Cindy Tereba, director of international affairs at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce
Photo: Mike Zenari
Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce’s Cindy Tereba weighs in on how smart early moves have kept their global network intact and aided local players to access foreign markets.
The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and its partners had to quickly adapt when the pandemic hit. “We were right in April  to decide we were going to switch all our services to digital,” says Cindy Tereba. “Not only right for the second semester, but it is also going to determine the programme in 2021.”
The director of international affairs notes that trade fairs, for example--which require much advanced planning--were delayed into 2021. Moreover, “everything that is supposed to take place in the first semester--if it should take place in a physical way--is delayed to the second semester.”
The focus has shifted as a result. “The priority now is to keep our relations, our network basically, [and] to care for it.” Also top priority: giving local players support through difficult times, providing them with the information and resources to allow them to develop abroad but also take advantage of possible aid in the context of the EU framework.
Tereba says foreign trade is one of the major pillars for an economic relaunch. In October, Chamber president Luc Frieden called internationalisation “twice as important” for a country like Luxembourg, given its size. Not to mention that the grand duchy is an export-intensive country, exporting some 80% of its goods and services. It was in October as well that the Chamber of Commerce and the economy ministry announced a digital marketing guide, available in both English and French, aimed to help local players boost their online opportunities and orient their international strategies.
“Clearly, the most important for us is to keep our network going, to allow Luxembourg companies to connect to outside markets, even if they are not able to travel,” Tereba adds. “We have a whole set of services for companies to keep these services going, to seize opportunities, to get in contact with companies… all of that is in place.”
Tereba says, broadly speaking, she doesn’t see a trend of companies to turn more towards local markets these days. “I think companies are still on foreign markets, and even more so at the moment because the EU markets are recovering very well. It’s picking up in the Asian markets more than in our region, so there are more opportunities now in the Asian market [too].”