Why trading with Southeast Asia is good for businesses across the South West

Shozey Jafferi
Market Specialist - South East Asia | Business West
24th April 2018

New research conducted by Wyelands Bank and Global Trade Review reveals the UK’s fastest growing export countries are dominated by the Asia Pacific with three in the top five. Exports to these three countries were worth US$39.6bn last year, with a projected growth value of US$1.06bn a year for UK exports.

Demand for British products in Asia is well known, and the South East Asia region presents a great exporting opportunity for British companies looking to drive international growth. 

South East Asia, with a population of more than 640 million people and an average annual growth rate of 5%, offers real potential for firms looking to start or boost their exports. Between established economies like Singapore and the emerging economies like Indonesia and Vietnam, there is huge scope for South West businesses to export both goods and services to this fast-growing region. 

The South West already has a global reputation for quality overseas and many brands have already found success in the South East Asian market. Alderley, a Gloucestershire-based oil and gas engineering firm, exports its products to Indonesia, and Gummee, a Cornish firm that makes products for teething children, has established its brand in Malaysia.

The UK already has a strong international trading record, with exports totalling £625.9bn in the year to the end of January 2018, a rise of 11.5% from the same period the year previous. South West firms are reaping the benefits and outstripped the national average with a rise of 13.8%. By showcasing the opportunities available in these lesser-known export markets, Business West’s DIT and Export for Growth funded projects hope to encourage some of the 300,000 businesses in the UK that don’t currently sell overseas to benefit by tapping into the potential of exporting. 

Like exporting to any market, there are commonplace concerns about language and regulatory differences. While exporting may seem daunting to a small business, they don’t need to tackle these alone. Business West are there to support South West businesses of all sizes to navigate these differences.

Business West offers educational workshops and seminars, as well as personal advice, translation services and ‘Meet the Buyer’ events. Connecting with Business West means that local businesses can receive local and government support to help encourage trade with Southeast Asia. We’re proactively encouraging businesses to export, which is why we have 25 International Trade Advisers based in the South West.

  • Win new business in high-growth markets

    Our Extend your Global Reach programme has been created to help ambitious South West companies find new sales opportunities in China, India, Latin America and SE Asia. These regions are hungry to buy British goods and services and we don't want you to miss out!

Do you want to join the conversation?

Sign up here
  • Shozey Jafferi

    Meet our ASEAN Expert

    For over a decade Shozey Jafferi has successfully managed engineering companies in Central Asia and South East Asia, he now uses his extensive experience to help South West business. Shozey helps companies tap into the wealth of opportunities on offer in ASEAN, and uses his vast network of contacts and trade support partners to make vital connections in the region.