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March 2013

Eastern European Promises

The South American Appeal

Europe’s emerging trade centres

Why It’s so important to Europe

Munich Guide

Greece vs Germany

Your guide to the city

The story behind the story

A Recipe For European Success The Aveqia Story


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Contents | International Trade Today

On the Cover 52

A Message from the Editor

28

22 8

14

Also in the magazine • 08 Munich City Guide

• 36 Gold rush in Romanian wind market

• 12 Creating a Global Online Presence

• 38 Promoting a brand on a global scale

• 14 Greece vs Germany

40 Hidden Costs of International Trade

• 18 European freight

42 The Bribery Act

• 20 Trading in Europe

• 46 International Network

• 22 AVEQIA

• 51 The German Automotive market

• 26 Specialist markets

• 52 Eastern European Promises

• 28 The South American appeal

• 56 Top 5: Action exercises

• 30 The International Trade Awards

• 60 Cracking the International Market

• 34 Doing business in Europe For advertising enquiries please contact Luke Neel, luke@freshbusinessthinking.com, 0845 5000 328 For editorial enquiries please contact Marcus Leach, editor@internationaltrade.co.uk, 0207 492 1721

Issue 2 | March 2013

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International Trade Today | Contributors

Contributors

6

Issue 2 | March 2013


Contibutors | International Trade Today

Charlie Mayes is a highly experienced Programme Director with an excellent track record of managing large-scale IT and business change to deliver tangible outcomes across many industry sectors including financial services, air transport, business support services and healthcare.

Production Team Executive Editor: Marcus Leach Creative Director: Eoghan OĂ• Neill Designer and Illustrator: Kira Slepchenkova

Issue 2 | March 2013

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Munich City Germany has a long tradition when it comes to business, and despite the recession taking its toll throughout Europe, it has withstood the bleak winters and remained one of the leading nations within the EU. Here we take a look an in-depth look at the city of Munich, the capital of the Bavarian state. The city’s motto is ‘Munchen mag dich’, which literally means ‘Munich likes you’, and spend any amount of time on business here and we are sure you will find reason to like Munich too.

To tip or not to tip:

What time do we eat:

Do we speak English:

In general service and VAT are included in the menu price on bar and restaurant menus throughout Germany, and Munich is no different. That said, a general rule of thumb is to round the amount up to a more-or-less round figure. There is no obligation to tip, as unlike in places such as America, waiters and waitresses don’t rely

Much like other big European cities, in Munich you will find that people tend to eat at standard meal times (breakfast 7-9, lunch 12-2, dinner 6-8). However, given the size of the city, and it’s appeal not just to Germans but tourists as well, you will be able to find food throughout the day and night.

Munich is a modern city in the sense that most people speak at least some English, and in many cases those speaking English do so to a very good level. However, as with any country, it will stand you in good stead to try and learn a few basic German phrases. You will find people are more welcoming if you make at least some effort to speak their language, rather than assuming they will automatically speak English.

heavily on the tips.


Guide

while longer trips cost €2.20. It’s cheaper to buy a strip-card of 10 tickets called a Streifenkarte for €10.50, and stamp one strip per adult on rides of two or less tram or U-Bahn stops, two strips for longer journeys. It is also worth remembering that whilst the U-Bahn stops at 12:30 am, there is an excellent network of night buses, as well as an efficient taxi network. Taxis cost €2.90 at flag-fall, plus a per-kilometer price of €1.25 to €1.60. All in all, you should never be too far from a mode of public transport no matter what the time is.

Away from work: As with all of Germany’s main cities, Munich has plenty to offer those their on business when the meetings are all done and dusted.

Getting around: When one thinks of Germany it is hard to look much further than the word efficiency, and none more so than when their transport systems are concerned. When in Munich you should have no trouble in getting around the city on the excellent public transport system, known as MVV. MVV is zone-based, with the city split into colours, and tickets are valid for the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, trams and buses. It is important to note that all tickets must be time-

stamped in the machines at station entrances before use. The ticket stamping system relies on honesty, although be warned; those risking travelling without a ticket do so at their own risk. Plain clothed ticket inspectors operate on the system and anybody caught travelling without a valid ticket will be fined. Given the low cost of transport it is not worth taking the risk of travelling without a ticket. Short rides (four bus or tram stops; two UBahn or S-Bahn stops) cost €1.10,

Deutsches Museum: City museums can often be hit and miss, but there is no doubting that Munich’s Deutsches Museum is a definite hit. It claims to have the world’s largest science and technology museum collection, but whether that is true or not is irrelevant, as what they do have is worth the entrance fee. Interactive displays, including glass blowing and paper making, model coal and salt mines, and wonderful sections on musical instruments, caves, geodesy, micro-electronics and astronomy are just some of the delights on offer. Residence Palace: Venture to the edge of Munich’s old town and you will find the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs. Now the palace plays home to one of Europe’s leading interior design and decoration museums, as well as being one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Dachau Concentration Camp: For those with a keen interest in


International Trade Today | City Guide

history a trip to one of the original German concentration camps is a must. From the moment you arrive it is an eery, yet fascinating, experience as you take the ‘oath of the prisoner’. On the same walk that prisoners were forced to take on their arrival you will see the original prisoner baths, barracks, courtyards, and the crematorium, as well as an extensive exhibition and various memorials. Englischer Garten: Bigger than New York’s Central Park, Munich;s English Garden is a vast green oasis crying out to be explored. Should you wish to rent a paddle boat, simply stroll the near endless paths through the lush wooded paths, drink beer in the traditional beer gardens or laze on the grass, the gardens appeal to everyone’s desires. Be sure to take time out to relax from the rigours of business. Marienplatz (Marien Square): Sat at the heart of the city, Marienplatz is a hotbed of wonderful buildings, churches and famous landmarks. Here you will, amongst other delights, find the Marian Column topped with the golden statue of Virgin Mary and the tower of the new town hall, which is worth visiting just to hear the Glockenspiel chimes and witness the life-sized figures that reenact some of Bavaria’s most famous historical acts.

Food & Drink Cohen’s (Theresienstrasse 31 Schwabing, t: +49 89 280 9545) For those wanting to experience German cuisine look no further than Cohen’s, where everything from traditional German to Eastern European classics are served. Hippocampus (Mühlbaurstrasse 5, t: +49-89475855) Regarded as one of the city’s best restaurants this snazzy, upmarket Italian situated in by Prinzregententheater serves classy food. Zauberberg (Hedwigstrasse 14, t: +49 89 1899 9178) It might be a little way from the beaten track, but that doesn’t detract from it being a great restaurant. A firm favourite with the locals, and for good reason. The food is fantastic.

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Hofbrauhaus (Platzl 9, t: +49 89 290136100) Housed in a building dating back to 1598, built by Bavarian Duke Maximilian I, the the Hofbrauhaus am Platzl is a must visit for lovers of German beer. Zum Flaucher (Isarauen 8 Sendling, t: +49 89 723 2677) Head to Zum Flaucher to escape the ‘city feel’ as this bar and beer garden offer a large variety of beers, as well as great food. Eat the Rich (Hessstrasse 90, t: +49 89 185 982) For those wanting more than a few quiet drinks at the end of a long working day then this is the place to be. From beer to cocktails and everything in between Eat the Rich has everything you could want.


International Trade Today | Building International Websites

Creating a Global

12 Issue 2 | March 2013


Building International Websites | International Trade Today

Online Presence


International Trade Today | Greece vs. Germany

By Nick Rines The fact that Greece and Germany are at odds with each other is hardly news to anybody. But what commentators have failed to point out is that the problems originate with business and social culture, which are also key factors that make the current situation far more difficult than it should be. Firstly, it is important to understand that Greece has a fiercely patriotic population. It takes great pride in the country and its heritage, but ironically it has been determinedly undermining the fabric of the nation to the stage at which it now finds itself. The motivation behind the internally fuelled meltdown is the contempt in which the population holds the government and its administration. The perception of wasted expenditure and embezzlement has created an accepted culture of tax avoidance and evasion. This combines with poorly designed tax legislation and collection process that has led to the treasury coffers being in a far worse state than simply being empty. For all the faults of the public sector it was the biggest driver of the economy and money circulation, and it collapsed just when the commercial sector began to crum-

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ble. In a perfect economic storm both disintegrated at the same time. It is true that Germany has suffered similar meltdown, but the lessons of the 1930s are still hardwired into the country’s psyche, and the internal circumstances of Germany were different to those faced by Greece. But above all, Germans find it difficult to understand how the Greeks could or would let themselves get into such a mess. And they do not have much sympathy when Greeks complain about the austerity measures being forced upon them. This is in no small part motivated by the differences in business culture. Greek business is hierarchy driven with instructions normally given verbally. If it is not understood work often comes to a stop. Business meetings are frequently unstructured, noisy and it is not unusual to witness several individuals speaking at the same time. Differences of opinion are often settled by one party being talked down. Minutes are not necessarily produced or distributed after meetings. The seeming chaos that sometimes arises should not be attributed to a lack of concern about the subjects in hand. Passion is

considered to be good for business, and important considerations are thought worthy of energy and emotion. But this approach does not lend itself to good management. We know Germans prefer things well managed. It has always been a nation which likes order with everyone knowing what is expected of them and a willingness to fulfil expectation. Once instructed in detail everyone goes about their business without the need for too much supervision. The contrast in business meeting style from that of Greece could not be more extreme. Meetings are well managed and methodical. Interaction is focused on clearly described and established fact. Everyone waits their turn to speak. Any sign of emotion is considered a weakness, and detailed agendas are followed correctly, and minutes are always produced and distributed. As a result, more detail and technical information is decided in meetings in Germany than in almost any other country. Apart from the German liking for organisation, the methodical nature of business is due to the specialist nature of many companies. It means all activity has to be approached with thorough prepara-


– the story behind the story tion. Company departments and individuals alike are trained and given detailed instructions on what to do. They are expected to complete their work effectively without the need for further instruction. While it cannot be said that Germans actually enjoy order, they would miss it if it were removed. For them it works. German is by far the strongest economy in Europe. And what should not be forgotten is that in the last 20 years it has completely rebuilt a bankrupt country that lacked modern infrastructure. Redeveloping East Germany came at a big cost through labour and welfare reform, additional tax payments, and investment funding was diverted away from the western portion of the nation. But through all of this the country’s prosperity grew. Given this circumstance it is not surprising there is limited empathy for the Greek situation. A poll for Stern magazine shows that the majority approve of Angela Merkel’s stance. They al A poll for Stern magazine shows that the majority approve of Angela Merkel’s stance. They also think Greece should manage without creating more debt.


Some consider an even tougher line should be taken. It is largely considered that Greece should pay for its own problems. The diplomatic situation is not helped by the German tendency to treat communication in a matter of fact manner that often lacks noticeable leaning towards diplomacy. Telling Greeks the bad news about how they must reform was never going to go down well. They hated it when their own government tried it, never mind less than diplomatic messages from out side. The situation was compounded when Horst Reichenbach was appointed as head of the EU Commission task force to provide assistance to Greece to help it meet the conditions of EU and IMF financial support. Qualified as he is for the job, he is German and did not waste words beating about the bush when issuing press statements. The transmission of his thoughts could be considered to lack sensitivity and indifference primarily because they were insensitive and indifferent. What is more, in Greece it is the man, woman and child in the street that are perceived to be suffering the austerity measures, not the politicians, senior bureaucrats, oligarchs and others that were considered to benefit so much from past practices. Problems in Greece were not helped by the newly elected Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, being hospitalised within days of being elected. The finance minister Vassilis Rapanos, resigned before he was even sworn in. Unsurprisingly, the cause was believed to be stress. In stepped the aging President Karolos Papoulias, who is 83 years old. Deputy Minister for Shipping Giorgos Vernicos, then faced the unsurprising realisation that being the owner of a large offshore company is not something allowed if you are a Greek minister, and he had to resign. And this all within a matter of weeks. Some Greeks considered the government cursed due to astrological alignment, and there were rumours of political party members hanging garlic outside their offices in an attempt to lift bad luck. Unsurprisingly, most Germans take a dim view of all of this. They find it very difficult to understand. The Greeks are naturally too preoccupied with their own situation to be concerned about internal circumstances in Germany. But both populations will have to get used to the fact that they are locked together for the foreseeable future. They have no choice in the matter whether they like it or not.


WHY PRETEND TO BE SOMETHING

AS GOOD AS OUR WORD

YOU’RE NOT?

You’ll find no camouflage or hidden surprises in our policies, just plain English.

Small Business Insurance 0845 213 8170 | hiscox.co.uk/business Policies are underwritten by Hiscox Underwriting Ltd on behalf of Hiscox Insurance Company Ltd, both of which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. 11363 02/13


International Trade Today | European Freight

The Changing Face of European Freight

18 Issue 2 | March 2013


European Freight | International Trade Today

Issue 2 | March 2013

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International Trade Today | Trading in Europe

The Taxing Business of Trading in Europe

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Trading in Europe | International Trade Today

Issue 2 | March 2013

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International Trade Today | Aveqia

A recipe for business success By Marcus Leach

22 Issue 2 | March 2013


If you don’t have a passion for what you do then find what you are passionate about, as you need to be passionate to give yourself the best possible chance of success in business


24 Issue 2 | March 2013


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International Trade Today | Specialist Markets

Specialist markets see g By Anton Round With Europe facing more economic uncertainty, many firms are adopting a ‘wait and see’ stance when it comes to hiring new staff. But those looking to recruit experienced professionals in finance, technology and energy are finding they have a fight on their hands.

A

mid the continued financial worry and gloomy unemployment figures, there has been growing demand for specialist skills across Europe. Rapid advances in technology and the need to upgrade infrastructure mean IT professionals continue to be highly sought after. Indeed, The European Commission’s report “Closing the gap by 2020” from The Grand Coalition for digital job creation, sees IT skills and jobs as Europe’s ‘backbone’. Meanwhile, regulatory change in the financial services sector and a wave of large-scale projects in the energy markets have seen strong demand for experienced professionals. Many businesses are adopting a ‘wait and see’ stance when it comes to hiring new staff. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Eurozone’s unemployment rate rose to 11.8 per cent in November 2012. This reflects the rising level of unemployment in countries such as Ireland, Portugal, Spain and France. But while some regions suffer stifled growth, others have bucked the trend, with Germany in particular providing a fertile market. Here, there is strong demand for finance specialists – whether in accounting, controlling or audit. And it is coming not just from the traditional domain of banks and other financial institutions, but also

26 Issue 2 | March 2013

corporate, industrial and manufacturing firms, most notably those in the automotive industry. Even in the UK, where austerity measures are beginning to bite hard, there have been pockets of activity, with an air of quiet confidence permeating the gloom. In both the UK and Germany, exports have remained strong, but firms in other nations should also be preparing for a return to growth over the longer term. Moreover, market forces dictate that most firms can only freeze recruitment programmes for so long before productivity and financial performance are impacted.

Investment cycles fuel demand In sectors where investment cycles tend to be longer, such as energy and manufacturing, delays in recruitment can be felt much further out in terms of a drop in output or an inability to service increased demand. For example, with a number of major projects looming large on the horizon, European countries face fierce competition for experienced oil and gas professionals. With renewable energy technologies such as wind, wave and biomass promising a ‘third industrial revolution’, the market is crying out for experienced practitioners in the fields of electrical and mechanical engineering and specialist structural engineering. With the supply chain in many industries being influenced not just by the need to improve technology, but to drive systems efficiency and output, demand for IT professionals also continues to remain strong and the market fluid, as IT contractors are more willing to re-locate to countries offering attractive rates of pay and favourable


Specialist Markets | International Trade Today

global fight for talent Planning for the longer term

market conditions. For instance, Germany has seen the construction of large data centres and shared services facilities raising demand for skills. Given that these are situated in more remote locations in order to control costs, firms are offering higher rates of pay to recruit IT professionals with the necessary skills.

The reality is that the skill sets tied to finance, IT, and energy are genuinely mobile and nations such as Germany and Denmark offer financial incentives to attract highly-qualified professionals from other countries. Therefore, money as a main motivator does not hold the same weight as it did before. Candidates now look for firms and locations that can provide more – what is known in recruitment circles as ‘lifestyle, career and motivation’ (LCM). This change in attitude demands that recruiters focus more on communicating the benefits of working for them and living in their local community. Firms must also take the time to get to know candidates, their partners and their families and go the extra distance to help find local work and family support. The conventional approach to recruitment – i.e. simply casting a wide net and whittling down candidates to a shortlist – is no longer a valid strategy in today’s increasingly mobile and social media dominated environment. Experienced and innovative recruiters now employ a more highly-engaged model, using developments in digital technology, mobile and social media to ensure instant and continuous communication with potential candidates. Tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are now new cogs in an ever-growing recruitment wheel. The fact is that the recruitment market is changing dramatically (in terms of current trends and the different approaches being adopted). This is why European firms must act now to find new ways to add value to the recruitment process and engage with potential candidates if they are to win what has become a truly global talent tug-of-war.

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International Trade Today | EU-South America Summit

The South American Appeal By Gabriela Castro-Fontoura As the EU-South America summit ended in Chile last month, we were reminded that South America and Europe have been trading partners through their entangled history. Now, despite the strong influence of the US in the region’s economy and the growth of South-South trade, Europe remains key to South American trade for many reasons. In terms of South American commodity exports, Europe is a strong buyer. For example, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a third of Uruguay’s meat exports went to Russia. According to the FAS, the EU was by far the main buyer of Ecuadorian bananas, accounting for over 40% of total production. Latin America is also looking at Europe for non-traditional, non-commodity exports, such as software and creative services. Most South American countries have been experiencing strong economic growth in the last few years. The IMF expects the region to grow at 3.6% this year and forecasts up to 6% for Peru, for example. This growth has put huge pressure on infrastructure development, and South America looks at Europe for manufacturing but also for expertise. A UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Feb 2012) showed that just Brazil absorbs 1.8% of UK exports (more than China and Japan). A country like Brazil cannot be ignored in terms of EU trade. Brazil is not only a huge source of commodity imports for Europe, but it is also one of the world’s largest producer of soft drinks, mobile phones and cars. It supplies many European airlines with passenger jets through its iconic company, Embraer. Europe exports heavily to Brazil, too. The Manufacturer (June 2012) stated that Ò in 2011 Brazil spent £429m on UK machinery, £384m on British cars, £269m on our pharmaceuticals and £108m on our drinkÓ . We must also not forget the importance of travel and tourism in South American-European trade. The current economic growth experienced

28 Issue 2 | March 2013

by countries such as Brazil, Chile and Colombia, means that more South Americans than ever before can now afford holidays in Europe, which are highly sought after mainly for cultural reasons. Business travel (including trade shows and conferences) between the regions is also strong. Education is another strong link between the regions, with South American students now more frequently attending universities in France, Spain and the UK, for example. Investment provides a key link between both continents. For example, Spain is the largest investor in Peru, with the UK coming second. The challenge is for South American countries to channel this investment in a way that contributes to raising productivity and addressing social issues, not just generating profit that will go back to Europe with no sustainable impact in the continent. When looking at EU-South American trade, it is clear that this vast continent cannot be treated as one. National differences, in terms of policy, economic context and vision, are very strong. To simplify, we would say there are two strong tendencies in the continent at the moment that impact on trade with the EU. There is a group of countries more inclined towards free trade and openness, such as Chile, Peru, Colombia and Uruguay. And then there is a group of countries, mainly Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela, that have embraced strong protectionist measures. Argentina is regarded by the WTO as one of the two most protectionist countries in the world. Trading with South America matters to Europe on many levels, one of which is human rights. Transparency is also a key concern of trade between the regions. However, it is not the time for Europe to feel snug, and the balance of power is now making things more even between Europe and South America, if not plainly favourable to South America. As Europe suffers a deep re-


cession, stagnation at best, South America is going through a growth phase. As it was clear at the summit in Chile, South America might have one or two lessons to teach Europe regarding economic recovery. Some key developments to watch are the EU Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Colombia and Peru (two of the largest South American economies and current success stories) and also the slow and battered negotiations towards an FTA between the EU and Mercosur (an important regional trading bloc comprising powerhouses Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay, and now Venezuela, with Paraguay being temporarily suspended from the group). In other words, Europe remains an attractive region for South American trade on many levels: for exports, imports, investment, travel and tourism. We leave you with the words from Hugo Swire, UK Minister for Latin America (25 January 2013):


International Trade Today | International Trade Awards 2012

The 2012 International Trade Awards

30 Issue 2 | March 2013


International Trade Awards 2012 | International Trade Today

Issue 2 |2March 2013 Issue | March 2013

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International Trade Today | International Trade Awards 2012|

Charterhouse

Special Commendation Hockley International

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International Trade Awards 2012 | International Trade Today

Award for Excellence in Innovation

Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year

International Trade New Frontiers Award

Andor Technology

Angloco Ltd

i20 Water Ltd

Angloco

:

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International Trade Today | Business in Europe

Doing business in

Europe Should it be taxing? By Jon Cable

The time will come when profits arising in an overseas subsidiary should be brought back into the UK

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Business in Europe | International Trade Today

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International Trade Today | Wind Market

Investors see gold rush in Romanian wind market

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Wind Market | International Trade Today

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International Trade Today | Global Promotion

Successfully promoting your brand on a gl bal scale

o

By Alan Stevens

It’s an uncertain time for those of us who supply goods and services across international boundaries. I’ve spent more than thirty years travelling, speaking and advising companies around the world, and there’s no precise formula for success. However, there are a number of things you can do to weight the odds in your favour, and they don’t have to cost you a great deal. Because my background is in media journalism, there’s a bias towards using the international media. The great thing is that these tips work, and will not only help you to get your message out, they will also encourage others to do it for you. There are hundreds of other things you can do to promote your brand that I don’t have space for here. If you need to find me, there are contact details at the end of this piece.

38 Issue 2 | March 2013

Learn about the international media.

Read websites, journals and listen to web radio. Show that you know something about a media outlet when you talk to them. There’s nothing that puts off a reporter as much as someone saying “I’ve never heard of your publication”. That’s guaranteed to get you a bad write-up, or more likely, no write-up at all. Focus on local journals, since they have a loyal readership. Even if they don’t feature your brand, you will acquire massive knowledge on local circumstances that will stand you in good stead for future conversations.

Keep in touch.

Even if you can’t imagine any way of providing something to a reporter overseas, make sure that you keep in touch with them by adding them to your newsletter list (you do have a newsletter don’t you?), or by sending them something of interest, such as a link to a website. One day they will call you with an interview request. Don’t go over the top and start stalking them. An email or better still, a physical letter three or four times a year is enough. You can use your CRM system to remind you (but don’t send them something exactly every three months, since they will suspect you’re not really sincere).

Make an approach. Talk to radio and TV station editors in the countries you are targetting. Make a connection between their programming and your expertise. Offer to be interviewed at any time, at very short notice. That last point is important. News media all over the world react very quickly to stories. You need to be aware of what is happening, and how it might affect your brand. Then speak to the media and work your brand into the story in a subtle way, such as “At Wilson Inter-


Global Promotion | International Trade Today

national Logistics, we’ve noticed lots of our customers asking…”

Sell a story, not information.

Human interest works well. So does conflict. These things are of interest everywhere in the world. The more unusual, the better. The problem that most organisations create for themselves when trying to promote a brand internationally is assuming that people will be interested in a new product or service, or the fact that you are entering a new market. The fact is, they couldn’t care less. However, if you link your wares to something that really matters to them, ideally with a local angle, you will grab their attention. Make a commitment to the media. Decide what you want to achieve. – a radio interview on BBC World (seen everywhere in the world except the UK) for example. Put a timescale on it, write it down, and pin it up near your desk, where you see it every day. Keeping your goal in mind at all times will focus your behaviour, and make your goal happen. Even if you don’t reach your specific goal immediately, your actions will ensure that you are media-ready at all times. Be responsive. Develop a reputation for getting back to people very quickly. Once you get into the habit, you’ll find that it is easier to deal with something immediately. Most stories need only one sentence from you. As the phrase goes “Speed stuns”. If your contacts receive a message from you within hours, or even minutes of contacting you, they will be impressed. Oddly, people seem to be more impressed by quick responses from other countries, even though email travels across national boundaries with the

same speed as it does to the next street. Know what you do. Far too many companies try to offer too many options to their customers. If you were going into hospital, would you rather be operated on by a generalist or a specialist? People respect expertise, and know that no-one can be an expert in everything. People want to do business with experts. Even within companies, managers and salespeople (especially salespeople) have differing ideas of what the company does. I recommend keeping a cloudbased one-page company information sheet which synchronises with the phone, laptop or tablet of every company representative.

Get media trained.

No-one is a natural interviewee, Make sure that you know how to perform professionally, and your business will benefit. It’s amazing how a single phrase uttered in a media interview can boost (or damage) a brand far more effectively than a multi-million pound advertising campaign. The many thousands of company spokespeople I’ve trained always say that knowing how to handle the media is an essential skill for promoting a brand.

Practice what you preach.

The best advert for your business is you. If you are providing advice on efficiency, make sure that your business is super-efficient. If you are a website designer, make sure that your website is as usable as possible.

Become an expert.

Offer to speak about your area of exex pertise. Write articles, give interviews, and make yourself available to answer questions from journalists. Becoming known as a recognised expert in your field is one of the best ways of bringing in new clients. You are the face of your brand, and every time you are introduced or featured on television, your brand will be mentioned. That’s your payback, not to mention the acclaim from your industry colleagues.

Go there.

There’s nothing better than meeting face-to-face with people in the market you are aiming at. Don’t just meet potential partners and customers, but aim your net as wide as possible. Offer to speak at events, visit companies, and let people know you are around.

Be helpful.

There’s nothing that’s more likely to make people help you promote a brand overseas than being helpful yourself. As we all know, real business relationships are person-toperson, and if you help someone out, they will return the favour when you really need it.

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International Trade Today | Hidden Costs

Understanding the Hidden

Costs of International Trade Why you should know the full costs of exporting before taking the next step

40 Issue 2 | March 2013


Hidden Costs | International Trade Today

Most economists agree that the biggest story of the twenty-first century will be a shift in the economic centre of gravity from the developed world to high-growth markets such as China, India, Russia and Brazil

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International Trade Today | Bribary Act

By Jaan Larner

The UK anti-bribery regime is now codified under a single piece of legislation and any organisation with any activity in the UK (whether incorporated here or not) needs to be mindful of the manner in which it conducts its business, even if the activity itself is outside the UK. The Offences and Penalties under the Bribery Act

• • • •

The Bribery Act 2010 came into effect on 1 July 2011, creating four offences: the offering, promising or giving of a bribe; the requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting of a bribe; bribing a foreign official; failure by a commercial organisation to prevent a bribe being paid or received on its behalf.

Businesses and individuals need to ensure that they take adequate steps to ensure that they and their staff are aware of the provisions and comply with them in order to avoid the criminal penalties that apply. The Act covers bribery in the UK and abroad by all businesses in both the public and private sectors. The maximum penalty jail term for an individual increases from seven to ten years. A commercial organisation could face an unlimited fine and company directors will face lengthy disqualification periods.

42 Issue 2 | March 2013

When deciding whether a bribe has been paid, the courts will use the test of the opinion of a reasonable person in the UK, so beware of simply following local custom when making payments abroad. Your business can also be guilty of an offence if one of its employees, agents or another person associated with your business pays or receives a bribe on your behalf, so you need to make sure the culture of your business adopts an affirmatively Anti-Bribery stance and staff are under no illusions as to what is acceptable.▶


Bribary Act | International Trade Today

How you can protect yourself from a breach of the Bribery Act

Scope UK Companies operating overseas UK companies can be liable under the Act for the actions of an employee, subsidiary, agent or service provider if they engage in bribery activity. If a foreign subsidiary of a UK organisation engages in bribery activity while performing services for the UK parent, the UK parent organisation can similarly be liable. If the foreign subsidiary were acting entirely on its own behalf, there may be grounds for arguing that the UK parent does not have liability for the bribery activity itself, but the parents could still be liable for offences in relation to a counting or the proceeds of crime.

Foreign companies operating in the UK If a company is not registered in the UK, but carries on a business or part of a business in the UK, the Bribery Act applies. Unfortunately these terms are not yet defined, so foreign companies need to take particular care, since the offence and any perceived benefit could occur entirely outside the UK. In either case, the only defence would be the Adequate Procedures Defence discussed below.

Businesses will be somewhat relieved that the guidance to the legislation has adopted a practical approach insofar as anti-bribery procedures a business puts in place should be proportionate to the bribery risks the business faces. The guidance states that corporate hospitality of a reasonable and proportionate nature is not prohibited, for example taking a client to a football match or Wimbledon will not fall within the definition of a bribe if it is for genuine business development purposes and such entertainment is normal for the industry in which the business operates. The guidance recognises that reasonable and proportionate hospitality which promotes business is both an established principle and acceptable. If it is not lavish and is normal for your industry, it should not amount to an offence and detailed examples are provided in the guidance. â–ś

Issue 2 | March 2013

43


International Trade Today | Bribary Act

Adequate Procedures Defence

Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act

Specifically in relation to the new offense of the failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery, the Act provides a defence where “adequate procedures” have been adopted by the commercial organisation designed to prevent those “associated” with it from undertaking such conduct. While “adequate procedures” are not defined, the guidance sets out six general principles, which should be followed across all industries, adopting a risk-based approach.

Many companies will be aware of and comply with the US Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act, and be tempted to rely on the same procedures to claim the Adequate Procedures Defence. However the Bribery Act and Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act differ significantly. Therefore organisations should take advice on the way in which the Bribery Act will apply to their particular business.

The principles state that businesses should: 1. Adopt proportionate procedures 2. Make top level commitment 3. Conduct a bribery risk assessment 4. Perform due diligence on all of their commercial relationships 5. Commit to clear communication and training 6. Undertake ongoing monitoring and review

By following the principles, a business can demonstrate its commitment to combating corrupt practices and go a long way to mitigating its liability for the actions of employees in contravention of the policy.

Conclusion Businesses, irrespective of where they are based need to be careful to ensure their procedures are compliant, even if they conduct only a small part of their business in the UK. The penalties are potentially very harsh, but compliance need not be a significant burden to the well-organised business. In addition to the regulatory requirement, many large international businesses now insist that their suppliers are compliant with the UK Bribery Act and so compliance can also form part of the qualification process to service lucrative clients. Whether the impetus is commercial or regulatory, carrot or stick, all businesses will benefit from engaging in the process sooner rather than later.


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16/01/2012 11:43:20


International Trade Today | International Network

International Business Requires an International Network By Francesca James The UK economy is back into growth ever so slightly and I’m sure that owners of businesses large and small will agree that recent times have been tough. It is perhaps even tougher in the Eurozone and therefore those looking to trade internationally might want to consider looking to other markets further afield. Like the title of this article says, international business requires an international network; however, travelling costs and time constraints can make networking in person with people who live on the opposite side of the world very hard if not near

46 Issue 2 | March 2013

impossible.But fear not, the web is truly worldwide, connecting individuals across continents with just a click, tweet, like or update and social media offers unparalleled opportunities to promote your business globally. UKTI have recently reported that UK firms are using social networking to help them win new business, explore local markets – and stay ahead of the competition, commenting on a report by Regus which revealed that 42% of UK SMEs are winning new business at home and internationally using social media.


International Network | International Trade Today

The Case for Social Media Running a business is a pretty busy existence at the best of times, throw in the hardship bought about by the current economic climate and you’d be forgiven for not wanting to add another string to your already very busy bow. However, according to Regus’s survey results, social networking is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’ as the majority of businesses agree that without social media activity, their marketing initiatives cannot hope to be successful

The Stats There were an estimated 2,459,646,518 internet users worldwide in the February 2012 (representing about 30.2% of the population worldwide) but how does that break down by country? For those unfamiliar with the acronym BRIC, it is a term used to refer to the combination of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. According to Goldman Sachs, these are four countries that are likely to become key if not leading players in the global economy over the next twenty to thirty years, so let’s see how they stack up socially:

Brazil

India

Russia

China

Econsultancy released a Digital Marketing Landscape Report for Brazil outlining the state of all things online and in Brazil. I suggest reading the report in full if you can but to just take a headline stat, they reported that in 2011 alone, the internet population of Brazil grew by 16% with IAB Brazil estimating a total Brazilian online audience at more than 81m people.

According to a Ipsos-Reuters poll about 75% of Russian Internet users visit social media sites–this ranks especially high compared to a 62% average for 23 other countries surveyed.

Bloomberg Business Week recently reported that India will have more Facebook users than any other country by 2015, the report also claims that the number of Indians on Facebook is growing at a rate of 22% every six months.

This infographic claims that 91% of Chinese citizens have visited a social site in the past six months with Qzone being the most popular channel with around 560 million users.

Issue 2 | March 2013

47


International Trade Today | International Network

Convinced yet? Enough of the why’s, let’s talk how’s. The below is by no means an exhaustive list of actions to take and I fully expect this list to evolve and change over time as the digital landscape develops. However, if you’re yet to consider using social media to build your business internationally, the below should at least set you off on the right footing:

Get Researching

Lewis PR has recently published this guide 2. that recommends that those interested in

Get Involved

run this International trade group on 1. We LinkedIn which boasts over 35,000 mem-

bers who share regular content, participate in international trade/business discussions and harness the network to build their own personal address books. LinkedIn groups host discussions that you can enter into if a member of said group. To find a discussion, simply click the Search tab on your group’s page and enter keywords into the search box on the left and click Search. What kind of discussions you join will depend entirely upon what your international trade/networking goals are. Here are some other groups you might be interested in joining: International Trade & the Internet Opportunities in export & International trade International DIY Trade Here’s a snap shot of our groups activity: FUNCTION

16%

SENIORITY

SALES

LOCATION

3%

CHINA

INDUSTRY

37%

INTERNATION...

48 Issue 2 | March 2013

SENIOR

19%

MANAGER

17%

ENTRY

14%

OWNER

13%

DIRECTOR

8%

OXO

7%

developing a global social media strategy should research their existing communities – this is true of any social media strategy, whether it be local or global. They suggest that you ‘set up monitoring tools and search queries to watch who is mentioning your brand’ and to ‘check your own analytics for signs of significant traffic from specific markets. This data will allow you to go where your audience is by choosing the space most likely to be inviting and interesting to your targets, potential leads.

Get Interactive

Collecting contacts internationally isn’t 3. simply a matter of adding connections, if

you want a valuable international network, you’ll need to engage and interact. Take the time to develop a company blog and social profiles to deliver a message about your company or organisation. Having said that, make sure you are actually adding value to these groups, not simply blurting out sales and marketing spiel. Share knowledge about your industry, upload podcasts and blog posts relevant to your industry.


International Network | International Trade Today

Get Cultured

4. There are significant differences in

culture that alter the way you network. I spoke to Nick Rines, Chief Executive Officer at the Institute of Diplomacy & Business who said that the potential for ‘making cultural gaffes is almost infinite, and they frequently come as a seemingly illogical surprise’. A Lewis PR White Paper entitled ‘The Global Social Media Challenge’ confirmed that people from different nationalities react to social media in a way that could have been predicted by social science. On their blog they say that ‘people engage online in ways that are synchronous with how they prefer to communicate offline’. As a result, they comment that ‘it’s critical for organisations to recognise such preferences and be cognisant of their evolution over time’. It’s an ‘easy assumption for marketers to make that a successful digital campaign in one region can easily be duplicated in another. This simply isn’t true. Ignoring critical cultural cues is often where marketing campaigns fall flat as they don’t realise these cues translate into online behaviour’.

Translating 5. Get If you use WordPress, with relative ease

you can use a plug-in like Global Translator that will automatically translate sites hosted on the platform into 48 different languages. However, be careful; I spoke to David Jones of EVS Translations who said that a client recently told them they’d run into difficulty with the translation of a few simple seasonal greetings. Their least successful effort involved a word by word machine translation which somehow turned “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” into “I’m delusional about a colourless Christmas”. David says that ‘for all the advances in machine translation technology, the nuance and warmth of a personal greeting can only be conveyed by a personal translation’.

Get Real

6. It’s great to have online contacts, but offline relationships are often easier to maintain. If you happen to be in the area of an online contact, ask to meet them in person.

Have you successfully accessed new markets by utilising social media? I’d love to hear your experiences – contact me: @francescaajames Issue 2 | March 2013

49


Automotive Market | International Trade Today

Looking to expand into the German Automotive market?

By Nick Evans The automobile industry is one of the largest employers in Germany, and according to Germany Trade & Invest, it had a workforce of around 712,500 in 2011 and a recorded turnover of €351 billion that same year. This therefore bodes well for any company looking to expand into, partner with, or sell to the German automotive market. For those looking to expand into these markets it is worth noting the current recruitment landscape and ensuring you have the right workforce in place. As a recruitment specialist we’ve seen an increased demand for professionals with consumer electronic and semi-conductor experience, as they have skills that are attractive to the automotive industry, which is producing more advanced machines. Those looking to grow in, or from, the German automotive market, should note that this type of expertise, along with the

technology, is attractive to the market. The current nature of the market also calls for engineers and mechanics with energy efficiency experience, as hybrid and energy efficient design become increasingly popular with consumers. This trend is unlikely to change any time soon, as the demands on resources continue to rise and governments are under pressure to improve energy efficiency. It’s also interesting to note that Germany is attracting workers from a number of neighboring countries who have a strong automotive history but the downturn has prompted the automotive workforce to go where the work is – Germany. This is definitely a sign that the German market is perceived as strong, and according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Germany’s tax rules have made the company car a top employee perk, which is further good news to the industry. Issue 2 | March 2013

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Ă’ 52 Issue 2 | March 2013

Certainly freight forwarders are very much aware of these advantages


Eastern Europe | International Trade Today

By Matthew Marriott

In a global context, this translates as an incredibly attractive option as both a manufacturing site and a freight hub

Issue 2 | March 2013

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International Trade Today |

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| International Trade Today

Issue 2 | March 2013

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International Trade Today | Top 5

TOP 5

Action

Exercises for the Business

Traveller

By Matt Leach

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Top 5 | International Trade Today

Issue 2 | March 2013

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International Trade Today | Top 5

58 Issue 2 | March 2013


International Trade Today | The 4 CĂ• s

Cracking the International Market


EU in numbers:

GDP composition by sector:

services:

industry:

agriculture:

73.5% 24.6% 1.8%

Exports

Labor force

Imports

$2.17 trillion

229 million

$2.397 trillion

Inflation rate

Industrial production growth rate

Unemployment rate

2.6%

2.8%

10.5%

(consumer prices)

*Numbers are taken from CIA World Fact Book (2012)


International Trade Today  

Issue 2, March 2013

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