The current political-economic scenario looks radically different from a year ago: among the effects, the stop to important events such as trade fairs.

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The recent measures adopted by world governments have had a heavy impact on the operations of companies in all sectors, in every country, forcing professionals and entrepreneurs to review their strategies.

Italy, the second largest manufacturing force in the Eurozone, has been obliged to adopt measures that have heavily impacted on the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises, the real backbone of the local economic system.

One of the consequences, as is well known, is the stop to trade fairs, a valuable opportunity for companies to meet and build new business relations, expanding the scope of their activities.

In particular, Italian and foreign trade fairs have always represented a useful tool to boost our exports, allowing Italian entrepreneurs to promote their production and find new strategic partners.

These events have helped to consolidate the prestige of Made in Italy, allowing many small businesses to take Italian manufacture all over the world.

In fact, the direct exports of manufacturing micro and small enterprises are worth more than 60.1 billion euros, about 3.5% of our GDP, to which is added the high percentage of workers within companies under 50 employees, equal to more than 11 million people.

Some supply chains – such as the machinery one – are a fundamental component from this point of view: in Emilia Romagna alone, for example, this supply chain contributes to over 56% of regional exports abroad.

It is easy to understand how the forced stop at trade fairs could hinder the growth of exports in the coming months, considered a fundamental factor for the country’s recovery in 2021.

And it is precisely to prevent this risk that now more than ever Italian SMEs must think of new ways of managing their presence on international markets: Matchplat has long understood the importance of this need, developing a series of services designed to support companies in expanding their business outside Italy.

In fact, if today it is correct to speak of industry 4.0 in the face of a constant evolution of production processes, it is essential to apply the same logic to the way in which companies build relationships: in other words, research and development processes – activities in which our SMEs have always distinguished themselves – must also concern the internationalisation of business.

For this reason, Matchplat has designed solutions in which the search for new partners is based on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: digital technologies that can quickly and accurately identify potential customers, suppliers and distributors around the world, without the need for travel and participation in physical events.

Thanks to a database of over 30 billion commercial information, we provide SMEs with a real world of constantly updated data with which to increase their chances of success, inside and outside the Italian market.

Finally, a recent report by CNA (Confederazione Nazionale dell’Artigianato e della Piccola e Media Impresa – the National Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises) takes a picture of a resilient entrepreneurial fabric: according to the study, SMEs in Italy reacted better than their counterparts in other European countries over the past few months.

Italy’s small and medium-sized enterprises are therefore reconfirmed as a strategic asset, endowed with a great spirit of adaptation and capable of looking ahead: for this reason, now more than ever, they must equip themselves with tools with which to innovate their operations, establishing new relationships efficiently within the markets best suited to their objectives.