Export strategy for business

The purpose of the project of the International Trade Center (ITC) in Ukraine “Linking Ukrainian SMEs in the Fruits and Vegetables Sector to Global and Domestic Markets and Value Chains” is to help small and medium-sized enterprises of the fruit and vegetable industry of the south of Ukraine to integrate into national and global value chains and open access to new markets: both internal and external, with a focus on EU markets.

ITC consultants conduct consultations, seminars, trainings for enterprises, prepare them for participation in international trade shows and help to certify the production process according to international standards.

Another important area of the project’s activity is the preparation for entering international markets through export strategies. ITC consultants work with pilot companies, providing individual consultation on the features of exporting various products to different countries and helping to form a realistic idea of the specifics of entering new markets and the competitiveness of finished products.

Oleksii Yerokhin, the National consultant of the ITC project in Ukraine, spoke about the peculiarities of developing export strategies for pilot companies.


When we talk about an export strategy, it means understanding the manager the answers to the question where we are moving and how we want to go there. Our agricultural enterprises, in general, want to export and have an idea of this process: contracts, regular deliveries, meetings with foreign specialists. But this is only a visible part of the final stage in exports. One of the tasks of our project and our consultations is to conduct the company in a long way until the question arises: whether we are entering the external market and how we will do it.


We have the Marketing Plan which states that the company’s export strategy must answer many questions before understanding how the export process will take place. There are number of points on which the company has to estimate itself: what we have and what is not. This document is dictated by the requirements of the market and helps to answer the question: What market do you want to go to? With which structure? With what product? Through which sales channel? With what packaging? How will distribution take place? Which exports will generally be: direct, indirect, agent, etc. And it is still very important to determine who is responsible for the direction of the enterprise.


Of course, it’s important to understand what product and code we are going for export. The analytics and tendencies in recent years are studied: price, logistics, quality, content, requirements of the market, on which we plan to go.

Accordingly this we decide to choose the type of export strategy. This may be the penetration of the new market for a unique product. We promote the product to a market where it is not popular and do not changing the product itself, but distribute information about its value and uniqueness.

Another variant is to enter a market where demand for different types of products is growing, but this product isn’t unique. For example, the United Arab Emirates. They import more than 80% of food, and this market is growing. This means that our customary vegetables and fruits can be exported there. But we need to determine what competitive advantages we can offer.

It is also possible to enter the market with already established requirements, adapting its products. For example, sunflower oil in the United Arab Emirates has a certain color, taste, consistency, etc. The culture of consumption of this product is formed and, when exported, it must be noticed the first.


So, after taking into account all these important points, the company decides on exports. This is just the beginning of the path. By choosing the product and export option, we begin to conduct market analytics, direct and indirect costs, certification, innovations in this area, costing, and so on.

Consulting companies, we hope they will make a decision – to export. But this will not only be a desire but a plan with a clear understanding of all the criteria we spoke about. And this will be a positive result of our work.

In any case, I am convinced that it is useful for the leaders of our pilot companies to think about these issues together with experts and those who share their experience in exporting. This is an opportunity to look into the future, which the company may have never thought about. Therefore, we are talking about various nuances and invite foreign specialists. And I urge our entrepreneurs

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