Nine UK fast growth businesses visit Chile and Argentina on latest Santander trade mission.

Nine of the UK’s fast growth companies visited Chile and Argentina for a week-long trade mission in March organised by Santander UK. The firms, the majority from Cambridge and Anglia, undertook a series of exclusive meetings with buyers and distributors and attended events with a view to exporting to Chile, the UK’s second-largest export destination in Latin America, and Argentina, which is focussed on improving trade relationships and removing barriers to increase exports and imports.

As well as being able to support businesses locally through a network of Corporate Business Centres and specialists in the UK, Santander has a strong international presence thanks to its extensive global network in 10 major markets and more than 12,000 branches worldwide and a network of international alliance partners. To help boost trade across the globe, Santander has an International Desk in each of the markets it operates in, dedicated to helping customers who want to grow their business overseas. With a particular strength in Latin America, the bank operates in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, and Puerto Rico. Our Latin American network includes more than 6,000 branches.

The companies that attended the trip were Christies International, Cocoda Ltd, Elgood & Sons Ltd, G’s Fresh Ltd, Haymans of London, Ilec Ltd, JCS Hi-Torque Ltd, Pasta Foods Ltd and Teagle Machinery Ltd. The initiative is part of Santander UK’s regular series of international trade missions across a range of UK sectors that are aimed at helping businesses export and capitalise on trade opportunities.

While in Chile and Argentina, the firms attended 80 tailored one-to-one meetings with large retailers including Jumbo and Walmart, buyers, well-respected distributors and international partners. They also attended large scale networking events supported by The British Chile Chamber of Commerce and Department for International Trade Buenos Aires, which showcased the best of British food, drink and manufacturing.

Chile has one of the largest portfolios of Free Trade Agreements in the world and is the UK’s second largest export destination in Latin America largely, thanks to the lack of tariffs on UK products. Investment opportunities also exist in wholesale, retail, education, agriculture, construction and energy.

Argentina is currently removing trade barriers to increase exports and imports under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. There is high demand for imported luxury consumer goods and food and drink.

David Hill, Managing Director, Cocoda commented: “I have been on several Trade Missions over the years, this was by far the very best organised with excellent pre-mission briefing, highly qualified meetings and the first class levels of support throughout. As a result, we have already seen some initial interest, which we hope will lead to successful partnerships and trade opportunities in Latin America.”

Mauricio Munguia, Latam Desk Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “Given the current uncertainties around Brexit and how it may impact established UK exporters who would traditionally look to Europe with their products, companies need to be brave and explore new, often overlooked global markets, such as those in Latin America. The region is forecasting significant growth and there is a real opportunity for UK businesses where British produce is seen as synonymous with high quality.

“We are confident this trade mission will help the SMEs which attended understand the opportunities available in these exciting markets. UK companies looking to access the region can take advantage of Santander’s powerful network and presence in Latin America where we have a bank in all of the major markets.”

Helping SMEs to export is a core priority for Santander. The bank’s trade missions are unique in the wider SME banking market – Santander regularly and proactively gets UK firms out to markets to meet buyers and network with key stakeholders. Previous trade missions have covered the US, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and Poland, among others.

UK firms interested in intending future trade missions should visit our:

website or contact [email protected].