Brexit may have caused concern for many businesses with plans to expand into international markets, but much optimism was provided to those with such prospects at an event held in Cardiff on 28 September, which saw experts from the international trade sector share their knowledge and experiences of successfully entering overseas markets.
Finance Wales’ international trade business breakfast event, held at Holiday Inn Cardiff North, enabled business people looking to trade internationally or expand into new markets to gain ample advice from a panel of experts in the sector.
Paul Langley, managing director of Godi Financial, Wales’ first foreign exchange (FX) services company, joined hosts Leanna Davies and Steve Elias from Finance Wales and guest speakers, Matthew Hughes, of UK Export Finance; Sarah James, business development manager at the Welsh Government; and Luke Beedle, Sales Support Manager at Sharp, part of UDG Healthcare plc; to offer information and support to those with international trade ambitions.
The panel provided inside knowledge on issues including: finding the correct partners; how to ensure you get paid; funding options; international tax advisors; HR laws; business insurance; currency hedging; and the significance of research when pursuing an international trade venture.
Langley, who has vast experience of expansion internationally – particularly from his work with global trading company OSTC Group – said the event was invaluable not only for showing the importance of implementing a robust FX strategy, but for being aware of the intricacies of new overseas markets. He highlighted the common pitfall of a business sending their most talented manager to establish a new overseas market, which often results in damaging the business’ own domestic market.
“We are pleased to be continuing our collaboration with Finance Wales, UK Export Finance and the Welsh Government to form this incredibly insightful event, which offered a solid grounding for those looking to build out their business internationally.
“Expanding internationally should start with a company that has a firm foundation. Entering new markets should enhance an already successful business, rather than hinder one that is struggling and using a new market expansion strategy as a last-ditch effort.
“The need for thorough research, knowledge of the local market, utilising available support and using the correct hedging policy are all essential for businesses with international trade goals and these were well addressed at the event.
“As well as being a useful source of information, the event allowed attendees to network with likeminded businesspeople, which can be greatly beneficial. I would advise anyone looking to expand their company to leverage relationships and shared experiences to gain the best opportunities for success internationally.”
Leanna Davies, Senior Portfolio Executive at the Development Bank of Wales (formerly Finance Wales) said:
“International expansion can offer exciting growth opportunities for businesses in Wales, but it requires careful planning and research. Development Bank of Wales are delighted to work with Godi Financial, UK Export Finance and Welsh Government to provide help and guidance to our portfolio companies to support their international plans.