New Horizons – Focus on South America

In the first of our “New Horizons” features, we take a look at huge potential offered by markets in South America. Businesses often realise that there are many promising export and Import opportunities offered by this exceptional growth area but are daunted by the complexity of national and regional taxes and regulations.

Horizon can help customers expand into local markets through its strong contacts with well-established local expert business partners.

Our North American hub in Miami serves as the main hub for South America and we’ve grown to become a very substantial supplier between the two continents. Inbound and outbound business between South America and both the UK and China/Hong Kong has been on the increase, supported by our established network of close business contacts throughout the region to assist these import and export opportunities.

Recently Horizon and our partners P&O Ferrymaster took part in a fascinating programme on the Sky Business Channel about business opportunities in Brazil. This extraordinary country of 200 million people has quadrupled its output in the last 10 years and is now the sixth largest economy in the world. Its recognition as one of the fast developing BRICS nations and its hosting of the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 has focused business minds everywhere on the tremendous potential available. Horizon’s Mark Talbot spoke about our company seeing an increase of nearly 23% in its inbound business into Brazil, including in Horizon’s core specialities of shipping pharmaceutical and healthcare products as well as electronics and high tech equipment.

A number of references are made in this programme to the importance of building partnerships and this applies to other South American countries as well. Companies need to have a long-term view of creating business within South America and look beyond immediate sales prospects to openings that could be established through greater collaboration.

One of the world’s largest democracies, Brazil has a large manufacturing base and a diversified economy including an expanding service industry. About 40% of the population now has internet access. The size and terrain of the country means there are major infrastructure challenges.

So there is tremendous scope for cooperative projects and Horizon is seizing the benefits of this approach in a number of ways. For instance, we have an implant at a factory in Manaos to manage the assembly of products. This takes advantage of the fact that while finished products are subject to import taxes, components for assembly in Brazil can be shipped in tax free. Our customers can therefore be assured of a competitive edge on their imports while being assured that the production process is carried out by a skilled workforce under management applying the strictest quality control criteria.

Barriers to business in South America are perceived to include language and bureaucratic challenges. Horizon, through its alliance with P&O Ferrymaster and its global network of logistics professionals, is well placed to help customers to overcome local issues and open up exciting opportunities for launching and expanding their South American business.