International business opportunities in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK), comprised of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, is one of the major economic powers in Europe as well as the world. The country joined the EU in 1973, but will probably leave it in 2018. The official unit of currency being pound sterling, the UK is not part of the Eurozone; it is not a Schengen area member either.

The UK’s political system is parliamentary constitutional monarchy.The UK has multiple parties. Since 2013, the UK’s economy has been improving. Comparing to other developed countries, the UK has a high level of income inequality. The 10% richest earn ten times as much as the 10% poorest. Knowledge of the market, the economy and the culture will help you expand your international business to this country.

United Kingdom’s Vital Data (as of 2016)

Population (million) 65.6
GDP (billion USD) 2,618
GDP per capita (USD) 39,899
GDP per capita PPP (USD) 42,609
Purchasing power per dollar, compared to the USA 86%
Surface area (sq km) 243,610
% of population living in urban areas 82%
% of GDP added by agriculture – industry – services 1% – 20% – 80%
Ease of doing business index (1 = best, 189 = lowest) 8

What are business opportunities in the United Kingdom?

Foreign direct investment (FDI) to the UK slumped during the economic crisis. Fortunately, it has been improving significantly. In 2014, UK ranked as the 11th largest recipient of foreign direct investment. Main sectors that attract FDI are:

  • Financial services
  • Professional, scientific, technical services
  • Mining
  • Metal products, machinery
  • Computers, electronics, optics
  • Food, beverages, tobacco

Where the action really is in international business in United Kingdom

Respectively, imports and exports make up 25.8% and 19.2% of the total economic output. This is a country that should be included in your marketing plan. The top five imports and exports are as follow:

Imports % of total Exports % of total
Machinery 13.2 Machinery 14
Oil 11.3 Oil 11.2
Vehicles 11 Vehicles 10.6
Electronic equipment 8.9 Gems, precious metals, coins 10.3
Gems, precious metals, coins 5.2 Pharmaceuticals 6.6

What are United Kingdom’s important events?

The UK has a long, eventful history and numerous places of interest. You can find both dynamic, modern cities like London, Manchester, Newcastle, etc. and peaceful countrysides with endless green fields. Public holidays include New Year, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May bank holiday, and more. Sports is also an important part in the UK. The most popular sports are football, with the highly anticipated Champion League, rugby, tennis, and cricket.

Administration matters are pretty effective in the UK. It takes only 13 days to set up a company. Tax rate is also lower, as compared to other European countries, and there is no discrimination against foreign businesses. With such an environment, the UK becomes a top recipient of the world’s FDI. A complete marketing plan will help you understand the country and formulate your international expansion strategy.

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