RBS backs online international trade portal

Source: Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland is supporting the UK's leading independent international trade body and a raft of leading experts in the field of exporting and global business to launch a pioneering free online tool.

The Institute of Export and International Trade has spearheaded guruonline.tv/export which answers essential questions about conducting business abroad using more than 500 bite size video clips - from how to manage currency to dealing with interpreters, as well as often overlooked details about local custom and etiquette.

All advice on the site is delivered by experts from 12 participating organisations including HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the CBI, UKTI, Business Link, The Middle East Association, the Intellectual Property Office and the China-Britain Business Council.

Sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the project is the first time such a comprehensive resource has been offered free of charge and reflects the Institute's role as the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally.

The concept was brought to life by online media company GuruOnline which uses video to provide users with the insights and guidance of industry's most esteemed figures. An official launch will take place at The Middle East Association at Bury St, London on Tuesday, June 23 from 6pm-8.30pm.

The Institute of Export, a not-for-profit organisation, is the only professional body in the UK offering recognised vocational qualifications in international trade.

It also provides a dedicated business membership scheme, designed to deliver expertise to firms involved in international trade. The service includes direct mentoring, a specially-designed 'quick-answer' system and tailored corporate training for staff involved in global trade.

Lesley Batchelor, chair of the Institute of Export and International Trade, said: "No other resource offers a breadth of information in such an accessible format. In bringing together the UK's most important international trade bodies we have concentrated a wealth of expertise on one site.

"Global markets can make a significant contribution to Britain's econonomic recovery. However, we need to ensure businesses have the knowledge and skills to reap the rewards.

"This site offers enterprises of all sizes advice on how to overcome the challenges they face and clear answers to the questions that arise as they seek to make the most of international opportunities."

John Bugeja, RBS head of trade UK & Ireland said: "We are proud to strengthen our relationship with the Institute of Export through this innovative service. As the UK's largest corporate bank, RBS is committed to supporting the needs of UK businesses, and international trade is an integral part of this. Moreover, at a time when companies are increasingly seeing growth opportunities in overseas markets, this portal gives them the advice and information they need to make better informed decisions for their business."

China-Britain Business Council director Chris Cotton said: "This is an excellent quick reference guide compiled specifically for UK exporters - and the use of video content ensures that it is an exciting, engaging and valuable source of information on many aspects of international trade."

The Middle East Association director general Michael Thomas said: "Many businesses find it difficult to steer a path through the minefield of international trade and simply want an overview of how to go about conducting business abroad. This is a terrific resource for doing just that, and it does a terrific job of unpicking complex themes and topics."

Richard Hall, Managing director of Pd-m International Ltd, a product design and global manufacturing consultancy, said: "The quality of information and video footage available on the site is very informative, accurate and compelling. Clearly the Institute of Export has spent a lot of time in creating the new website to a highly professional standard. The portal is very easy to access and welcoming to navigate.

"I have no doubt that this will be an excellent source of information and inspiration to those in or considering international trade."

Test your local knowledge:

• Why if you are doing business in the Middle East is it okay for the person you are meeting to be late, but not for you?

• Why might March 8 be an important day for the women in your Russian office, while February 23 is special for the men - and what you should give each of them on those days?

• Why does it pay to present your business card at a first meeting in China with both hands?

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