Promoting cultural expressions abroad
In 2005 the Federal Ministry for Economy, Family and Youth introduced the internationalisation offensive go international in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. It included a strategic plan to encourage enterprises active in the creative sector to step across the border by offering advisory services, events and support, as well as making it easier for existing exporters to enter additional foreign markets. The initiative is implemented by the Creative Industries Office of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA at the Federal Economic Chamber, founded in 2005 to meet the needs of the creative sector. Activities under the initiative include inter alia workshops on export marketing, trade and fact-finding missions, support for presentations at trade fairs, publication of special directories and catalogues and networking- and matchmaking meetings bringing together Austrian entrepreneurs with potential foreign customers. In the period of 2009 to 2010 USD 2.6 million (2 million euros) were invested in the creative industries strand of the go international initiative. The objective during this programming period was to increase the non-domestic turnover of 400 creative enterprises by participating in go international activities. An evaluation, based on feed-back sheets distributed to participants of go international events, showed the success of the programme: between April 2009 and March 2011 more than 400 Austrian entrepreneurs increased their non-domestic turnover. Moreover, the Fourth Austrian Report on Creative Industries (2010) shows a remarkable export performance of the sector: In 2009 almost every second enterprise – mostly larger enterprises – had business relations with customers abroad. For one in ten enterprises, customers from abroad constitute the most important target group. The creative industries achieved an export share of 26 percent. By way of comparison, other commercial service sectors achieved a share of twelve percent in the overall exports in 2009. The experiences in the implementation of go international are similar to those reported by evolve. The outreach to micro-enterprises in particular remains a challenge, as a part of this group still is reluctant to cooperate with the Federal Economic Chamber.