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Secrets of International Trade

How to conduct
Export Research?


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3



"Exporting in a somewhat nonchalant and haphazard way can be called: 'fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants' approach to exporting"

Most companies enter exporting in a somewhat nonchalant and haphazard way.

Perhaps answering an unsolicited inquiry for their product, responding to the opportunity created by an overseas relative or as the result of a holiday trip to some country.

This can be called: fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants
approach to exporting.

A prudent course of action is to undertake export research to acquire information and make intelligent decisions. As well as the directions to go and avoid costly mistakes further down the road.

Initially, export research can be conducted locally - information can be collected from government agencies, banks, newspapers, journals or through the Internet.

For detailed information on competition, pricing, distribution, product use, etc., a more specific study have to be carried out in the foreign country.

Recommended further reading : Marketing Strategies for the Exporter. Some manufacturer may decide not to export themselves, but employ a trading house or an export agent.



Choice of Foreign Market

It makes good sense to focus the bulk of one's research efforts on specific foreign markets - the ones that the company will try to enter first.

Most exporters in the world usually focus their attention on the United States - because of its size and wealth.

The exporter's products may find easier acceptance in neighboring countries, particularly those that use the same language and enjoy a similar culture or history.

One technique that some exporters use to identify potential target countries, is to analyze the most recent import statistics of various countries.

The objective is to identify those countries that import your type of product.

Trade statistics for commodities and countries are published in the U.N. and U.S. publications under the Standard International Trade Classification (S.I.T.C).

The following files are available free of charge for non-commercial users. These files include electronic versions of complete classifications publications (typically in PDF format), as well as database versions of the classifications and correspondence tables that can be used in applications such as MS Access or MS Excel.

United Nations Statistics
Free downloads

United Nations Statistics Division Free published info
Standard International Trade Classification, Rev.3




Analysis of Foreign Market

A great deal of statistical and other information are available about each country in the world.

Many government trade ministries publish surveys of other countries for the benefit of their own exporters, which can be used by anyone. You can easily obtain an assessment of the economic and political situation free from their Chamber of Commerce
the existence of trade barriers.

Acquiring general information by the exporter about the foreign country is quite easy- for example, population, GNP, income etc.

It becomes progressively more difficult to assess the potential demand in that foreign market for the exporter's product and will require a special market study.

Recommended further reading : How to Develop your Export Market. Finding Agents or Distributors... Perhaps the manufacturer is too busy with his home market or too busy manufacturing to export.

A personal visit as well as by participation in an industry trade show to assess the culture differences, local business practices, competition from local suppliers and other foreign countries.

Part 1/3 < This Page
How to conduct Export Research and how to select and Analyze Foreign Market?
Part 2/3
Determine how exportable is your products?
Part 3/3
How to distribute your product in the foreign market?

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