Trade Missions a chance to capitalise
The Malta Financial and Business Times this
week carried out a brief interview with Dennis Vella, Manager of the
Export Marketing Division of the Malta External Trade Corporation, who
provided a breakdown of METCOs Trade Missions scheduled for the
first half of the year
What are METCO Trade Missions?
Trade Missions are events whereby groups of Maltese manufacturers, exporters
and traders travel to target markets with the main scope of initiating
sales leads with potential trade buyers including importers, retailers
They also serve to gain a better understanding of the business culture
and competitive environment of the markets visited and to consolidate
and follow-up existing contacts.
What are the benefits for a participating company?
METCO Trade Missions offer a good value for money export
marketing tool whereby in about one week, a group of companies can visit
two markets/cities and through the assistance provided by METCO, one
can establish good sales leads that could lead to concrete export orders.
One has to emphasise that Trade Missions do not necessarily generate
sales leads there and then, however, through proper follow-up action,
a good number of mission participants have in the past reported to us
that they started to export to the target markets and now are regular
METCO is targeting Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Greece,
why these markets?
Markets are selected on the basis of market research and the degree
of interest shown in these markets by the Maltese companies.
In the case of the Gulf mission, both cities identified i.e. Manama
and Dubai play a dominant role in the economy of both countries and
both adopt a very liberal import duty regime reaching about 4% to 7.5%
for most goods. Dubai in particular emerges as a regional centre for
trade with over 70% of its total imports re-exported to neighbouring
METCOs promotional events in the Gulf have been on an annual basis
for the past five years and this has resulted in a significant increase
in exports, reaching over Lm9.2 million in 2000, an increase of over
81% over 1995.
With no major restrictions on imported products and with several projects
in the pipeline in view of the Olympic Games scheduled for 2004, Greece
should also offer Maltese companies the opportunity to increase their
export performance which in 2000 had reached over Lm1 million from Lm0.1m
These missions follow the first 2002 mission being organised by METCO
to Egypt and Tunisia. During the 10-17 February period, over 20 companies
from various sectors will visit these countries.
What is the role of METCO and the participating companies?
METCO pays special attention to first time participants and guides them
through the whole process of participation. A number of information
meetings are organised before the events so that companies are updated
on developments and the mission programme.
METCO organises an intensive marketing campaign in the target markets
in order to create awareness about the business opportunities offered
by the Maltese companies and solicit interest for the one to one meetings.
One should, however, emphasise that METCOs role in these events
is mainly one of co-ordination and support. With the support of METCOs
Business Information Centre, Trade mission participants are also expected
to undertake their own research and contact identification in order
to intensify the contact generation in the target markets.
What should a company do if interested in participating?
The Export Marketing Division of METCO, which is responsible for the
organisation of the trade missions and trade fairs, has prepared an
informative leaflet to prospective companies about the markets selected
and the logistical arrangements.
Local manufacturers, exporters, service providers and importers with
exclusive rights for re-export purposes to the target markets, should
exploit the services provided by METCO in order to consolidate and expand
their international activities. The personnel at the Export Marketing
Division would be pleased to answer any queries or visit companies to
provide further details on tels. 48143204 or 21446186.