International Trade Latest News

The Global Business Network Publication 

This publication showcases opportunities in international trade for British SMEs. As such, the current issue features an interview with Adam Marshall, BCC Acting Director General, explaining the capabilities and priorities of the network. In addition, the Chamber Directory showcases the reach of the Global Business Network. 

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Are you interested in working with Heathrow on a campaign for exports week?

Are you interested in working with Heathrow on a campaign for exports week (9-13 November) to champion the best in UK exports and business? Heathrow are working with UK exporters to create a special interactive pop up shipping container and café which will have a variety of the UK’s most interesting products that the UK export’s, featured inside.

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Financial support is available for would-be exporters

A recent report from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found that access to finance is still a barrier to exporting for UK firms.

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BCC: UK Services firms hold the key to overcoming trade deficit

Trade survey reveals UK is set to miss the target of hitting £1 trillion worth of exports by 2020.

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Trade the World: Accessing high growth markets

Join us on Thursday 3rd November 2015, Grand Connaught Rooms, London.

As a British business, high growth international markets offer you the chance to trade on the world stage, and with this year’s BCC International Trade Conference on the horizon, it’s your opportunity to explore and grow your exporting potential.

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UK exporter confidence picks up despite global uncertainty, says BCC and DHL report

• 58% of UK exporters believe their profitability will increase in the next 12 months 

• The majority of exporting firms (81%) tried to recruit staff at the end of 2014

• John Longworth: ‘British exporters are rising to the challenge despite the uncertain global outlook.’

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BCC: UK must think global to fulfil its economic potential

The British Chambers of Commerce have published the results of a major international trade survey, looking at the barriers facing existing and potential UK exporters. Made up of responses from more than 4,700 businesses, the results show that while the majority of firms have ambitions to grow domestically, less than half are looking to expand their business overseas. Read more

Read the BCC International Trade Survey Report here

Helping Britain do Business internationally - The latest news items from DHL:

  • Google: UK ecommerce exports likely to reach £45 billion by 2020 

According to new research from Google and OC&C Strategy Consultants, British ecommerce exports, valued at £13 billion today, could be worth £45 billion by 2020. The report ‘International eCommerce – the future is now’ examines how international business has changed with geographical proximity becoming less of a competitive advantage, and the possibilities of digital internationalisation. 

Concurrently to this study, Google has released the ‘Google export business map’. This document features ten of the most promising markets for British e-exporters with country-specific information about search, display, mobile and social. For example, by 2016 Sweden will account for 4.8 million digital buyers – so what’s the best way to target them? 

Read the full report on the future of international ecommerce for British e-exporters and take a closer look at how to best reach markets like Germany, the US and France through online channels.

  • Channel your exports to Chile 

Chile is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, has the highest per capita GDP in the region and, in 2010, became the second Latin American country – after Mexico – to join the OECD. Mining, which fuelled Chile’s economic growth, continues to play a key role while sectors such as professional services, construction and communications are also expanding. 

Chile’s economy is highly open with low inflation and low national debt. In the Latin America and Caribbean region, Chile ranks as both the easiest country with which to do business and the most free economy with 22 Free Trade Agreements covering more than 60 countries and blocs. It is therefore hardly surprising that Chile is the UK’s second largest export destination in Latin America. More than 100 UK companies have direct operations in Chile, and even more are trading with the country through local partners. 

Read more about how you can start trading with this dynamic market in our destination guide and fact sheet.

  • Trading with the Middle East 

After previously focusing on opportunities for businesses looking to trade with Africa, Oceania and Asia, we are now taking a closer look at another part of the world: the Middle East.

Though natural resources have played a significant factor in the Middle East’s growth (and will likely continue to do so), many regional governments are actively moving towards increased economic diversification and international trade. The Middle East is especially noteworthy for the opportunities it offers on the e-commerce level: for example, internet usage across the Middle East has risen by more than 2,000 per cent since 2013 and Arabic, an official language in every Middle Eastern country, is set to be the fourth most prevalent language on the web next year. This, coupled with the fact that in 2012, Middle Eastern countries were the third-biggest contributors (27 per cent) to overseas tax-free shopping in the UK, suggests that the demand for products and the channels to get them there is present – you just need to get your products there. 

Our guide to Trading with the Middle East contains an overview of the region, an infographic with facts on the Middle East today and tomorrow with explanations of key regional terms and more information on DHL’s network. Also read our new article on Doing Business with the Middle East for further insights on this dynamic region.

  • Navigating business etiquette in the Middle East 

One of the largest perceived barriers to trading with the Middle East is uncertainty around how to navigate the local business scape and bridge cultural divides. To help companies interested in doing business with the Middle East gain a general understanding of what to bear in mind, we have compiled tips for doing business with key UK markets in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council). 

So click here for our advice guide, which covers everything from what business attire is considered acceptable, to whom in the room you should greet first when attending a meeting in the Middle East. 

  • Sights set on South Korea 

In June, credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service announced that South Korea's economy is ‘likely to continue to outperform most high-income and advanced economies, both in the immediate term and further ahead'.

This is fantastic news for one of Asia’s strongest economies. South Korea has a strong reputation for its technologically advanced products, but also has several initiatives underway to foster sustainable economic growth and become one of the top ten business-friendly economies in the world. 

The UK and South Korea have strong business relations and the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is estimated to be worth over £500 million to British business each year; more than 150 British companies are already doing business in South Korea. 

For more information on how you can start trading with South Korea, click here to read our country guide and fact sheet. 

  • Strong UK manufacturing growth  

The findings of CBI’s (Confederation of British Industry) most recent Industrial Trends Survey are highly promising: for the 514 British manufacturers surveyed, factory orders have reached their highest level since December’s eighteen-year high. Export orders were also significantly above average, driven by particularly strong results from the mechanical engineering, electronics and motor vehicle industries. Katja Hall, CBI’s Deputy Director-General, stated ‘demand for British-made goods remains buoyant’ and incentivised companies to further boost manufacturing in Q3 by ‘taking action to strengthen the UK’s supply chains across industry’ to ‘unlock further growth and increase exports’.

  • Jump-start your trade with Japan 

Japan, one of the world’s leading economies, has a close trade relationship with the UK: in 2012, UK exports to Japan were worth over £9.4 billion. Japan’s Shinto Abe visited David Cameron in May 2014, and the two Prime Ministers issued a joint statement emphasising their commitment to cooperate in areas such as global growth and prosperity, science, technology and innovation.

During Abe’s visit, the countries also signed a Memorandum of Cooperation for close collaboration between the UK and Japan on the planning of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2019 Rugby World Cup; the Tokyo Games alone could be worth millions to British contractors. The Prime Ministers also reconfirmed their commitment to having a EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement in place by 2015, which would further improve opportunities for UK exporters.

For more information on how you can start trading with Japan, click here to read our country guide and fact sheet.

  • Optimise your online platforms for global trade 

Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to showcase your products to a global audience. But to make the most of this opportunity, you need to consider how you can make it as easy as possible for your international customers to find and purchase your goods – but at the same time ensure that you protect your business and ensure your global sales model remains profitable. 

Read our new article on the DHL Guide for more information on how to make your global e-trade successful.  

  • Succeeding in Singapore 

Singapore has been in the news recently because the city-state’s economy grew by an impressive 4.9 per cent in Q1 2014 – fantastic news for the world’s ‘best place to do business’ (as per the World Bank).

British companies are in an especially good position to trade with Singapore: the city-state, founded as a British trading colony, is already Britain’s largest trade partner in Southeast Asia. More than 1,000 UK companies have operations in Singapore today, profiting from the widespread use of English and business-friendly policies, and the market will become even more attractive once the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement is ratified.

For more information on why Singapore is worth exploring, read our new guide and fact sheet.

  • UK Export Finance Update 

The UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance, has launched a £5 billion Exporting Refinancing Facility (ERF) to help overseas buyers purchase goods and services from UK exporters. 

It is the first time this financing approach is being used for civil project finance by an export credit agency. Trade Minister Lord Livingston said: “The Export Refinancing Facility will help British firms succeed overseas by lowering the cost of finance for buyers who choose UK companies for their major projects.”

Find out how the Export Refinancing Facility works, its benefits, its features, eligibility and how to apply here.

  • Opportunities in Oceania 

With global trade networks continuing to grow, opportunities for international business with Oceania are expanding as it becomes an integral part of the fast-growing Asia-Pacific economic area. 

Along with the high performing markets of Australia and New Zealand, and the European and United States overseas territories including French Polynesia and American Samoa, there are a further fourteen independent Pacific countries offering myriad opportunities. 

What’s more, a Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) to further regional trade is in the process of being implemented and discussions for further trade and cooperation between the Pacific Countries, Australia and New Zealand are underway. 

Read our guide to trading with Oceania here.

  • How international is your business?

Located in the sixth most connected country on earth, and as one of the 167,878 SMEs in the UK, your business is a key player in one of the world’s leading economies, and the most successful businesses look to other markets for higher growth.

This week DHL released a new tool that allows you to measure and improve the international performance of your business by benchmarking it against other companies of a similar size.

Offering information about the UK’s top import and export partners, how to find your growth potential and the top ten reasons to increase international business, the DHL benchmarking tool is not to be missed by businesses focusing on discovering new markets.

Benchmark your business today and prepare to grow into international markets.

  • Improvements fuel Indonesia’s growth

Indonesia’s modern and dynamic economy is the largest in Southeast Asia, and unlike many other neighbouring countries’ manufacturing and export-driven economies, Indonesia’s growth is fuelled largely by consumption and labour productivity improvements.

As the world’s fourth-largest user of Facebook there is strong potential for e-commerce businesses to find success here. Perhaps most remarkable is the prediction that Indonesia’s consuming class will reach 90 million by 2030 – the third highest figure only behind China and India – giving it the potential to become the world’s seventh largest economy.

Find out more about the opportunities when trading with Indonesia in our new guide.

  • Customs tips when exporting from the UK

When exporting from the UK you must ensure you remain compliant with Customs to make sure your products arrive at their destination without delay.

With information on requirements around invoices, licences and other export documentation, our Customs experts share advice on the documentation that is required to successfully export from the UK in our latest video.

Watch our video to get top Customs tips to help expedite your Customs clearance.

  • Find your next export destination with our new interactive map

If you’re looking for your next export destination but not sure where to begin, our new interactive map, created to help you find key market facts and opportunities around the world, can help.

With brand new information on trading with Europe, USA and Canada, there’s more information on the DHL Guide than ever before. So if you’re inspired to accelerate your exports this Export Week, visit the interactive map to choose your next market.

Discover your next export market here.

  • Uncovering the opportunities in Asia

Home to half of UKTI’s 18 designated high growth markets, Asia is the biggest economic development success story in recent history.

With 60% of the world’s current population and seven key countries driving its growth: China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand, the Asian Development Bank says the region has the potential to contribute to 50 per cent of the world’s GDP by 2050 if these successful economies can sustain their growth.

We’ll be sharing country guides, fact sheets and business opportunities over the next three months to help you accelerate your exports to Asia. Click here to uncover the opportunities in the region.

Click here to uncover the opportunities in the region.

  • Great expectations in Ghana

Considered one of the most stable, peaceful and democratic countries in Africa, Ghana is projected to be one of the world’s ten fastest growing economies until at least 2015, following its accomplishment of reaching Middle Income Status in 2012.

British exports to Ghana rose 21 per cent in 2012 and it is now the UK’s sixth largest export market on the continent. Last year the British government included the country in its ‘High Level Prosperity Partnerships in Africa’ programme to drive trade and investment in the long term.

With strong cultural and business ties between Ghana and the UK, English as the official language and an open approach to business, UKTI says Ghana is fast developing as the leading Gateway to Africa.*

Read our fact sheet to learn more about trading with Ghana.

  • Beyond e-commerce to everywhere-commerce

As the World Wide Web celebrated its 25th birthday recently, and with more than 2 billion users worldwide, reaching 30% of the global population, the power of this tool has never been clearer. Its ability as a sales tool is one that Britain’s businesses have taken advantage of with 220,000 online retailers already exporting more than the rest of Europe's e-retailers combined.*

In recent years sales over a website have seen steady growth and in 2012 e-commerce sales represented 18% of business turnover. From eBay to Etsy and Amazon to Alibaba, there are numerous online marketplaces that exist for your products.

To compete successfully in today’s omni-channel environment and prepare UK retail businesses for the future, UKTI will be introducing a range of new products to support UK SME entry into e-commerce and digital media channels.

Get more information on UKTI’s Global Digital Acceleration Plan here.



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