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.

“2018 was a truly successful year for foreign trade! We provided advice for more than 1.200 Styrian companies, we hosted more than 70 events with about 800 attendants in total, and we were honoured to welcome delegations, honorary consuls, ambassadors, and delegates from more than 60 countries.”

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 focus programmes for the purpose of putting interesting new markets on the radar of 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!

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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
  • encouraging Styrian SMEs to internationalise
  • advising on export support programmes
  • connecting partners and stakeholders: companies, clusters and public bodies

Copyright: music licence: Tanzauftrag (obtained from AudioAhead) dance: Tanzauftrag Animation: Max Richter

Priorities in 2019

  • The ICS offers personal advice to Styrian companies looking at expanding their export businesses and to those considering international trade for the first time. We provide information on various support programmes for exporters such as the go-international initiative with a capacity of 56 million Euro and numerous direct subsidies and the funding scheme Welt!Markt, initiated by the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG).
  • The Export Academy is the ICS’s new qualification programme. Structured in several modules, expert training sessions are offered regularly and thematically following the “export life cycle”. Sessions can be repeated depending on demand.
  • The focus country of the ICS in 2019 is the United Kingdom including all the issues around Brexit. We will provide you with the necessary information about current developments regarding Brexit and prepare you for upcoming changes in the export process. Explore new opportunities and trends on the market which will still prevail in Europe’s second largest national economy even after Brexit.
  • The new online marketplace is an online resource which provides help in finding international business partners. You have the opportunity to search for countries and sectors of interest as well as to publish your own company profile.
  • Export starters are our priority this year too! In 2019, the ICS has launched a new offensive for export starters! Special support services for export starters will be offered especially within the EU project EXPEDIRE. You will be provided with everything you need for your successful entry into foreign markets, starting from coaching, qualifications to looking for business partners.
  • Digital boost in knowledge for your success in exporting! As the Export Service Organisation of the Styrian economy, we are all the more keen on supporting your business in the process of internationalisation. This is why we have decided to enhance our digital qualification programmes in 2019 and offer you webinars on our focus countries and central topics on a regular basis