Portsmouth roundtable event to boost foreign trade is a success

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ACCOUNTANCY and business advisory firm BDO LLP joined up with HSBC to hold a roundtable dinner in Portsmouth as a way of supporting and encouraging the international growth of local businesses.

The event included advice and insights for a number of their own experiences.

Speakers included Keith Warburton from cultural awareness consultancy, Global Business Culture, and Arbinder Chatwal, head of India advisory services at BDO LLP.

After the dinner Mr Chatwal said: ‘When companies start the process of doing business internationally, they must assess who would be the best partners, whether it would be beneficial to partner with more than one agent, and specifically how a particular agent sells.

‘It is paramount that they evaluate the price point of their products, as it may be possible to attract premiums given a UK provenance.

‘Whether or not a company is looking to expand abroad, there are still not enough Portsmouth businesses taking advantage of research and development (R&D) tax breaks.

‘These give cash back to companies investing in their own growth. These are schemes devised to help companies to grow and they add significantly to the bottom line.’

When it comes to the business and social cultural difference of entering new markets, the advice from Keith Warburton was to look at things through the eyes of the country you want to trade with. Regional differences are a key factor.

‘Not every country operates the same throughout,’ Mr Warburton explained. ‘It’s important to break down a market and weigh up how to target specific cities or regions within each country.

‘For example, the likes of Brazil, China and India have such regional diversities that one proposition in the north may not be appropriate for the south.’

Craig Hamilton, managing director of Nightsports Australia Ltd in Waterlooville, said: ‘I found it a very useful evening, it was very informative and beneficial to my business as we picked up both useful information and made some good contacts.’