Italy's foreign ministry and its foreign trade institute Ice have developed a new project to aimed at supporting the internationalisation of firms, especially small-to-medium-sized companies that want to bid for international projects.
The 'Gara con Noi – Tender Lab' project takes the form of a free training programme for companies on "the instruments and strategies" needed to win international tenders, the foreign ministry said.
The programme offers companies tailored advice on specific aspects of competing for international tenders, including making contact with strategic key players, selecting partners, technical and legal counselling, and auditing offers, the ministry said.
A lack of information on the mechanisms, rules and procedures for international tenders still discourages companies - especially SMEs - from taking part, foreign minister Angelino Alfano stated.
“Abroad, the support of the foreign ministry in this sector can make the difference," said Alfano.
"In 2016, the supporting action of the diplomatic and consular network in the award of tenders and the adjudication of contracts to Italian companies abroad, generated 21.4 billion euros in added value at home, accounting for 1.4 percent of GDP and 307,000 jobs,” Alfano said.
Gaining skills and testing the opportunities produced by large international events – such as Expo Dubai 2020 and the World Cup 2022 in Qatar – and by the procurement procedures of major international organisations form the pillars of the new economic diplomacy training programme, according to the ministry.