Under the umbrella of the LevelUP project, our goal is to create national relays and develop the Export Consortia concept in Jordan. We also aim to engage Jordanian public and economic institutions in the promotion of the export consortia approach in the country and in developing a good cooperation with them to facilitate the implication of their staff.
An export consortium is a voluntary alliance of firms with the objective of promoting the export of goods and services of its members through joint actions. It is a formal organization to promote medium- to long-term strategic cooperation among firms, and it organizes joint activities to facilitate access to foreign markets. Most consortia are non-profit entities, and members retain their financial, legal, managerial, and commercial autonomy. Therefore, despite their participation in the export consortia, member firms do not give up any control over their business to others. This is the main difference between consortia and other types of strategic alliances.
To lay out the foundation for the Export Consortia project we focused on raising awareness among local stakeholders about the UNIDO approach to export consortia development in general and the related activities envisaged under this project in particular. Besides, during the inception phase we were able to successfully pre-identify companies that could act as potential leaders of future consortia and who are willing to collaborate with other entities that also have some convening power.
We based our comprehensive review on the four key attributes the SMEs have to offer: job and entrepreneurial opportunities offered to women and youth in both urban and rural areas, market opportunities with a focus on export potential for regional and international markets, potential for innovation at all levels of the value chain, and the national sectorial priorities.
The goal of this selection process was to identify the SMEs who are most likely to contribute to or form an export consortium if they are provided with necessary coaching and technical assistance based on UNIDO experience and in line with international best practices.
To the day, the total of 6 Jordanian governmental and economic institutions and 24 SMEs took part in workshops and awareness seminars organized by the LevelUP. And, as a result, three export consortia – natural body care products, professional uniform, and food supplements – were formed, and now are successfully joining forces in targeting non-traditional markets that have competitive opportunities to increase and sustain exports.