A recent article in the ICAEW’s Economia magazine highlighted that one of the main blockers to businesses choosing to export to a foreign country was concern about difficulties understanding local culture. Overseas UK embassies often fall short when it comes to business expertise, even if such resource is available, so there can be little help on hand for companies struggling to adjust to local business practice and customs.
But if businesses don’t find a way to bridge this gap, could they be missing out on some of the most lucrative export markets? Kazakhstan is a country the size of the whole of Western Europe, with a wealth of natural resources and in particular a flourishing oil and gas industry. The country plans to produce 83 million tons of oil, 41 billion cubic meters of gas, as well as to process 14.7 million tons of oil in 2014. These industries are huge and the potential to break into the market is not to be underestimated, particularly as Kazakh companies may not always have the necessary experience and knowledge for complex oil and gas sector services. And yet most British probably have little idea of local Kazakh culture, let alone business practice and procedure. Worse still, some may be influenced by fictional comedic characters of yesteryear which portray an inaccurate and misleading image.
So how can UK SMEs overcome such issues and seize this opportunity, without having to commit time and money to detailed research and building business relationships from scratch?
The simplest way is to link up with a company which already has the necessary experience and knowledge. With any luck, they will also have the contacts and business relationships to get your product or service to market in the quickest time possible. Moreover, it can save potential exporters perhaps months or years of research and groundwork in getting to grips with local regulatory and tax requirement and all that may be necessary to get started. With the right advice, companies can avoid the prospect of making mistakes early in their export journey into a new country, like Kazakhstan.
Like the idea of bringing your products or services straight to a vast new market? If so, get in touch – we have nearly twenty years of experience of running and helping business in Kazakhstan with a vast array of contacts and advice to help your SME hit the ground running! Can you afford not to make contact with Kazopp?