Participation in Trade Missions is a key for SME business growth!

We are living in the inter-connected world today. It is like a global village at a personal level. For Business as well, world has become ‘One Market’. International Trade is not the prerogative of large corporations any more. There are several Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are involved in international trade i.e. export, import or both.

In fact, international trade is inevitable for every nation. No country, whether developed or developing can grow in isolation without participation in international trade. That is why, countries world over provide some or the other kind of incentives for SMEs to encourage them to explore new business opportunities in international markets. Large companies have often explored new geographies for developing new customer base for their products, as well as for sourcing new supplier base from diverse countries.

One of the most effective and often explored option for business growth and expansion in foreign markets is to participate in the Trade Missions visiting various countries.

SMEs have limited resources to go on their own to explore new business opportunities in foreign market. It involves market research in a particular country where they want to explore new business opportunities. In addition, they need local expert to help them understand business environment, government regulations, business culture and finding out potential partners who would be interested to work with them.

Hence Foreign Trade Promotion agencies of National, State or provincial governments as well as various Industry Associations, Trade bodies such as Chambers of Commerce and Industry organize out-bound Trade Missions and outsource the services of professional local experts / international business consultants who manage the visiting trade mission in-(respective) country. The consultants provide all on-ground support to the visiting delegates including but not limited to organizing meetings with potential business partners.

Participating Trade Mission companies need to do a lot of ground work ahead of the visit of trade mission. The assistance from local expert is invaluable from this stage. The visiting company needs to know the competitive analysis, import duties and taxes in the visiting country in order to decide on the pricing of their products. Such vital information is provided by the local expert/ international business consultant.

Traveling on a Trade Mission to another country gives the participating delegate a firsthand experience of the new market. For businessman, one experience in Trade Mission participation gives much more insights and inputs than what he would have gathered reading books or magazines. Support from local experts while visiting in a new country helps their knowledge about the new market, customer preferences and enhances understating of new business culture.

No wonder, over the years Trade Missions have proved to be the most effective way to promote exports in new markets!

About the Author: This article is written by Shruti Karambelkar, Assistant Director, at SRK IB Consultants. SRK specializes in providing international trade development and investment attraction services. SRK offers international companies services to export their products and services in India as well as to Indian exporters and investors interested in overseas markets. SRK’s services include but not limited to Market research, Trade missions facilitation, potential distributor and partner search, FDI attraction and more.

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