The UKABC’s Sizzling Southeast Asia Roadshow, in partnership with Santander, brought Southeast Asia to over 200 companies across the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse. Export-ready companies engaged with experts about the vast commercial opportunities in ASEAN, how to access them and provided that invaluable practical knowledge on how to do business in this dynamic region including briefings on finance, intellectual property and important cultural insights.
Santander’s ASEAN Desk Director – Vik Kumaravale said “Santander’s Trade Barometer identified that businesses already trading internationally are mainly constrained by finding the right partner and bureaucracy. It was great for us to partner with UKABC and use the roadshows as a platform to showcase our international proposition to companies. As part of our Trade Club Alliance, Santander has partnered with banks across the ASEAN region – CIMB (Malaysia), UOB (Singapore) and Siam Commercial Bank (Thailand). Together with our partners in ASEAN who have a deep-rooted local presence, we are actively working with UK SMEs to help them formulate their international expansion plans. A key part of this is facilitating introductions to the right partners through Santander’s Trade Portal and our trade missions to the regions”.
There is whole array of support for SMEs looking to launch into ASEAN and the UKABC’s Roadshows was a one-stop-shop that brought together all this help. DIT, the local UK Chambers of Commerce and the British Chambers of Commerce based in ASEAN are key ingredients in any export success. Chris Wren, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia reflected on the Roadshow “British SMEs should be reassured that Southeast Asia key stakeholders, UKABC, your local chamber, the British Chambers in ASEAN and DIT, are working collaboratively to present new export opportunities in the world’s most dynamic markets. During the Roadshow, we all met adaptable and strategic companies. With persistence and patience, many have a great chance to extending their exporting footprint into Southeast Asia “.
A key aspect of the UKABC Roadshow was to be inspired by those UK companies that are exporting successfully to ASEAN. We were joined by Taylors of Harrogate, Solarglide, VBC Group, Simworx, Deemak International and the Training Gateway who talked about their export journey, shared tips and tricks and all offered to mentor any UK companies starting out on their ASEAN exporting journey.
Phil Walker, Export Manager of Christies International commented, “the UKABC Roadshow was an ideal opportunity to meet with the local experts from a number of markets under one roof and to be able to learn more about how to approach potential new opportunities in this important region pre/post-Brexit!”
Ross Hunter, the Executive Director of the UK-ASEAN Business Council said “The Roadshows are a huge effort, but we know how precious time is for an SME and so our one-stop-shops bring ASEAN to them. The best comment I had all week was a company saying that they had no idea of the size of the opportunities in ASEAN and had already signed up for one of Santander’s trade missions to the region next year!”
For more information about doing business in Southeast Asia, get in touch with our ASEAN Trade Adviser firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.ukabc.org.uk.