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FESPA has welcomed the recently merged Swiss trade association Verband Werbetechnik + Print (Association of Advertising Technology and Print) to its global community of member associations, ratifying the decision at its recent General Assembly in Lisbon, Portugal.

The new entity, abbreviated to VWP, is the result of the consolidation in Spring 2009 of Verband Sieb-und Digitaldruck Schweiz (VSDS), and Verband Werbetechnik (VWT). The VWP brings together businesses in Switzerland that are engaged in advertising and print production, embracing both screen and digital processes.

The VWP’s principal goals include: the support and growth of businesses in these industries; representation of members’ interests with third-party institutions and government bodies; development of apprenticeships, training and development in all business and production disciplines; promotion of quality assurance and profiles through rules and guidelines for members; and development of links and agreements with other business organisations.

VWP board member Pablo Morf, explains: “The synergies we achieve with this merger allow us to intensify our focus on benefits to our members. As a larger organisation, we can use our combined resources more quickly and effectively to deliver a broader range of professional support services that address the changing needs of our stakeholders. Unified, our organisation is stronger and more prominent in the market, and can drive positive change. The VWP’s continued membership of FESPA guarantees further advantages to our members, giving them immediate access to best-practice information, global market research, educational materials and events, and a host of business development opportunities.”

FESPA CEO Nigel Steffens comments: “VSDS was a long-standing member association of FESPA, so we are delighted to welcome the new VWP to the fold. FESPA has been a strong advocate of this consolidation, having seen their close working relationship at first hand during our FESPA Digital exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2008.

He adds: “This is an inspirational example of how business support organisations can build partnerships and combine complementary strengths and service offerings to deliver greater value to their members. We are working through challenging times for all businesses. SMEs in particular need to be able to access affordable and relevant support and advice, and unite with similar businesses to tackle bigger issues such as training and skills development, which may hold the key to their future success. We look forward to working with the VWP in the years to come, and to welcoming their members in person at FESPA 2010 in Munich in June next year.”