Establishing a customer base overseas is easier than you think

As the UK looks beyond the European Union, businesses are starting to realise the great opportunities that lie further afield. Mike Newing, of UKEF, reports.

According to PwC, emerging markets (such as Indonesia, Brazil and Turkey) could grow around twice as fast as developed economies – clearly, the potential for businesses bold enough to take those steps is huge.

But, establishing a customer base in any new market can be intimidating. However, with support from UK Export Finance (UKEF), a government department and the UK’s export credit agency, it can be easier than you think.

From export finance to connecting you with new opportunities, UKEF can help you excel internationally. Break into New Markets Global Connections Supply Chain Segmentation ExportGlobal Connections Supply Exports
From export finance to connecting you with new opportunities, UKEF can help you excel internationally.

UKEF’s mission is to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance from the private market.

Last year alone, UKEF provided £50m of support to UK manufacturers, helping them secure more than £227m worth of overseas sales.

Whether its guaranteeing contract bonds or helping you secure working capital, much of our support is geared towards the manufacturing sector.

Of the 191 UK exporters we provided finance or insurance to last year, half were manufacturers.

In or out of the EU, UKEF’s mission and value to UK manufacturers will remain the same.

This article first appeared in the July/August issue of The Manufacturer magazine. To subscribe, please click here.

Emerging markets support

But we do specialise in helping you win, fulfil and get paid for export contracts in emerging markets – of the 75 markets we supported UK exports to in 2017-18, only eight were in the EU.

From Abu Dhabi to Zambia – UKEF can help you realise the full potential of your overseas trading relationships.

For example, UKEF provides export insurance policies that help you get paid even if your overseas buyer defaults – particularly in less-established markets that aren’t traditionally covered by the private insurers but have huge potential for manufacturers.

Take Ukraine – instability in the region has made commercial export insurance harder to access, so UKEF has stepped up to the plate.

This year, we provided almost twice as many export insurance policies for UK exports to Ukraine as in 2016-17, helping UK businesses maintain their hard-earned trade, and gain a competitive edge in the global market.

Complete this quick form and find out whether you’re eligible for UKEF support.

Bringing business to the UK

As a government department, we’re bringing business opportunities to the UK too.

Recently, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox announced that UKEF has signed a ground-breaking agreement with Atkins International, a world-leader in international project management and engineering projects, to grow its UK supply chain and boost UK exports.

The agreement commits UKEF and Atkins to identifying opportunities for UK manufacturers to supply Atkins’ projects, helping to generate and connect businesses with opportunities to export across more than 15 international markets – opportunities that may not have existed without UKEF involvement.

Innovations like this have the potential to secure hundreds of thousands of pounds for UK exporters.

Excel with UKEF

Looking ahead, we will continue to enhance our support for manufacturers like you wherever there is a market need.

As the UK begins to shape its own trading agenda for the first time in decades, this government has committed to putting UKEF front and centre of its trade promotion strategy.

From export finance to connecting you with new opportunities, UKEF can help you excel internationally.


Mike Newing, head of Export Finance Managers and Business Group Operations, UK Export Finance