The constant advancement of technology is fueling a staggering rise in tech startups throughout the world and increasing the number of funding options. The constant need for new products and services in the region has led to an increase in the number and variety of firms looking to enter the MENA market in recent years.
Navigating complicated safety regulations, being able to monitor and adapt to the evolving needs of a new market, managing suppliers and ensuring products have the appropriate documentation to be allowed access are some of the many obstacles faced by companies planning to enter MENA for the first time.
UL, a global leader in helping firms enter international markets, believes that market access remains one of the most significant challenges for businesses across all industries. The firm has been operating in the region for a decade from its offices in Dubai and a state-of-the-art electrical testing laboratory in Abu Dhabi.
Hamid Syed, Vice President & GM for UL Middle East, said: “Effectively accessing global markets can reduce costs, improve market success and contribute to overall compliance and product quality.”
The key to bringing products to markets in the different countries of the MENA region lies in ensuring that all the quality and safety standards are met. While the markets here hold excellent opportunities, each country has its own rules and regulations that dictate not only what requirements apply to products but how product compliance must be demonstrated.
“Issues facing companies include ensuring full compliance with product safety and pretesting rules, providing proof of that compliance, verifying the quality of goods received from suppliers and meeting requirements for installation and disposal of products,” Syed said.
“It can be a complicated process, which should not be underestimated, and firms need to go in with their eyes open, be aware of the various requirements and source with the right local partners to guide them through it.”
Syed believes that firms seeking access to new markets can create their strategies to help achieve and maintain product compliance by answering the following eight questions:
- What requirements does my product need to meet?
- What pretesting can I do to help achieve compliance with multiple markets?
- How do I verify the quality of goods from my suppliers?
- What requirements should I know about to help with component sourcing?
- How can I achieve continual compliance of my product?
- What proof of compliance do I need to show with my product?
- What product installation requirements exist for my product?
- What are the requirements for the recycling or disposal of materials?