Trade Planning and Development
Market Entry Assessment
Foreign market entry requires careful advance preparation. However, market entry planning usually proceeds on the basis of access to markets being a given. It is taken for granted that trade policy will open markets and break down barriers. As a result, it often seems that the policy environment is not relevant to business enterprises. However, long range strategic planning should always include an accounting of the barriers to trade that need to be eliminated for a business venture to succeed and prosper.
Many, perhaps most export enterprises are unable to achieve their export aspirations due in part to a blind spot regarding the significance of government policy and private business practices. Nor are large firms immune. The North American lumber trade continues to function as a managed trade regime, limited by trade policy decisions. Similarly, mining companies often find themselves dangerously exposed to host country regulations they were unaware of when entering into exploration and development agreements.
While most governments offer general soft assistance for firms interested in foreign markets, they usually are ham-handed in addressing the specific issues facing any particular company. As a result, firms often find themselves facing foreign trade remedy actions alone.
A planning exercise focusing on sustainable market development often uncovers unanticipated problems, as well as promising new avenues. In trade development, a firm can expect to front a significant amount in initial market development costs. In relation to those costs, the price of some initial policy planning is cheap. The value of planning however is not measured only in currency: a company's reputation and image are also at stake.
Offshore assignments are accepted, with emphasis on field reconnaissance, and the organisation of foreign missions and events.