Significant investment in infrastructure is required to unleash Africa's economic potential. New funding for infrastructure development is becoming available, but success also hinges on how effectively money is spent, argues Sebastien Marlier, Africa analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit
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After a difficult couple of years for international trade, there are reasons for importers and exporters to be optimistic. Global export growth for goods is expected to accelerate, according to the latest HSBC Trade Forecast
Growth in exports will rise to 8 per cent per year by 2017, according to HSBC’s latest Trade Forecast
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From deflation to negative interest rates, the global economy is full of oddities
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New global report shows the vital importance of Medium-Size Companies to developed and emerging economies
Removing barriers should boost economic growth
Mixed blessings for global economy from lower crude prices
Changed fortunes for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Although the opportunities implicit in overseas trade can be highly attractive, maximising the net return requires an awareness of the risks of financial crime, including money laundering and bribery, and an ability to manage complex international sanctions
While the physical distance between a business and a new international partner can be thousands of miles, this needn't be a barrier to a profitable and mutually beneficial trading relationship.
Reliability is key to building a good reputation and punctual delivery of goods is clearly important. While the legal liability for safe shipment of goods may change during their movement, from an importer’s perspective the reputational liability still tends to lie with the exporter.
When trading overseas keeping abreast of traffic of business bank accounts can help maximise profitability.
Trading abroad for the first time is a significant opportunity for any business, but it can be a confusing time with preparing goods for dispatch and various administrative details to complete.
Trading internationally for the first time means dealing with different currencies. To maintain profitability it is important to be aware of the exchange rate achieved, as there may be currency fluctuations during the period between paying for supplies to fulfil an order and receiving payment.
At a basic level, trading internationally is not so dissimilar to trading domestically, except that when dealing with businesses based in overseas markets, receiving and making payments can be more complex.