Palma.—Such have been the effects of the economic crisis on smaller businesses in the Balearics, that an increasing number are having to face the fact that perhaps their only chance of survival is to network overseas, Joan Gual, the President of the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce said yesterday.

Support project

Central and regional governments have been working hand in hand with the Chamber of Commerce through the Overseas Trade Institute (Icex) to launch a programme of internationalisation to which around 50 companies in the Islands have subscribed over the last four years.

Gual claimed that “internationalisation is now more than ever a necessity and a fundamental tool for company growth and sustainability.” Gual explained that Icex is helping firms in the Balearic Islands begin or consolidate their entry into global markets through an Export Plan which is renewed and updated each year.

The Chamber of Commerce President added that a crucial step to getting on the ladder for overseas trade was embarking on a programme for starting up overseas trade which has been coordinated by the Balearic government and Icex. Gual said that the two year plan is a support project which has become of major interest to regional businessmen.

Gual said that “thinking internationally” was a logical solution to the economic crisis. He said that the leap made by hotel chains from Spain into the Caribbean had formed an “umbrella” under which small to medium-sized companies could follow and settle. An outstanding example of this is the Majorcan “Sol Melia” and Riu hotel chains.

Gual believed that with ample experience already under their belt, there are many smaller service companies who are ready to take the step. They have plenty of “knowhow” over their product and are well placed to diversify, Gual insisted. If the economic crisis continues, he added, it makes good sense that smaller businesses should keep thinking in international terms. The opportunity is there, Gual said.

The challenge needs to be taken up by more Balearic companies, he said.

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