Focused on export – the Ellis export team (L to R): Tony Richardson; Kelly Brown; export sales direc

Member Article

Can 2016 Olympics Boost Exports to South America?

WHILE the EU and Eurozone remain crucial export markets for Britain, one benefit of their difficulties since the economic crisis, including the turmoil in Greece, has been to prompt UK companies to seek new markets further afield.

Chamber International director, Tim Bailey, says: “Sport is a huge global unifying force and Rio de Janeiro hosting the 2016 Olympics has helped many British exporters appreciate that South America is no longer a backwater and explore the potential for exporting there.

“Brazil, along with Russia, India, and China is a BRICs nation - a group of rapidly-growing economies forecast to be responsible for 50 per cent of the increase in global trade by 2020.

“We are recommending British medium-sized manufacturers to look carefully at markets such as Brazil and the wider South American continent where several countries have signed trade agreements with the UK.”

Chamber International says that several South American economies have been growing at an annual rate of around nine per cent for several years. Uruguay is said to be gaining worldwide recognition for its careful approach to financial management and recent years have seen Colombia make huge progress in investment ratings.

Tim Bailey adds: “With the right support and advice, which is now easily accessible as part of Government moves to re-balance the UK economy, many Latin American markets can prove well worth the effort for UK exporters prepared to invest the time, funds and patience in developing the right strategy.

“Many of the issues, such as market research, building contacts, closing deals, logistics and ensuring you get paid, are similar to overseas markets closer to home but, in the current climate, the long-term benefits may be greater. These are important emerging economies and the UK needs to be there.”

CASE STUDY:

How cable cleat manufacturer, Ellis, developed a successful strategy for Latin America

Electrical cable cleat manufacturer, Ellis, started exporting to Brazil in 2009 and targeted the Spanish-speaking Latin American countries three years later.

Since then Ellis has appointed a business development manager in Uruguay who operates across the continent; established a growing team of country specific distributors and has a growing order book.

Export sales director, Tony Conroy, says: “You need to throw the necessary resources, energy and time at Latin America. Our experience shows that what you put in will eventually be rewarded. It is not a continent for quick wins - when we first looked seriously at the market we gave ourselves three years to stake our place. The first orders started coming after two-and-half years.

“We spent months researching national markets, interviewing decision makers, and familiarising ourselves with their unique elements. In such a large region you need to focus on the areas where you believe you can be successful. We started looking at nine different countries, discarded four after initial research and settled on Chile, Colombia and Peru.

“We always research potential partners and then travel to the region to meet them. Without a good fit you’re working with someone who is not going to do the best for you. When these relationships go smoothly there is nothing better for generating export sales.

“Doing business with Latin America requires building personal relationships more than anywhere else and this led to our appointment in Uruguay.”

Ellis is supported in its exporting by overseas trade specialists at Chamber International, Bradford.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Mike Clarke .

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