A number of top experts served as speakers during the 24th Annual FCIB Global Conference, held in Philadelphia this week. Whether solo speakers like Peter Henry, dean of the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, or Kevin Hebner, senior foreign exchange strategist at JPMorgan Chase Bank or the International Payment Methods and Political Risks in Global Hot Spots panels that featured global business developers, veteran credit managers and insurers, many left important impressions on conditions in various key nations. The following is a sample of such observations:
China: While there have been issues with the slowing of the growth rate, change in leadership and social unrest from a populous that wants a bigger piece of the pie, the Asian powerhouse has shown a pragmatic approach and will stay among the most important world economies going forward.
Greece and Portugal: Both nations will likely need at least one more round of bailouts from the European Central Bank. Leaving the euro as a currency appears to be a real possibility.
India: It is among the nations most at risk for a crash, as its core industry sectors contracted at the worst pace in 13 years. It continues to lose some of its market advantages (cheap labor), but has a young and educated population as a major positive.
Indonesia: Resource nationalism is a problem that could keep international business away, and rising inflation is again a problem despite economic potential.
Italy and Spain: Trade credit payment delays continue to dog the reputations of companies in two of the key European economic nations. The debt issues will continue well beyond the short term.
Mexico: Despite concerns of a slowing growth rate, sensitivity to commodities pricing and U.S. economic cycles and drug-related violence, Mexico still stands out in its pro-business, sound framework and fundamentals.
Philippines: The often overlooked country boasts one of the best growth rates in Asia.
Vietnam: The high degree of political stability and problems in the banking sector are problematic.
Turkey: Still the gateway between Western economies and the Islamic world, but massive account deficits and heated divisions between secular and conservative citizens are imposing deep dangers for the key nation.
-Brian Shappell, CBA, CICP, NACM staff writer
To see more country breakdowns based on FCIB Global Conference speaker observations, among other coverage from the event, keep an eye out for the November/December issue of Business Credit Magazine, which will be available in late October.