How to get a suggestion or two for export agents from UK T&I posts WITHOUT having to go through the rigmarole / costs of OMIS???
This question was asked at our recent webinar – Finding the right agent or distributor to grow your business overseas
You haven’t mentioned which countries in particular that you are interested in, but I understand your problem. UKTI overseas posts are either reluctant or unable to provide information on potential agents or distributors in response to ad hoc enquiries from UK exporters. The government has, in the last year or two, set up the Overseas Business Network initiative (OBNi) to provide a means of support for smaller UK exporters and this runs in parallel with the UKTI system and involves overseas British Chambers of Commerce. British Business Centres have been set up, often as joint ventures between the local UKTI post and the local British Chamber, and a number of these have become quite effective at giving support to companies like your own. In fact, these centres are now increasingly providing OMIS (or OMIS-like) reports either on behalf of, or instead of, local UKTI posts. However, any substantial work requirement comes at a cost, as the centres need to be self financing and, as far as I know, the discounts previously given by UKTI are no longer available.
I think that, if you want to avoid the OMIS route, your only alternative is to identify private sector specialist market entry companies (I know one or two) who can find agents or distributors for you, or to do your own market research. Please feel free to contact me : firstname.lastname@example.org and I will let you have more information.
I am a Certified International Trade Advisor and a private market entry specialist (working on a fee) for Romania, Central and Eastern Europe. I know exactly where to find agents and distributors which to correspond to the requirements of exporters such as you as I know where to look in the countries I cover. I know as well how and where to gather relevant information about the distributors/agents such as economic data in the last 3-5 years (turnover, profit, loss, number of employees, brands they already work with), contact details and contact person. I do as well introductions. But I am a private business and I charge a fee for the result.
Please read more about how to deal with agents/distributors here: http://www.thebrc.co.uk/distributor/
Hope this helps,