70 companies discover Furniture Go International

• Nearly 70 European companies have participated in the first public meeting of the Furniture Go International (FGOI) project, which will allow them to reach new markets such as the United States, Canada, Egypt and South Africa.

• Identifying the needs of the end customer and the market has been considered the main challenge for the success of this project and for export in general.

• In the first year of the project, the aim will be to adapt the product portfolio of the participating SMEs to the needs of the final markets.

The meeting, held in hybrid format, was attended by 8 European clusters leading the project and between 5 and 7 SMEs associated with each of them. The companies that have participated in the meeting are those whose profile best fits the objectives of the project Furniture Go International (FGOI), and who are most interested in the internationalization proposal. The call for SME participants is and will remain open to other organizations in the furniture sector, the wood industry and decoration that are willing to actively participate and target the markets ofUnited States, Canada, Egypt or South Africa.
The project will focus on the implementation of a common internationalization strategy, gathering and processing all the information and experience needed to address new markets with the aim of maximizing the chances of success. During the 3 years that the project will last, market analyzes, trade missions, international matchmaking activities and the establishment of permanent contacts in each of the markets of interest will be carried out to help overcome barriers on the ground.

The FGOI start-up meeting began with a brief introduction of the project and a presentation of the participating clusters from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Spain, Slovenia and Sweden. Through a real-time survey, SME representatives were able to respond anonymously to their main concerns about the internationalization process and choose the country in which they are most interested in doing business. The main challenge identified for exports outside the EU was the lack of reliable and current information on these markets (59% of respondents). Other important challenges are the lack of a representative office in foreign markets and logistics (53%) and ambiguity regarding foreign legislation; technical requirements and producer responsibility (38%); as well as the lack of producer responsibility, transportation, and intercultural differences.

Although SME representatives voted overwhelmingly (40%) to open the first new business in the U.S. and Egypt was the least preferred export destination (13%), things quickly changed in the Q&A session with which concluded the event. Some of the participants who already had experience with Egyptian trading partners highlighted the fact that in recent years construction has begun on a new capital on the outskirts.
Cairo, designed to accommodate 6.5 million residents. Egypt’s new administrative capital is expected to cost about $ 40 billion. And as a representative of one of the participating companies said, "they will need a lot of furniture for this."

Furniture Go International (FGOI) is a project driven by eight clusters from six European countries and funded by the European Commission. They are expected to participate directly in this results-oriented 100% project between 50 and 100 small and medium-sized companies in the furniture industry and related to each other. The participating clusters are: TFC-Transylvanian Furniture Cluster (Romania), Habic-Association Cluster of Habitat, Wood, Office and Contract Sector (Spain), WIC-Wood Industry Cluster (Slovenia), KCN-Cluster of Czech Furniture Manufacturers (Czech Republic ), ICS-Interior Cluster Sweden (Sweden), PWC- PRO WOOD Regional Cluster (Romania), BFC-Bulgarian Furniture Cluster (Bulgaria) and HCB-Habitat Cluster Barcelona (Spain). Together they add up to more than 500 companies.

Catalan press release

Spanish press release

English press release