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Monday, May 5, 2014

UPU News : Looking after small business

Posts already meet many of the logistical needs of small businesses. But how do they plan to deal with the surge in e-commerce generated by these businesses?
In most countries, traditional transport solutions are geared to large companies and high volumes. But not all exports are delivered in shipping containers. In fact, the postal parcel is the new container, according to Rose Mary Antunes, from the Brazilian ministry of communications and chair of the UPU group responsible for business development with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
Why should countries take an interest in your group’s work?
We are trying to develop postal products and services for small businesses. These companies form the lion’s share of member countries’ formal economies and represent a promising market for the postal sector.
Posts can offer these businesses a set of logistical solutions to strengthen their role in domestic and international trade. In doing so, Posts become important partners with governments in implementing public inclusion policies. These initiatives enhance the postal logistics network, expanding the service offering and the client portfolio and boosting revenues. The local economy is developed, and jobs and revenue are generated for small businesses.
Will this group simply promote the Exporta Fácil customs facilitation project, or is more involved?
Our mandate goes beyond the development of Exporta Fácil. We aim to develop complete solutions that meet the needs of small businesses.
Of course, we must streamline, automate and establish customs formalities to facilitate international trade.
Exporta Fácil is a good example, allowing Posts to meet the needs of small businesses with simple solutions. With its implementation in Brazil and other South American countries, small businesses have been able to become more competitive and enter the external market, in addition to increasing their exports and expanding the number of destinations they reach and the variety of products exported.
Have Posts not been considering the needs of micro and small businesses?
Many Posts have not yet grasped that this segment represents a major business development opportunity for them.
These businesses require logistical services, payment methods, e-commerce sales channels, direct marketing, data automation, and more. Posts can meet these needs through their delivery network.
When it comes to international trade, small businesses think that exporting is the domain of large companies. Posts need to position themselves as facilitators in this field. They should be perceived as logistics providers for international trade and should partner with governments in setting up public inclusion policies.
How can developing countries benefit from the group’s activities?
In most developing countries, small businesses are a driver of the economy. Governments see the need for public policies to strengthen these businesses and help them formalize their services. And operators can be key allies by providing logistics and other solutions for small businesses.
Governments want to give small businesses a boost, and businesses need logistical services. Why not serve both needs?
In fact, Posts can bridge these two interests. Postal operators today offer high-quality services thanks to their commercial and operational infrastructure. All partners will benefit and, at the same time, contribute to countries’ development.
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