International Trade: Going the extra mile in pursuit of international trade success
When Les Nutter, managing partner at Cassons, recently visited Chile, he discovered it’s an attractive place for British businesses looking to expand their horizons. Here, he shares his experiences.Thanks to remarkable advances in technology over the last 30 years, it’s never been easier for British companies to do business in countries such as Chile.
Innovations such as video conferencing and cloud technology have made the world a smaller place, allowing businesses to communicate openly in a way that simply wasn’t possible even a decade ago.But the key to trading internationally ultimately lies in building strong relationships with trusted partners ‘on the ground’, and the best way to achieve that is to put in the miles and meet people.
That’s why I, along with my tax partner Helen Cowley, recently jumped at the chance to visit Santiago for the annual worldwide meeting of BKR International.As one of the top 10 accounting associations in the world, BKR International represents the combined strength of more than 160 independent accounting and business advisory firms, from over 500 offices, in 80 countries.
Cassons become BKR members more than 10 years ago and it has completely transformed the way we operate internationally. It has given us access to a huge global bank of accountants and advisers, who are all experts in their domestic markets.Because we meet up on a regular basis, we’ve formed strong personal relationships with fellow members. During our visit to Santiago, Helen and I spent time with Miguel Ossandon Sr, representing the BKR firm member from Chile, who talked about the opportunities that are open to British businesses. It was also great to renew acquaintances with Marcia Gattoni from the Britcham Chile Services, who I’d previously met in October when she visited East Lancashire, and to meet her colleague Alfred Budschitz. Britcham Chile Services are based in the British Embassy in Santiago which is fortuitous as I always try to arrange a meeting at the Embassy when I am travelling overseas.
All of these relationships are invaluable when we’re helping clients set up in new territories.International trade can sometimes feel daunting for businesses so being able to put clients in touch with trusted experts ‘on the ground’, who have a deep understanding of the market conditions, helps to streamline the process and put minds at rest. Being successful overseas isn’t just about what you know, it’s also about who you know. That’s why it’s so important to have that local, expert knowledge on the front line where it really matters.