Conference Report: Extending Your Business into Latin America and Emerging Economies

by Daryl Sando

The Seminar covered the basic considerations needed for overseas investment. I found the discussion quite interesting and a good review of the challenges faced by international businesses, especially small ones. What was most beneficial was meeting and hearing from local small business owners about their overseas investments. There were people doing business in anywhere from Mexico to Taiwan, and from Canada to the Ukraine. I think in the past I have underestimated the substantial amount of small business owners that do work overseas. I always assumed it was mostly large corporations, but now with the invention of the internet and the ease of transportation, small to medium sized local mom and pop businesses work worldwide. What is interesting is that even though these companies do business worldwide they might not know how to do it properly, most effectively, and/or most efficiently. There seems to be a huge need for this type of specialized business knowledge. Overall the lecture was very informative and I enjoyed hearing from people who were either new to the field or had been doing it for decades.

After the lecture I stayed for the Monterey Bay International Trade Association’s annual luncheon with Congressman Sam Farr, a former student of MIIS. It was a very interesting talk where he outlined the current state of the many south and central American free trade agreements. It was nice to hear about these agreements from a congressman and the political pressures that either facilitated or hindered the agreements success. Probably the best item he covered was the new challenges of trade agreements in general. They originally were built for economic concerns and only dealt with economic concerns. Yet now trade agreements are made as a gesture of a type of relationship or as reciprocation for something or possibly to begin creating a better relationship with a country, and must address both political and environmental concerns. As an international trade policy student I found this part particularly of interest and found it important as I continue my studies at MIIS and begin looking at my future career.

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