Hull firms urged to 'go down under' and tap into Aussie export market
Hull businesses urged to strike new export deals with Australia
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 28 Jan 2019
Hull’s business links with the Far East and US hit the headlines at the end of 2018.
The Humber region saw delegate visits from Rhode Island and southern China in the final few months of the year, as green energy took centre stage once again.
Hull has long held strong ties with the US. In 2014, the city was the only one in the UK to export more goods to the States than it did to the EU.
On the back of the success, the region’s head at the Department for International Trade (DIT) is urging businesses in Hull to make the most of another world market.
Australia and Hull are, almost literally, a world apart.
However, demand from Australia for the region’s products soared last year. Exports from Yorkshire to the country were worth more than £300m in the 12 months to September.
Mark Robson, Head of Regions for Yorkshire and the Humber at the Department for International Trade (DIT) (Citypress)
Ahead of Australia Day on Saturday, January 25, Mark Robson, head of regions for Yorkshire and the Humber at the DIT, explained why the region’s businesses should capitalise on export opportunities down under.
He said: “Australia and the UK have a deep and long-lasting relationship spanning sport, politics, culture, and importantly, trade.
“Already, many Yorkshire businesses are capitalising on soaring Aussie demand for British products. According to the latest HMRC statistics, goods exports from Yorkshire totalled £302.5m in the 12 months to September 2018.
“There are many features that make Australia a market worth investigating for both current exporters and Yorkshire businesses considering global expansion for the first time.”
A world apart, but not so different
One advantage for Yorkshire businesses looking to trade in Australia are the similarities between the two nations, according to Mr Robson
Hull's port carries cargo to countries across the globe (Pete Harbour)
At the highest level, Australia and the UK share similar demands and expectations for products and services, while the same language, similar cultures and a shared history is also a plus.
The country also has a similar legal structure to the UK, which helps increase the likelihood of a smooth market entry either directly or via a partnership with an Australian firm, alongside a strong commitment to intellectual property protection.
The seasonal advantage – delivering year-round demand
Mr Robson said: “The Australian market offers an invaluable opportunity to boost sales for businesses that are subject to the peaks and troughs of a seasonal economy.
“This may include food and drink producers, such as ice-cream or cider brands that see a dip in demand during the colder months, or manufacturers of products such as summer clothing or outdoor goods.
Watch: HDM Business Awards 2018 Exports of the Year winner Bio-D
“Having an export presence in the Southern Hemisphere will help firms such as these secure more consistent year-round sales – boosting profitability, increasing resilience and providing capital that can be re-invested to generate further growth.”
Not without its challenges
As with all export markets, selling to Australia does come with its own set of challenges.
The DIT offers help to businesses of all sizes, to navigate each stage of the export process, as well as advice on the best approach for them to enter the Australian market successfully.
This includes help identifying new, likeminded partners in-market, and developing market research to reduce the burden on small businesses who may not have dedicated staff focused on exporting.
DIT also has a network of International Trade Advisers (ITAs) based across the region, who can offer one-to-one guidance on a range of export issues such as specific legal requirements or logistics options – a key consideration with more than 10,000 miles between Yorkshire and Sydney.