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About a quarter of international trade is made up from exporting services. UK businesses are major exporters in sectors such as financial services and consulting. Telecommunications and IT make it quick and cost-effective to trade services internationally.
Whether you are importing or exporting services, many of the same basic rules apply as for trade in goods. But there are key differences, from how services are marketed to the taxes and regulations that apply. International services can be provided from within the UK, for example, using the internet. Without a physical product to sell, you need to take a different approach to marketing. The lack of a physical product also has important implications for contracts, for example, you are unable to use Incoterms to formalise where the service will be delivered. For many protecting their intellectual property is a key issue.
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