Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that demand for world-class UK goods and services across the globe is growing.
DIT – the UK government department that supports UK exports and foreign direct investment – created the Export Opportunities tool on great.gov.uk to help businesses find overseas buyers.
The UK is one of the first countries in the world to provide this service, which has published nearly 40,000 opportunities since the beginning of the year (with new ones being added every day).
The website is also the gateway for DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign, which aims to inform companies about the benefits of selling overseas, encourage them to consider exporting as part of their business plans, and inspire them into action.
How it works
The tool features searchable live tenders covering a wide range of markets, industries and values, exclusively sourced by DIT’s overseas trade advisers, their partners and verified third-party sites.
To secure an overseas business deal, however, you need to show you can meet the demand. The great.gov.uk website offers the following guidance to consider before enquiring about an opportunity, to make sure you’re export ready:
• Research your market
• Make an export plan
• Plan the logistics
• Understand your customer’s culture
Once you’ve selected the opportunities your company can fulfil, you express an interest and explain how your company meets the buyer’s needs.
Your enquiry will then go to the DIT team in the market concerned and, if successful, you’ll be connected with the buyer or be directed to a third party.
Current export opportunities include:
UK games firm scores a deal in China
One Export Opportunities success story is Preston-based games studio, Soccer Manager, which secured a contract in China.
The company, which was looking to expand its business by selling overseas, found an opportunity with Crazy Sports – the largest games developer in China with 100 million users a month.
The export opportunity stated that the Chinese firm was looking for a British developer to collaborate with. Soccer Manager registered its interest, DIT made the introduction and supported the company on the contract signing, and after three days, with assistance from DIT to get the firm to China, a deal was signed to work on two games.
Since this deal, the two companies have signed another contract for four games to be developed over the next five years. DIT have estimated the games could generate £55 million for the company.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “There are more than 20,000 export opportunities available to search online, helping UK companies sell their goods overseas – and helping meet our ambition for Britain to become a 21st-century exporting superpower.”
Other ways DIT can help
The department also provides other related services including:
You can also join the Exporting is GREAT Community Group on Facebook, where you can ask other businesses for advice about selling overseas.
And if you’d like to be part of the Exporting is GREAT campaign, sign up to be part of the Export Champion Community.
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