Ahead of our upcoming trade summit in Cambridge, we spoke to sponsors Barclays’ East of England regional team about the what to expect on the day, their work in the region and what businesses need to be thinking about when it comes to Brexit.
You can still sign up to the summit on November 9th for a day packed with thought leadership and networking opportunities – sign up now.
Exporting in Cambridge
Whilst there is a huge range and diversity of exporting businesses in Cambridge, there is a big focus on technology and research businesses exporting, due to the proximity of the University and the Science Parks.
In businesses sectors such as these, manufacturing may be a long process, and financial commitment to components or labour costs may occur many months before any payment is received by the end customer. This brings into focus the need to fully analyse the cashflow of the export and take advantage of the assistance that is available from banks and Government bodies.
What do businesses need to know about Brexit
Consider options and plan, taking into account the political mood which may be a moving target. For example, more and more, we are hearing protectionist rhetoric from politicians who are seeking to win public support. Whilst there is some logic to these arguments, it does bring risks to the global trade landscape and it is an important factor to consider and try to mitigate against.
Tips for accessing new markets
Planning ahead and doing the research is vital. Each combination of buyer, country and region will have a unique set of risks that will need to be considered and mitigated against. Exporting into a new country needs to be done with this foresight into the potential difficulties.
The risks are wide ranging and can be anything from quality dispute and payment risk through to cultural and geopolitical risks.
From a financial perspective, it is important to ensure that the transaction is financed from the beginning properly, and any contingent risks of delay are accommodated and thought through.
There is plenty of advice and support available to help identify and mitigate risks and finance needs not only from the banking sector but also from the Government through UK Export Finance and the Department for International Trade.
Top tips for exporters in 2018
Research the export market and explore the available sources of materials and advice.
Ensure the transaction is fully financed, if required, from manufacture/purchase through to sale and contingency built in for unexpected issues.
Use what help is available from government bodies such as UK exports UK Export Finance, the Department for International Trade and, of course, the Institute of Export.
Why trade summits are so important for the region
In the East of England, we pride ourselves on the huge diversity of businesses that export and this number is growing quickly. Exporting businesses all have had very different experiences in new markets and some shared issues irrespective of the size of the business. Getting together at events like this give businesses a chance to share their own experiences and to pick up tips for markets where other businesses may be more experienced.