International Market Entry Continuum & Modes: Direct Exporting , Licensing, Contract manufacturing

Direct Exporting

Direct exporting is selling directly into the market you have chosen using in the first instance you own resources. Many companies, once they have established a sales program turn to agents and/or distributors to represent them further in that market. Agents and distributors work closely with you in representing your interests. They become the face of your company and thus it is important that your choice of agents and distributors is handled in much the same way you would hire a key staff person.


Licensing is a relatively sophisticated arrangement where a firm transfers the rights to the use of a product or service to another firm. It is a particularly useful strategy if the purchaser of the license has a relatively large market share in the market you want to enter. Licenses can be for marketing or production.

Contract manufacturing

Contract manufacturing in international markets is used in situations when one company arranges for another company in a different country to manufacture its products; this is also known as international subcontracting or international outsourcing. The company provides the manufacturer with all the specifications, and, if applicable, also with the materials required for the production process.

This type of contract sets out the requirements, which the manufacturer must meet concerning the quality of the products, certification, quantities, conditions and dates of delivery, etc. It also establishes guidelines for the inspection and testing of the products set forth by the company which contracts out the manufacture, or by its own clients. Furthermore, it also outlines modifications to orders, as well as guarantees and compensation in case of breach of contract. Since the process is essentially outsourcing production in foreign markets to a partner that privately brands the end product, there are a number of different companies and industries that can make use of this type of contract.

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