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Preparing to export

Consultation and bespoke research

Visit: www.great.gov.uk for guidance on how to research overseas markets as well as a range of other important issues for exporters.

Researching the Argentine market

Argentina is a large and diverse country. Different regions are likely to have different industry clusters. Good local research is needed and you should consider regional plans and market-entry requirements using both desk research and market visits.

You need to determine whether:

  • there is a market for your product or service

  • your pricing is competitive

  • to adapt your business model

The questions listed here should help you to focus your thoughts. Your answers to them will highlight areas for further research and also suggest a way forward that is right for your company. You may then want to use this as a basis for developing a formal Argentina strategy, although this may not be necessary or appropriate for all companies:

Your aims:

  • Do you wish to buy from Argentina, sell to Argentina or both?

  • Do you wish to establish your own company presence in Argentina (for example through a corporation, branch, partnership, joint venture, sole proprietorship, or direct sales, appointing a local agent, online selling, licensing or franchising)?

  • Do you need to be involved in Argentina at all?

  • Do you see Argentina as part of a wider plan including e.g. other Latin-American markets now or in the future?

Your company:

  • Can you carry out a detailed SWOT analysis of your company?

  • What are the unique selling points for your product or service?

  • Do you know if there is a market for your product or service in Argentina?

  • Do you know if you can be competitive in Argentina?

  • Are your competitors already in Argentina? If so, what are they doing?

  • Do you have the time and resources to handle e.g. the demands of communication, travel, product delivery and after-sales service?

Your knowledge:

  • Do you know how to secure payment for your products or service?

  • Do you know where in Argentina you should start?

  • Do you know how to locate and screen potential partners, agents or distributors?

  • Have you carried out any Argentine-specific customer segmentation, and do you know how to best reach potential customers in-market?

It is unlikely that you will have the answers to all these questions at the outset and these ‘knowledge gaps’ could form the basis for further research and investigation. Some of these questions will require quantitative research in your sector, while others involve more contextual and cultural considerations.


Talking to other people in your industry and regularly visiting Argentina will give you access to the most current advice, and such experience can often lead to new insights and form the basis for further research.

There is also some useful guidance on developing a marketing strategy, customer segmentation, competitor and SWOT analysis etc. on the https://www.great.gov.uk site – and the IOE&IT and British Chamber can help too.

There may be trade shows held in Argentina each year, which could be useful to test product viability in the market. The Department for International Trade (DIT) Tradeshow Access Programme at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tradeshow-access-programme provides funding in the form of grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows.

The funding helps your business gain:

  • market knowledge

  • experience in attending and getting the most from overseas trade shows

  • advice and support from trade experts

Visit the DIT events portal at: https://events.trade.gov.uk/ to find upcoming events and missions.

Find out more about marketing your goods and services for Argentina at: https://www.great.gov.uk.

Contact the DIT team in Argentina at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-argentina#contact-us for events and company launches at British Embassy locations. 

 

Start-up considerations

You can start operations in Argentina through a local agent or by setting up your own company. This company may take different legal forms:

  • corporation

  • branch

  • partnership

  • joint venture

  • sole proprietorship

The advantages and disadvantages of each will depend on your operation. Setting up a company is normally straightforward and can be done within one month.

You should contact the DIT team in Argentina at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-argentina#contact-us as the tax and legal obligations of each business structure can differ. See also the Argentine Investment & Trade Promotion Agency’s “Doing Business In Argentina – An Investor’s Guide” (Jan 2018) at: http://www.inversionycomercio.org.ar/docs/pdf/Doing_Business_in_Argentina-2017.pdf.

A local lawyer can help you to avoid costly mistakes and ensure you start out in the way that is best suited to your sector of activity. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/argentina-list-of-lawyers.

You should conduct due diligence checks once you have chosen your method of entry into the market. However, if you want to establish a business relationship that goes beyond exporting, you will need to carry out further research.

Direct exports and sales

Direct exports means you supply your products direct to the customer. You handle all the logistics of marketing, selling, sending overseas and getting paid.

You may wish to use local representation. Options include using an agent, distributor or wholesaler.

The DIT’s trade specialists at: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-customers-export-opportunities can help you identify local representatives for your products in Argentina.

Appointing an agent, distributor or importer

A foreign company will usually appoint one or more agents or distributors. They can keep track of market regulations, which can change at short notice.

You should spend time taking local advice and assessing a range of potential agents before making a choice. Beware of agents promoting similar or identical products. The DIT team at the British Embassy Buenos Aires can help you identify and meet potential agents and distributors. See: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-argentina#contact-us.

Online selling to Argentina

Find out about DIT’s E-Exporting Programme at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-exporting, which can help you export your products to Argentina.

Check out online marketplaces in Argentina at: https://selling-online-overseas.export.great.gov.uk/, where DIT has negotiated listings at better-than-commercial rates.

Licensing or franchising

Franchising in Argentina is a challenging and highly-competitive environment for international franchisors seeking local partners.   
 
Franchise contracts are not governed by specific legislation but are generally protected under the Argentine Commercial Code. Contact the DIT team in Buenos Aires at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-argentina#contact-us for advice, or for help to find a legal adviser in Argentina.

Visit the international section of the British Franchise Association at: http://www.thebfa.org/international for more information on franchising.

 

Financial considerations

Getting finance to fulfil an export contract

Globally, Argentina ranks 77th out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s latest “Doing Business – Ease of Getting Credit” report. See: http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/argentina#getting-credit.

To make it easier to fulfil an export contract and grow your business, schemes are available to UK companies selling products and services to Argentina. Contact your bank or specialist financial organisation for assistance.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has significant risk capacity to support exports to Argentina. See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/country-cover-policy-and-indicators#argentina. You can contact one of UKEF’s export finance advisers at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-an-export-finance-manager for free and impartial advice on your finance options.

Getting paid

You may wish to talk to a specialist about finance, including how to get paid in Argentina. This could be a bank, an accountant or you can contact the DIT team in Buenos Aires at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-argentina#contact-us for help to find a financial adviser in Argentina.

Your contract will specify the terms for payment. However, if there is any dispute you may not need to go through the Argentine legal system for resolution as it is possible to write into contracts that disputes can be handled in a non-Argentine court. See the ‘Legal considerations’ section.

Payment risks

UKEF helps UK companies get paid by insuring against buyer default.

Be confident you will get paid for your export contract. Speak to one of UKEF’s export finance advisers at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-an-export-finance-manager for free and impartial advice on your insurance options, or contact one of UKEF’s approved export insurance brokers at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-export-finance-insurance-list-of-approved-brokers/export-insurance-approved-brokers.

Currency risks when exporting

If you have not fixed your exchange rate you have not fixed your price.

You should consider whether the best option for you is to agree terms in Sterling or Argentine Pesos in any contract. You should also consider getting expert financial advice on exchange rates (sometimes called FX).


 

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