What Lies Beyond The BRICS? – A look at the most promising International Markets

What Lies Beyond the BRICS - a look at the most promising International Markets

Rethinking “Made in America”

Although the article below by the U.S. Trade Representative is pretty partisan and self-serving, it does underscore one very important and often overlooked point.  Services are an extremely vital component of  the U.S. economic engine and their exports are very undervalued activity with massive expansion potential.  As the global economy expands, demand for high quality services in such areas as engineering, architecture, interior design, construction management, legal, consulting, education, insurance, micro-finance and many others, expands with it.  U.S. originated services are very highly regarded around the world and are very competitive.  They may be financed by U.S. Ex-Im bank in the same manner as manufactured goods.  Yet, not enough U.S. firms make efforts to export services globally.

Yes, providing U.S. services in foreign countries often requires higher degree of customization and understanding of the local market. It requires a lot of support and handholding.  It requires more rigorous risk mitigation and compliance tools then those utilized by exporters of manufactured goods. Partner due diligence, intellectual property and trademark protection and management need to be more prudently addressed, export credit insurance put in place for services provided on open account, proactive public relations and political risk insurance explored for activities such as ongoing technical assistance revenue and ongoing royalty payments. At the same time service providers avoid customs, shipping and warehousing, often treacherous activities faced by conventional exporters who ply their wares in the emerging and frontier markets. Also, with the advent of technology many service providers can leverage modern video and teleconferencing to help augment the process and reduce costs of entry into the target markets.

In short, as conventional manufacturers battle for their export market shares and as competition from China, Vietnam, Europe and Japan forces many U.S. firms to move production or assembly into local markets to be closer to consumer, exports of services still represent a fantastic upside for American firms and many more should explore ways to enter the arena of international business.  In our daily work with exporters, franchisors and investors, we see disproportionate number of service oriented businesses seeking to expand internationally and are delighted at the degree of high demand  they experience from markets as diverse as China, UAE, Turkey, Philippines, Singapore, So. Korea, Brazil, Mongolia, Russia and Canada.  As our nation seeking to bolster its economy through international expansion, American service firms must aggressively adapt and convert their mentality into one of global scope.  Opportunities are simply too vast to pass up and a very coveted moniker of “Made In the USA” should become synonymous not only with U.S. manufactured goods, but services, as well.

By RON KIRK, U.S. Trade Representative, Wall Street Journal, April 17

Most people may think of Made-in-America exports as tangible goods such as heavy equipment and agricultural products, but the Obama administration has been seeking markets for American exports of all kinds—including services. The United States today is a services trading powerhouse, and it’s vital that we build on our already robust services surplus with dynamic new opportunities.

Next month, the U.S. will host the 12th round of negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Those critical talks will follow closely on the heels of a number of key engagements with America’s global trading partners, including last week’s Summit of the Americas, this week’s meetings of the G-20 trade ministers, and May’s Strategic and Economic Dialogue with China. In June, the trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) will meet in Russia.

In all of these fora, the U.S. will be seeking new avenues for American businesses to sell more of their products around the world, and to hire more workers in the services sector, which already accounts for four out of five American jobs.

The U.S. is the largest services trading country in the world, with $1 trillion in two-way trade in 2011 and a services trade surplus last year of $179 billion (up 23% from 2010). In what economist Bradford Jensen defines as the fastest-growing services sectors, Bureau of Economic Analysis data show that the U.S. in 2010 had a trade surplus of $57 billion with the Asia-Pacific region, of $44 billion with the European Union, of $35 billion with the countries covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement (Canada and Mexico), and of $25 billion with the rest of Latin America. America’s robust services exports reduced its overall trade deficit by 24% in 2010.

Much of America’s services success comes from the significant market-access provisions negotiated in our bilateral trade agreements. Because the U.S. has few barriers to the import of services, a huge benefit comes from provisions in new trade agreements providing American firms access to overseas services markets.

Just last month, for example, the U.S.-South Korea pact signed by President Obama entered into force, opening South Korea’s $580 billion services market. Already American firms are benefiting in sectors ranging from legal services to information and communications technology. The Colombia and Panama agreements, both soon to be implemented, will open those countries’ services markets wider as well

The Obama administration believes the U.S. services sector can do even more business overseas.A commitment to services exports is why services and investment are a cornerstone of the current nine-country Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, in which the U.S. is seeking broad, nondiscriminatory market access for a wide range of services. We are also pushing to establish the fairness of competitive express-delivery markets, to set new e-commerce principles that would support electronic delivery of services without forcing American providers to locate servers overseas, and to ensure that U.S. investors can use U.S. technology and aren’t forced to favor another country’s technology. We also worked during the recent visit of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to secure a commitment from China to open its market for American providers of automobile insurance.

The Obama administration is enforcing and asserting the rights of U.S. services providers around the world, from the September 2010 case we filed at the World Trade Organization to open China’s electronic payment services market, to the agreement that Vice President Joe Biden struck in February on distribution services for high-quality American films in China.

Service industries are vital to U.S. economic growth and employment, so the Obama administration is working every day to ensure that services exports support more and more jobs here at home.

Mr. Kirk, a former mayor of Dallas, is the United States trade representative.

Training for International Travel

Training employees on cross-cultural paradigms has become of utmost importance to successful business dealings.

By Valérie Berset-Price

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit(Global Firm in 2020: The Next Decade of Change for Organizations and Workers), the next 15 years will be paved with serious challenges for American organizations as they enter the global arena to sustain their growth. Those challenges lie within cultural values that differ from one country to the next, quality standards that are not interpreted equally throughout the world, and the use of different languages to communicate.

While the ideal person a company would send on an international business trip would have an international background and display the necessary traits..  (visit wp.me/P1iIhX-7D for more)


Exporters' Country Appeal Index

NEW YORK, NY—April 11, 2012  — Fi3E™, a new proprietary and forward-looking index that measures the relative attractiveness of 180 nations to companies looking to export goods and services abroad, is being introduced today by Fluent in Foreign™ LLC, a New York City advisory group that guides companies as they seek to establish or expand their business beyond their own country’s borders.

The Fi3E Export Country Appeal Index™ is the third and final index to be introduced.  All three indexes are designed to help companies do business abroad. The Fi3F™ index, for franchisors, launched in February and Fi3I™, geared for companies and individuals looking to make direct investments abroad, was launched last month by Fluent in Foreign, which is headed by Alexander Gordin, author of the international business guidebook “Fluent in Foreign Business.” The book was published last summer by the Princeton Council on World Affairs.

China ranks as the country that’s most appealing for exporters, followed by Australia, the United States, South Korea, Mexico, Thailand, Mongolia, Canada, Vietnam and India.  To obtain information on how to get the rankings of all 180 countries, visit www.fluentinforeign.com  and register as subscriber.

“There are enormous opportunities for companies around the world, both large and small, to sell goods and services overseas,” said Gordin.  “Export presents new places to sell products, which translates to the creation of more jobs.  President Obama’s National Export Initiative has served as a catalyst to spur job growth and a resurgence of manufacturing activity through exports.  More needs to be done, and companies should focus on exports as a fundamental part of their business activities rather than an afterthought utilized when the economy slows down at home.”

The Fi3E Export Country Appeal Index™ uses proven factors to evaluate each country, with proprietary data combined with information from the World Bank, the United Nations, Transparency International and the International Monetary Fund. The index also  looks at influencing factors including each country’s GDP growth, population, availability of export credit insurance and financing, corruption, ease of exporting, protection and the legal framework for contract enforcement.

“The Fi3E Index will serve as a significant reference for businesses and investors looking abroad for export markets and opportunities,” Alexander Gordin said.  “It will save countless hours of preparation and research, and it offers important cautionary signs where appropriate.”

Fluent in Foreign LLC is a unique advisory and information platform designed to help direct investors, franchisors and exporters enter foreign markets or expand existing international operations and assist clients doing business with new countries and governments. Services include financing, political risk insurance, legal compliance and strategic business development.


Kazakhstan: An Attractive Destination For American Business

Published on NY Report (http://www.nyreport.com)
Home > Kazakhstan: An Attractive Destination For American Business

Created 04/09/2012 – 11:21am


Learn why companies like GE are investing in Kazakhstan

April 9, 2012
In my twenty-five plus years of international experience in emerging markets, I have seen a number of countries on all continents transform themselves economically and achieve impressive results in infrastructure development, healthcare, and overall improvement of their standards of living. Kazakhstan stands out among these countries due to its government’s unwavering commitment not to simply exploit certain manufacturing or natural resource advantages for short-term enrichment, but for its comprehensive and sustainable effort to raise the education level of its younger generations, developing and expanding its science and technology sector, investing in development of healthcare, agriculture, and industrial production. Given the country’s abundant natural riches and strategic location between Russia and China, as well as a history of warm and friendly relations with the U.S., Kazakhstan represents a very attractive opportunity for American companies seeking to get involved in Kazakhstan either via investing, technology co-development, export and project management, and financing.

Between April 10th and April 12th, Kaznex Invest, Official Investment Promotion Agency of Kazakhstan, will hold several investment showcase events in New York, Washington, DC and Chicago titled Kazakhstan: An Attractive Destination For American Business.

I recently interviewed Mr. Kairat Karmanov, Deputy Chairman of Kaznex Invest to learn more about the upcoming road show and to discuss the investment and cooperation opportunities that Kaznex and other government agencies and companies were planning to showcase to American companies.

Kairat Karmanov is a Deputy Chairman of the National Export and Investment Agency Kaznex Invest, which is the “one-stop agency” in Kazakhstan for all foreign investors and exporters. Kaznex Invest is the government agency that works on providing free pre-investment and post-investment support for investors worldwide. The following are excerpts of my interview with Mr. Karmanov.

Please tell our readers the purpose of the upcoming three-city Investment Road Show in the United States?

Kazakhstan is one of the biggest countries in the world, blessed with the vast deposits of natural resources. Nowadays, the Kazakhstan government is shifting the priority from oil, gas, and metals exploration and production to the development of non-extracting industries.

This Road Show is the first event that is entirely devoted to the presentation of investment opportunities in priority business sectors in Kazakhstan. The Road Show will be dedicated to the six key sectors of the economy: agriculture, chemical, machinery, metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, and IT and telecommunications.

Also, the Road Show will feature a real-time exchange of information on investment projects, state programs and various state investment incentives such as import tax exemptions, state in-kind grants, and tax investment preferences. Companies interested in starting or expanding business operations in Kazakhstan will benefit greatly from an explanation of the application procedures for the various investment incentives.

Who is accompanying you on this trip? What is your delegation hoping to accomplish during the Road Show?

The Vice-Minister of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Kazakhstan will head the Kazakhstan delegation that will also include several high-level officials and business leaders representing a wide range of Kazakh business sectors. Top-level executives of several national companies and development institutions from each priority business sector will be presenting their own industry and investment projects and opportunities.

We expect representatives of Kazakhstan to share with the American audience important information on how Kazakhstan’s mineral wealth and the Customs Union is creating new business opportunities across our country, and how newly-adopted State reforms are providing more incentives and support for foreign investors. We also hope that during this Road Show our Kazakhstan companies can find new American partners to start mutually beneficial collaborations.

Why should U.S. investors consider Kazakhstan over other rapidly growing emerging markets?

In 2010, the State Program of Accelerated Industrial-Innovative Development for 2010-2014 was adopted. Their main objective is to create stable and balanced growth through economic diversification. In the context of this program, efforts are underway to create attractive conditions for investors, as we are ready to implement projects in high-priority sectors.

The Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, with a market capacity of about 170 million people and total GDP of USD 2 trillion, provides additional possibilities for investors and opens new horizons for effective realization of investment projects in Kazakhstan. Investors will be able to freely promote their products in the Russian and Belarusian markets. Kazakhstan’s competitive advantage is its more favorable business environment in comparison with the other countries in the Customs Union. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2012 Report, the Russian Federation and Belarus rank numbers 69 and 120 respectively, while Kazakhstan is 47th in terms of a favorable business environment.

What specific projects and opportunities will your delegation present during the Road Show?

During this Road Show, delegates will present their most important niche projects. For example, in the agricultural sector we have such important projects as construction and modernization of poultry farms, production or assembly of agricultural machinery, and development of greenhouses. In the machinery and heavy equipment sector, we are looking at helicopter production, production of electronic equipment, and creation of a center for assembly, repair, and maintenance of civil and military aviation technology. In the IT and telecommunications sphere, we are looking at e-learning, e-commerce, e-government, and many other worthwhile and potentially rewarding projects.

In chemistry, we have construction of an integrated petrochemical complex, organization of glyphosphate production, and nonselective systemic herbicide used for weed control in agriculture. Detailed information on all niche projects is available at our website, www.invest.gov.kz.

Which US companies already work in Kazakhstan?

A. Most American companies in Kazakhstan now are working in the oil and gas sphere. However, as I already mentioned, the Kazakhstan government is shifting its priority to non-raw sectors and investors who are willing to work in our priority business sectors are receiving many incentives. For example, General Electric is successfully working on assembling locomotives in Kazakhstan’s Special Economic Zone, Astana New City. GE is already exporting its locomotives not only to the Customs Union Market, but also to countries closest to Kazakhstan. Representatives of General Electric Transportation in Washington, D.C are planning to share their success story of doing business in Kazakhstan, as well as their commercial, technical and operational advice, with their American colleagues during our Road Show in Washington on April 10, 2012.

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