Exporting to Asia-Pacific

Understanding customers in Asia-Pacific countries

The Asia-Pacific region is large and diverse. Business cultures vary from country to country.

You should find out about the social and cultural issues around your Asia Pacific markets. These include language issues, different cultural needs for products and services, and varying regulatory regimes. Invest Northern Ireland can advise their client businesses on the issues involved. You can find out about Invest NI support for selling outside Northern Ireland.

Try to communicate with potential customers in their own language and tailor your sales literature to your target market.

Meeting customer expectations

Bear in mind what your customers will expect of you in each of your target markets. For example, if you are selling luxury goods to the Japanese market, you will need to have the infrastructure in place to provide first class after-sales support. In many Asian cultures, you will need to respect the concept of "face" - and make sure you earn and retain the respect of your business customers. In developing countries, take the population's low earnings in relation to Western standards into account, and make sure your prices are competitive.

Entering emerging markets

While Northern Ireland businesses can find major opportunities in the well-developed economies in the Asia Pacific region - such as Australia, Japan and Taiwan - you should also look at the emerging markets in the area. Countries such as the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam are changing rapidly. Economic growth is providing significant opportunities for Northern Ireland businesses that establish a presence in the market early. Thorough market research can help you minimise the risks of launching in these countries and lead to significant rewards.