‘One of the biggest blocks to trading internationally is a lack of understanding about how it is done and where the opportunities lie. Luckily there are many cost-effective and efficient ways to overcome this initial fear.’Barrie Kilfeather, Regional Director, International Business for the Midlands at Santander Corporate & Commercial
The commercial rewards that businesses can reap by successfully taking their products and services beyond their domestic borders may be obvious but the challenges they face when seeking out international partners can seem more challenging. Figures show that since the financial crisis, fewer UK businesses are now exporting.
In today’s market, around two-thirds of UK businesses are deterred from finding business partners abroad, typically because of the financial and regulatory obstacles they face.
But global domination has never been easy. After all, even if a business owner overcomes the initial challenge of pinpointing the regions they should be moving into, there are a plethora of other factors to address: who should they approach and how can they approach them? What red tape and regulations are in their way and even if they get this far, how do they make it work longer term?
Barrie Kilfeather, Regional Director, International Business for the Midlands at Santander Corporate & Commercial, says: ‘One of the biggest blocks to trading internationally is a lack of understanding about how it is done and where the opportunities lie. Luckily there are many cost-effective and efficient ways to overcome this initial fear.’
Santander has developed a strategy and offering to support every UK SME looking to expand abroad. Kilfeather says: ‘Great businesses always have the potential to stretch far beyond their domestic market but expanding overseas can understandably appear to be a minefield. Businesses need to work out which countries they should be focusing on and with which partners. They want to know how do they connect with them and ultimately how do they execute a deal and grow further?’
Santandertrade.com is a one-stop-portal*, which is free to Santander customers**, and provides them with all the information they need when looking to expand internationally; ranging from where the opportunity is; who to contact and how to connect. It also contains guides for international trade producers, such as local laws and cultures, as well as calculators to help with charges, taxes and duties. ‘If a business is looking to export to China, it will provide a business with valuable information it needs, including regulation costs, customs duty and of course who they could be potentially doing business with’, says Kilfeather.
With this service, businesses can identify the regions and countries where there is demand for their products. It also provides specific potential client and supplier details and guidance on how to connect with them, how to complete a secure transaction and finally, how to grow their presence in their chosen overseas market.
John Carroll is Head of International Business at Santander Corporate & Commercial in the UK and his aim is clear. ‘With Santander’s global footprint, our ambition is to support clients who are looking for reassurance that they will be paid for their goods exported on time, to help companies set-up businesses in our specialist areas of Latin America and Central America, but also in other core UK trade corridors where we have alliances.'
To find out more about how Santander can help your business grow and prosper internationally, please visit http://www.santandercb.co.uk/solutions/international or contact email@example.com for more information.
*Santander Trade Portal is provided and managed by Export Enterprises S.A. Santander provides access to its client companies but is totally unrelated to the database contents which are the responsibility of Export Enterprises S.A
**You need to be an online banking customer of Santander Corporate & Commercial to gain full access to the trade portal. If you do not use our online banking service you can still use the trade portal, although some parts of the site will be restricted.