February 2010

Top 10 Themes from 2010 Davos
Among top concerns at the World Economic Forum: fix the global economy, sort out executive pay, create sustainability, and enhance collaboration.  This article in BusinessWeek by Don Tapscott gives an overview of the dicussions and outcomes of the meetings. But, what does it mean for international business?

Taking the first two themes together, there’s implications for how companies might approach doing business internationally in the “new economy”:
1. The state of the world is not good. and 2. Everywhere new collaborative models are emerging to solve global problems. The first contends ” the financial meltdown and recession are arguably symptoms of bigger systemic crises and deep institutional failures. There is growing recognition that many of the organizations and institutions that have served us well for decades, even centuries, are no longer capable. Many of the pillars of economic and social life have come to the end of their life cycles.” but the second provides a counter-point “Thanks to Web 2.0, the entire world is beginning to collaborate—for the first time ever—around a single issue: the changing weather. For the first time we have a single, affordable, global, multimedia, many-to-many communications system, and an issue on which there is nearly nonpartisan consensus. Citizens, businesses, and governments all have a stake in the outcome.”

What are the implications of these changes recognized in Davos for your company? International business is changing from the inside out, enabled by the web and an interdependent world economy.


Obama annouces a new National Export Initiative, which aims to double American exports over the next five years and support two million jobs here at home.

The premise is that this is the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his Cabinet.

“First, the NEI is going to provide more funding for export promotion and more coordination between government agencies.

Second, the NEI will ensure that commercial advocacy objectives get government-wide support and that we do a more effective job of advocating for U.S. products in our interactions with foreign businesses, farmers and foreign officials.

And finally, the Initiative will create an Export Promotion Cabinet reporting to the president that will consist of top leaders from the Commerce, Treasury and State Departments, the Department of Agriculture, the Export-Import Bank, the office of the United States Trade Representative and the Small Business Administration.”

These efforts should be applauded. At the same time, closer collaboration between government and private enterprise efforts could provide an even greater positive impact on U.S. business and employment.

Read the announcement here, and weigh in.


Minnesota District Export Council & the U.S. Commercial Service organize an International Trade Networking Cocktail (ITNC) co-hosted by MIC. This event was created in order to allow international business people and those with an interest in international trade to meet and connect locally.
Feb 9: Do you know how to differentiate between a trade barrier, foreign regulation and a customer requirement? Do you suspect that you have been subject to a trade barrier but were unable to act because you might lose an export sale? Well, you can find help right in your own back yard.

Meet an expert on technical barriers within the Trade Compliance Center (TCC) at the MN District Export Council reception. His name is Bryan O’Byrne and he has initiated compliance actions leading to the resolutions of dozens of international regulatory and technical trade barriers. TCC is the gateway to the US Department of Commerce’s Trade Agreement Compliance program. Get to know him!

It will be held on February 9, 2010 between 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, 35 S. 7th Street, Minneapolis.

For only $20 you’ll be able to hear and speak with Mr. O’Byrne at this event sponsored by the MN District Export Council as well as dozens of other members of Minnesota’s growing trade community.

Enjoy the complimentary food and cash bar. Network with your fellow international traders!

To register please proceed to: http://www.micglobe.org/calendar /index.php