AEP is launching a new project, aimed at supporting SMEs in their internationalization to three of the most important Asian markets – Japan; South Korea and China.

Based on the conviction that market diversification is essential to increase the competitiveness of Portuguese SMEs, AEP – Associação Empresarial de Portugal promotes the project Next Challenge Asia, aimed at micro, small and medium Portuguese companies in the Agro-Food, Home, Infrastructure (Water and Energy) and Construction Materials sectors that export or wish to start their expansion into the demanding Japanese, South Korean and Chinese markets.

As a strategy for approaching markets, the project, which will be in force until mid 2023, includes several activities aimed at informing and training companies in their internationalization process.

AEP will launch three Market Studies, one for each target market, with relevant information about the characteristics of the business fabric of each country.

Business Intelligence tools will be made available on the project portal, allowing entrepreneurs to make informed decisions, assess the maturity of SMEs for internationalization, and support the creation of an individual strategy for approaching markets. Several workshops will also be held, subordinated to relevant themes in the context of internationalization, taking into account the sectors covered by the project.

In parallel, the project also intends to promote the potential of Portuguese products. To this end, four Portugal Premium Events will be held in Portugal, Tokyo, Seoul, and Beijing. The Asian markets will also be the target of an international Communication Campaign with the aim of raising the position of Portuguese SMEs in the global market, enhancing the Portugal brand among international buyers.

The Next Challenge Asia project is promoted by AEP and co-financed by Compete 2020, Portugal 2020 and the European Union.