We asked key global business influencers around the world to share their unique perspectives on market opportunities and challenges. What are they seeing out here right now? Here is a collection of thoughts via Global Chamber®.
“Africa is undergoing an unprecedented economic transformation to be ushered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) going into effect. The continent is positioned as the next economic frontier, Global business leaders must therefore not only pay attention, but also develop effective strategies towards the region. Africa has 6 of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world and the rate of urbanization and population growth creates new trade opportunities.” - Toyin Umesiri, CEO Nazaru & Founder Trade at Africa Business Summit
“Most of us think of leaders as someone else, but we’re all leaders, all the time, in any activity we participate in. The difference is in education. … I had the opportunity to go to university and equip myself with the knowledge to succeed. Now, the challenge and obligation is to extend those opportunities for education to those who don’t currently have them. That will solve most the the problems of humankind, I believe.” - President Vicente Fox, 55th President of Mexico last week in Denver (photo above is President Fox at Global Chamber® Denver)
"Resilience. These turbulent trade times call for lots of resilience. But remember when ‘made in China’ meant cheap and tacky, and reputable producers didn’t want to site supply chains there? Be a resilient innovator and find the newest, best opportunity! Might be in Africa, with the fastest-growing youth demographic in the world and new agreements opening markets. Might be in New Zealand with good infrastructure at air and sea to connect to the world. Might be anywhere! The newest and greatest hot market is waiting - for you!" - Melissa Sanderson, Vice President of International Affairs at Freeport McMoran Inc.
"eCommerce is not just about allowing your customers to buy online. Its about connecting with your customers in a much more streamlined digital manner. eCommerce can open up endless opportunities around the world on many different platforms like Amazon, Walmart, direct online sales, buy online pick up in store, international, and much more. Once you realize that eCommerce is increasingly a more efficient way of customer service and transacting, it's about how do you actually execute on a technology that enables this. We find that the customers that understand the concept of agile development and continuous improvement will eventually get there versus thinking it can be done in just one big project." - Isaiah Bollinger, CEO and Co-founder at Trellis
"It’s very strange for immigration to be driving the bus on an issue impacting U.S. trade because what we’re used to historically is that immigration was sort of the stepchild, and trade was forward first.” - Kathleen Campbell Walker, Member and Immigration Practice Group Co-chair at Dickinson Wright.
"Current uncertainty in the trade environment has brought new and unexpected difficulties to many companies in various industries in the US. One of the industries being severely impacted is the food industry - dwindling sales of certain products due to punitive counter tariff measures from foreign importing countries with which sales relationships have been cultivated over a long time and facing challenges in planning and managing strategic supply chain. This environment seems dismal at the moment, but I think we need to continue to remind ourselves that such challenges can also present unexpected opportunities for us to take advantage of. Despite the challenges, the main reason I am confident for the growth of our business is the fact that our clients and consumers in Asia continuously look to the US food industry as a source for high value food products, technological innovation in food safety and waste management, and revolutionization of the way food is ordered, delivered and consumed. Let’s continue to expand our food exports to the world!" - Mi Jeong Hibbitts, MBA, Director of International Sales and Marketing, PTC Foods
"In this ever changing world of business, technology, cross border commerce and the like, many have lost the most important key. It is not who can move faster, who is smarter, who has the best technology or who has more money. Those things are all very important. However, it is those that remember we are dealing with human beings at the end of the day. Those who can do that and effectively communicate, while treating others with that same respect, will be the ones that truly effect global business." - Eric Greenfield, Real Estate Division Chair at Polsinelli
“The availability, volume and speed of information and data continues to accelerate and the companies that can both manage and leverage that information globally will see tremendous benefits. The key will be to ensure that all business processes, whether they be manufacturing and operations processes or support services such as legal, financial, technology etc in the company, have the required platforms that provide digital solutions for the required information and data for all business processes to be generated, captured and then made available broadly across the organization, in order to provide for cross functional collaboration, to identify opportunities and then drive critical decision making to align the organization to capture those opportunities quickly. Becoming and acting as “One Company, Globally Connected” will be critical to future success." - Jas Sandhu, CEO at Intellequest
"For some organizations, Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Abiguity (VUCA) can result in paralysis. For others it yields prosperity. The difference is not reacting as a victim of disruption, but being agile and able to recognize and respond to new opportunities. This starts with the ability of leaders and key stakeholders to see beyond what is in front of them and hear above the noise. VUCA is here to stay. Are you and your star players ready? What are you missing? What might you see that you could not see before? Carpe diem!" - Brenda Harrington, PCC, President at Adaptive Leadership Strategies, LLC
“The 2019 hurricane season in the U.S. is underway and runs through November. While it’s currently quiet in the Atlantic Ocean, the season is forecast by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to be above-normal. With that in mind, it is crucial for organizations to reassess their natural disaster crisis management plans, ensuring they are adequately prepared to protect their people and assets and to resume normal business as quickly as possible. The time to do that is now, not when the storm is approaching.” - Matthew Bradley, Regional Security Director at International SOS
"Malaysia’s positive investment growth of the first quarter 2019 (126% increase) was a great sign of confident among investors in Malaysia’s economy. 73% increase in foreign investments in the first quarter of 2019 reflects the country’s continuous competitiveness as a preferred investment destination in Asia. Foreign investors have been benefiting from a highly skilled and English speaking workforce, attractive incentives, developed infrastructure and strong dynamism of the services sector. Malaysia is ranked 15 out of 190 economies by the World Bank in its doing business 2019 report, gaining eight spots from previous year. The targeted 3+2 catalytic and high potential growth sub-sectors namely the electrical and electronics (E&E), chemical and chemical products, machinery and equipment, medical devices, and aerospace contributed 66.14% to the total approved investments in the manufacturing sector. MIDA US offices in New York, Chicago and San Jose will continue to be the strategic partner to US businesses for them to strengthen their footprint and supply chain in ASEAN, and to seize the global opportunities arising from the technology revolution." - Shams Rusli, Director at Malaysian Investment Development Agency (MIDA) New York
"To paraphrase Mark Twain, 'the reports of the death of democracy, freedom, multiculturalism and global business across borders have been greatly exaggerated'. Politicians should listen to global business leaders who welcome export accelerators like immigration, capitalism, multi-culturalism and gender-balanced teams because those support the success of export economies in this century. Over 40% of FORTUNE 500 firms were founded by an immigrant. In the U.S., 5% of employees work for foreign-owned companies AND 20% of the exports come from those companies. These are members of the 'global tribe'... knowledgeable and comfortable selling in 525 metros... everywhere! Read more about top 12 HOT market opportunities presented last week to Intertel-IQ HERE." - Doug Bruhnke, founder/CEO at Global Chamber®
Be global and UNSTOPPABLE!