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Conducting business on an international basis Essay

The twentieth century has been a period of extraordinary technical and social transformation and of a dawning sense of globalization for the world economy. This century has been witness to a number of economic shifts and crises; World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the OPEC rise in oil prices, the continuing Middle East crises, and most recently the Asian meltdown of 1997.

We live at a time of unprecedented change. We now have no other alternative than to plan in terms of a global economy. For with the extraordinary development of technology and more recently the advent of computers and internet, enterprises and economies all around the world are highly interactive. Are we, at the cusp of the new century and millennium, able to develop a stable and harmonious world economy?

The Global Economic Crisis

The scenario that seems highly probable is that all three of these catalytic factors, unregulated global speculation, the gap between rich and poor, and imminent external shock, will at the time of the next global economic crisis, converge and reinforce each other. Should this happen, it will no longer be possible to conceal the massive global cleavages by some rationalist economic band aid treatment of effects, as happened at the time of the OPEC oil price increase, or the 1997 Asian meltdown (1). The true causes of the great economic imbalances in the world will be revealed for all to see.

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Terrorism Inc.; amid globalization, Al Qaeda looks a lot like GM

Globalization’s structure enables Al Qaeda to strike — with calamitous consequences — at foes far stronger by traditional measures of power. On the surface, globalization’s complexity and heterogeneity make for a highly decentralized system that is everywhere and thus, in a sense, nowhere. It spans the worlds of business, advertising, entertainment and politics and is driven by the energies of a vast number of states, groups, organizations and technologies. A system so unwieldy and multifarious would seem hard to disrupt because it has no clear center.

But globalization, although sprawling and multidimensional, is highly vulnerable to attacks by small, determined groups acting in concert worldwide. The damage these groups can inflict on more powerful states is disproportionately higher than the costs of organizing and executing the attacks.

The reason is that globalization is far more centralized than generally believed. Much of the activity typically associated with it — trade, investment, travel and communication — occurs within a triangle formed by North America, Europe and Northeast Asia. By comparison, the rest of the world is hardly touched by globalization. Straightaway, this narrows Al Qaeda’s operational arena and reduces its agenda to manageable size. Moreover, even within this triangle, most transactions emanate from a handful of cities: New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Hong Kong. That makes planning and targeting even easier. What makes Al Qaeda’s mission simpler still is that Muslim populations concentrated in these metropolitan centers supply recruits and offer redoubts, while the anonymity and scale of urban life provide cover. And within these metropolises are the transmission belts and switching stations of globalization — big, tall buildings housing thousands of people in a fairly compact space.

People’s Republic of China – Rewards, Risks and Recommendations

The discussion embodied the view that China probably represents the greatest opportunity and most daunting challenge today confronting global businesses. However, the number of attractive investment opportunities remains relatively small in proportion to its size. A critical factor impacting China’s future as a trading partner and priority investment destination will be its pace and progress in dealing with internal stability, as China executes the largest transformation to a market economy and the creation of a middle class in history.

It is essential to take a longer-term view of China, avoiding the expectation of immediate financial gain or returns. Sustained relationship-building and the cultivation of multiple relationships, in both the private and government sectors are important contributors of commercial success.

The potential rewards in pursuing a China strategy are many, and include accessing and penetrating the country’s abundant market (about 200 million consumers with disposable income), exploiting its low-cost manufacturing processing and distribution base, developing progressively more sophisticated research and technology capabilities, and recruiting, hiring, and training the increasing number of Chinese scientists, engineers and professionals. The pool of talent is enormous. In fact, almost twenty percent of research and development staff who now resides in the U.S. is of Chinese descent.

Mergers and acquisitions activity in China is growing quickly. Acquiring assets of listed and unlisted companies is potentially an efficient way to accelerate the build-up of manufacturing assets, market share, and organizational capability. But, M&A is in its early stages.

The acknowledged risks, in addition to the potential for social instability, include the threat of debilitating currency fluctuations, excessive delays and exhaustive regulatory procedures in gaining product approvals, the threat of disruptions caused by significant, sudden shifts in government policies, a seemingly endless text of laws and regulations (and re-regulations), daunting cultural differences, government supported and subsidized industry competition, and the piracy of intellectual property rights. Additionally, the country’s legal system requires further development, and corporate disclosure requirements are in desperate need of reform. Corporate governance protocols are virtually non-existent.

The twentieth century has been a period of extraordinary technical and social transformation and of a dawning sense of globalization for the world economy. This century has been witness to a number of economic shifts and crises; World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the OPEC rise in oil prices, the continuing Middle East crises, and most recently the Asian meltdown of 1997.

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