Randall Castillo Ortega, Founder of RACO Investment, on How to Investigate Foreign Retail Markets


Companies wishing to export face the enormous difficulty of not having reliable trade data in the markets. Exporting companies should be aware of the competitive conditions in their current markets, seek opportunities to research new or emerging markets, as well as seek opportunities to diversify their production or add value to their current product line. At the same time, importers all over the world are trying to maximize the opportunities they offer through preferential trade agreements, in order to improve the efficiency of their supply themselves, still hidden in new supplier countries. more competitive. Randall Castillo Ortega, founder of RACO Investment and international trade expert, explains how an entrepreneur can explore new markets for his business.

Companies have market analysis tools to examine statistical data on exports and imports from more than 220 countries and territories and to learn more about supply and demand trends for some 5,300 products making the market. object of a sale on the international market. The tools provide exceptional service in terms of product details and wide geographic coverage, especially to developing and least developed countries. Says Castillo, using these market analysis tools, companies get data on the volume and growth of markets, in terms of value and quantity, unit values ​​paid in different markets, market shares supplier countries competing with us and their on-time trade performance, in addition to tariffs in markets, including preferential tariff rates where regional trade agreements exist between countries.

International market research and its subsequent analysis in order to produce exports is the systematic and objective approach to development and information provision that feeds into the decision-making process in business management. It is both a process that allows us with some certainty to look before we leap because at this point the potential markets are determined and the most suitable or practical is selected with the intention of increasing sales. , reduce business costs and increase profits.

The sources of all data are grouped into several categories. Secondary or desktop sources are pre-developed information that, systematized or not, different public and private national or international organizations, pragmatic or virtual, have at the disposal of researchers. Primary or specific relay sources provide information that may address specific unresolved concerns, and contacts are usually made directly with residents of the analytics market.

The recognition and selection of the target market is complemented by a possible personal visit during a business trip which in itself would be mandatory to personally see if the results, conclusions and strategies that we have already devised are in line with reality. But, before engaging in expensive market research or starting a business trip, it is advisable to conduct a prospecting with the company itself in order to form a first panorama or potential business scenario.

The market itself needs to be explored. This part details the general and introductory data of the country examined; form and nature of government; indicators and economic policy; current structure of the economy; country development plans; communication and physical distribution facilities; characteristics of its foreign trade and its status in regional integration processes.

When investigating market access, it is important to find the characteristics of general import policy, import licensing, tariff and tariff system (levies) on imports. In addition, an investigation of customs systems and their operational regulations, as well as any other type of regulations and factors affecting international trade, is required.

Finally, consumers are now analyzed with their most relevant consumption variants; consumer behavior and all those logistical factors that make marketing channels, the office movement letter; collections and payments; physical distribution logistics; the methods of promotion and the exhibitions, fairs and exhibitions available in the destination country.

In decision making, you can’t analyze all of these things individually, but it has to be an integrated study. The sign or outcome of the management and success of the international trade operation should depend on how proficiently those in charge analyze, compare, weigh and apply that data decision, Castillo concludes.

About RACO Investment

RACO Investment is a financial investment company serving small and medium-sized businesses in Panama and Costa Rica. It was founded by Randall Castillo Ortega, an expert financial advisor who has his roots in the import and export industry in Latin America. The company has helped many startups find the financial support they need to get started, and has also provided bridging loans to help those looking to restructure or improve their operations.

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