Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean



The network, a major solution for the SMEs

Four business networks in Europe, America and Africa will use the occasion of the World Water Forum in Marseilles to establish a global “network of networks” designed to allow SMEs to move forward together in international water and wastewater services markets.

They will create a “global network of networks” (Photo MN)
They will create a “global network of networks” (Photo MN)
In water and wastewater services, a sector dominated by the large groups, is there room for SMEs or very small businesses? “We have found thousands of companies with the know-how to suit all types of terrain,” says Martine Didier, director of Pôle Provençal Ea ecoentreprises.
With the president of this cluster, Christian Laplaud, himself the manager of an SME, she is using the World Water Forum to try to unite various networks of small water companies to form international teams capable of providing solutions adapted to the requirements of areas of the world where needs are great, but resources are lacking.
Indeed, solutions, that is the leitmotif of the 6th World Water Forum, which opens on 12 March 2012 in Marseilles, where thousands of participants from around the world are expected.
The solution here – to bring together SMEs and very small companies and encourage the formation of companies where it is necessary to obtain clean drinking water and solve sanitation problems – will be brought to Marseilles by several networks of small and medium enterprises. They will create a “global network of networks”.

Initially French, Moroccan, Chilean and Colombian associations

Martine Didier: “Co-operation among SMEs is beneficial to all” (photo MN)
Martine Didier: “Co-operation among SMEs is beneficial to all” (photo MN)
The charter is to be adopted as presently constituted on 13 March 2012. On that day discussions will be held near Aix-en-Provence on the operating procedures and the terms of the partnership agreement. “We already know each other very well,” says Martine Didier, who has confidence in the outcome.
Relations between the French network, Ea, and the Moroccan network controlled by the Moroccan Drinking Water and Sanitation Association (the president of which is Ali Fassi Fihri) date from 2003. Together they have identified partners from the two countries capable of working together to advance coherent proposals on the international water treatment markets.
In 2006, at the World Water Forum in Mexico, Ea and AEPA (Professional Association of Companies and for the Environment of Chile (headed by Paul Griffiths and Fernando Leon)) established the same type of partnership. Finally, in 2010 Ea established links with Acodal, a Colombian association formed in 1956.

By the end, Russian, Kenyan, Israeli and Greek companies

In anticipation of the World Water Forum representatives of small and medium-sized Russian, Kenyan, Venezuelan, Greek and Israeli companies have indicated their interest and have asked if they may participate in the fledgling association. B2B meetings have been organised, and of course essential discussions in group meetings.
“At the World Forum we will also contact Asian SMEs, which would enrich this network even more,” adds Martine Didier, who believes the number of companies having expressed interest in creating this massive water network currently to be 2,000. 

Version française

Michel Neumuller, avec le Forum Mondial de l'Eau

Tuesday, October 30th 2012

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Tuesday, October 30th 2012 - 15:45 A platform for all “solutions” concerning water