The “I Capital do Móvel International Days” ends with good ideas to promote the competitiveness and internationalization of companies

With a lot of relevant information and participation of businessmen from the region. This led to the “I Capital do Móvel International Days”, held at the Paços de Ferreira Business Association (AEPF) on November 20th and 21st, 2019, as part of the “Capital do Móvel – Feeling The Essence” Project, co-financed by the Federal Government. Through the European Regional Development Fund, through Northern 2020. With the main theme focused on the internationalization of business and enterprises, participants had a broad view of all aspects surrounding this issue.

The opening of the event was held by the President of AEPF, Rui Carneiro, the Mayor of Paços de Ferreira, Humberto Brito, and the President of the Higher Institute of Accounting and Administration of Porto (ISCAP), Fernando Magalhães. They praised the event and, especially, the intention of the event, directed to the promotion and growth of companies.

“The Paços de Ferreira Business Association is dedicated to promoting the competitiveness of companies and the socio-economic development of the Vale do Sousa region. We are fully aware that the reality of the furniture sector has evolved at all levels, with the value of the sector’s exports reaching around 2 billion euros, making it one of the most promising in the country”, said Rui Carneiro.

On the first day, the panel “Internationalization and Market Trends” provided an overview of the challenges that companies face in expanding their business to foreign markets, namely the logistical difficulties, the specificities of each market, cultural barriers and political and fiscal risks.

The 2nd panel, “Innovation in Marketing in the Digital Age”, emphasized the importance of Industry 4.0, which includes the main technologies available, in order to offer customized products and services to the client’s demand, as well as the importance of companies’ presence on the web.

At the end of the morning, the Cooperation Protocol for Entrepreneurship and Microcredit was signed between the AEPF and Banco Millennium BCP. In the afternoon, the participants went on a visit to the companies Luís Silva Sofás and Costa Pereira Móveis, where they could learn about the production process of each one, as well as the most interesting points of the county.

On the 2nd day, the panel “Circular Economy: From Waste to Factors, a Radical Change for a Sustainable Future” showed the importance of abandoning the linear economy, characterized by a large extraction of natural resources and a high generation of unusable waste, aiming to save the planet. The seal of circularity emerged as a challenge to be implemented in the furniture sector, in favor of environmental sustainability.

In the “Horizon Europe and the Furniture Industry” panel, the guests spoke about the research and innovation program that will be available between 2021 and 2027, in continuity with the current funding model, Horizon 2020 (H2020), and with regard to what the program could support the furniture industry with.

In the last panel of the event, “The Furniture Industry and the Technological Challenges”, it was shown how the industries of the sector have evolved in terms of automation, and the added value that the investment in new technologies brings to the companies’ final product.

The “I Capital do Móvel International Days” ended with the presentation of the Tâmega e Sousa Internationalization Atlas, a publication edited by the Tâmega e Sousa Intermunicipal Community that identifies the six most competitive sectors and the nine markets representing 95% of the total of the region’s exports. The presentation was made by the CEO of Finance XXI Consulting, José Marques da Silva, author and scientific coordinator of the publication.

“I come again to thank you for your organization and welcome in the Capital do Móvel International Days. The Days were a source of new knowledge, bringing together complementary approaches on the challenges of the furniture sector and the institutional and strategic conditions that could stimulate innovation and competitiveness. Congratulations!”, said Ana Maria Evans, External Expert, European Commission H2020.

“One of the best events I had the opportunity to go here in Portugal was the “Days for Internationalization”, with an audience full of furniture businessmen. It was two intense days talking about the new markets to be explored, opportunities and challenges. One of the points I defended was precisely the approach of the industry, with the designer… not as a mere creative, but someone who will help to devise new strategies and break paradigms in this new moment after 2020. It’s time to prepare ourselves, and bring Portugal stand out in the world of design. Together we can do a lot, do more and make it beautiful. And then? Are we in this together or not?”, said Tiago Curioni, a Brazilian designer who has been in Portugal for a year.

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