They WILL be asking you to pay bribes. What will you do?

With a recent rash of blue chip corporate names making the front pages for allegations of bribery and FCPA violations, the subject of avoiding corruption in international business surfaces once again.  

Corruption, especially in emerging and frontier markets, is an issue that needs to be tackled head on and not swept under the rug.  It is there, question is how to avoid it and mitigate the risks. At Fluent in Foreign we have devised an entire training methodology of dealing with corruption abroad. Together with a major law firm, we have developed a series of practical compliance measures, which help companies not only to avoid legal troubles, but equally as importantly to stay out of the publicity limelight.  We help our clients to preserve their market values and corporate reputations.  In today’s post we reprint a chapter on corruption from the Fluent In Foreign Business book 

Chapter 13



 They WILL be asking you to pay bribes.

What will you do?

Several years ago, I had to travel to Kiev from Moscow unexpectedly, and had not secured an entry visa in advance. My Ukrainian clients petitioned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and arranged for a visa to be processed at the airport upon my arrival. I was met at the gate by an airline representative and escorted to a Consul’s desk for visa processing. It took about 15 minutes to complete the necessary paperwork under the watchful eye of the immigration officer on duty.

As I handed him the completed application, he asked me for the $157 visa fee. I handed him $160 in eight $20.00 bills. He carefully looked at the money, looked at me in a meaningful manner, stamped my passport, and said, “I won’t hold you up.” It took me a few moments to grasp the meaning of his words, but as I realized  (READ MORE)


About Alexander Gordin
An international merchant banking professional with over twenty years of business operating and advisory experience in the areas of export finance, international project finance, risk mitigation and cross-border business development. Clients include foreign governments, municipalities and state enterprises as well as Fortune 500 and small/medium enterprises. Strong entrepreneurial instincts, combined with leadership and strategic skills. Transactional and negotiations experience in over thirty five countries. Author of the highly acclaimed "Fluent in Foreign Business" book and creator of the "Fluent in OPIC", "Fluent in EXIM","Fluent In Foreign Franchising", "Fluent in FCPA",and "Fluent in USTDA" seminar/webinar series. Currently developing "Fluent In ......" seminars and publications. Co-author of the Fi3 Country Business Appeal Indices. Extensive international business development and project finance transaction experience in healthcare, aerospace, ICT, conventional and alternative energy infrastructure, distribution and hospitality industries. Experience managing international public and private corporations. Co-Founded three companies abroad. Strong Emerging and Frontier Market expertise. Published and featured in numerous publications including: The Wall Street Journal, Knowledge@Wharton,, The Chicago Tribune, Industry Week, Industry Today, Business Finance, Wharton Magazine Blog, NY Enterprise Report, Success magazine, Kyiv Post and on a number of radio and television programs including: Voice of America, CNBC, CNNfn, and Bloomberg. Frequent speaker on strategy, cross-border finance and international business development. Executive MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. B.S. in Management of Information Systems from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. Specialties Strategic Management Advisory, Export Finance, International Project Finance & Risk Management, Cross-border Negotiations, Structured Finance transactions, Senior Government and Corporate officials liason

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