The Future of International Trade

Newable's Export Engine hosted a business briefing about the prospects for UK companies in international markets.

Ben Digby, the Director of Trade & Investment for CBI and Brian Dent of Newable’s Export Engine were joined by fifty business leaders yesterday for a fascinating discussion about the prospects for UK companies in international markets.

In reviewing the current uncertainty around Brexit, trade tariffs and potential trade deals Ben admitted that his crystal ball was “misty”. However, he remains bullish and identified three clear opportunities for exporters.

The first is the United States. He reminded delegates not to treat the US as a single market, but fifty different ones.  He also recommended British companies with export strategies that create jobs in the US really major in on this in their market engagement.

The second is China. Ben said that “not enough UK SME’s understand the market and are therefore missing out on the opportunities there”. He urged every business to have a “China strategy”. To be effective, the strategy should be city or region based. “The whole of China is just too huge, so focus on the opportunity.”

The third opportunity for companies is to re-engage with the Department for International Trade. Ben felt that the team was thinking and acting in a more commercial manner and have a real commitment to support UK businesses overseas in the most effective way possible.

Brian Dent echoed Ben’s comments. He reminded delegates that whilst the media and political context tends to place international trade on a country to country footing, the reality is that business is still conducted at the people to people level. Understanding the local culture and understanding how the local culture values the UK brand is vital. Many SME’s lack this insight which is where the consulting team from Newable’s Export Engine can really help businesses.

Senior business executives looking through this lens, rather than looking into a crystal ball, can develop and implement effective exporting strategies right now.