Export Wire//July 9

PROFIT's regular round-up of global news for SMEs

Written by John Lorinc

Selling to the Middle Kingdom: You’re probably accustomed to seeing produce from China filling the bins at the supermarket. H7 Distributors in Vancouver figured out how to reverse the flow of imports by selling organic produce and foods with few additives to China. Owner Paul Marquis says frequent visits and developing personal relationships is key, as is his wife’s conversancy in Chinese, reports Business in Vancouver (BIV). But Joseph Cooke, who runs a company that creates Chinese language websites, tells BIV that an online presence is just as important:

“Start online. Unless you’re selling farm implements, everyone you want to sell to in China is online. Online selling is the most scalable, measurable, lowest-risk, highest-potential ROI method of sales and marketing period—in the West, and also in China.”

Follow that lead: Canadian entrepreneurs have been struggling for years to persuade the big banks to be less tight-fisted in their lending practices—a long-running battle that has, in recent months, spilled over to the issue of credit card fees. But in the U.K., according to Reuters, SMEs have convinced the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to rethink its small business lending practices, a development that could potentially benefit Canadian firms thinking of opening an office in Britain.

“RBS has come under particular political pressure because it is Britain’s biggest small business lender and the government controls 81% of it€¦The bank said it had appointed former Bank of England deputy governor Andrew Large and management consultants Oliver Wyman to conduct the review. It said the study would focus on what steps it could take to support small businesses and Britain’s economic recovery while maintaining sound practices.”

Unlocking India through local partnerships: SMEs looking at the sub-continent for new markets are well advised to find local partners as a means of establishing a toehold in a chaotic business environment infamous for its red tape and lousy transportation infrastructure, writes U.K.-India trade lawyer Amarjit Singh in The Guardian:

“[I]t’s all about identifying the €˜right’ trading partner in the €˜right’ location and with the €˜right’ ambitions€¦Such commercial marriages allow the business to enjoy an immediate €˜in country’ presence; an elevated trading profile and fast-track marketplace penetration; utilise already developed trade links and networks; use existing plants and/or machinery, and reduce financial exposure, thereby circumnavigating some of the inevitable €˜red tape.'”

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