Dr Raymond Davies works in two locations in the United Kingdom – Colchester & Bournemouth and has assisted companies expanding internationally for 25 years in both the United States and United Kingdom. Raymond is Chair of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the BritishAmerican Business Network (BABN).

  1. Challenges for companies coming into your country?

The unique challenge is British business etiquette. Brits are subtle. Also, the British Isles are made up of constituent countries with all kinds of accents, vocabularies & turns of phrase.

  1. Opportunities for companies coming into your country?

It’s a unique time for the UK because of Brexit. We’ve now left the EU and are very keen to have companies come into the UK, to do business with Great Britain, there are lots of incentives for companies to take advantage of. Recently there are many free trade & bilateral agreements being made on both services and goods.

  1. Why did you want to join Trade Horizons?

I was invited to join Trade Horizons and delighted to do so! The team has broad experience in industrial sectors & politics. Globally Trade Horizons has the experience, the connections, and now I have colleagues across world – it’s a one stop shop for any company considering international expansion whatever the origin or destination.

  1. How do you think your country pitches itself?

Global Britain – as a full partnership with bilateral trade partners. UK now has or is negotiating free trade agreements with India, Australia, US. The UK looks for true partnerships in bilateral trade. In exporting and importing we are mixing supply chains together across sectors. The UK has a significant financial sector. Doing business in & with Britain is exciting, even more so now we’re independent. The UK is looking for key companies & sectors to build a new future with.

  1. Cultural differences?

Business etiquette! Body language, ways of talking. There are various accents & cultural aspects across the island (Great Britain). There are micro markets & accents which change over small distances. For a company entering the region, understanding small changes could give a business the edge. There is a spectrum of cultural differences and microcultural aspects, people here tend to embrace those who appreciate this.

  1. Surprises?

There are a variety of accents, different slang, spellings & vocabularies. In addition, traditions and customs vary from county to county, and sometimes from town to town. Pronunciations are sometimes different. Nevertheless, the UK is an easy place to do business, and it’s easy to setup a business here. English people like doing business, they have fun.

  1. How do companies market to their customers here?

Usually through a variety of channels such as social media. LinkedIn is used extensively to present products, services, goods, this channel is very well recognised on the professional level. Direct relationship marketing is extremely important. Getting to know key influencers personally helps and getting to know buyers in companies in the markets you wish to go into or sell to is time well spent. Take time to do that because the rewards are high. There is a proliferation of conferences & events – people are part of a family. There is a lot of interaction in the UK so new traders should take advantage of that and use government forums. The Government is active on the business side here to develop economic growth. It’s easy to connect geography and sectors because it is a small island. You can promote your brand within the forums and do the groundwork relationship marketing.

  1. How are foreign brands perceived here?

Foreign brands are very well received in the UK. Following the membership of the European Union, us ‘islanders’ got use to welcoming foreign brands. There was a little resistance at the beginning however now there is a passion to receive foreign brands & companies. Using distribution partners will accelerate growth but building a presence from the ground up is equally acceptable here. For example, the supermarket brands ALDI & LIDL now compete on same level with century old local players – this is a classic example of us ‘Brits’ accepting foreign brands, products & services.

  1. Fun little-known fact about your country

Cricket and rugby are very important here! The United Kingdom is made up of independent countries! From a business perspective, England is dominant. The total UK population is 67million, 56million of those people are in England. The UK produces $3trillion in GDP of which 85% is produced within England.

Top 3 priorities for 2022?

  1. Global Britain – bilateral trade, free trade agreements, closer ties globally.
  2. Health care – digital transformation of the care sector is a high priority.
  3. Aerospace & defence opportunities – the UK has a rich history in aviation. There are opportunities in sustainability and space with the first rocket to be launched from a UK spaceport about to transpire.

Read Dr. Davies’ paper on the role of SMEs https://lnkd.in/eXvvPpt

Read Dr. Davies’ article on aerospace https://northwestaerospacenews.com Issue 25, Feb-Mar 2022

Read Dr. Davies’ article on Sustainability for Business Time in Essex in association with the Essex Chamber of Commerce www.businesstimeinessex Issue 23, Spring 2022.

 Thanks for talking to us Dr Davies! See you in Colchester

Trade Horizons

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