Categories ArchivesNews and Analysis

Market Expansion Risk and Global Mobility link

Firms are not only scrambling to compete in BRIC countries, they are also looking beyond the horizon for growth in frontier markets in Sub Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other regions.  Despite the inherent risks of expatriation to emerging and developing economies, international assignments are slated to grow 50% by 2020, according to a recent PwC study.  This is so because of the dueling interests of talent in frontier markets and the seemingly boundless economic growth rates, which are redefining company strategy and market expansion priorities.  This shift is unsurprising, as emerging and developing economies will account for six in seven people on the planet by 2016 and are no longer solely the domain for extractive industries, ...

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U.S. Competitiveness: A Matter of National Security link

Rarely will you find agreement among military brass, business leaders and academics on issues of national security.  Yet this convergence occurred between Harvard Business School’s (HBS) U.S. Competitiveness Project and The American Security Project (ASP), a bipartisan think-tank that emphasizes a holistic definition of national security to include military and economic strength.  Both organizations independently surveyed the state of U.S. competitiveness and came to surprisingly similar conclusions. Read More

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Walmart, the FCPA, and America’s Ability to Compete link

Walmart’s alleged violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in Mexico raises the profile of the controversial law to a new level. Some U.S. businesses have long questioned whether the FCPA is an appropriate impediment to doing business abroad in a world where acceptable and widely practiced behavior is different in many countries. Walmart has become the new poster child for the issue, yet many would argue it was simply doing what most companies in Mexico do on a routine basis, without being punished. The line between what constitutes a bribe and a “grease payment” depends on the country, business culture, and context. For the U.S. government to attempt to apply America’s definition of what constitutes acceptable business behavior ...

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Cross-Border Risk Management for a Dynamic World link

Among the many challenges facing risk managers in what has become the new normal is how to effectively manage cross-border risk, which is more important today than in recent memory. Whether we realize it or not, the rules of engagement for conducting international business have changed over the past three years — the risks associated with cross-border transactions are high and risk aversion is high, but the margin for error is low. This means that risk managers’ jobs have become more difficult. Read More

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Common-Sense Political Forecasting link

As global politics continue to gyrate, the pace of change poses ever-greater challenges to accurately predicting the future. Many forecasters have gotten into the habit of declaring—ex post facto—that they got “it” right, when in fact they failed to accurately predict the course of events. Given the multifaceted nature of the world today, predicting the future is quickly becoming a fool’s game and calls for a new paradigm. Read More

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Economic Nationalism’s Impact on International Business link

Expropriation of foreign-owned assets—ruled passé just a decade ago—is again very much en vogue as the race to control national energy supplies and gain market share prompts an increasing number of governments to nationalize or renationalize strategic assets. The rise in economic nationalism in such countries as Argentina and Russia is good evidence of this and has resulted in negative consequences for many international businesses, which succumb to host nations forcibly taking extraordinary stakes in their business. Read More

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2013 Promises to Be a Real Challenge for Risk Managers link

Although most international risk managers have become accustomed to operating in the “new normal” that has prevailed over the past 4 years, 2013 is likely to prove a real challenge for a number of reasons. With the fiscal cliff looming, the latest round of Greek debt talks having collapsed, and the Middle East in tatters, we are entering the New Year with every bit as much angst and fear as prevailed in late 2008—just in a different package. While the perfect storm may not, in the end, occur in January, because U.S. law makers are likely to pull a rabbit out of a hat at the last minute, saving us from the “cliff,” there remains the lingering $16 trillion debt ...

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