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Santander Supports Five UK SMEs on Trade Mission to Mexico

March 12, 2014

Santander has brought five fast growing UK businesses to Mexico  as part of a Breakthrough sponsored international trade mission, led by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

The aim is to tap into the opportunities for doing business in Mexico, one of the largest economies in Latin America . With its gross domestic product (GDP) valued at $1.845 trillion in 2013, Mexico ranked 11th in comparison to the rest of the world .

The objective for the week was to help break down the potential barriers, stimulate exports and encourage international growth for the five chosen UK firms. 

John Williams, Head of Breakthrough at Santander, said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity for us to help these companies grow into a new market. In terms of exports, Mexico currently ranks 17th globally, generating $370.9 billion dollars last year . Reaching new audiences outside of the UK can be a great way for businesses to expand, but we know that making the move can be daunting. Santander’s international presence provides a wealth of knowledge and expertise of overseas markets. Through Breakthrough, we are able to tap into our network and provide the support these companies need. We look forward to working with the businesses to help them realise their goals, not just on this trip, but beyond.”

The five businesses travelling with Santander spent six days networking with, and learning from, a selection of experienced global business leaders and exporters including representatives from Walmart and also Mexican companies such as Chedraui and Soriana.

Mexico is seen by many in the UK as a key area for economic growth, forming part of the currently popular MINT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey). According to estimates made by World Bank and Goldman Sachs, Mexico is forecast to overtake the UK in terms of GDP by 2050, rising to a value of $6.95 trillion .

Delegates will find out how the Mexican marketplace works in terms of its competitive landscape and distribution networks, as well as learning about specific regulations through sessions with the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, UKTI, Santander Mexico and ProMexico. They will also attend exclusive networking receptions at the Ambassador’s residence in Mexico City and The British Trade Office in Guadalajara.

One of the businesses attending is Poole-based Hielaman, a provider of world leading protective coatings (Tribos Coatings), to the automotive, aviation and marine industries. Hielaman are heading to Mexico hoping to meet automotive and marine customers as well as potential distributors for Tribos in the country.

All the business owners had a schedule of one-on-one meetings with organizations tailored to their own sector and industry. The companies attending the trip come from a range of industries and are spread across the UK. They are:
• Phase Eight – A premium international women’s retailer with more than 360 stores globally
• The Culture Group – Cardiff based company who develop digital content, strategy and formats to entertain, inform and inspire
• Canon Technologies – A global provider of leading edge data centre infrastructure based in London
• Pricecheck Toiletries – A Sheffield based international distributor of branded fast-moving goods, specialising in health, beauty and household discounted clearance stock
• Hielaman – A provider of world leading protective coatings to the automotive, aviation and marine industries, which is based in Poole, Dorset.

The Breakthrough trade missions are part of Santander’s Breakthrough program, which aims to help small businesses unlock their potential. As part of the programme, Santander is also making up to £200 million of growth capital loans available to fast-growth companies looking to invest in and grow their business.

In addition to finance, Breakthrough also offers companies access to support and development programmes not typically available to SMEs, such as masterclasses with renowned business leaders to learn first-hand how to boost business growth.