SACE‘s mission is to support Italian companies to grow their business in Italy and globally. In order to do so, the Group provides Italian firms with a range of integrated insurance-financial solutions. Among them, one of the most innovative is the Push Strategy, a program launched in 2017 with the aim of facilitating the positioning of Italian exporting companies, especially SMEs, in the supply chains of large foreign corporations.
The Push Strategy leverages the experience that SACE has acquired in its 45 years of activity in international markets, strengthened by SACE’s solid presence in the most strategic and high-potential international markets for the exports of Made in Italy. Indeed, SACE is present all over the world through its International Network team, consisting of 25 people located in 12 Offices in the 5 continents.
SACE’s International Network is the first entry port for foreign buyers who wish to procure benefits from Italian excellence. The team plays a key role in the success of the Push Strategy, which takes advantage of the consolidated and strategic relationships developed over the years with local institutions and counterparties to lead the way for Italian exports in high potential markets for Made in Italy.
Specifically, the Push Strategy is aimed at local counterparts -selected foreign buyers- and provides them access to medium-to-long term financing guaranteed by SACE, in order to finance their investment and growth plans.
A fundamental element of the agreement with the foreign buyer is the commitment to evaluate Made in Italy supplies for the implementation of their investment plans. A commitment facilitated by business matching meetings, organized by SACE in collaboration with Italian business Associations and other organizations present in the geographies of reference, between the Italian SMEs interested in being accredited as suppliers and the procurement teams of the foreign counterparties benefiting from credit lines.
In 5 years, the Push Strategy has achieved excellent results. In fact, SACE organised a total of 39 business matching meetings, in Italy and abroad, to support the positioning of Italian companies with foreign buyers benefiting from funding, that involved about 2000 Italian companies participating, most of them SMEs, and generated an additional export of 1.6 billion euros.
Through this program, Italian exports have reached non-traditional destinations and most promising markets, such as Vietnam, Kuwait, Brazil, India, and China.
Everything started in 2017 with the 100-million-euro loan guaranteed by SACE in favour of the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the largest of the 30 metropolitan municipalities and main economic and financial center of Turkey. The goal of the transaction, issued by Intesa Sanpaolo Group and ING Bank A.Ş., was to facilitate business opportunities between Italian exporters and the city government of İstanbul. Since then, the operations concluded in Turkey within the framework of the Push Strategy have continued, which is also thanks to the presence of a SACE office in the country. For example, another agreement was finalised in 2021, this time for Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Turkey’s third largest municipality. With Izmir SACE organised already 1 business matching together with the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, involving 40 Italian SMEs.
In terms of Push Strategy, 2021 was a year particularly rich in transactions – and first times.
Indeed, 2021 saw the first Push Strategy in Vietnam and in the Food & Beverage sector, with NutiFood.
Another first time was with Hengli, a Chinese group active in numerous sectors including chemicals, automotive, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. Indeed, this was the first Push Strategy concluded in China, a market where prospects for Italian exports are growing, but where the high competition from local banks is a major obstacle for international and Italian banks.
Moreover, it was the year of the first Push Strategy concluded under the principles of ‘Green Finance’, through the use of a Sustainability Linked Loan, with the Archirodon Group, active in the infrastructure and construction sector in many important geographies for Made in Italy. Business matching events with the Group started already last year, with 107 Italian exporting companies participating.
Finally, the latest Push Strategy operation, announced in June by SACE, involves the Brazilian CSN Mineracao, a group active in the extraction, processing and sale of iron, which benefited from a SACE-guaranteed loan of USD 375 million. The first business matching event will be held by the end of 2022 and is expected to potentially involve more than 450 Italian companies.
The Push Strategy undeniably provides great opportunities for Italian companies, especially SMEs, to widen their horizons in international and dynamic markets. Therefore, in order to support Italian firms and to strengthen the penetration of Made in Italy globally, SACE is working on new operations within the framework of the Push Strategy and has set the goal of further increasing the results obtained from 2017 to date.