Many SMEs have lots of paperwork or admin or customer service activities that have come to account for a high proportion of their staff costs. There’s an obvious advantage to doing that abroad, is that it can be much cheaper than with labour in your own country.
One territory that definitely qualifies as “off the usual business radar” is Palestine. It’s clearly not a valuable export market. But, for businesses active in the Middle East, or looking at expanding there, there are some real opportunities to take advantage of its positioning as a hub.
Do first impressions lie? On paper, the company looked impressive. Out of the six potential partners that we’d shortlisted, and that I’d travelled to Mumbai to meet, this one looked the best on paper. Rajesh, the young CEO who came to meet me at my hotel looked the part too – immaculately dressed, well spoken, and clearly well organised, as he laid out paperwork and photos on the table in front of us.
Those politicians who are enthusiastic about Brexit are always talking about the UK having great opportunities for trade after leaving the EU. Those who oppose Brexit – and many who are on the fence – dismiss those potential opportunities, at least for the short term, and say that the loss of EU trade would more than outweigh any new benefits.
For this series, I’ve been reading up the studies that have been done into their impact – the successes and failures – to see what can be learnt. Such lessons are useful from two points of view.
Episode 2 – We’ll look at the recent history of trade deals, cut through the jargon, look at the key principles and, after all of that, get a pretty good understanding of why FTAs are so difficult to negotiate.
When expanding abroad – especially when setting up operations like Shared Service Centres…