Steer issue 20 March - Page 24



Pathfinder Trade & Invest
The UK has a long history of exporting goods and services, from mechanical machinery to education. Although
there is still uncertainty surrounding Brexit, this should not
prevent you from exporting your goods or services to a
wider market. Recent statistics released by HMRC (Her
Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) shows that the number
of VAT-registered businesses exporting goods from the
UK rose by 4.1% compared to 2017. However, if you are
new to exporting or currently export your goods or services but want to branch out into a new country or region,
how can you jump start the process?
Traditionally, one of the tasks all governments assign
their diplomats is to search for promising business leads
and trade opportunities. Once identified, they are then
tasked with organising a Trade Mission with the objective
of aiding home-country businesses to enter and ultimately
profit from these leads and opportunities.
Recently, due to increased budget cuts, diplomats no
longer have access to all the resources needed. Not only is
this limiting the influence of the Foreign Office but Brexit
too has been responsible for diverting much of the UK
government’s resources, focus and attention. Consequently, widening gaps in the UK’s presence in foreign markets
are now appearing which, if left alone, will be rapidly filled
by other countries.
One way to ensure this does not happen is to take
part in a Trade Mission, but what exactly does this entail?
During a Trade Mission delegates get the opportunity to
promote their products and/or services by putting them
in front of key decision-makers and stakeholders either
to sell to or buy from, giving the Mission participants and
their companies a competitive advantage over the lone
business traveller. A Trade Mission also allows you to experience first-hand, and establish the viability of, the business
prospects that are available in that country.
Although we now live in a digital age, where businesses
from the other side of the world can be contacted within
seconds, you should not underestimate the power of a
personal visit. Some potential customers and partners
need more than an email, a phone call or a web-based
meeting, particularly in countries where there are cultural
differences in how business is conducted. Many will not
establish a relationship until they shake your hand.
Connecting businesses on a global basis, and all the
more relevant because of Brexit, Pathfinder Trade and Invest has thirty years of experience in trade and investment
missions worldwide. To further develop business interests,
we organise a selected number of high-level conferences
and roundtables in London to discuss key topics on trade
and investment, offering advice and connecting all interested parties. Current confirmed Trade Missions include
Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with new Trade Mission
locations added regularly.
i
24 STEER YOUR BUSINESS
For more information on Pathfinder Trade and Invest
or to register your interest in one of their Trade
Missions or events please visit
www.pathfindertradeandinvest.com.

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