Just a slight conceptual tweak can make the idea of doing business overseas much easier to digest. LYNDA SLAVINSKIS
By Lynda Slavinskis
Often when people speak about international trade, they immediately think of import and export. This narrow association can often be a trap for traders, especially when it comes to planning their legals.
I was speaking with a colleague the other day who uses the term “international business” which I think is a much better catch phrase and can apply to any type of business that is done across borders.
“International business” is not limited to export. It can include agency relationships, manufacturing relationships, joint ventures… the list is endless. Someone could be doing “international business” and never export or import!
This new “speak” may actually help traders to better understand the need for “international business” contracts, so not only could they need a distributor agreement, they may also need a manufacturer’s agreement with their manufacturer in China, for example, before they import the product into Australia or export it directly from China to the USA.
The concept of “international business” also incorporates the very crucial notion of building relationships with international business contacts. Sometimes, you may need help in building your network overseas.
The colleague I referred to above is the managing partner of an organisation called Ausnindo who works with businesses with global aspirations and facilitates introductions with manufacturers and other business networks in Asia.
I also met with the Asian business team from Westpac the other day, who also facilitate introductions between Australian businesses and their vast business networks in Asia. I would encourage anyone who wants to expand into “international business” to link in with an organisation with strong and wide networks and people on the ground in the country you want to do business with/in.
This will certainly help to dispel the myth surrounding international business and show you that with the right contacts doing business overseas can sometimes be as easy if not easier than doing business at home.
Lynda Slavinskis is an outgoing, intuitive and commercially savvy lawyer. She has worked in-house at Sussan Corporation and Tattersall’s and now assists small and medium businesses with import, export, leases, franchising, employment and general business advice as principal solicitor of Lynda Slavinskis Lawyers & Consultants. Lynda is on the Victorian State Government’s Small Business Advisory Council.
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