Top tips on companies finding success overseas

High-tech advice

If you are trading in automotive parts or other high-tech goods then understanding the prospects and where the main manufacturing bases are in the world is important. Gauge if it?s worth producing a part of your product or its entirety overseas or whether domestic manufacturing is worthwhile. Outsourcing business or IT services by implementing a near-shoring model is also worth considering.?

If you do decide to manufacture overseas, it is wise not to choose a country but to pick a supply chain where it is cheaper and more economical to build. The high-tech sector is defined by its R&D and considering some of the world?s most technologically advanced nations including China, Singapore but also the Netherlands is a good place to start. This is because these nations have established accessible infrastructures that can help you get to market as quickly as possible. That said, emerging markets in Brazil and India are rapidly coming to the fore and offer a very viable alternative to the established markets. Don?t forget to take the fact that British-made products are often held in high esteem into your decision.

When it comes to exporting high-tech materials or products, make sure the value of the shipments are declared. If a high-tech product is shipped complete, a list of parts is unnecessary. If it is incomplete then parts should be identified by their individual part name and value. That said, it should also be communicated if the assembly of a product differs to the origin of key components and can be depicted as: manufactured in UK, assembled in China. The country origin of each part must be communicated and is usually determined by the location the last major operation was conducted.

Fashion advice

By capitalising on the growing appeal of ?Brand Britain?, the UK fashion industry has already seen huge growth from ecommerce. In the fast-fashion age, an efficient supply chain is invaluable.?Building on this mounting interest in British labelled clothing, first time apparel exporters should consider exploring European markets as a first step. Given the current Free Trade Agreement and short transit time, it is a natural first step to take.

Further afield, the US is the fruitful market to enter and it is worth taking note of the ?fashion hubs? ? New York and Los Angeles. When entering any market, consider the price point carefully. If you are exporting to a market with a taste for high-end fashion such as the UAE, consider your value proposition before getting started.?The quality of British products is important and even if manufactured in India and transported back to the UK before being sent to the US, this should still provide huge appeal. You may even consider building Britishness into your branding.

It?s vitally important that you take customs clearance into careful consideration. For example, you will need to declare the exact textiles used to create each garment based on their percentage by weight; the stitch count should be considered for knitted garments; gender, construction and garment design also play their part. Additionally, consider how to receive the duty and tax on each product as there are certain complexities in Canada and limitations regarding exporting apparel to the US given the complex paperwork required.?

Exploring new areas

Whatever your industry, it is worth taking inspiration from further afield when growing your international presence. There are countless export opportunities out there and sometimes what seems like the ideal market, might not be as ultimately fruitful as other, lesser-known ones.?Gain guidance from experts locally and your chosen country to export to. It is important to have the correct network in place so demand can be met and most importantly grown, so your business can realise its potential and become a true Export-preneur!

Martin Davidian is MD of sales at FedEx Express.

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