Thinking of selling services abroad? Asia and the Americas are your best bet » SMEInsider

Thinking of selling services abroad? Asia and the Americas are your best bet

Exporting is no longer restricted only to products. Increasingly, UK service providers aim to explore untapped markets for potential new clients – but they may be looking in the wrong place.

With its proximity, cultural overlaps and ease of trade, Europe is currently the primary export destination for SMEs working in the services sector, with four-fifths of all firms that trade overseas selling into European countries. According to the British Chamber of Commerce, however, growth in UK exports dramatically outstrip economic growth on the continent. This means that, as time goes on, demand will struggle to keep up with the availability of these services, and UK companies will find themselves struggling to make a profit in a crowded market.

Rather than put all their export eggs in the EU basket, the BCC’s research suggests that these companies would be better off looking at fast-growing regions in which competition from other British brands is less fierce. Africa, for example, accounts for 27% of the globe’s GDP growth, but less than a third of service firms currently export there. Asia, the Middle East and the Americas, meanwhile, are growing at a rapid rate, and with far less competition from UK rivals than in destinations such as Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

For a breakdown of the BCC’s findings, including the types of service company that currently export and the primary issues they face, take a look at the guide below.

BCC guide