Deputy Prime Minister of Liechtenstein Visits Georgetown University

By Anna Astvatsatryan for michaelczinkota.com

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The honorable guests were invited by professor Michael Czinkota take part in a luncheon discussion with professors of McDonough Business school as well as to have a meeting with the students.

During the luncheon Deputy Prime Minister presented the trends and directions that the economy of Liechtenstein is taking as well as addressed contemporary issues of the country.

The discussion touched such subjects as energy stability in the region and Liechtenstein in regard of the latest developments in Ukraine. Deputy Prime Minister mentioned that the economy of Liechtenstein is a part of so-called 20-20-20 legal frameworks that aim to achieve three main targets by 2020. These targets include: a 20% reduction of green gas emissions, 20% reduction in energy use and 20% share of energy consumption from renewable energy resources. This topic is sensitive for Liechtenstein, an economy that imports around 85% of their energy resources.

Deputy Prime Minister also addressed the importance of relations with neighboring economies. Zwiefelhofer emphasized the role of Switzerland and the influence of its monetary policy influence on the Liechtenstein’s export. As an example Deputy Prime Minister mentioned the situation in 2013, when a strong Swiss Frank affected Hilti, construction products, services and systems exporting company, one of the biggest in Liechtenstein.

Discussing the on-going reforms in the justice system, Deputy Prime Minister noted the importance of transparency and defining strategies to reorganize the responsibilities of judges and attorneys in order to achieve highest efficiency.

After luncheon, the honorable guests had a meeting with the International Business class.

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Thomas Zwiefelhofer has been Deputy Prime Minister of the Principality of Liechtenstein since 27 March 2013. Deputy Prime Minister is also in charge of Ministry for Home Affairs, Justice and Economic Affairs of the Principality of Liechtenstein.

The Future of Export Promotion (VIDEO)

Professor Michael Czinkota and former US ambassador Charles Ford discuss International trade, foreign direct investments and export in the past and the future of US Foreign Service and how American businesses are involved in the global economy.

The Future is Small Data CLICK TO READ

Just yesterday, Facebook acquired a small Israeli startup called “Onavo” for a cool $150 million. Onavo specializes not in big data analysis – which seems to be today’s hot commodity – but rather data compression and optimization (“small data”). Onavo is of significant value-add to Facebook because its optimization algorithms effectively make the product lighter on data consumption – a major boon to consumers in developing countries that pay a relatively large amount for cellular data – and effective analysis methodologies. In order for Facebook to keep growing, they need to keep growing their network while simultaneously making big data “smaller.”

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are some of the most useful, updated, and heavily utilized consumer preference databases available – and marketers are constantly looking for ways to monetize on the action. For instance, Facebook has recently been wooing network broadcasters with consumer data reports to help broadcasters understand consumer opinion on their content.

For companies trying to understand foreign consumer preferences, especially in countries in which official data may be fudged or incomplete, it can be quite difficult to ascertain consumer preferences from a hands-off approach. Traditional information agencies such as the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) may not have the same reach that social networks do. Social networks, unfiltered by bureaucratic corruption, can bridge the knowledge gap for foreign companies without the risk of government book-cooking. That’s why Facebook needs to grow its presence in developing markets, to make it easier for people to online: to bolster its ad revenues and to deepen its potential as a treasure trove of consumer information.

Acquiring small data pioneer Onavo will certainly make it easier for citizens of developing countries to get online. The more people that are online, the more valuable Facebook becomes. I believe that Facebook, Twitter, et al certainly have the potential to surpass information-collection resources like the EIU, McGraw-Hill, and others at the consumer level – provided that they focus not only on getting more people online, but also making big data smaller. The Onavo acquisition is a step in the right direction.

This text was written and presented by Mr. Ryan Cunningham, Student at the McDonough School of Business of Georgetown University in the course on International Business (STRT-261-01) on October 17th, 2013.

In addition to the written work, the author also offered a very interesting presentation on the issue: Business Intelligence, Facebook, and Small Data.  You can contact Ryan here.

As I Was Saying…Observations on International Business and Trade Policy, Exports, Education, and the Future

New Book from Professor Czinkota! As I Was Saying…Observations on International Business and Trade Policy, Exports, Education, and the Future

In Stock:  March 6, 2012.     To Pre-order, Click Here.

With a Foreword by Philip Kotler, the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and the artistic touch by David Clark—an award winning and syndicated cartoonist—this exciting new title by Michael Czinkota is the perfect read for business people to better understand just what is at stake in understanding and strategizing about international issues and opportunities.

Czinkota quickly takes the reader on a voyage between sight and word, and even hard core analysts will not be able to avoid cracking the occasional smile. A long-term vision, accompanied by ongoing analysis of the key international business and marketing issues that shape our global world is just a little of what you’ll find inside.

There is the old saying that “When storms come about, little birds seek to shelter, while eagles soar.” By reading and enjoying this book, you are hopefully likely to prefer the altitude of the eagles!

Afghanistan and the War against Terror: Business can make a difference

Michael R. Czinkota, Gary Knight, Gabriele Suder 

The “War on Terror” was launched ten years ago, on 07 October 2001.  It represents a battle against terrorism, extremism and global geopolitical adversity seen to oppose democracy and freedom of choice. In the intervening years, however, the War has produced various unintended consequences that threaten personal freedom and other liberties enjoyed by progressive societies worldwide. Stringent inspections delay cargo
and personnel at border crossings. In many cities, cameras constantly monitor the
movement of vehicles and civilians alike. Government wiretapping and
surveillance procedures have been expanded. Bank transactions are scrutinized
as never before. Airport security measures are annoying and sometimes even
humiliating. In many ways, such intrusions represent a victory for
terrorists.

An early casualty of the War on Terror was Afghanistan.  During much of the time since October, 2001, Afghans have seen little improvement in their lives and business conditions. Ten years on, Foreign Policy labels Afghanistan a “failed state”, especially regarding security, refugees, and legitimacy of the state. As the United States prepares an acceptable exit strategy, Afghanistan faces much risk and uncertainty. Divided by religious and political strife, the country’s per-capita income remains among the lowest
worldwide.  Adult literacy is below 28 percent and infant mortality is high. Following 30 years of war, Afghanistan’s social, institutional, and commercial infrastructures are in a decrepit state.

The World Bank and World Trade Organization (WTO) have pointed to constraints that
discourage corporate investment in Afghanistan: crime and disorder, inadequate energy
and transport systems, and insufficient access to finance. However, experts also suggest that, with appropriate local knowledge and collaborative efforts, companies can succeed
in Afghanistan. Success requires investments in education and training, creation of networks and infrastructure, and open-mindedness and flexibility towards the unexpected.  Firms with significant experience in troubled regions are most likely to succeed.

Recent changes in Afghanistan have produced significant potential opportunities for early investors, especially in infrastructure development. The World Bank views Afghanistan as a prospective hub for regional trade. The WTO points to significant
improvements in the categories of “Getting Credit” and “Registering Property”.
Thanks to a modern secured transactions law that helps companies obtain loans,
Afghanistan is now well ranked for “Starting a Business”.

Afghanistan’s economy is improving, especially in agriculture, commodities, and traditional industries.  The nation is home to a wealth of natural resources, including natural gas, petroleum, and certain key minerals.  It has benefited from billions of dollars of international aid and investments.  In many ways, Afghanistan is typical of troubled regions around the world.

Experience with Afghanistan and the War on Terror has provided important lessons for Western governments and businesses alike.  Companies now include terrorism as an
important factor in their international planning.  Firms are devising international strategies that emphasize flexibility and the ability to change course quickly, with less
dependence on vulnerable physical facilities. Foresight and skillful management
reduce the risk of loss and downtime.  Companies are putting more emphasis on developing closer relations with governments and other key players in uncertain foreign markets.

Since the launch of the War on Terror, many world regions have experienced attacks and conflict. But companies are fighting back.  Experienced managers are vigilant
and favor approaches that ensure long-term, sustainable success. Simultaneously,
governments are learning to strike the right balance between security and unneeded
intrusions in business and our personal lives.

Educators like us have an important role to play.  Alongside managers and public authorities, we share a responsibility to redefine global commerce. Increasingly, business must emphasize attitudes and behaviors that are not just ethical, but also socially responsible, compassionate, and focused on the long-term stability of nations worldwide.
Perhaps the best hope for a brighter future in troubled regions is business that, in addition to expanding profits, meets the social and economic needs of local stakeholders.

The struggle against terror, extremism and adversity is a long-term effort.  The costs in human and financial terms are extremely important. But hope remains eternal.  Responsible, collaborative business can go far toward improving the social, political and
economic landscape worldwide.  The global business community has both the capacity and responsibility to protect against the terrorist threat and to support development of a more sustainable, peaceful world.

 

Michael Czinkota teaches international business in Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. He is a former deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Gary Knight is a professor and expert on international business at Florida State University. Gabriele Suder holds the Jean Monnet Chair at SKEMA Business School in France, China and the USA and is a visiting fellow at ANU’s Center for European Studies.