Importance Of Trade Research

By Sand Mba Kalu

Developing international trade is a major driver of growth and development amongst not just advanced economies but also emerging ones. Trading or conducting business internationally involves many stakeholders at the national, regional or international level, and from the public as well as the private sector. Trade associations, importers & exporters and governments all use knowledge from trade research to guide their decision making; be it the decision to enter an international market and with which export product to enter the market; or setting the right policies and environments to promote trade.

Here are reasons why international trade research is important [1] :

IDENTIFYING NEW GLOBAL TRADE OPPORTUNITIES: Research enables companies to identify new opportunities for products and services or new markets. Research enables potential opportunities to be evaluated so that the most suitable ones can be acted upon.

Using international trade research to help strategic planning when gathered and analyzed correctly, international trade research will increase the chances that a business decision will be the correct one, and thus increase the possibility of successful trading.

INFORMED DECISION: getting involved in international trade requires current and correct information that would assist in decision making. Trade Research provides the basis for informed decision making. It helps managers decide which markets to target and what approaches to use in entering them. It reduces the risk of making costly errors and identifies potential threats before they become harmful.

ENABLING COST ANALYSIS: Every business decision has costs and benefits associated with it. Research indicates how management should balance costs and risks against potential returns. Do not get on into any business without calculating the cost first.

MINIMIZING GLOBAL TRADE RISKS: Research helps a company minimize its risk exposure in new markets by exposing the signs of instability in a market. Research can help identify unstable markets that are likely to be unprofitable, cultural or financial issues that might make a product unlikely to sell in what seems to be a promising market, or a market that has not yet been exploited.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: Research enables companies to make a realistic assessment of the strengths of their products or services and the amount of competition in a potential market. Conditions in the business world are constantly changing. Customer needs and preferences change; competitors are constantly shifting their product or service offerings, pricing, business strategies and promotional strategies; and market environments are subject to shifts caused by external factors. International trade research enables companies to monitor these changing conditions and alert managers to potential problems in advance.

POLICY DESIGN: To say the least, the success of international trade greatly depends on favourable trade policies. Trade research presents the required information that guides policy development. A well guided research exposes lapses in existing trade policies as well as the need for newer policies that may promote trade.

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS: Through trade research the governments can learn the actual state of their economies and devise appropriate infrastructures and environmental requirements for development. This can help achieve ease of doing business goals of a country. They will find the actual challenges and prospects of the trade industry and attend to them adequately. While doing this, they will enhance the competitiveness of their economies in the global space.

Trade research can open up the government’s eyes to the untapped sectors of the trade industry and guide them in efficient exploration.

At Africa International Trade and Commerce Research, we offer expert services on international trade research.