An entrepreneur has spearheaded a new venture designed to make market entry into southeast Asia easier for Scottish and UK firms.
Scotsbridge, founded by the former managing director of John Bell Pipeline, Mark Skinner, aims to build upon the existing trade links between Scotland and southeast Asia.
Mark Skinner set up the company with co-founder Don Wang, from Singapore, to create fresh export opportunities for businesses on both sides of the globe.
Skinner led Inverurie-based John Bell Pipeline from 2012 to 2017, where he helped the company achieve sales growth and international expansion, as well as overseeing the sale of the company to the global Bianco Group in 2012.
He has also mentored various companies through his role with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce over the past six years, allowing him to support and help companies plan for expansion.
Don has extensive experience in sales, marketing and business development across a variety of industries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) regions, including developing new products and services where there is a gap in the market.
With combined experience of 40 years, the company’s directors can guide clients through moves into new markets – having both successfully operated businesses in this region.
Mark Skinner said: “Ever since the energy industry downturn caused by the fall in the oil price first took hold, businesses of all sizes have turned towards international expansion as a means of staying competitive.
“However, in a marketplace where so many different firms are attempting to take the same path, it’s vital to have the right partners in place who can provide the necessary advice and guidance to ensure the move to new geographies is a productive and long-lasting affair.”
He added: “Scotsbridge aims to encourage stronger business links between the two important economic regions of the UK and southeast Asia, whilst helping support firms from both sides of the globe tap into these new markets successfully.”
Scotsbridge has a strong focus on the oil and gas, banking, financial and construction sectors, among others.
The business assists clients with research, planning and strategy before entering new markets, such as providing advice to British firms on the different customs, procurement and other legal procedures that are unique to each nation in southeast Asia.
Skinner added: “We see it as our role to not only promote international links but help simplify the process and remove some of the barriers faced by Scottish firms looking to establish a presence in the lucrative Asian market.
“It is still early days for Scotsbridge, but in addition to our work supporting UK firms we have also encountered several Asian companies looking to export to the UK."