Ambassador Jaeger and Christian Forstner at the First Year Seminar

As we are heading to the end of our Fall semester seminar, we have still three more guests to come and talk to students at the Georgetown McDonough School of Business. Yesterday, Nov. 15th, we had the pleasure to hear from two of these guests: Mr. Christian Forstner and Ambassador Kurt Jaeger.

Mr. Forstner is the Director of the Hanns Seidel Foundation’s Washington D.C. office, working with interested partners across the political spectrum to promote strong German-American ties. Part of his responsibilities is to facilitate high-level political dialog between German and American, covering topics such as international trade policy and transatlantic security and defense policy.

WechatIMG198

Mr. Forstner first started working at the Hanns Seidel Foundation in 2000, as Director at Moscow’s office. He also served the EU Commission as a Team Leader for the Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS) project.

Mr. Forstner has a master’s degree in Political Science, European History and Russian Literature from University of Munich and Moscow University of Foreign Languages, and developed several publications on EU affairs, security policy, and Russian and U.S. politics.
WechatIMG199

Ambassador Kurt Jaeger was appointed to the United States in August of 2016. He has over 25 years of experience in international regulatory affairs,

Mr. Jaeger was Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the European Union (EU) and Belgium from 2010 to 2016. Previously, he worked at the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation for six years, being responsible for international air transport regulation and policy, and then became Executive Assistant to the Director General for Civil Aviation.

Before becoming Ambassador, Mr. Jaeger was also elected as one of three members of the Board of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority in charge of monitoring and enforcing the application of EU law in the European Economic Area (EEA) by the three EFTA-States Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Ambassador Jaeger has a degree from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, with a license en droit and with an LL.M. from McGill University, Montreal.

To know more about the First Year Seminar previous guests, please click here.

Greece: Time to Invest Again?

By Marcus Bensasson

The country’s long-term local currency debt was upgraded to Caa1 from Caa3, New York-based Moody’s said in a statement yesterday. The nation’s short-term debt rating is unaffected and remains not prime, or NP.

The significant improvement in fiscal position over the past year and the view that the government remains committed to fiscal consolidation underpin a forecast of a gradual decline in public debt, Moody’s said. The credit-rating company also cited gains in Greece’s economic outlook, based on both a cyclical recovery and the progress made in implementing structural reforms and rebalancing the economy, further supporting the downward trajectory of the public debt ratio.

Greece’s economy will grow this year for the first time in seven years, the European Commission predicts. The country received two rescue packages with pledges totaling 240 billion euros ($322 billion) from the euro area and the International Monetary Fund and underwent the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history in 2012.

Read the whole piece at Businessweek

HOST COUNTRY POLITICAL CLIMATE /International Marketing 10th/

The rapidly changing nature of the international political scene is evident to anyone who regularly reads, listens to, or watches the various news media. Political upheavals and changes in government policy occur daily and can have an enormous impact on international business. For the executive, this means constant adjustments to exploit new opportunities and minimize losses.

Besides the international company, the principal players in the political arena are the host country governments and the home country governments. Sometimes transnational bodies or agencies such as the European Union (EU) or the World Trade Organization (WTO) can be involved. Within a national market, the interactions of all these groups result in a political climate that may positively or negatively affect the operations of an international business. The difficulty for the global company stems from the firm being subject to all these forces at the same time. The situation is further complicated by the fact that companies maintain operations in many countries and hence must simultaneously manage many sets of political relationships.

Host country a country that contains an operational unit (marketing, sales, manufacturing, finance, or R&D) of an international company. Any country that contains an operational unit (marketing, sales, manufacturing, finance, or research and development) of an international company can be defined as a host country. International companies deal with many different host countries, each with its own political climate. These political climates are largely determined by the motivations and actions of host country governments and local interest groups.

Full book is available here.

EU, U.S. to Commit to Remove All Duties on Transatlantic Trade

U.S. President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at a summit on March 26, an ambitious step towards the world’s largest free-trade deal, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

The joint declaration, if delivered as laid out in the draft, seeks to overcome tensions following Washington’s offer to cut its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for and after Brussels pledged to remove almost all of its own tariffs.

“The EU and the United States are firmly committed to concluding a comprehensive and ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,” the draft statement reads, referring to U.S.-EU free-trade talks by their official name.

“Those goals include eliminating all duties on bilateral goods trade,” says the statement, which will be delivered at the end of the day-long summit in Brussels.

By Barbara Lewis and Robin Emmott, Reuters

Read Full Article on Reuters »