Forget The US: Nine New Markets For British Exporters Post Brexit by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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How quickly will the UK reach a free trade agreement with the US once Brexit is finally done and dusted? Despite warm words on both sides – not least from Prime Minister-in-waiting Boris Johnson – early talks on a free trade deal appear to be bearing little fruit. Documents leaked to the Telegraph newspaper this week suggest there has been very little progress. The diplomatic row over the UK ambassador’s private views about the Trump administration, also leaked to the press, is hardly likely to help.

In which case, exporters looking to broaden their horizons post-Brexit should not bank on easy access to the valuable US market. Sales will no doubt continue: the US is already the top market for UK exports, accounting for 13.3 per cent of all overseas sales by British companies in 2018. But with the next four most important trading partners – Germany, the Netherlands, France and Ireland – all potentially posing more challenging trading conditions once the UK leaves the EU, exporters need to think globally.

The good news is that more far-flung destinations are open to British business, with many small and medium-sized enterprises now selling all over the world, both through e-commerce and more directly. If you’re thinking about increasing exports and targeting new markets, consider these destinations:

Australasia

Australia and New Zealand are obvious ports of call for British exporters, with large expatriate communities, a common language and legal and regulatory systems that are very similar to the rules that entrepreneurs are used to dealing with back home. Both countries’ economies are in relatively good shape right now and Australia has said it will be keen to sign a new trade deal with the UK following Brexit.

China

The exponential growth of e-commerce in China provides a low-cost route into the market, home to a rapidly increasing middle-class consumer audience keen to buy foreign products. China was Britain’s sixth most important export market last year, accounting for 5.7 per cent of overseas sales.

Japan

Don’t overlook the world’s third-largest economy. While language and cultural differences between the UK and Japan might deem daunting, these can be overcome with the help of local distributors. Exports from Britain to Japan have been growing at a rate of 10 per cent a year in recent times and totalled almost £7bn last year.

Big in Japan? British exporters can get local help

Getty

South Korea

Bilateral trade between the South Korea and the UK has reached record levels; and while British consumers snap up brands such as Hyundai, LG and Samsung, their counterparts in South Korea are flocking to the Made in Britain tag, popularised by cultural exports including film and football.

Thailand

The World Bank consistently rates Thailand close to the top of the emerging economies in its “Ease of Doing Business Survey”, thanks to the Government’s pro-investment policies and its well-developed infrastructure. A fast-growing middle-class population – plus 50,000 British expatriates – provide an increasingly attractive market for British exporters. The country can also be a valuable point of entry into neighbours Laos, Cambodia and Burma.

Indonesia

South-East Asia’s largest economy is often overlooked by British exporters, despite its strong economic growth in recent years. Its comparatively wealthy population has the means to buy overseas products and is well-connected – Indonesians are among the world’s biggest users of social media.

Mexico

Two centuries ago, Latin America accounted for 40 per cent of British exports; today the figure is not even a tenth of that. Mexico could help turn the tide. With a population of 120 million, roughly equivalent to the whole of Western Europe, and the largest economy in the region other than Brazil, increasing numbers of British exporters are targeting the country with both goods and services.

The UAE

The wealthy economies of the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, produce very few goods of their own, relying heavily on imported products. British exporters are well-placed to benefit. Food and drink sales are increasingly valuable to British exporters to the UAE.

Poland

Tipped as “Europe’s growth engine” for the 2020s by the consultant McKinsey, Poland is a fast-developing country still benefitting from economic liberalisation and reform. Western goods are in high demand amongst Polish consumers, who were denied access to such products during the second half of the 20th century by their Communist rulers, and their wealth, relative to their counterparts elsewhere in Eastern Europe, makes them potentially valuable buyers.

 

July 12, 2019 at 07:06AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidprosser/2019/07/12/forget-the-us-nine-new-markets-for-british-exporters-post-brexit/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
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