce, digital payments, telemedicine, and remote work, can enhance efficiency, connectivity, and economic resilience. In addition, blue economy and sustainable fisheries represent a great opportunity. The Mediterranean’s vast maritime resources offer immense potential for sustainable development and economic growth through the blue economy. By promoting sustainable fisheries management, marine conservation, aquaculture innovation, and maritime tourism, the region can capitalize on its coastal assets while safeguarding marine ecosystems and biodiversity. All these challenges present opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and positive change in the Mediterranean region. By addressing these challenges collectively and proactively, stakeholders across the region can work towards a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future for all.

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