The economic data issued of the last quarterly report of Friuli Venezia Giulia’s branch of the Confederation of Italian industry (Confindustria FVG), are not encouraging. Only exports, although with increasing shortness of breath, seem to hold. The revival of exports so as the only opportunity still open for growth? But a lasting boost in exports can only result from actions ranging impact on productivity and competitiveness. Therefore, a lasting and sustainable recovery in sales should result from an increase in business performance and their potential to internationalize which is related to internal factors (like size, productivity, skill intensity and ability to innovate), and factors outside the specific corporate sector, as the territorial and institutional ones. Some of them are recalled by Confindustria FVG, as the promotion of research and industrial innovation, infrastructure, quality education, less bureaucracy (Italy is in last place with regard to EU ranking concerning business-friendly regulations). Part of regional SMEs not at ease in foreign markets is still linked to a "production and sale" business culture, typical of suppliers. But placing the products in any market regardless of ability to oversee the markets, it is revealing as an increasingly ineffective tactic, immediately put in crisis by the arrival of new competitors and products. Accommodating short-term actions against this kind of tactic ("export without internationalization"), would produce little more than “straw fires” in the targeted markets.