During Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the UK last January, France has expressed its long-term commitment to retaining strong links with the UK post-Brexit. This makes 2018 is probably the best year for UK SMEs to consider trading in France.
Just over a year ago, in January 2017, the International Trade Secretary declared 2017 as the ‘Year of Exporting’ and encouraged British businesses to seek new markets abroad? It's worth noting that the export trade, notably to Europe, contributes a staggering £511 billion to the UK’s GDP.
A year on, many British SMEs still struggle to find clients abroad and are often unsure as to whether they should trade in Europe given the uncertainty about the future trading relationship with our closest neighbour, after Brexit.
In times of uncertainty, the common prevailing wisdom is to wait and see. However those who proactively seek new opportunities while everyone else stands still are more likely to achieve substantial growth.
So why specifically explore the French market, and why now?
We all know that France is the closest and easiest market to access geographically, but we often forget it's also Europe's 2nd largest economy and the 6th largest in the world.
Overall it is a similar market to the UK with regards to its regulations, and the French economy has proven to be historically resilient and stable. It is less prone to boom and bust cycles and was less affected by the recent recessions than other countries. Because of the market profile similarities between France and the UK, business in demand in the UK is in good standing to find a market in France.
Furthermore, 2018 is a good time to approach the French market as the current French government is committed to making it easier for foreign businesses to trade in France. So we can see, many things are aligned to help British SMEs trade in France: ease of access, new export grants, and a desire for foreign investment..
In 2018 many things are aligned to help British SMEs trade in France: ease of access, new export grants, and a desire for foreign investment.
Whether you are looking for clients, resellers or strategic partners to grow your business, France offers a wealth of opportunities across all industry sectors. Don’t let Brexit lead you to think that you shouldn’t consider this huge market, because, in fact, the time is ripe for trading with France.
The real question is: is there a market for your specific products or services in France and if so why leave it to your competitors?