Trade for prosperity

Anna Jankowska, Market Analyst, ITC, highlights the Global Trade Helpdesk, an online tool that simplifies market research for firms of all sizes through unified access to crucial trade and business information

Brexit, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, have continued to create considerable uncertainty for firms in recent months. Nevertheless, signs of hope are also beginning to emerge. As global trade begins to show signs of broad-based recovery across most sectors, companies across the UK, and around the globe, are on the hunt for new opportunities. In the face of this rapidly evolving market conditions and government policies, trade intelligence plays a pivotal role in ensuring that businesses can diversify their market risks and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Designed with the needs of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in mind, the Global Trade Helpdesk – accessible at – simplifies market research for firms of all sizes through unified access to crucial trade and business information. The online tool helps companies identify and compare export opportunities across potential markets and connect with partners and institutions in attractive markets. It integrates key sources of trade data from partner agencies including the ICC, WTO, ITC, UNCTAD, World Bank Group, IADB, AfDB, FAO, WCO, WIPO, as well as UNIDO, and makes this information available free of charge through a user-friendly interface.

For an exporter looking to compare opportunities across different markets, the tool brings together a wealth of information into one simple search, including the latest UK tariff information. For example, a British beauty product exporter looking to diversify from its traditional export markets of Belgium and Ireland can explore opportunities in other markets with the tool automatically proposing markets with significant export potential.

Global Trade Help Desk:

Example of Beauty Products exported from UK to China

In the search box on the Home page, simply entering the United Kingdom as the exporting country, the HS product code 330499 (Beauty or makeup preparations) the importing country (China) into the search boxes reveals:

  • China is the largest importer of makeup and beauty products in the global market, with total imports amounting to $11.7 billion in 2019.
  • The UK has a market share of 6% in the Chinese market, with import growth of 42% per year between 2015-2019. Chinese imports of these products from the UK reached $1.5 billion in the last year. This strong performance even exceeded the predicted export potential estimates of expected exports by 2025 of $580 million per year. This strong performance suggests there could be additional room for growth in this market.
  • British exporters pay a 1% duty on these products to enter the Chinese market.
  • British beauty products imported into China are subject to 62 mandatory regulations in including traceability requirements, processing history, certification and labelling requirements among others. Details about the applicable measures are available with the original source.
  • To put their export plan into action, an exporter needs access to key services including trade finance. Using GTH the exporter can find contact details for 41 banks in the UK that provide trade finance.
  • A British exporter can search global IP databases for their trademark info and contact the relevant IP offices in their
    domestic market, as well as register with WIPO for global protection.

As a key partner of the Global Trade Helpdesk Initiative, the ICC plays a critical role in building awareness about this comprehensive trade intelligence platform. Since its rollout in June 2020, the platform has helped over 50,000 firms analyze the global marketplace for their products. Try the Global Trade Helpdesk today to simplify your comparison of export opportunities.

Learn more in this Global Trade Helpdesk video:


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