Internationalise your enterprise

Enterprise internationalisation is a highly complex, medium-to-long-term process that requires more than just a “good product and importer’s address” in order to work. In fact, in order to gain access to foreign markets and ensure stable operations in the long term, companies need to implement a wide range of different actions.

Enterprises aiming to internationalise face a host of obstacles. After the 2007 financial crisis international markets have become increasingly complex and tough. Companies wishing to expand their economic activities abroad must ensure that they are well-informed and constantly up to date on the legal, tax, commercial and customs aspects involved in international business. All this information is available at SPRINT Puglia, the Regional Advisory Centre for Enterprise Internationalisation set up by Puglia Sviluppo SpA to provide companies with the necessary support and technical assistance.

What does Apulia export?

Advices for internationalization

  1. Corporate policy: must be oriented towards internationalisation investments (participation in international fairs, missions, specialised personnel, etc.). A budget must be set aside for these investments. Do not expect immediate results; most companies embarking upon an internationalisation process begin to see results after at least one year.
  2. Products: assess product features and their potential viability for different markets. Products need to be adapted to suit the needs of consumers in your target markets: this may range from relabelling (translating label contents) or changing packaging to developing specific tailored products for the market concerned. All these processes will entail costs for the company.
  3. Promotion support tools: your company will require an up-to-date website and catalogues in English (and eventually other languages), with translations carried out by specialised translators. Another must for today’s companies is participating in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Web marketing activities have become increasingly important in promoting a company’s online presence.
To begin this could be a part-time employee or consultant provided they have necessary expertise in international commerce and knowledge of at least one foreign language (preferably English).
The aim is identify key facts concerning distribution channels, competitors, product prices, forms of promotion, the leading international fairs, useful addresses and so on.
Recommended websites:

• Italian Office of Trademarks and Patents -
• European Patent Office -

In order to do so you will need to know the customs code of the exported product.

Recommended website:

Your company must therefore be able to use the various types of international payment instruments (letters of credit, insurance, etc.) that will protect it from the risk of insolvency of the foreign client as well as facilitating purchases.
We recommend consulting the website of the Italian Export Credit Agency (SACE)

ICE, the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade, is the government agency responsible for developing, supporting and promoting economic and commercial relations between Italian and foreign companies, with a particular focus on the international development needs of SMEs (single businesses as well as consortia and groups).


SACE SpA, which is controlled by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, provides Italian companies with insurance for exports or investments abroad by means of a wide range of instruments for credit insurance, credit financing and management, investment protection, and project financing.


SIMEST S.p.A., is a finance company controlled by the Ministry of Economic Development that was set up in 1990 with the aim of developing and promoting the business of Italian companies abroad. It promotes the internationalisation of Italian enterprises and supports entrepreneurs by means of services and subsidies favouring business with foreign companies, investments abroad and internationalisation projects.


Unioncamere Puglia, the association of the region’s five Chambers of Commerce, promotes and carries out initiatives favouring the development and promotion of the region and its economy both in Italy and abroad, also through the services provided by its office for international trade and investment (Centro Estero Camere Commercio Pugliesi).