A Guide to DoingBusiness in the UK

UK Market Insights

Market Overview

The UK is a natural first market for Enterprise Ireland client companies. A unique mixture of proximity, language, legal and business practice, and cultural and historic links makes the UK an ideal trading partner for Irish companies. The UK is the single largest export market for Enterprise Ireland clients. It is also an economic powerhouse and is currently the world’s fifth largest national economy valued at €2.36 trillion. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, GDP growth of 1.6% is forecast for 2019.

1.6% GDP Growth Forecast for 2019

5th Largest National Economy in the World

66.57m Population

€1.1bn Bilateral Trading Weekly

Get Export Ready

The UK is the second largest economy in the European Union. It is one of the strongest in terms of social welfare, standards of living and unemployment. Equally interest rates, inflation, and inward and outward foreign investment are strong. The UK is one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, one of the founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, a member of the G8, and until at least March 2019, a member of the EU. London has led the UK’s recovery in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Key Market Sectors

Irish businesses are exploring export options in sectors across the Eurozone markets, the USA and Canada, the APAC region and the ASEAN.

Enterprise Ireland is playing a key role in supporting ambitious companies seeking opportunities in the UK’s cleantech, healthcare and fintech sectors.

Additionally, engineering, digital, retail and construction continue to perform and add appeal to Irish exporters and service providers who want to scale, and develop a presence in the UK’s market.

Read more on the UK’s sectoral successes in our Going Global Guide.

  • Client exports to the UK equated to 34% of overall client exports in 2017.
  • €7.62bn exports by Enterprise Ireland clients in 2017.
  • 2nd largest aerospace industry in the world.

Doing Business

Formality and conservatism are two of the hallmarks of British business culture.

Many UK organisations are risk averse and take time to evaluate potential new suppliers.

Senior executives prefer to deal with counterparts of similar rank – don’t send in a junior to meet a CEO.

Best Routes to Market

Choosing the right route to market is very important.

Agents bring a deep understanding of local business practices and distributors can deliver products geographically across large nations. Joint ventures and acquisitions bring valuable established contacts, customers and market knowledge. Local representatives may not always be necessary with many global markets open to direct sales and prospecting from Ireland. Other markets require a ‘boots on the ground’ approach – the power of referrals and networking shouldn’t be underestimated. The key routes to market in the United Kingdom are partnerships, distributors and a UK subsidiary set-up. Download our Going Global Guide to the United Kingdom to find out more.

Before You Go

Before you go, we recommend you invest some time in researching the terrain before you explore the UK market. Here’s a few starting points to consider…

  1. Market Landscape
  2. Market Trends
  3. Target Market
  4. Market Segmentation
  5. Market Competition
  6. Market Research Resources

Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre offers client companies access to market intelligence in the form of company, sector, market, and country information to explore opportunities and compete in international markets.

Helping You Succeed

We are committed to helping you succeed in global markets and have an immense wealth of knowledge and expertise in the UK market.

Enterprise Ireland assists clients entering new markets with pre-visit support, in-market support, international trade events, additional supports and access to mentors.

Our Market Advisers are always available to support you and provide business expertise and on-the-ground knowledge.

UK
Deirdre McPartlin

Email
deirdre.mcpartlin@enterprise-ireland.com

Address
Enterprise Ireland London Office
2nd Floor, Shaftesbury House
151 Shaftesbury Avenue
London WC2H 8AL
UK

Telephone
00 44 207 438 8722