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Even 5-10 years ago, cooperation with foreign companies was available only to large players in the Russian market, but today people without large capital also have such an opportunity. At the same time, it is not necessary for them to travel outside their region to conclude a contract.

For the third year already, the Kamchatka Krai Export Support Center has been working with representatives of small and medium-sized businesses of the peninsula, including on the search for foreign partners. How Kamchatka businessmen can be of interest to their foreign colleagues, said Tatyana Lomova, Deputy Director of KVC-INVEST, Head of the Center.

Kamchatka business card

– Entering foreign markets is a natural step for the development of entrepreneurial activity. At the same time, every little thing is important: from business correspondence with service partners to packaging design. This is a daily hard work, but the result is worth it. And in 2020, the first entrepreneurs of the peninsula succeeded. They began exporting Kamchatka-themed miniatures made of glass, modern and stylish clothes Kamchatka Terra Incognita, dietary supplements from wild salmon fat, willow tea and wooden souvenirs.

– Tatyana Vladimirovna, tell us more about the main tasks of the Center.

– We offer a whole range of services for entrepreneurs who are thinking about expanding their business. All our work can be conditionally divided into two areas: the organization of business events and consulting and information activities. The coronavirus pandemic, of course, made its own adjustments, but in the “dock-like” life, we actively organized the participation of Kamchatka entrepreneurs in Russian and international exhibitions, hosted delegations of businessmen from abroad, arranged business missions, because the best way to show Kamchatka is to invite potential buyers goods and services to visit. Now we are doing the same, but more in online format. And just when the whole world went online, we had the opportunity to actively develop another of our services – the search for foreign partners.

– And how do you do it?

– We already have real cases of interaction between Kamchatka entrepreneurs and their foreign colleagues, whom they found with our help. Kamchatka is known all over the world as a land with unique opportunities for the development of tourism, but not only this service sector can and should be promoted to international markets. We place great bets on the food industry, because here nature itself helps our entrepreneurs. Products from aquatic organisms, fish, hand-picked wild plants, unique drinking water – this is what our peninsula is famous for, and this can definitely interest even the most sophisticated foreign partners.

– It is generally accepted that the foreign market is only for representatives of big business. It turns out that small entrepreneurs from such a remote region today also have the opportunity to declare themselves in the world?

– This is the main misconception of many middle-level entrepreneurs: they think that foreign markets are not for them. But today everything is much simpler, and you can agree on the export of your goods or services without even leaving the peninsula. Of course, I cannot say that this happens at the snap of my fingers, because it is necessary to adapt products to the external market, possibly to carry out additional certification, to form an interesting commercial proposal, but today it is more than realistic, even for small and medium-sized businesses. And we are ready to actively help our entrepreneurs in this, who are in the Unified Register of SMEs.

Help is near

– Tell us about successful examples of interaction between Kamchatka business and foreign partners.

– In 2020, the center was looking for partners in China and the Republic of Korea for Kamchatka companies in the fishing, food and tourism industries. The entrepreneurs themselves presented their food products at the 29th international exhibition of food products “WorldFood Moscow 2020”. In total, last year, Kamchatka entrepreneurs signed 18 contracts with the support of the Center. The countries for export are the USA, Canada, Norway, Oman, Finland, Great Britain, France, Austria, China, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan.

In general, the laws of the market are such that without a clear awareness of their competitive advantages, it is impossible to be in the top. In Kamchatka, almost all industries are not very competitive, but if you go outside the region, you need to understand how to attract and retain a consumer. And, among other things, this is why we are betting on the possibilities of the food industry, in particular, the fish industry. Large market players have been exporting abroad for a long time, but this is quite within the power of small and medium-sized businesses. We are looking for such ambitious people, we are ready to help them, especially since today the situation with the coronavirus has significantly changed the balance of power. You can export fish from the Far East not only to our familiar Asia, but also to Europe. There are still vacancies in these niches, and Kamchatka entrepreneurs have every chance to occupy them.

– Tatyana Vladimirovna, how is the work of the Center’s employees in search of foreign partners organized step by step?

– An entrepreneur contacts us, we carefully study his requests, products, goods or services, analyze opportunities, determine the market for future exports (country), and then prepare a commercial proposal. Further, work begins on the search for foreign partners, after – a general meeting through the videoconferencing of the Center employees and businessmen from both sides. They are already discussing all the details without us, we are only present at the conclusion of the contract, but, of course, we are constantly in touch with entrepreneurs. Thus, the employees of the Center literally lead by the hand representatives of small and medium-sized businesses in Kamchatka, many of whom have never thought about the possibility of exporting.

– You said that the Center also organizes business missions. What it is?

– Business missions are face-to-face meetings of potential investors with entrepreneurs. We form delegations from possible foreign partners and invite them to Kamchatka. Thus, businessmen of the peninsula have the opportunity to personally communicate with them, to present themselves and their products. This year we are waiting for colleagues from Belarus and Kazakhstan at the business mission.

Great team

The team of the Export Support Center of the region is only four people, but, as the head of the organization, Tatyana Lomova, admits, each of them is an absolutely universal employee who can handle any task.

Anton Kushnarev – Deputy Head of the Center, certified trainer of the REC export school. Its main task is to prepare, organize and conduct the “Exporter of the Year” competition, seminars for entrepreneurs. He is also involved in the preparation of regulatory and reporting documentation. And this is only a small part of the iceberg of tasks.

Alexey Mashenitsky is an accredited e-commerce trainer. He is engaged in the popularization of the Center’s work, the promotion of exporters to electronic platforms and the organization’s services in the media space.

Irina Kotikova’s main task is to organize electronic exhibitions, work with travel companies to promote their services. In addition, she processes all incoming documentation and maintains business correspondence with partners and applicants of the Center.

– The main thing for me is that our small team is completely universal. If one goes on vacation, the other easily picks up his affairs, – says Tatyana Vladimirovna. – And each of them copes perfectly with the search for foreign partners, so we are happy to wait for our applicants to expand the boundaries of their entrepreneurial opportunities.

A source: Kamchatka AIF

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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