Explore Export – Belgium
Ahead of UK Trade & Investment’s ExploreExport 2014 event at Newmarket Racecourses on November 11, Business Weekly spoke to Sophie Blais to get her thoughts on how East of England firms can make the most of exploring the possibilities of doing business in Belgium.
1) What would be your advice to UK businesses looking to do business in your market for the first time?
• Learn about language and culture.
• Make sure you can explain past experience and ability to deliver (capacity, product standard).
• Look into the standards in the market.
• Start with market research to find out whether there is demand and competition for your product/service.
2) Why is now a good time for UK firms to be looking to do business in your market?
• Belgium is the UK’s 5th export market.
• Belgian businesses opening up to foreign suppliers, looking for best supplier available.
• Belgium is a great starter market for first-time exporters, since business can be conducted in English, it is close to the UK, it has fantastic logistics and the political relationship is strong.
3) What are the key opportunities for UK companies looking to approach your markets?
• Opportunities in shopping malls, prisons, football stadia and many other city/cultural buildings. Keen interest in smart cities, innovative technologies and sustainable building.
4) For companies coming to explore your market what sort of support can you offer to help them develop their exports in your market?
• We are a team of experienced and dedicated Trade Advisers.
• Market research to see how your product or service will fit into the market.
• Getting you the right contacts and important information about projects/industries.
• Preparing a visit schedule for a successful first visit to Belgium.
Email: Belgium.uktradeinvest [at] fco.gov.uk (Belgium.uktradeinvest [at] fco.gov.uk)
• Commercial Officers from British Embassies representing more than 60 global markets are visiting Newmarket on November 11 to share detailed export advice. They are highly experienced market specialists who provide valuable insights, direct routes to market and new business opportunities aimed specifically at East of England companies. For further information about ExploreExport visit www.exploreexport.ukti.gov.uk/Newmarket.aspx