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We recently sponsored a trade mission by the International Trade Forum to Dubai, location for the World Expo 2020

Exporting is important for manufacturing businesses, but it isn’t always easy. Finding your way around a new export market can be challenging, and particularly so if local laws, language and culture are significantly different to your own.

Approaching in a group can be a great way of making that initial step into a new export market. In May the International Trade Forum, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell, made an export trade mission to Dubai.

The multi-sector mission’s main aim was to seek opportunities associated with the World Expo 2020, which Dubai is staging.

The five-day mission commenced with a visit to the offices of the British Centres for Business, who in addition to telling delegates about the opportunity in the area also advised them what it’s like to do business in Dubai on a day-to-day basis. Delegates learned how Free Trade Zones work, and the local rules and pitfalls of opening a business within Dubai itself, whilst making vital contacts to facilitate the first steps of doing business in the country.

The delegates also had a factory tour of the Polypipe Technical Centre, which is located in a Free Trade Zone. The Doncaster-based business established themselves in the UAE some years ago, and have grown to a £30 million turnover company in Dubai. They have developed local expertise and services around water management, in particular flash flooding. 

“The visit gave us an excellent insight into how business is conducted in the Middle East,” said William Beckett, chair of the International Trade Forum and mission leader.

The delegates spent the rest of the trade mission networking and visiting potential clients, agents or distributors, with a degree of success.

William Beckett said: “Several companies took orders there and then, and all made excellent contacts. The hospitality and interest in supporting the companies on our mission was exemplary, and reinforced the benefit of approaching the region as a group under the auspices of the International Trade Forum.

“Of equal importance was the networking and support from fellow travellers, which for many was a steep learning curve in entering such an exciting market.” 

Also on the mission was Sheffield’s Master Cutler Richard Edwards, who hailed the trade mission a success: “We had every expectation that our visit would give Sheffield City Region companies excellent opportunities to open up trade links and expand their markets, and so it proved to be.”

Find out more about the International Trade Forum at www.intradeforum.co.uk.

Published: 09 November 2017

Focus on Manufacturing - Edition 6

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