About us

The Export Service Organisation of the Styrian economy

As a partner organisation of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA, we offer information and advice to export-oriented companies. We have been providing local businesses with information on internationalisation for over 10 years.

“As a competence centre for internationalisation, we provide companies with information through personal consulting and events and offer qualification in the form of workshops and trainings. Through our extensive networks we also enable companies to participate in delegation trips in order to get to know key countries at first-hand. I would like to encourage the Styrian export industry to make use of the service portfolio of the ICS.”

One-Stop-Shop for (new) exporters

Taking the first steps on the export journey should not be a venture into the unknown with unforeseeable risks. In order to simplify the path for Styrian businesses into trading internationally, the ICS Internationalisation Centre Styria (Internationalisierungscenter Steiermark – ICS) was established in 2005 as a joint initiative of the Styrian Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Steiermark), the Province of Styria (Land Steiermark)/ Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG) and the Styrian body of the Federation of Austrian Industries (Industriellenvereinigung Steiermark). Since then, obtaining valuable information on export opportunities has never been this straightforward. From legal aspects of international trade and funding opportunities to financial advice, valuable information on important topics is now available in one place: The ICS serves as the one-stop-shop for Styrian exporters and their questions on internationalisation. Valuable information is available immediately thanks to our extensive partner network and database. If necessary, special information can be obtained from other sources in very little time.

The ICS offers practical support to help Styrian companies start operations abroad, enter new markets and step up their activities abroad.

Not only does the ICS provide advice and support in export business plans, we also offer three-year focus programmes for the purpose of putting interesting new markets on the radar of Styrian (new) exporters. Trade commissioners’ meetings, seminars on sectors and specific country information help facilitate the entry into future export markets.

FAQs

GETTING STARTED | Entering the international market
Why even commit to foreign markets?

While the EU Single Market and international markets offer many lucrative opportunities, international commitment also means strengthening and securing your company’s success. An entry to a foreign market, especially when it involves more than pure export of goods and services, initially must be viewed as an investment and may take quite a long time to offer returns. By opening up new markets, the exports of Styrian companies now generate 50% of the Styrian gross regional product and thus 50% of the total value added in Styria!

How much time will I need to schedule for the market entry?

Getting started may not necessarily be the hardest, but still you will need to schedule enough time, especially for export projects and internationalisation. Having a realistic understanding of the necessary time frame is a critical factor for a successful internationalisation of your business. A healthy dose of enthusiasm is helpful too, because the whole company needs to support the export effort! Convey your goals to your peers and employees.

  • Short-term goals: Where do we want to be next year?
  • Long-term goals: Where do we want to be in five years?

Encourage your team to take a positive stance on the new venture. Explain to them WHY they will want to export and what good it will do for the company and, in turn, for each individual.

Did we plan for sufficient funds?

Plan in advance to allocate sufficient funds for a new foreign activity, in order to be able to survive a “dry spell”. Ideally, your company has a solid grounding in other well-performing foreign markets and in the domestic market. This can generate the financial means to invest in promising new markets.

Is my product ready for export?

Consider adapting your product to the targeted market or culture, if the added costs are justified. There may also be legal requirements for you to do so.
The same applies to services: Will you need special permits to offer your services? Will your employees be able to communicate adequately on site? What requirements will you need to fulfill in terms of after-sales service?

The ICS offers support by

  • promoting Styrian businesses on a global scale
  • facilitating market entry in target regions and participation in international projects
  • intensifying business relations with Central and Eastern European regions
  • connecting partners and stakeholders: companies, clusters and public bodies
  • encouraging Styrian SMEs to internationalise

Priorities in 2021

  • We are starting the new year with a company visit offensive with which we will strengthen our individual export consulting. We would be thrilled to visit you too – please send us your request via email: office@ic-steiermark.at
  • Our successful EXPORT ACADEMY training programme will continue in 2021! In the first quarter we offer workshops on Incoterms 2020, consistent supply chains and “finding distribution partners”; more current than ever is doing business in the post Brexit period;
  • Project launch goMED: Learn how to enter the Mediterranean market as a small or medium-sized enterprise in our series of workshops on Mediterranean countries, especially France.
  • In 2021, our market updates will again take place every Thursday and will be complemented by the export radar for selected markets in Europe, Asia and the USA. We will continue to monitor the current situation in various markets for you and, above all, the changes in entry regulations for business purposes.
  • Have framework conditions and travel restrictions changed due to Corona? We will continue to provide you with updates in our news ticker and answer your questions about business and commuter traffic individually via our Corona hotline: +43 316 601 400.
  • The go international funding programme is expected to continue from the beginning of April. As soon as the new funding period is confirmed, we will be happy to inform you through the usual information channels.
  • As a new country focus, we will be looking at Vietnam as an export and procurement market from 2021 onwards. The postponed trip to the EXPO in Dubai is scheduled for the beginning of December 2021. In 2021, we hope to be able to catch up on as many trips as possible that were originally planned for this year – e.g. MedTech, R&D in Minneapolis, technology scouting, autonomous driving, AI in Canada.