Finnvera’s new Receivables Purchase Guarantee speeds up the financing of small export transactionsHalf of Finnish SMEs engaged in exports believe that the value of their exports will rise this year. Equally many companies will also increase their investments in internationalisation. These are some of the findings of the SME Barometer Survey that was conducted this spring. The survey encompassed about 4,800 companies, of which 1,100 operate on the international market. However, export companies still face challenges in arranging financing for small export transactions and protecting themselves against export risks. In order to speed up financing, Finnvera has introduced a new Receivables Purchase Guarantee to complement the Bill of Exchange Guarantee and the Export Receivables Loan, which were launched a year ago.The Receivables Purchase Guarantee is typically applicable to continuous exports with a short payment period, when the export products are, for example, consumer goods, raw materials, services or semi-finished products. Finnvera bears the risks associated with financing and the bank is protected from the eventuality that the buyer fails to pay the invoice on the due date. The guarantee is granted directly to the bank that purchases receivables from its own client, i.e. the exporter, in connection with foreign trade.- The instruments used for financing small export transactions should be as simple and easy to use as possible for both the exporter and the bank. We continuously strive to develop our products so that banks would find it easy, with the help of our guarantees, to offer financing for even small export deals. For products aimed at contracts of under two million euros, Finnvera bears more of the risk itself and, by relaxing the terms, strives to speed up financing and promote the business opportunities of Finnish export companies irrespective of their size, says Minna Lindqvist, Development Manager at Finnvera.New products reduce the exporter’s and bank’s riskBoth the Receivables Purchase Guarantee and the Bill of Exchange Guarantee enable the exporter to grant payment time to the buyer while receiving the money for the transaction on cash terms. Both guarantees protect the bank against credit risks associated primarily with the buyer and the buyer’s country. A Bill of Exchange Guarantee can be granted for a payment period of up to five years and it is well suited, for instance, to an individual capital goods transaction, such as exports of machinery or equipment, whereas the Receivables Purchase Guarantee is suited to short payment periods. The products complement each other. For instance, Finnvera does not grant Bill of Exchange Guarantees for exports to Russia, but a Receivables Purchase Guarantee may be granted for this purpose.The Bill of Exchange Guarantee was launched a year ago, and its use is gradually increasing. Applicants for the guarantee include large, small and midcap companies that have exported primarily to European and South American markets. Calculated on the basis of the applications, the average contract value has been EUR 1.3 million. So far the smallest contract guaranteed by a Bill of Exchange Guarantee has been valued at EUR 200,000. Only one in three export companies protect themselves against risksThe new products also provide exporters with additional means of protecting themselves against risks associated with export trade. According to the SME Barometer, Finnish SMEs export goods and services abroad at a high risk. As many as two thirds of export companies trust their customers’ ability and willingness to pay so much that they do not protect their sales receivables.This is the case even if a single credit loss may at its worst endanger the future of the entire company, especially if the company is just starting exports. Protection against export risks is also important now when exports are gaining momentum and the economy is at a very promising stage.- The more important and more tailored the transaction is for the company, the more crucial it is to protect receivables. We encourage export companies to contact us at an early stage of business negotiations if something about the export transaction puzzles them. We are glad to advise about selecting an applicable financing solution. Our goal is to help Finnish companies of all sizes to win contracts and protect themselves from risks associated with exports, says Lindqvist.Inquiries:Minna Lindqvist, Development Manager, Finnvera, +358 50 5267 639, email@example.comThe SME BarometerThe Federation of Finnish Enterprises, Finnvera and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment jointly conduct an SME Barometer Survey twice a year. The barometer for spring 2017 is based on responses given by about 4,800 SMEs throughout Finland. Nearly 1,100 of the respondents are active on international markets.Read also:More about the Bill of Exchange Guarantee More about the Export Receivables Loan
Russians now believe in cautious economic growth, says Team Leader Anu-Leena Koskelainen.Finnish companies’ increasing interest in Russian markets is reflected as more frequent inquiries at Finnvera’s Representative Office in St. Petersburg. The Russian economy has had a slight upturn. Despite challenges, this is opening opportunities for Finnish companies. Finnvera estimates that demand for financing for Russian trade will pick up this year.The following tip sounds like a cliché but is absolutely true: A company aiming at Russian markets must do its homework well.- In Russia, one cannot think that a good product sells itself. Relations and the trading partner’s trust are important, says Team Leader Anu-Leena Koskelainen of Finnvera.Koskelainen was appointed to lead the management of country and environmental risks in the Large Corporates Unit of Finnvera in April 2017. Before that she had worked as an economic and financial adviser at the Embassy of Finland in Moscow, where she had an excellent view of the development of the Russian economy for three and a half years. She was already familiar with Russia and its neighbouring areas from her previous career at Nordea Bank and its predecessors, and she also knew Finnvera through corporate finance.Compared to the situation in 2014–15, the economic outlook in Russia has improved. The sanctions imposed by the West and Russia’s own counter-sanctions have undoubtedly had an effect, but maybe not as great as had been predicted, Anu-Leena Koskelainen says.- When the economy shrinks, it must also grow at some point. Private consumption, previously the engine of economic growth, is showing a slight upswing after a steep decline. Russia’s foreign trade is increasing after having decreased for two or three years. A turn in sentiments took place in early 2017, and Russians now believe in cautious economic growth.Investments need machines and equipment exported by FinlandFinnish companies also have a more positive view of Russia than before. Although Russia has turned to a more protectionist direction and has an import substitution policy that favours domestic production, opportunities may open for Finnish export companies. For instance, the sanctions imposed by the EU on trade with Russia are still in force, but trade is possible when the sanctions are taken into account.- The development of Russia’s own production calls for investments, and these require technology from abroad. There is then a need for machinery and equipment, the greatest of Finland’s exports, Koskelainen says.Russia is a very noteworthy trading partner despite the fact that exporters must know the local conditions and authorities, get used to the bureaucracy and ponder their attitude to corruption.- Russia encourages foreign companies to shift their production to Russia. Export trade, in turn, is easier without having to become established. However, there are challenges: finding partners; trust; and how to secure receivables from the goods sold.- Among established partners, trade is generally conducted against an invoice. Finnish exporters can insure their receivables from a foreign buyer by means of Finnvera’s export receivables guarantee which is well suited to the short-term exports of raw materials and consumables. At the moment Finnvera is covering credit risks connected to over 100 Russian buyers. When there’s a crisis in Russia, advance payments are common. Then the buyer must trust the seller. A letter of credit is often used to secure receivables, but in Russia it is also a financial instrument.No change in economic policy is foreseen for the next few yearsRussia’s economy is troubled by structural problems, such as the state’s strong role, a low productivity of work and demographic challenges. However, major changes in economic policy are hardly likely before the presidential election in March 2018. In recent years, funds collected from oil revenues have been used to cover the budget deficit.- The budget deficit is one of the biggest problems in the economy. In an economy dominated by the state, this affects the allocation of resources. Now that the economic outlook is better, it is not absolutely necessary to carry out extensive reforms.From the Finnish perspective, Russia is near and geographically huge, when compared against many other export markets. Even though there are problems, Russia has improved its ranking in the Doing Business comparison conducted by the World Bank on business regulations.--“Inquiries keep coming about how Russia is doing”After a break of a few years, Finnish companies are again interested in trading with Russia.- Many clients inquire generally about the market and how Russia is doing. This is a positive feature. It’s also positive that more Russian tourists are again coming to Finland this year, giving a boost to Finnish business on this side of the border. The purchasing power of the rouble against the euro has improved, which makes Finland a more attractive destination for Russian tourists, says Timo Pietiläinen, Head of Finnvera’s Representative Office in St. Petersburg, who has been managing Finnish companies’ relations in the St. Petersburg area for about ten years. During this time, he has been stationed in St. Petersburg for a total of seven years. - I act as Finnvera’s eyes and ears in St. Petersburg, he says, characterising his role.Finnvera’s financing for exports to Russia kept rising in 2014–15, when Finnvera’s exposure in Russia increased 1.5-fold. Since then, the exposure has diminished slightly because Russians are paying back their loans.Tools for networking and efficient expert servicesAccording to Pietiläinen, the Finnish SMEs that invest in Russia at present are primarily those that already know Russian markets as exporters or that are already established in Russia. A production line in Russia helps a company now that Russia is restricting imports from outside its customs territory.Even now, many Finnish companies engaged in the building product industry, wood processing industry and the service sector are operating in Russia.In Russia, Finnvera works in cooperation with Team Finland actors. They help companies to network and create contacts, and guide companies for instance in the use of local expert services. After the initial phase, companies themselves manage most of their contacts with the authorities and other Russian cooperation bodies.In Northwest Russia, Finns have a good reputation as reliable trading partners. Most Finnish companies active in Russia operate in the St. Petersburg area. Knowledge of Finland is not as solid in Moscow or further away. The Astana Expo 2017, being held in Kazakhstan from June to September, will offer Finland the opportunity to raise its profile also outside Russia.Read also:Country classification and mapCredit risks in export trade
Finnish companies’ business deals with Brazil are traditionally very large. SMEs also have good export prospects.The tunes of the samba, Brazil’s national dance, are gradually turning from a minor key to a major key. The economy of the country with the world’s fifth largest population and area has emerged from the worst recession of its history. In 2015, the economy shrank by nearly four per cent, and last year was not much better.- Brazil has traditionally been a strong exporter of raw materials, but both the recession sparked by the global downturn and the political crisis have shaken the business environment in recent years. Modest growth is finally expected for this year, and more growth is predicted for next year, says Mika Relander, Senior Adviser responsible for Latin America at Finnvera.What’s more, statistics support Relander’s view. Brazil’s gross domestic product turned positive early this year. According to Relander, protectionism and bureaucracy still hold sway and issues related to corruption are in the public eye, but attitudes to free trade are gradually becoming more favourable. At the same time, the United States is going in a different direction.- Brazil has a huge internal market, and domestic demand has traditionally been the engine for economic growth. Demand has suffered slightly as unemployment has risen, but there has been a turn for the better even in that respect.Brazil has long been Finland’s most important trading partner in South America. Individual contracts are very large in monetary terms. Finnish exports to Brazil have mainly been machines and equipment for heavy industry, various chemicals and fertilisers. The country also offers enormous opportunities for the exports of SMEs.Relander points out that, with regard to Finnvera’s export credit guarantee exposure, Brazil is still among the three countries with the highest political risks.- Demand for guarantees is continuous and fairly extensive, even though it has been quieter than before in the pulp and telecommunications sectors. Investments in Brazil’s infrastructure are expected to pick up in the coming years. This will create opportunities for Finnish exporters, says Relander.Growth keeps Valmet in BrazilThe developing economy attracted Valmet to Brazil over 50 years ago.Valmet’s current focus in Brazil is on pulp production technologies and the associated automation and service solutions. During the past five years, Valmet has delivered two large pulp mills to Brazil. The value of the deliveries has been hundreds of millions of euros. In addition, Valmet has established service business in the region. At present, the company has about 500 employees in Brazil, divided among five locations. Bertel Karlstedt, President of Pulp and Energy at Valmet, says that Brazil’s economy and political system are much less stable than those in Europe.- The instability naturally has an impact on us and our customers. Brazil has had periods of strong growth, for instance from 2002 to 2011. On the other hand, the country has also gone through periods of recession, like those of the past couple of years. The business environment is still attractive to us, as we operate on global markets and seek growth in developing regions.Karlstedt says that much of the pulp produced by their customers is exported.- Our customers’ investments and profitability of business are largely dependent on global markets. The pulp mills built in Brazil during a period of over ten years have been among the world’s largest.According to Karlstedt, Brazil’s annual inflation has recently been around six per cent. However, in 2015 inflation exceeded ten per cent.- High inflation affects both wages and various supply contracts.Brazil has not been the easiest possible operating environment for Valmet. Competition among pulp technology suppliers is very stiff.- Valmet is one of the leading players in Brazil, but new competitors are also entering the market. We have developed both our own local production and production with a partner network. We must act in this way so that we can ensure competitiveness and, on the other hand, can pay import duties and taxes.Karlstedt remarks that the Brazilian administration has striven to steer production into the country by means of import duties and taxes.- There is pressure to dismantle duties. The internal situation in the country may also drive things to another direction.In Karlstedt’s opinion, a company planning to locate in Brazil should also be prepared for the fact that companies in Brazil bear social responsibility by investing in charity, especially in the company’s own operating area.- Valmet gives significant support to local charity organisations, such as Instituto Ayrton Senna and Instituto Ecofuturo. The goal of the programmes supported is to promote basic education and environmental protection. In addition, we have donated old computers to a school and collected funds for a daycare centre.FACT: Brazil The country category determined by Finnvera for Brazil’s credit quality is 5/7 (questionable credit quality). Gross domestic product: About EUR 1,603 billion (2015). Finland’s gross domestic product is EUR 207 billion (2015). Gross domestic product per capita: EUR 7,838 (2015). Finland’s gross domestic product per capita is EUR 37,827 (2015). Economic growth: -3.6% (2016). The growth expected for this year is 0.6 per cent. Inflation: 10.7% (2015). Exports: EUR 170 billion (2015). Imports: EUR 152 billion (2015). The total value of Finnish exports to Brazil in 2016 was about EUR 381 million. Principal sectors: agriculture, mining industry and pulp industry. Currency: Brazilian Real: The exchange rate is EUR 1 to BRL 3.3. Links:Country classification and mapExport Credit GuaranteesSources: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Focus Economics, Finnish CustomsMain photo: Mika Relander, Finnvera
On the competitive international market, financing associated with export trade may give a decisive edge to a Finnish player. The guarantee granted by Finnvera and financing offered by Nordea helped Metso to secure a contract in Oman, where Metso will deliver a crushing and screening installation to Al Tasnim, a local cement company. The project is underway and the first equipment deliveries were made in February 2017.This is Metso’s first contract for the delivery of an entire crushing and screening plant to Oman, after a break of many years. It is also the first deal in Oman that was decided with the help of a buyer financing arrangement.Metso gave Al Tasnim an offer where export financing covered 85 per cent of the price of the export contract. The financing was provided by Nordea, and Finnvera covered the credit risks by means of a Bill of Exchange Guarantee.The Bill of Exchange Guarantee covers the credit risks arising from the buyer and the buyer’s country. The most typical risk is the buyer’s insolvency, i.e. bankruptcy.The Bill of Exchange Guarantee is well suited, for instance, to individual capital goods transactions, such as purchases of machinery and equipment. The exporter and the buyer agree in their negotiations that the buyer pays the purchase price on credit terms and the debt instrument is a bill of exchange. The exporter receives the payment in cash and the buyer repays the credit to the bank in accordance with the payment schedule agreed. Finnvera gives the bank a Bill of Exchange Guarantee, i.e. compensates the bank if the buyer is unable to repay the credit.- The Bill of Exchange Guarantee is feasible as a guarantee when the buyer and the buyer’s country are creditworthy and the buyer’s country has working legislation on bills of exchange. The Bill of Exchange Guarantee has the challenge that preparations must be started at a fairly early stage of the transaction. While the exporter and the buyer are negotiating about the product, the financier’s representatives are analysing the terms of financing and the risks associated with the transaction, Eeva-Maija Pietikäinen, Head of Trade Finance at Finnvera, explains.Finnvera has developed the Bill of Exchange Guarantee and wants to promote its use in projects lasting at most five years and valued at a few million euros. In the Oman contract, the buyer’s repayment period for the bill of exchange is three years.- From the perspective of competition, an equally matched trading partner offering financing has an edge over a competing enterprise if the latter is unable to offer a comparable financing package. In international competition, the aim of export credit guarantees is always to promote the competitiveness and exports of Finnish enterprises, says Pietikäinen. The successful Oman contract is a good example of cooperation between the exporter, the export credit agency and a commercial bank.- Winning a competition is based not only on the solutions we offer but also on seamless cooperation between sales and financing. We are committed to lowering buyers’ threshold for signing a deal by ‘meeting them halfway’ in terms of financing. I appeal to our sales teams across the world so that they really listen to customers in order to understand what would ease their customers’ pain during the purchase process, says Olli Kellokumpu, General Manager, Sales and Services, Metso Minerals, Middle East and Eastern Africa.More information about Finnvera's export credit guarantees.Read more about the Bill of Exchange Guarantee.
Export credit and investment insurers are optimistic about growth, despite increasing trade risks and political uncertainty. Berne Union members’ business closely tracks developments in the world economy, but at the same time shows considerably less volatility, says Berne Union President and Deputy CEO of Finnish ECA, Finnvera, Topi Vesteri. The Berne Union is an association for the global export credit and investment insurance industry.According to Vesteri this shows how important the credit and investment insurance industry is to sustaining economic growth.–Last year Berne Union members insured 11 % of total world trade and have paid over USD 40 billion in claims since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008. Although we have seen some high claims, these are well within tolerable limits for our business, Vesteri says.The Berne Union held its Spring Meeting in Copenhagen in May.Danish Minister of Finance, Kristian Jensen, addressed attendees to the meeting in a speech highlighting the importance of global free trade in promoting growth, prosperity and peace. The former Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uffe Elleman-Jensen, stressed that “international cooperation and cohesion are more needed than ever before” to restore public trust in international institutions.Additional information:Topi Vesteri, Deputy CEO, Finnvera, + 358 29 460 2679Berne Union's Press Release 19.05.2017.The Berne Union Website.
Finnvera and Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that strengthens cooperation between Finland and Iran to promote trade.Finnvera and EGFI can cooperate in trade promotion also in third coutries.–This agreement promotes readiness to develop trade to Iran which has suffered from the commercial banks’ limited possibilities to finance initiatives, Topi Vesteri, a Deputy CEO of Finnvera, says.The picture shows Managing Director of EGFI, Seyed Kamal Seyed Ali (on the left) and Topi Vesteri in the signing ceremony.
Finnvera issued on 10th May 2017 a EUR 750 million 15-year bond. The subscriptions quickly rose to about EUR 1.5 billion with over 50 investors.STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE 12.5.2017 10:00The 15 year bond issue was Finnvera’s longest so far.Lead managers for the issue were Citi, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. The greatest demand came from investors in Germany and France.Finnvera uses the funds for financing the domestic SME sector as well as export credits.The bond was issued under Finnvera’s EMTN (Euro Medium Term Note) programme. The programme is guaranteed by the State of Finland.The rating of Finnvera’s EMTN Programme corresponds to the rating assigned to the State of Finland for its long-term liabilities. The rating given by Moody’s to Finnvera is Aa1 and that given by Standard & Poor’s is AA+.Additional information:Ulla Hagman, CFO, tel. +358 29 460 2458Mikael Nordgren, Head of Treasury, tel. +358 29 460 2467
Energy and telecommunications sector companies in particular are attracted to the country.Having overcome its debt problems, Argentina has aroused interest among more and more export companies. For a long time, the country was out of range for Western financiers but now it attracts, above all, energy and telecommunications sector companies.- Argentina’s new Government is pro-business, and it seems that the country’s foremost companies are able to obtain money from the bond markets at a competitive price. This has created a situation where nearly everyone is enthusiastic about Argentina, says Mika Relander, Senior Adviser responsible for Latin America at Finnvera.According to him, there are many investment needs. Apart from the energy and telecommunications sectors, there is demand for developing infrastructure and for the mining and wood processing industries.- Argentina’s economy is also advanced enough to attract Finnish companies engaged in the exports of services and education, Relander says.Basic structures in placeRelander believes that positive developments will continue in Argentina even if the political risk is high.- The economy was weak for a long time because of unpaid debts, but recovery has been surprisingly quick. It’s good to remember that Argentina was one of the world’s richest countries until the 1950s. The level of education continues to be the best in Latin America, and the institutional basic structures still exist. Compared against many other countries, such as Iran, Argentina may be a more approachable new market area, says Relander.In the wake of the debt restructuring agreement concluded by international creditors in the Paris Club, Argentina’s country risk category rose from the weakest category to 6/7.- At present, Argentina has little public debt because it was not eligible for debt before. It’s now relatively easy for the country to get credit. The resulting concern is that important reforms aimed at restructuring the economy will be postponed and positive development is delayed, Relander ponders.He believes that many financiers are still cautious and are waiting to see how the country’s political development will continue after the next elections. The presidential and parliamentary elections, important for the future direction of Argentina, will be held in 2019.- Financiers have a long memory and most remember the old problems that arose when borrowers did not meet their payments. However, Argentina is a good example of how democracy sooner or later corrects itself.An explosion of ordersThe opening of the markets has also kept Wärtsilä, a supplier of power plants, busy in Argentina.Tuomas Haapakoski, Director, Financial Services at Wärtsilä, says that the company’s order book multiplied in Argentina following the opening of the country’s markets.- We made the decision to be present in Argentina many years ago and we have had a subsidiary there since 1997. At present, our power plant solutions are really in great demand, says Tuomas Haapakoski, Director, Financial Services at Wärtsilä.Last year, Wärtsilä won seven orders for power plants in Argentina. The combined output of the plants is over 500 megawatts, and the orders will multiply Argentina’s power plant capacity in one go. This also opens up possibilities for growth in maintenance services.- The orders are connected to management of the country’s acute energy crisis, where the government strives to cover the capacity deficit accumulated over the years and to curb the rising costs of power production. The power plants to be delivered now will be built to a fast timetable and will serve primarily as first aid. The opportunities in this sector will certainly rise, says Haapakoski.According to him, the situation in Argentina has quickly turned positive for foreign actors.- For example, currency regulation has been relaxed and energy policy has been developed in a direction that encourages investments. On the financial markets, Argentina has been able to break the isolation that continued for years, and the country is currently working with reasonable openness, Haapakoski says.FACT: Argentina Finnvera’s country risk category for Argentina is 6/7. Gross domestic product: About EUR 402 billion (2015). Finland’s gross domestic product is EUR 207 billion (2015) Gross domestic product per capita: EUR 9,653 (2015). Finland's gross domestic product per capita is EUR 37,827 (2015). Economic growth: 2.1% (2015). Inflation: 26.9% (2015). Exports: EUR 52.2 billion (2015). Imports: EUR 55 billion (2015). The total value of Finnish exports to Argentina in 2015 was about EUR 15 million. Principal sectors: Industry, services and agriculture. Argentina’s main export products are soybeans, oil, gas, and vehicles. Currency the Argentine Peso: The exchange rate is EUR 1 to ARS 16.0. More information about Finnvera’s export credit guarantees is available here.Sources: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Focus Economics, Finnish Customs
Finnvera’s support enabled us to take risks abroad, says Roope Heinilä, CEO of Smarp.It has long been predicted that services will save Finland’s exports. Services related to information technology, in particular, are growing rapidly and account for over 40 per cent of all exports of services, which total nearly EUR 18 billion year 2015.The only security that a company providing services generally has is its cash flow.According to Finnvera’s experts, exports of services require much more creative financing solutions than traditional exports of goods.- Often a company incurs costs before it has even started to produce the service. While an exporter of goods can use, for instance, machines and equipment as collateral, the only security in exports of services is often the company’s cash flow, says Finance Manager Jani Tuominen of Finnvera.This is a vital difference when negotiating for financing.- In exports of services, we concentrate on earnings and business logic. Attention is paid, among other things, to the agreements that the company makes and the type of cash flow it has, Tuominen continues.When exporting goods, it is often simpler to find a solution for financing.- When goods are exported, we can usually look at the company’s history. The company’s financial statements and key indicators reveal how it has exported similar products before. With an exporter of services, we cannot necessarily see the same from the periodic key figures, Ilkka Soininen, Finance Manager responsible for the exports of goods at Finnnvera, explains.A vacillating lineThe rise in exports of services does not show all that clearly in Finnvera’s statistics because, increasingly often, exports of services are included in exports of goods. Finnvera always tailors financing solutions to suit each individual enterprise, which means that the security for exporting goods and the security for exporting services do not necessarily differ from each other.- At present, the services exported are really diverse, as many companies engaged in traditional trading in goods also sell services. For instance, companies in the machine and equipment industry sell maintenance for the equipment, Tuominen says.In his view, the rise in exports of services is due in part to the economic situation. In addition, the market has changed, and more and more services are sold.- Exporters of services usually need a steady presence on site in the buyer’s country. This is especially true for large markets, such as the United States, where many service companies wish to gain a foothold. Singapore, the modern hotspot for business in Asia, also attracts exporters of services.Growth by taking risksSmarp, a software company specialised in employee communication, has been exporting its services for over four years. Finnvera’s support has played an important role for this service company since its inception as a start-up.- Financing has enabled us to take risks, and without risk we wouldn’t have been able to grow, says Roope Heinilä, CEO of Smarp.Smarp has now over 50 employees.According to Heinilä, Smarp has entered international markets by establishing its own offices, by distributing through local partners and by selling their product directly from Finland. Exports have required help, especially when the company has founded offices abroad.Aside from Helsinki, Smarp has now a foothold in Stockholm, London and New York. Next, the company will look to Asia.- Above all, exports must be considered according to the target country. As an exporter, we want to be available on site when the goal is to meet potential customers face-to-face. For example, on the Indonesian market this has not been sensible so far, but in the UK it is vital.FACT: Export financingFinnvera has a wide selection of alternatives for loans, domestic guarantees and export credit guarantees, which can be used to assemble a suitable financing solution for the exporter. Finding a suitable financing solution always depends on each individual case. Loans. Short-term loans are often appropriate financing solutions for exporters or services and goods. For instance, the Internationalisation Loan is intended for financing a Finnish SME’s business abroad. Domestic guarantees. Guarantees granted by Finnvera can be used as security for loans received from banks and other providers of financing, as well as for other contingent liabilities. For instance, by means of an Export Guarantee, an exporter can acquire pre-delivery or post-delivery financing for working capital from a bank. Finnvera can guarantee, for example, accounts with overdraft facility, limits, and accounts with bank guarantee. Export credit guarantees. A Letter of Credit Guarantee protects a confirming bank against commercial or political risks associated with a confirmed letter of credit, whereas a Bill of Exchange Guarantee is best suited for transactions valued at less than EUR 2 million. The Export Receivables Guarantee is intended for short-term exports. It can be used by exporters to insure their receivables from a foreign buyer against credit losses. Text: Pi Mäkilä