Peter McDonnell – a new perspective for the WAI Export Network

 “Your export clients are just as important as those down the road” 

Multi-lingual Peter McDonnell adds a true European perspective to the We Are International ambassador network.

As owner of an export solutions consultancy in France, Peter, who’s fluent in French and Spanish and also speaks Dutch, provides guidance steeped in European business culture to help UK companies increase their exports worldwide. 

With a John Speak language scholarship, experience working in a Mazamet wool mill and overseas trade experience in the export department of Banque National de Paris before founding Fairgain Business Solutions, in 2010, Peter advises British exporters as an Englishman who’s spent the last two decades overseas.

 He has assisted major businesses, including a major engineering company he provided with market development consulting for the export of lighting electronics which resulted in the company winning the Queen’s Award for International Trade.

He says: “The biggest hurdle is not to think about overseas sales as exporting. This conjures up images of documentary credits and bills of lading which may be needed but are just one in a series of ways to expand internationally.  International trade is about meeting customer needs just as in domestic markets but recognising that the needs vary in different territories  

“If people limit their idea of international trade to exporting via letters of credit they are missing out on a far broader spectrum of possibilities which can contribute to their success and to Britain's balance of payments.” 

Peter’s company, Fairgain Business Solutions (, has just finished an assignment for a Spanish company which he helped create a technology-sharing joint venture with a UK business which he says will generate significant export business from Britain. 

What advice has he for UK exporters? “Treat your distant export customers with the same care as the one down the road -  they are just as important; understand, respect and respond to the fact that their needs may be different to UK customers and do not preclude, or lose contact, with your product or service’s end users.”

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