For many companies, having an international reach is absolutely essential for achieving long-term success. Increasingly, even small companies need to face the challenges of international competition and extend their local and regional focus to develop new sales markets in Europe and around the world.
Thorough preparations are key if you want to do business internationally. A lot has to be done: you will need to review existing resources, do plenty of research, and find out which organisations can advise you and what support is available from the from regional or federal government or the EU. You may even need to hedge your export business using appropriate financial instruments.
Before you begin dealing with people from other countries it makes sense to learn about how different cultures do business. One of the institutions that can pass on its expertise in this regard is the Centre for Intercultural Management (ZIM) at Bremen University of Applied Sciences. Other providers of cross-cultural training include Kwintessential and BusinessBehaviour.
Bremeninvest supports international trade by providing information and services and running accompanying initiatives.
More than 70 organisations in Germany provide a wide range of services to help companies prepare to venture into foreign markets. Information about all these services can be found on the regularly updated iXPOS website operated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
The website's country profiles are divided into geographical regions:
Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) was formed in 2009 by the German government and is responsible for location marketing, business development and support for foreign trade. Its database, which is continually updated and expanded, contains detailed economic data, market analyses and industry reports for around 200 countries.
Companies looking to invest in particular countries can also contact the respective national development agencies to obtain information, guidance and advice. The links below will take you to the websites of the relevant organisations in the EU member states and candidate countries:
The Chamber of Commerce for Bremen and Bremerhaven is the main resource in Bremen for companies looking for information on foreign countries and international trade. For certain key regions, special country networks serve as a platform for the continuous transfer of information and sharing of experience. More information.
Small companies of specified clusters can apply for grants from the foreign trade funding programme run by Bremen's Senator for the Economy, Labour and Europe. This allows them to participate at international trade fairs at home and abroad aimed at developing international markets. Bremen's development bank (Bremer Aufbau Bank) is in charge of administering the programme and the applications.