Context is all important when a company is engaged in International Trade.

The world is in flux right now, uneasy relationships between countries preferring protectionism over WTO rules are evident and disturbing.  The world economic stage that is reported by the media with both sobering and, sometimes inflammatory, comment. There is a clear conflict between the tenets of the WTO and protectionism that makes for uneasy reading.

Here in the UK, our economy and our futures have significantly altered.  This pandemic has caused countless challenges for companies and employees alike.  Overlaying this crisis, international traders have to react and adapt to the new rules issued by HM Gov.  The long awaited Border Operating Model was issued last week as was the change to payment of import tax. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-border-operating-model

We also had notice of duty relief for medical goods and a FinTech scheme for UK-Africa trade focussing on the ‘Tech for growth’ programme. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tech-for-growth-designed-to-increase-financial-services-access

No doubt more are in the pipeline or being issued as we write.  Watch out too for news on a Free Trade agreement with Turkey. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-uk-very-close-to-free-trade-deal/1905885

It is clear to us at International Trade Matters that there is an urgency in getting this country selling overseas.  We need to be visible; we need to be active; we need to meet the needs of the new world order.  For some that may mean diversification and/or a move to digitisation.  It may be adapting to smaller order quantities or even a repositioning of a supply chain. It could be looking at new markets or even making sure your employees are trained to meet the new challenges.  Whatever your strategy now is the time to build on our individual and collective sector strengths rather than focusing on our weaknesses.

It is time for us to react, adapt and build.  In essence, think Chameleon not Dinosaur!

By Linda Middleton-Jones

International Trade Matters Ltd provides training, mentoring and consultancy for companies throughout the South West looking to begin or improve their international trading and business capabilities. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you to navigate the uncertain and uncharted waters ahead.

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