In an increasingly interconnected and globalised world, international networking has become an essential tool to boost foreign trade and strengthen business relationships between companies of different nationalities. Globalisation has led to increased economic interdependence and the elimination of trade barriers, allowing companies to expand, explore new markets and generate unprecedented business opportunities.
The creation of efficient and strong networks is crucial for companies to position themselves in the competitive global marketplace and to maximise the benefits of foreign trade. These networks not only facilitate the exchange of information, ideas and resources, but also promote cooperation, innovation and joint problem solving in the business environment.
In this context, international networking becomes essential to identify import and export opportunities, optimise the supply chain and reduce the risks associated with international business transactions. In addition, good international networking helps companies to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in their sector.
Why is it important to have a wide international network of contacts?
International networking has a significant impact on foreign trade, as it facilitates access to new markets, the import of products and services and the identification of business opportunities abroad. However, let’s take a closer look at why it is important to work on quality international networking.
Access to valuable information
Networking provides access to relevant and up-to-date information on market trends, demand for products and services and business opportunities in different countries.
Identification of strategic partners
International networking helps to identify key business partners, suppliers, investors and other collaborators who can contribute to the success of import and export operations.
Contact with professionals and companies from different cultures allows companies to adapt their products and services to local needs and preferences, thus improving their chances of success in the international market.
Strategies for successful international networking
Although many people believe that LinkedIn is enough to establish successful contacts, the reality is that networking with professionals from all over the world is much more complex than sending invitations on a social network. In that sense, it is essential to follow some strategies to make the most of international networking in foreign trade.
Participate in international events and fairs
Attending international trade fairs, exhibitions and conferences is an excellent opportunity to meet professionals and companies from different sectors and establish interesting business contacts. In addition, these types of events also allow us to keep up to date with the latest developments in the sector.
Joining associations and chambers of commerce
Trade associations and chambers of commerce offer a wide range of services and resources to facilitate foreign trade. In addition to providing information on international markets, they also organise networking events and promote member companies abroad. Nowadays, moreover, technology allows us to participate in such groups remotely as well, so geographical distance is no excuse.
Establish alliances with local companies
Collaborating with local companies in the country of destination can facilitate market entry by providing logistical support, market knowledge and access to established networks, which will facilitate the selection of suppliers for an import.
Use digital platforms and social media
Although not the only option (as many believe), social media and digital business platforms, such as LinkedIn, allow you to connect with professionals and companies around the world, facilitating information exchange and networking.
Networking and foreign trade with Asian countries: the case of China
In recent decades, Asia has become a region of growing importance in international trade, especially in terms of imports of goods and services. Among the countries of this continent, China stands out as one of the world’s largest economies and a major player in foreign trade.
Establishing solid and lasting networks with Chinese companies and professionals can be key to boosting foreign trade and the import of high quality and competitively priced products and services. To be successful in networking and foreign trade with China, some cultural and commercial particularities of the Asian Giant and its people must be taken into account.
Understanding Chinese business culture
Overcoming cultural barriers in international trade can be a challenge, but understanding Chinese business culture is also necessary to avoid risks and make your transactions a success.
Investing time in learning about Chinese culture and adapting to Chinese business practices can be a great help in the international networking process.
Establishing long-term relationships
Business relationships in China are based on mutual trust and respect, and understanding Chinese customs, social norms and business expectations is essential to establishing successful and… lasting relationships!
Success in foreign trade with China often depends on the ability to build strong, long-term business relationships. It is important to be patient and persevering in the international networking process and to focus on building trust and mutual respect with Chinese partners.
Participate in specific trade fairs and events
Trade fairs and exhibitions specialised in foreign trade with China, such as the Canton Fair or the CIIE (China International Import Expo), are excellent opportunities to establish contacts with Chinese companies and professionals.
Don’t have enough contacts to do successful business? Trust in a sourcing partner!
International networking is a key factor in boosting foreign trade and imports, and its importance is accentuated in the case of trade relations with Asian countries such as China. However, having the right contacts is neither easy nor quick. This is where a sourcing partner can make the difference.
A sourcing partner is a company specialised in the search, evaluation and selection of suppliers abroad, providing companies with efficient access to a wide network of contacts and business opportunities in international markets. With the support of a sourcing partner, companies can overcome cultural, linguistic and logistical barriers that often hinder the establishment of successful business relationships.