Miguel Aliño Lopez, an international consultant at the International Trade Centre (ITC), has urged domestic micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to use various market research tools to access information and spot opportunities to expand their businesses worldwide.
In a virtual training organized by the ITC in partnership with Google and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Lopez identified market research tools such as Trade Map, Export Potential Map, Google Market Finder, Global Trade Helpdesk, and Incoterms.
The Trade Map is an online database on international trade statistics, providing an array of useful indicators on export performance, international demand, alternative markets, and the role of competitors from both the product and country perspectives.
“The good thing about the Trade Map is that it will show the level of global market demand for your product, the fastest growing markets in the world market, the main importing and exporting countries, companies importing products in a given market, and the most interesting market for your product,” Lopez said.
Trade Map covers 220 countries and territories, and over 5,300 products of the Harmonized System. With over a million users in 2022, Lopez said the Trade Map is free to use in the Philippines and a business just needs to register to access full features.
He said while the Trade Map shows the trade performances of countries, the Export Potential Map estimates future trade opportunities.
The Export Potential Map estimates five years from now, what products are in demand in a specific market, its products, markets, and suppliers with unrealized potential, and opportunities for export diversification,” he added. It covers over 4,000 products merged into 16 sectors and 73 sub-sectors.
He noted that there are few products excluded here covered by international conventions on wastes, pollutants, arms and ammunition, tobacco, extractive industries, and products that cannot be produced like antiques, or are irrelevant for marketing intelligence.
Another market research tool is the Google Market Finder which helps firms identify new international business opportunities using market insights and plan for success.
“It will show the demographics, country profile, economic data, online purchasing behavior, and logistics metrics,” he said. The tool will then help businesses discover helpful operational information and start selling to customers at home and around the world.
The Incoterms 2020 in Market Access Map is a set of trade terms published by the ICC and accepted and used by governments, legal authorities, and traders in most major trading nations worldwide.
The Global Trade Helpdesk, on the other hand, is a multi-agency initiative that aims to simplify market research for companies, especially MSMEs.
Lopez said that in the market analysis process, demand and export will be first analyzed, then consider market entry costs like tariffs and preferential access, identify regulatory requirements, explore options for reaching niche markets, and identify trading partners.