How do I start exporting to EU countries?
Specifics of international trade and export in the EU were studied by novice exporters at a practical seminar in Astana. The regular training courses for entrepreneurs were organized by QazTrade and developed jointly with the International Trade Center as part of the Ready4Trade project funded by the European Union.
The course trainers for two days analyzed topical business cases, answered questions of small, medium and micro businesses, and gave their recommendations on bringing Kazakhstani goods and services to export. The training traditionally includes the main topics: "International Trade Rules", "Export Process", "EU Market Requirements", and "Quality and Compliance". Participants pass tests and analyze mistakes together with training consultants to reinforce learning of the material.
As experts note, the EU market is the most solvent and has a high purchasing power. Today, most of the exports from Central Asian countries to the EU are raw materials. However, there are many examples of successful entry of Kazakhstani and other Central Asian companies to the European market.
What steps should a company take to start exporting to the EU?
First, conduct market research to determine whether the EU, or any EU member state, actually offers profitable opportunities that are worth taking advantage of. The EU market can be supplied by bundling supplies with other producers in your region. To reduce transportation costs, many CA companies involved in exports do just that, creating cooperatives or associations to pool risks and reduce costs. It is advisable to start the process of export market development by exploring different ways of selling to the EU. This can be direct sales to a European buyer, the involvement of an agent or distributor, and in some cases the establishment of a direct representation in the EU itself.
Secondly, the goods need to be prepared for export. Food products, for example, must pass inspection and compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary requirements in the EU, and other standards in the field of green development may also be required. Another important nuance - compliance with packaging and labeling requirements in force not only in the EU, but also in the specific country considered as a target market.
The next step is the logistics of the goods. Most major cities in Central Asia are connected by rail lines connecting China and Europe. Shipping by rail takes an average of 25 days and is usually cheaper than shipping by road. But often exporters do not handle the logistics themselves, more often acting through distributors.
The last point provides an exit to the European consumer.
About 20 representatives of micro, small and medium businesses from different fields from the capital took part in the seminar.
Recall that the educational project is implemented in the territory of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Its main goal is to fill the information vacuum of novice exporters of non-resource products and services, to help them build their business processes correctly and prepare for entering the international market.