Traditionally, the UK tends to export to mature markets close to home, such as France or Germany, but it’s easier than ever to tap into less-known markets further afield. Thats where building a strong network of trusted and supportive partners who are experienced in trading internationally come into play. With this network in place and an indefatigable can-do attitude, British businesses can become world-renowned in any number of different sectors.
Entering fruitful markets
At FedEx Express we often speak with bosses shortly after they receive their first order from overseas. They havent necessarily gone looking for international clientele, but in the digital age theyve been offered a fantastic growth opportunity on a silver platter. And one of the key pieces of advice we offer is to explore the market in that country to gauge if there is further growth potential. This doesnt have to involve a major financial investment, as jumping on a plane can be enough to gauge main competitors, market share and price points, and teamed with local support and data insights can provide a much clearer picture of the opportunities available.
To help businesses in the healthcare, high-tech and fashion sectors, weve drawn on our years of exporting experience to detail the markets of opportunity, as well as advise on overcoming the main challenges.
(1) Healthcare advice
The majority of UK healthcare companies already require a global mindset given the nature of the industrys supply chain, making global expansion a more logical and instinctive move than in some other industries. The key is to explore where the strongest demand exists for your products and/or services and to be as flexible as possible when entering new markets, staying fully informed of the potential complexities of this innovative and ever-changing sector.
When exporting, specific clearance and regulatory requirements should be identified, understood and factored in, and note that these can change at an alarming rate depending on which market is being entered. Make sure you gain clearance up front and ensure full descriptions of pharmaceutical products being transported are given to ease the process.
There are several fruitful markets for healthcare companies at the moment. Dubai is a very healthcare-focused city-state with many people traveling there for treatment from overseas. Japan and Korea are also worth considering as their respective governments are investing a great deal in the private healthcare sector, diversifying the market and inspiring growth. Elsewhere, China is the third largest healthcare market in the world, seeing growth in double-digits. And healthcare markets in both Brazil and India are both booming. With Brazil being the fifth largest country in the world, it’s a market definitely worth considering, however it’s worth noting all shipments to Brazil containing products for resale do require the recipient to engage a broker for the clearance process
In all of these markets, having a thorough understanding of the culture and its approach to doing business is vital. And while things like business etiquette may seem relatively minor, not following the correct protocols could be a deal-breaker. Thats why it’s a great idea to speak with a logistics provider that specialises in the country as this will give you on-the-ground insight.
If transporting human or animal materials/samples then you will require precise commercial invoices that outline the source material and the reason the item is being shipped. Items used for treatment will also require pre-market approval from a nations sanitary or healthcare regulatory body as do any medical devices. Healthcare and pharmaceutical products also often require a sanitary permit. In many countries such as Italy, there are specific healthcare processes compared to that in the rest of the EU.