Practical Advice for Global Expansions

During a discussion on global expansion at Doing Business Globally in Dallas, panelists emphasized the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with individuals in target markets.

The conversation was moderated by Baker & McKenzie partner Michael Santa Maria, and panelists included Baker & McKenzie partner Jayshree Gupta from Dubai and in-house counsel from the aeronautics, restaurant and transportation industries.

Panelists offered guidance for companies undertaking or considering global expansion:

  • Companies will often benefit from having a partner in the region. Know exactly what you need from a partner and look for quality.
  • Do your due diligence. Get involved and interview counterparties.  Be comfortable with your business partners.
  • If timing and resource issues limit expansion, find small stepping stones to establish a presence in the market.
  • To protect your brand, guard against risks to quality and reputation.
  • Nothing replaces face-to-face interaction.
  • Be aware of language issues. Train executives to adapt to local customs and formalities.
  • Exiting can often be the most difficult part of doing business overseas.

Panelists Discuss Importance of Global Trade

DBG Dallas Panelists on Global Trade

The panelists (from left): Jason Marczak, Daniel Lund, Peter MacKay and Raymundo Enriquez

Jason Marczak, Director of the Latin America Economic Growth Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, moderated the morning plenary discussion at our Dallas program. Panelists included Baker & McKenzie lawyers Daniel Lund from London, Peter MacKay from Toronto and Raymundo Enriquez from Mexico City.

Global trade dominated the discussion and panelists touched on the impacts of Brexit, NAFTA and the recent US presidential election. The group noted that we tend to think of trade agreements as economic, but they are very much geopolitical.

A few questions and answers from the discussion:

  • What will Brexit look like?  Scotland may wait to see what happens. The UK needs to develop a process for discussing future trading relations.
  • What are the benefits of free trade? In addition to the economic incentives, there is also the ability to lift up other parts of the world through trade. The panelists recommended that everyone needs to be a trade ambassador and that it is key for countries to think about their own internal policies.
  • What should business do? Continue to be engaged, don’t panic and watch the developments.

Geoff Colvin Speaks on Achieving Success in Business

geoff-colvin-promo-pic-headshotGeoff Colvin, Senior Editor-at-Large of Fortune Magazine, gave the keynote speech this morning at our Doing Business Globally program in Dallas.

Mr. Colvin spoke to the audience about leading with confidence in an uncertain world and how business innovation is becoming necessary.

“Models that are completely outside the norm are working,” Colvin said.

To be competitive today, companies will need to implement new rules of business, and Colvin encouraged the audience to “have courage.”

Here are a few ways  top performers are achieving success, according to Mr. Colvin:

  • Innovate the business model: The No. 1 fear of businesses is the competitor they don’t even see as competition. These new competitors are changing the models.
  • Integrate all parts of the enterprise: The best companies are breaking the silos and bringing together the creators.
  • Build the new high-value skills: The skills of deep human interaction such as empathy, creative problem-solving and storytelling are needed.
  • Embrace the Friction-Free Economy:  Top businesses find a way to streamline their process for consumers.

Follow Mr. Colvin on Twitter | Follow Fortune on Twitter

Keynote Speaker Dambisa Moyo Discusses Global Outlook

dambisa-moyo-biography-photoDr. Dambisa Moyo, global economist and author, served as keynote speaker Thursday morning at our Doing Business Globally program in New York. Here are a few highlights from her remarks:

  • Global growth is slowing. Many emerging market economies are in recession, like Brazil, South Africa and Russia. In addition, in recent years we have seen an increase in the reduction of trade and cross border capital flows.
  • Geopolitical developments, such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the US, were considered highly unlikely. Now that they have occurred, we are in unprecedented territory for global economies.
  • Dr. Moyo discussed unique “headwinds” policy makers are facing, such as technology and the creation of a jobless underclass, natural resource scarcity and global debt.
  • Dr. Moyo anticipates a more siloed world. Businesses that will do well are those that don’t rely solely on cross-border capital.
  • Dr. Moyo said we are seeing more business myopia than ever before. The average tenure of a company listed on the stock exchange is around 18 years. In the 1930s, it was 75 years, she said.

Follow Dambisa Moyo on Twitter | Visit her website | Watch her latest TED Talk

Protecting Trade Secrets Globally

At Doing Business Globally in New York today, a panel of Baker & McKenzie attorneys discussed protecting trade secrets in the US, Europe and China.

The panel included Baker & McKenzie partners Bart Rankin from Dallas, Ryan Fayhee from Washington, DC, Jochen Herr from Munich, and Shih Yann Loo from Hong Kong.

A few highlights:

  • Technology has made trade secret misappropriation much easier for bad actors, as well as more difficult for victims to track and trace.
  • The International Trade Commission is often overlooked as a venue,  especially effective when the opponent resides outside the US.
  • Know your company’s trade secrets or “crown jewels” before a breach occurs.
  • Companies in the US who are victims of trade secrets theft may be  nervous when the government becomes involved. They may be concerned their trade secrets will end up in a public forum, and wonder how to work with law enforcement effectively.
  • The US government is very sensitive to protecting and working with victims.

A Shifting Regulatory and Trade Landscape

This afternoon at Doing Business Globally in New York,  a panel of Baker & McKenzie partners and business leaders discussed the influence of politics and policy on various global economies.

“With growing uncertainty around major trade agreements and protectionist policies emerging from leading jurisdictions, companies need to adapt their global footprint and supply chains to a shifting regulatory landscape,” said Baker & McKenzie Partner Miguel Noyola, who led the discussion. “At the same time, companies need to evaluate opportunities emerging from new trade blocks, like the Pacific Alliance and CETA, as well as from a liberalized US-Cuba policy.

The panel included Baker & McKenzie Partners Sonia Baldia and Raymundo Enriquez, as well as Peter Schechter from the Atlantic Council’s Latin America Center.

The group discussed a range of jurisdictions. Some highlights regarding India:

  • It is too soon to tell what the Trump presidency may mean for US-India relations, but it’s unlikely there will be a major shift in trade policy, given its historically strong trade relationship with the US.
  • Trump’s election generally has been viewed positively in India, although on the business size there is some anxiety.
  • India remains a very attractive market for foreign investors. It was the No. 1 FDI destination in 2015. Half the population is under age 25, with a strong middle class with purchasing power and disposable income.

The group also discussed the emergence in the last few decades of robust supply chains, connecting emerging markets with developed markets, going east to west and north to south across many industries. These industries will have a lot at stake if the US changes its engagement in global commerce under the new administration.

The Future of Global Business

This morning at Doing Business Globally in New York, Peter Schechter, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, led a discussion focused on the impacts of geopolitcal and macroeconomic developments on business.


Panelists included Baker & McKenzie Partners Peter MacKay from Toronto, Raymundo Enriquez from Mexico City, and Ross Denton from London.

A few highlights from the discussion:

  • Uncertainty is the new certainty.
  • The election of Donald Trump has remade American politics and could reshape the global order.
  • There has been much discussion regarding NAFTA in recent months. Mr. MacKay said it has been the most profitable trade agreement in the world, one that has not only been favorable to Canada but also to the US.
  • The panel  discussed whether Brexit and the election of Trump may signal a wider backlash against globalization. They discussed that while globalization is here to stay, we may reach a point of “hyper globalization,” when its benefits may start to diminish.
  • What can businesses do to show the value of globalization in the current environment? Companies need to communicate to the government and the public about the benefits of global trade in terms of jobs and revenue. The anti-trade, anti-globalization mindset can be met head on this way.

Meet DBG Supporter, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

CCGA_Logo-SPOTKey support for Doing Business Globally in Minneapolis on Nov. 16 comes from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The Council is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues.

Founded in 1922 and located in Chicago, the Council convenes leading global voices, conducts independent research, and engages the public to explore ideas that will shape the global future. The Council is committed to bringing clarity and offering solutions to issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business and governments engage the world.

“Baker & McKenzie’s Doing Business Globally program offers an excellent opportunity to understand how top market leaders are managing cross-border opportunities,” said Ivo Daalder, President of the Council. “We are proud to support this unique event and I look forward to speaking at the program.”

Follow the Council on  Twitter | Visit the Council’s website

Cross-Border Transactions: Negotiating in Latin America

Our Doing Business Globally program will offer insights into the trends and best practices that will influence your cross-border investments and commercial decisions. One area of focus will be how to maximize opportunities and minimize risk in cross-border transactions.


Roger Bivans


Jorge Gonzalez

Below, Baker & McKenzie Partners Jorge Gonzalez and Roger Bivans discuss five ways that M&A in Latin America differs from the US. This article first appeared in the ACC Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter’s Fall Newsletter.

Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. Bivans will serve as panelists at Doing Business Globally in Dallas discussing cross-border deal terms in Session III.

By Jorge Gonzalez and Roger Bivans

Latin America is expected to continue to present one of the best opportunities for investment and M&A transactions in emerging markets. With a few exceptions (notably Venezuela), there is generally stability in most of the region. Argentina has a new more business-friendly government led by President Macri, and the political crisis in Brazil appears to have turned the corner with the recent impeachment of President Rousseff.

There could still be opportunities for companies to acquire assets at bargain prices, even though commodity prices are expected to stabilize and the price of oil is expected to bounce back next year. As credit continues to remain inexpensive and growth remains flat, companies may take advantage to pursue deals in Latin America. All of this bodes well for M&A transactions in the region. This article highlights five key issues and challenges that commonly arise in negotiating M&A transactions in Latin America:

  • the practical remedies for enforcing contractual terms
  • the complexity of implementing a deal structure that satisfies the global tax goals of the parties
  • the challenges in conducting due diligence
  • the complications and timing consideration of required regulatory filings or approvals
  • the formalities and other requirements for closing of the transaction

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Meet DBG Sponsor, ACC Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter

acc-dallas-fort-worthSupport for Doing Business Globally in Dallas on Nov. 15 comes from the Association of Corporate Counsel Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter.

With more than 850 members, the growing ACC-DFW Chapter delivers timely, relevant training, development, networking, pro bono and community events to its members and their companies.

The chapter is part of the ACC’s global community with over 40,000 in-house lawyers from more than 10,000 companies in 85 countries.

“Baker & McKenzie’s Doing Business Globally program gives our members a unique opportunity to hear from global industry leaders on trends and strategies relevant to their companies,” said Todd Bowers, ACC Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter’s Immediate Past President and Chief Counsel, Global Transactions & Compliance at Lockheed Martin Corporation.

To learn more about ACC membership email

Follow the ACC on Twitter │Visit the ACC-DFW Chapter website.