AS MORE small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) look to extend trade links internationally, Santander Corporate Banking is well placed to guide them through the complex environment of international business.
As Santander continues to grow its presence in the UK it has the advantage of offering its clients who want to expand into the Brazilian market in particular, access to the number one bank in Latin America.
“Brazilian companies are very keen to establish trade links and joint ventures with UK businesses,” said Osvaldo Tiferes, director of international business development at Santander UK PLC. “They see the UK as a technology hub from which they are keen to get maximum benefit. Countries like Brazil have the natural resources, but limited ability to exploit them, which is why they want to build strong partnerships with the UK.”
Santander offers a valuable introduction and advisory service for businesses establishing a banking relationship overseas, which includes a range of trade solutions that protects payments between clients and their buyers or suppliers.
“Our presence in Brazil and knowledge of the market ensures that companies can enter the country in an organised and efficient manner,” said Osvaldo. “There is a perception that Brazil is a difficult market to enter, but that is not the case. We are working hard to change that perception. It should be seen as a positive opportunity.”
Santander also provides a range of banking solutions to support businesses' international ambitions. These include current and deposit accounts in a variety of currencies supported by a foreign currency and exchange risk management product to help shield businesses from price changes.
“We are currently working with a number of energy sector companies who are creating new facilities in Latin America. These companies have our support through every step of the financial process from entering the market to operating their facilities. Companies who want to explore markets like Brazil need to be clear what they can achieve and what demand there is for their products or services.
“Support from organisations like UK Trade & Investment and NOF Energy is invaluable and provides the perfect foundations for entering a new market.”
Osvaldo believes the ideal route for SMEs in the energy sector is to establish relationships with in-country product distributors or create a joint venture with a local company.
“This is a great way to learn about a market and blend local knowledge with UK firms' skills and expertise. By utilising the support provided by Santander's presence in Latin America, the opportunities for UK businesses are plentiful, particularly in the energy sectors.”