Interview with Guilherme Spadinger, Managing Director, Euler Hermes SFAC Direct

David Kassar and Guilherme Spadinger

Published at 17/10/2018

Q1: Guilherme Spadinger, everyone agrees that international trade is a growth driver for companies. Although they make up the bulk of the economic fabric, small and medium-sized companies account for only 17% of exports, according to INSEE. What is your analysis of the situation?

In our opinion, if SMEs account for such a small share, it is because export markets have been too unstable in recent years. But, we can become more optimistic now. We anticipate that 2019 will be the third consecutive year with a growth in exports of primary goods of 20 billion euros per year. Such regularity is a new thing.

In addition, our SMEs have had difficulty taking the step to sustainable internationalization because of the constraints that weighed on them, including threshold effects, which condition a good part of the taxes levied on production (3% of GDP in France). They are therefore too small compared to their competitors, especially in Germany. We can also look to the future with confidence, since the “Loi Pacte” should mitigate these threshold effects.

Q2: Can you explain the importance of international coverage, and in particular the benefits of export credit insurance?

To secure your export transactions, it is recommended to rely on an expert, such as a credit insurer. He knows the local practices, has a worldwide network to collect information to evaluate the financial solidity of the prospects, and covers the exporters against the risk of non-payment. The objective for the exporting company is to know how to protect its treasury, by piloting its customer creation strategy as accurately as possible, while at the same time being prepared for unpaid invoices. Finally, it is important to remember that with credit insurance, the exporter optimizes his WCR (working capital requirement), preserves his profitability, and of course, reassures his financial partners, which allows him to focus on his efforts to conquer and grow!

Q3: Can you cite an example of a French-style success story that Euler Hermes has supported?

Euler Hermes recently insured a French startup specializing in bitcoin transaction security devices. Previously, the company charged in advance for payments but wanted to offer a payment solution to its BtoB customers to maintain its competitive edge. This was achieved thanks to Euler Hermes' credit insurance and the quality of our service! The company was thus able to add an additional service to its offer and meet the market's expectations.

Q4: Euler Hermes is a partner of the 2018 Rencontres d’Affaires Francophones. Why did you want to support this event?

Euler Hermes has been a partner of Mission Internationale on the French territory for several years. It was therefore essential to continue our commitment to this major national event in order to meet the 1,000 French SMEs and ETIs expected to attend. As the world's leading credit insurer, Euler Hermes guarantees nearly 894 billion euros in commercial transactions and supports more than 55,000 clients worldwide, which is a testament to the trust placed in us by these companies. The Rencontres d’Affaires Francophones will therefore be an opportunity to exchange with today's and tomorrow's exporters to address their expectations in their quest for international growth. See you on Thursday, November 8 at the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris!