With small business exporting becoming an increasing important element of the majority of U.S. commerce, attendees at NACM’s 2011 Credit Congress in Nashville flocked by the dozens to the first sessions in a series of five on “Doing Business in ___” series hosted by FCIB.
The first of which, “Doing Business in Canada” drew well in excess of 100 people and became one of the first standing room only, so to speak, sessions of Credit Congress this year. Hubert Sibre, of Davis LLP, described Canadian business terms as extremely varied depending on the province. For example, Alberta is considered very liberal from a pro-debtor standpoint, while Quebec is considered much more conservative on matters of business and credit.
Sibre suggested registering one’s business in every province is almost essential because it greatly improves their position to protect intellectual property in Canadian courts, among other things. It also helps to have a subsidiary based there because bankruptcy judgments made in the United States are unenforceable without a Canadian court officially recognizing it.
A subsequent session on South Korea was led by Kyle Choi, Esq. of Bluestone Law Ltd. Choi spoke the various aspects of why the nation’s stock is rising in the international business community, which includes a highly evolved infrastructure, a wealth of available credit information available on companies there and business-friendly law. Also helpful is its prestigious business quality rating by the World Bank and, according to Choi, that its free-trade agreements with the United States and the European Union will increase competitive fairness by reducing the gap in tariffs, estimated by some at 10%. Also, he contends it will force South Korean companies to produce better products, components and services across the board.
But there are many cultural differences and barriers that need to be taken into account, such as a desire for officials at companies to speak directly with employees on their level with your company (don't pawn her off on the secretary) and the need for formality even in e-mail correspondence.
(Note: Subsequent sessions on Doing Business in Chile, China and Brazil had not been completed at the time of this posting. More coverage is coming to NACM’s blog, eNews and the July/August edition of Business Credit Magazine in the coming days and weeks).
Brian Shappell, NACM staff writer, can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
As a long languishing/unfinished free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Colombia continued to draw attention from trade advocates, China has unveiled vague plans to build a rail link through the same nation. It is seen as a direct attempt to compete with the Panama Canal on the world trade states and would be a slap to the United States by grabbing a larger piece of the South American Market. Colombia already conducts more trade with China than any other nation than the U.S., and the Asian economic powerhouse already has substantial presence in emerging economic power Brazil, the pearl of its continent.
The news has given pro-trade advocates and lawmakers, largely Republican, another weapon with which to proverbial bash President Barack Obama and his White House that, despite various recent attempts to extend an olive branch, have been vilified by the American business community.
During last week's FCIB New York International Round Table event, panelist Josh Green, CEO of Panjiva, said he could see the Colombia FTA becoming a casualty of partisan Capitol Hill fighting in the coming months.
Brian Shappell, NACM staff writer