ELANBiz and the EU-LAC Foundation support the Baltic Countries in their internationalisation strategy in the ICT sector in Chile and Costa Rica
During the week of April 9th to 13th, 16 companies from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from the Information and Communication Technologies sector – ICTs – travelled to Chile and Costa Rica, within the framework of a mission that aimed to support the internationalisation commercial strategy of the three Baltic Countries in Latin America. It is the first joint trade mission to Latin America, organized by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the three countries, with the support of the EU-LAC Foundation and the ELANBiz project.
Growing interest of the Baltic Countries in Latin America
So far, the Baltic Countries have had limited presence in the Latin American markets as a result of specific challenges such as language, cultural barriers and/or limited public resources to develop a commercial strategy in a region geographically so distant. However, in recent years, they have begun to design strategies to develop political links and promote the commercial access of their companies.
As pointed out by the Executive Director of EU-LAC Foundation, Mrs. Paola Amadei, the mission was part of the Foundation's awareness program, aimed at countries that have had less contact with Latin America.
Participation of the ELANBiz expert team falls within the specific strategy in favor of the Member States of the European Union with limited commercial representation in Latin America.
Chile and Costa Rica’s interest in establishing relationships with Baltic companies from the ICT sector
The mission has had a very favorable welcome in Chile and Costa Rica.
In both countries there is an important recognition of the Baltic Countries as exporters of advanced technologies and high added value services, that are necessary for the implementation of sectoral diversification strategies and for the implementation of their digital agendas and the State modernization.
The 16 companies present in the mission have had the opportunity to learn in detail the governmental priorities of Chile and Costa Rica in the ICT area. At the same time, they have been able to analyze the opportunities for the development of their business strategies in both Latin American countries. Baltic companies have held meetings with local and other European firms already established in the region, with whom they have discussed cooperation opportunities. During the B2B meetings, concrete collaboration areas have been identified, mainly in digital transformation of the State, Smartcities and cybersecurity.
Institutional support to the Baltic Countries exploratory mission
The mission success is due in large part to the institutional support provided by the European Union representatives and the European private sector in Chile and Costa Rica, as well as the local institutions that have actively participated in the events in Santiago de Chile and San Jose de Costa Rica.
The mission has had the valuable collaboration from the European Union Delegations and from the Eurocámaras in Chile and Costa Rica. In addition, Chilean (Invest Chile, CORFO) and Costa Rican (Procomer, CINDE) trade promotion and investment agencies, as well as representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade of both Latin American countries supported the events.
Mr. Andrejs Pildegovics, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, led the country’s delegation and participated in the activities organized. In the framework of the agenda that Latvia is promoting in Latin America, Mr. Andrejs Pildegovics announced the initiative of the upcoming signing of an Agreement to avoid double taxation between Latvia and each of the two Latin American countries.
At the opening of the meetings in Chile, Mrs. Stella Zervoudaki, European Union Ambassador in Chile, emphasized that the new Chilean government has established innovation promotion as a priority. "This is very important for the European Union, given that the EU Association Agreement modernization with Chile will allow us to position the ICT issues, innovation and technology transfer as central issues in our future relations".
Mr. Pelayo Castro, European Union Ambassador in Costa Rica, inaugurated the conference in San José and during his speech remarked that the mission is a great example of economic diplomacy. "We connected innovation and the Baltic Countries ICT companies in Costa Rica, thanks to European cooperation", he said.
The organization of the exploratory mission can be considered a “best practice” to the extent that it shows that through a well-structured collaboration between multiple stakeholders and European programmes, a valuable support to the State Members with no commercial representation in Latin America can be provided.