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Alessandra Ricci, SIMEST CEO (CDP Group) in Brussels to talk about SMEs and internationalisation

Italy is at the forefront in sustaining the international growth of Small and Medium Enterprises thanks to the creation of the Italian Export and Internationalisation Hub, the launch of a new web-based platform “sacesimest.it” and to more than 25 years in supporting FDI

Alessandra Ricci, SIMEST CEO (CDP Group) in Brussels to talk about SMEs and internationalisation
7 March 2018

Brussels, March 7, 2018 – Today in Brussels, at the representative office of the Emilia Romagna Region, Alessandra Ricci, SIMEST CEO, has participated in the presentation of the report “Internationalisation of European SMEs: Taking Stock and Moving Ahead”. The report was drawn up by the five main European National Promotional Institutions (NPIs): the Italian CDP, the German KfW, the French Bpifrance, the Spanish ICO and the English British Business Bank.

Ms Ricci has underlined how – thanks to the CDP Group – Italy is in the European lead in supporting the growth and internationalisation of SMEs. “With SACE, our parent company, we have built, within the CDP Group, the Italian Export and Internationalisation Hub, which is unique in Europe as it makes the entire set of finance and insurance instruments available for SMEs in order to grow and compete within international markets through one contact point”.

SIMEST CEO has also explained that the path, not only to increase the served SMEs but also to manage the internationalisation needs, can only pass through digitalization. She announced: “The Italian Hub has just launched the web-based platform sacesimest.it allowing SMEs – which represent 95% of our clients – to overcome many obstacles to internationalise, such as complexity of procedures and difficulty in identify trustworthy partners and potential markets”. Moreover, the enterprises that access to the platform “will get financial resources within a very short time – also applying directly online – thanks to soft loans for internationalisation (annual interest rate 0,082%), recovery of outstanding debts, factoring, and export credit”.

Finally, Ms Ricci focused on the most defining activity about SIMEST within the Italian Hub: the investment support in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of SMEs and Italian mid-caps, assisting them in the acquisition of capital share in foreign firms. Over its 25 years of experience, SIMEST made more than 770 investments for a commitment of more than €1 billion. Operations involved Italy’s main productive sectors.

“With more than 25 years of experience in sustaining FDI, we represent such a case study that the University Politecnico di Milano has recently analysed our equity investments’ portfolio, confirming the positive effect of FDI on business customers, which better results in terms of revenue, employment and investment than the performance of Italian GDP and the market”.

In particular, between 2011 and 2015 those who chose SIMEST as a partner to invest both in Italy and abroad were more successful than others and registered stronger benefits:

  • Italian companies that made direct foreign investment with SIMEST have experienced an 8% average annual increase in revenues compared with the average increase in Italian GDP of 0.9%;
  • The number of people employed in Italy by SIMEST partners has risen by 8% per year on average, compared with an average decline of 0.5% registered for Italian industrial firms;

With regard to property, plant and equipment to be used for productive activities, there was an average increase of 8% for SIMEST’s partner companies, compared with an average annual decrease of 0.6% for Italian industrial undertakings.


Contact details for the media:

Tel: +39 06 68635.777


Twitter: @SIMEST_IT


SIMEST is part of the CDP Group, 76% controlled by SACE and invested in by leading Italian banks and business associations. SIMEST and SACE form the export and internationalisation hub of the CDP Group, which offers all the financial instruments to support Italian companies interested in competing and expanding internationally. In particular, SIMEST supports companies throughout their entire international development process, providing soft loans for internationalisation, export credit support and equity investments.