• Does UKTI do enough to encourage exports?

    Posted 20/08/2015

    The UK trade deficit narrowed to £1.2bn in April from £3.1bn in March this year after exports increased by £700m. This improvement in the trade balance was largely down to trade with countries outside the EU. However, the longer term position continues to cause concern and places increased scrutiny on what the Government is doing to support export growth. Who is responsible and are they doing enough? If not, what are the alternatives?

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    Posted in: Export, Opportunities for SMEs

  • UKTI and the First Time Exporters Initiative

    Posted 07/08/2015

    In May this year, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) launched a programme to support young businesses looking to break into the export market. As mentioned in an earlier blog post, it was announced by Francis Maude, Minister for Trade and Investment at the start of Export Week 2015. This is an annual event which takes place across the UK, with each region holding several events designed to encourage British companies to export or expand into new markets.  In this week’s blog, we’re taking a closer look at the detail of  the First Time Exporters Initiative.

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    Posted in: Export

  • Latest from Kazakhstan – export conditions improve further

    Posted 27/07/2015

    Hot on the heels of the recent announced extension of the relaxed visa pilot scheme, introduced in July last year, it now looks as though visa- free travel to Kazakhstan could be introduced within the next 18 months.

    Visa-free pilot scheme extended…

    In July last year, the President of Kazakhstan announced the pilot, which removed visa requirements for UK (among other countries) citizens. That scheme was due to come to an end on 15 July this year, but was recently extended – evidence perhaps that the government’s objective of creating more favorable conditions for foreign business and investment is beginning to reap dividends.

    The original scheme was aimed at those countries which had the highest record of investment in Kazakhstan or the best potential to invest in the future. Since July 2014, UK citizens with a valid passport have been able to enter, exit and travel through Kazakhstan on multiple occasions without a visa for up to 15 days at a time. Business travel requiring a longer length of stay have been open to permission upon application.

    ….and to be made permanent?

    However, on July 9th, the First Deputy Foreign Minister confirmed that the country has plans to bring in visa-free travel for OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries from the beginning of 2017. In addition to the 34 OECD countries, (which include Britain) Malaysia and Singapore are also included in the new scheme.

    This makes it a great time for potential exporters to the Kazakhstan to seize upon improved export conditions and the vast array of export opportunities the oil/gas and construction industries have given rise to there. For those seasoned exporters looking to expand to new markets, it is also good news and makes business and recreational travel, which the Kazakh government have been working to promote, a much easier proposition.

    So could your business become Kazakhstan’s next big export success story?

    For more details as to how we can help, get in touch!



    Posted in: Export, Recent Developments

  • Mid-Year Review

    Posted 13/07/2015

    Shocking though it may seem (especially to those over 35 for whom time passes at double speed!) , we’re now over half way through 2015 and it’s a good time to review what’s happening with regard to market conditions in Kazakhstan and review the latest opportunities for SMEs looking to export their technologies, goods and/or services, either as first time exporters or seasoned exporters looking to new markets.

    Are there still opportunities to make money by exporting to Kazakhstan?

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    Posted in: Export, Opportunities for SMEs, Recent Developments

  • Top 5 Benefits of Exporting for SMEs

    Boxes marked for export which UKTI aims to encourage

    Posted 16/06/2015

    Export is a key factor in the success of the UK economy. The UK government is always keen to encourage companies to either grow their business overseas or expand their export operations. The Government has set an export target of £1 trillion by 2020 and in order to achieve this level of export activity, persuading the UK’s SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) to branch out to foreign markets will be vital. Businesses of all sizes trade internationally every day, but small businesses often shy away from export on the mistaken assumption that export markets remain the preserve of much larger businesses.

    According to UK Trade & Investment, “Exporting needn’t be difficult. Nor does it matter which country you’re looking at, what industry sector you’re in or what level your business is at.”

    But what are the advantages of export, particularly for SMEs?

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    Posted in: Export, New markets, Opportunities for SMEs