Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trade Law Summaries

If you intend to do business in other countries, then you most certainly will need some help with trade law.

Produced by the member law firms of Lexwork International (network of independent law firms), this Compendium provides trade law summaries for over 30 jurisdictions prepared by law firms located there. Includes most significant US trading partners.

This does not mean you don't need a good international lawyer. Every global SMB at some point needs one during rapid growth stage (or before if you're really smart about anticipating what's ahead). He or she becomes a part of your global "dream team."

Anyway, check out the Compendium here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The White House Lays Out Plan for American Innovation

The Obama Innovation Strategy builds on well over $100 billion of Recovery Act funds that support innovation, additional support for education, infrastructure and others in the Recovery Act and the President’s Budget, and unique regulatory and executive order initiatives.

It has three parts:
1. Invest in the Building Blocks of American Innovation.
2. Promote Competitive Markets that Spur Productive Entrepreneurship.
It is imperative to create a national environment ripe for entrepreneurship and risk taking that allows U.S. companies to be internationally competitive in a global exchange of ideas and innovation. Through competitive markets, innovations diffuse and scale appropriately across industries and globally.
3. Catalyze Breakthroughs for National Priorities.

The fact sheets and white paper for the innovation strategy can be found here:
Note: Within the Innovation Whitepaper (Page 3) it states:

Promote American exports: Exports will play an increasingly critical role in the future of the American economy, and the President's plans will ensure fair and open markets for American products.

Read more here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Heaping Praise By the Famous Across Borders Helps Sell Product

Especially if the praise comes from one of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett (not pictured).
Ms. Li's company got a major boost after Mr. Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., recently appeared in a Dayang promotional video, posted on the company's Web site. He heaped praise on Ms. Li, her company, and the nine Trands suits he proudly owns. Shares of Dayang's Shanghai-listed subsidiary, Dalian Dayang Trands Co., have soared by more than 70% since the video was posted on Sept. 10.
I don't know about you but I am to see if I can capture Mr. Buffett's interest in our work.

Read more here.

Related links:

Dayang Group Co., Ltd.

Trands suits

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Pace of Nature

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have a beautiful weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

179 Billion Messages Globally and Growing

In the first half of the year, VeriSign said it delivered a record 179 billion messages globally. They also delivered a record 94.8 billion mobile messages (SMS, MMS, A2P) worldwide in the second quarter, up more than 82% from the same quarter a year ago.
To put this into perspective,
that equates to 26 messages for every person
on the planet (6.7 billion).

Read more about it here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Early Global Economic Recovery

How I hate to report information like this where it all seems so gloomy. The international investment that many developing countries rely on for growth is unlikely to rebound fully for two years or more -- at least that is what the United Nations trade and development agency (UNCTAD) claims. This means a lot of companies will be reluctant to expand internationally. Tell me it's not so.
Global FDI prospects are set to remain gloomy in 2009, with inflows expected to fall below $1.2 trillion," UNCTAD said. "However, recovery of these flows is expected to begin slowly in 2010 to reach up to $1.4 trillion, and will gather momentum in 2011 when the level could reach an estimated $1.8 trillion."
The 2009 forecast is well below 2008's $1.7 trillion, which was in turn down 14 percent from the 2007 peak of $2.0 trillion.

"In the short run, with the global recession expanding into 2009 and slow growth projected for 2010, as well as the drastic fall of corporate profits, FDI is expected to be low," it said.
Read more about what's going on here.
And don't let it stop you from moving forward on a global basis. Mindset is just as important as preparation for what's ahead.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Make Your Own Good Global Imprint

On a global basis, has the new social media environment so empowered us to speak our opinion that we think we can do it at any time with no content censor?

Scratching your head on how to respond?

Excerpt here:
No. People haven't really changed. The technology changes much faster than we change our behavior and certainly faster than our biology can keep up. But, even if we aren't really changing, it's time we at least understand the program. As individuals and as a society, we must realize that information in the digital age has different properties than when we relied on flyers, party lines, and the 6 o'clock News. We function as an information network. Every single one of us can document and distribute events and information. The very act of people passing along a piece of information changes its import and impact.
Take a look at how Pamela Rutledge, Ph.D., M.B.A. (her blog here) and Director of the Media Psychology Research Center, handles the situation here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Self-Regenerative Power of Markets Lift Us Off the Rocks

A great piece by James Grant who argues that the latest gloomy forecasts ignore an important lesson of history: The deeper the slump, the zippier the recovery.
One may observe that Ronald Reagan stood for enterprise, free trade and low taxes, whereas Barack Obama stands for other things.
Read more here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How Global SMBs Can Achieve Double-Digit Business Growth

I wrote this article for Idea Hub: American Express OPEN Forum. See if it's helpful in offering you fresh ideas on how to take your SMB to the next level.

One action:

Move into new markets. Can you build or acquire additional capabilities on an as-needed basis? These new markets can be adjacent, emerging or overseas, but only “if you have practical and immediate advantages there,” adds Treacy. Have you thought about going global? What’s stopping you? Somebody in another country is probably yearning for your product or service because they need it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Do You Make Chocolate?

If you manufacture chocolate, then you should be thinking about exporting to or making it in India.
Still, Cadbury estimates that more than half of India's more than one billion people have never tasted chocolate. Traditional milk-based sweets still dominate the industry, and even those are mostly eaten during festival times. That's why, like other candy companies, Cadbury sees giant potential in India.
Read more here to find out why.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Driver Of Our Global Growth Is Not To Make Money

Don't you find this hard to believe?
"The driver of our growth is not to make money, but to continue investing in this market." ~ Harish Manwani, president of Unilever's Asia, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe division.
It may be a planned global strategy but is it sustainable over the long haul?

Read more about Unilever's growth strategy here.

Unilever in China

Innovation | Unilever Global

Research and Development Centers

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Africa Grows

Data recently released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reveals that while other regions of the world are experiencing economic decline, Africa has experienced significant economic growth over the past five years and is expected to maintain a positive growth rate of 3.5% for 2009.

To advance trade and investment flows between the U.S. and Africa, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) -- a nonpartisan 501 (c) (3) membership organization of nearly 200 U.S. companies dedicated to strengthening the commercial relationship between the U.S. and Africa -- is gearing up to host its 7th Biennial U.S. – Africa Business Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. from September 29 – October 1, 2009, to which senior U.S. officials, including President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have been invited.  President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda will be attending.

Entrepreneurship will be the hot topic at the Summit, throughout various sectors such as infrastructure, natural resources, agribusiness, financing, power, health and tourism.  The event is expected to attract more than 1,500 participants, bringing together U.S. and African heads of state, cabinet ministers, Fortune 500 CEO’s, and heads of international organizations. Participants will have the opportunity to attend more than 50 industry-specific sessions and workshops.

Go here to register and get involved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturate Your Local Market? What Is Left For Growth?

L'Oreal, the giant luxury cosmetic company, is holding its own revenue-wise in comparison to its competitors such as Estee Lauder Cos. and Procter and Gamble.  In the first half, sales of L'Oreal's products, including Lancome and Kiehl's, plunged 13%. To me, that's not a big dive.

L'Oreal Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon, with company headquarters based in the outskirts of Paris, shares his business vision for the future on L'Oreal with journalist Christina Passariello of the WSJ.

Biggest takeaway?
WSJ: L'Oréal already has a wide presence in emerging markets. What is left for growth?

Mr. Agon: We are really pushing our acceleration of business in new markets. Even this year, if Western Europe, North America or Japan are tough, the rest of the world is doing very well. China is growing, Brazil is growing, India is growing. And we are also opening up new markets where we were not before. Since the beginning of the year we have opened three new subsidiaries—in Egypt, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.

The internationalization is really doing well. For example, [first-half sales growth in] Brazil is 21%, India is 16%, South Africa is 19%, China is 14%. In a crisis year, when a big country like India or China or Brazil is growing double-digit like this, it's very encouraging.
Read the entire interview here and learn about L'Oreal's anti-crisis strategy.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Relish the Pleasure of Life

Enjoying the final days of summer in Rogers Park, Illinois. No matter where you are in the world, relish the pleasure of life.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How the Mighty Global SMBs Succeed

Working with Verio -- one of the best global hosts on the face of the earth -- as an independent global SMB consultant and they just launched the first edition of an SMB newsletter: ACCESS - SMBs Guide to Success.

One of the feature articles is "Global SMB: How the Mighty Succeed, Despite Harsh Economic Times." Check it out here.

Let me know what you think of the resource and definitely email your small business questions to me -- thanks -- have a great weekend!

Trade War on Solar Products?

Is the Chinese market open to sufficiently low-cost foreign solar suppliers?

Your guess is as good as mine but to learn more, read this.

Additional resources:

China plans world's largest solar plant

Reuters Summit-China, U.S. to dominate solar market

West vs. China in solar war

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Powering Down on Energy Use: China Leads the Way

Fast-growth emerging markets such as China, India, Philippines and Russia are making energy efficiency a high priority.

Read more about it here.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Is There Such a Thing as a Standardized Global Patent System?

Microsoft called for an overhaul of the patent system to create a unified global patent office that will promote innovation, encourage competition and drive economic global growth.
"Over 3.5 million patent applications are pending around the world, including over 750,000 in the U.S. Pendency periods [the time during which a patent is "pending"] are extending to three, four or in some cases five years before final patents are issued," Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft deputy general counsel, said in a blog post Tuesday: Improving Global Patents: Think Locally, Act Globally.

What that means is that obtaining and enforcing a patent for a product sold internationally quickly becomes prohibitively expensive.
"The cost of this workload to patent applicants and patent offices is too high, and the delays in securing patents are too long for entrepreneurs and large enterprises alike," Gutierrez said in his post on Microsoft's On the Issues blog.
Read more here.
Related resource:
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mistaking Beauty for Global Truth

An interesting state of the economics piece by economist Paul Krugman, "How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?"

A snippet from it here:
When it comes to the all-too-human problem of recessions and depressions, economists need to abandon the neat but wrong solution of assuming that everyone is rational and markets work perfectly. The vision that emerges as the profession rethinks its foundations may not be all that clear; it certainly won’t be neat; but we can hope that it will have the virtue of being at least partly right.
A few notes about it here.

We wrote about Krugman a while back (10/13/08). He's someone to track.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

In Search of Excellence In Our World

Enjoy the long weekend. Take time out for yourself. Re-think things. When the recessionary storm clouds pass, you'll be ready to take on the world.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Global Trade Flows Set To Recover

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the global economy is emerging from its worst slump since Second World War faster than it had forecast only three months ago but activity will remain weak.

Read more about it here.

Read the presentation (immediate PDF file) from the press conference.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Shift Happens in Globalization

Two years old but worth a look (6:06 minutes). Make sure the volume is lowered on your computer before you view.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

How To Avoid Costly Mistakes in Pursuit of International Activities

I have been trying to track down this fantastic article (I underlined so many parts of it that I mine as well have highlighted the entire article in yellow -- it's that good) since February, 2009. I checked one more time today (see, perseverance always pays off) and finally found it.

January/February, 2009 -- AGB Trusteeship Magazine

Legal Pitfalls and Pratfalls in Overseas Ventures (Download PDF file)
by Martin Michaelson, partner in the higher-education practice of Hogan & Hartson LLP, based in Washington and New York City offices, and a consulting editor to Trusteeship.

Download it here (in case above link doesn't work):

Download PDF

Related link that we blogged about May 20, 2008:

Richard A. Skinner, "It IS a Small World After All: Globalization of Higher Education." March/April 2008.

Let's hope both Michaelson and Skinner continue to author and share additional important work like this in the future.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Revolutionizing How You Do Business in Developing Countries

An idea can change the world ...
~ from "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid"

C.K. Prahalad, the business world's great global influencer and co-author of another one of my all-time favorite business books, "Competing For the Future," also wrote global bestseller business book, "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits."

"The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" has been talked about everywhere for its portrayal of a revolutionary way to do business in developing countries: Build a profitable business while fighting poverty and reducing human misery.

The reason I am bringing this book to your attention now -- five years after the fact -- is because it has been revised and updated for a special 5th anniversary edition by Wharton School Publishing.
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid offers a blueprint for driving the radical innovation you'll need to profit in emerging markets--and using those innovations to become more competitive everywhere. This new paperback edition includes eleven concise, fast-paced success stories from India, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela--ranging from salt to soap, banking to cellphones, healthcare to housing.

Simply put, this book is about making a revolution: building profitable "bottom of the pyramid" markets, reducing poverty, and creating an inclusive capitalism that works for everyone.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to capture the world's fastest growing market -- the bottom of the pyramid -- where billions of poor people have enormous untapped buying power.

Buy the e-book version immediately here, check out Wharton School Publishing here or pre-order (available October, 2009) the hard copy edition here.

Read a sample: The Market at the Bottom of the Pyramid
Read online now: Safari Books Online

More about Prahalad:
CK Prahalad is Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Strategy at the Ross School of Business, The University of Michigan. He is a globally recognized management thinker. Times of London and Suntop Media elected him as the most influential management thinker alive today in 2007. He is coauthor of bestsellers in Management such as Competing for the Future, The Future of Competition and The New Age of Innovation. He has won the McKinsey Prize for the best article four times. He has received several honorary doctorates including one from the University of London and the Stevens School of Technology. He has worked with CEOs and senior management at many of the world’s top companies. He is also member of the Board of NCR corporation, Pearson plc., Hindustan Unilever ltd., World Resources Institute, and the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).
Books by C.K. Prahalad