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High tech states generate shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.


With the high-tech industry at an all-time high for growth, more and more U.S. markets are becoming meccas for both established and emerging technologies–and boosting their trade capabilities to handle the needs of booming industries.

What follows are the states landing the lion’s share of high-tech projects.


The high-tech industry in Washington is heavily concentrated in a 10-kilometer radius, and Lake Union just north of downtown Seattle is “ground zero,” according to Joseph Williams, Governor Jay Inslee’s Information and Communications Technology Sector (ICT) lead for Economic Development.

Within those 10 kilometers, we have the second largest IT industry in the world–a vibrant community of very sophisticated tech workers where there is an incredible exchange of ideas,” Williams says.

The Evergreen State has several “very synergistic” sectors, including aerospace and related supply chain companies, ICT, and the clean-tech sector, says Allison Clark, managing director, Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness, at the Washington State Department of Commerce. Moreover, one of the 10 national labs is located in eastern Washington.

With other clusters, we have critical mass to maintain a skilled workforce and we are seeing a lot of bleeding into other sectors, where technology is being utilized in distinct ways, including in agriculture,” Clark says.

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are typically ranked within the top five U.S. ports by tonnage in any given period of time.

We are one day closer to Asia than any other port in the U.S., which can lower the cost of doing business for companies conducting trade with Asian companies,” Clark says.


California is home to arguably the most talented workforce pool in the nation, our public universities and colleges are consistently ranked among the best in the world, our infrastructure from rail, roads, airports and ports provide efficient and fast access to markets across the globe, and our research institutions are on the cutting edge of tech transfer,” says Sid Voorakkara, deputy director, External Affairs, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “All of these are key factors in determining location and expansion for high-tech companies.”

The Golden State is home to multiple thriving sectors, from healthcare to aerospace and agriculture—and high-tech companies are in “all of the above.” The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) looks for opportunities to support firms regardless of their life cycle–from incubation to commercialization. Since 2014, GO-Biz has allocated $555.3 million to 775 companies projected to create 77,178 new jobs and make $14.5 billion in new investments.

And given there are 17 designated foreign trade zones in California from Eureka to the Mexican border, California’s ports and communities are ready to assist companies move products and materials efficiently and duty-free,” Voorakkara says.


From the tech hubs in Boston and Cambridge, to the manufacturing centers in central and western parts of the state, what sets Massachusetts apart is our roster of leading technology companies, our well-trained workforce and world-class research and development institutions,” says Tim Connelly, executive director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

The Bay State’s governor and legislature have made a commitment to investing in and building on these resources, which has helped make Massachusetts one of the best places in the U.S. to start a business, develop a revolutionary idea or launch a new technology, Connelly says. All of this translates into the accolades the state has received from Bloomberg, U.S. News & World Report and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which show that Massachusetts “is truly open for business.”

The Port of Boston is an economic engine for not only Boston, but for the entire New England region, ensuring that Massachusetts’ industries, manufacturers and workers remain competitive in the global economy, says Lisa Wieland, director of the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Our imports and exports serve as vital catalysts for growth, investment and opportunity, with more than 1,600 businesses across New England, including those in the high-tech industry, using the Port of Boston for importing and exporting goods and equipment,” Wieland says.


Texas has a very strong track record of attracting relocation and expansion projects, particularly from high-tech companies, says Robert Allen, president and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corp.

From my perspective, talent is the thread that unites all of these projects,” Allen says. “While much of the rest of the country struggles to fill open jobs, Texas has the second largest workforce in America and continues to lead the nation in talent attraction.”

Infrastructure and proximity to international airports is also a major factor, particularly for international companies that need ready access to global destinations, he says. The Lone Star State’s 380 airports make up the second-largest state airport system in the U.S. Moreover, the state’s incentives programs and overall low tax burden continue to attract jobs and investment to the state.

Texas is also home to more public roads and freight railroads than any other state and boasts 16 seaports, including 11 deep-water ports with channels at least 30 feet deep, Allen says. Of these ports, 11 are designated as foreign trade zones.

Our strategic geographic position puts companies in an ideal location to distribute goods, not only across the U.S., but to global markets in Europe and South America,” Allen says.


Florida has a very attractive business climate–a business-friendly government, low taxes and a very strong multicultural labor force,” says Manny Mencia, Enterprise Florida Inc.’s senior vice president for International Trade and Development.

The Sunshine State has the second-largest aviation and aerospace industry in the U.S., is second in life sciences, which includes medical device and pharmaceuticals, and is among the fastest growing IT clusters in the U.S., Mencia says.

It speaks volumes that Florida has the third-largest tech industry in the nation,” says Tim Vanderhoof, senior vice president for business development.

Florida ranks No. 1 in high-tech employment, with 237,000 working in tech industry across all sectors, and more than 27,000 IT companies are based in the state, according to Vanderhoof. Supporting this is infrastructure, including 275 data centers, and Florida is third among states in the most miles of fiber–61,000 miles and 47,000 fiber-lit structures in the state.

Regarding how Florida can facilitate trade for high-tech companies, we have 20 commercial airports, 15 deep-water seaports and two space ports,” he says. “The state has earmarked $2.8 billion for capital improvements at our seaports across the next five years to make sure Florida continues to be a player in the global marketplace.”

North Carolina

One very impressive measure of North Carolina’s appeal to high-tech companies is the sheer growth of tech jobs in the state, says Christopher Chung, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Overall tech-industry employment in The Tar Heel State‒including IT and the energy, environmental and life science industries‒grew 20.6 percent from 2010 to 2015, well above the 10.9 percent national average increase, Chung says. The IT sector alone saw a nearly 29 percent increase in jobs, the fastest growth in IT jobs of any state. Recent blockbuster company expansions suggest that pace won’t be slowing anytime soon.

The state’s highly educated workforce, concentration of research and development activity, low cost of living and business-friendly climate are all factors,” in the stellar growth rate of N.C.’s high-tech sector, Chung says.

Indeed, North Carolina’s 3 percent corporate income tax rate—scheduled to drop to 2.5 percent in 2019—is the lowest among all 44 states with the business tax.

In addition, North Carolina, with its central East Coast location, offers unparalleled access to U.S. markets via some of the nation’s primary Interstates,” Chung says. “The state also has four international airports, the largest consolidated rail system in the country and two deep-water ports located along Atlantic shipping lines.


As a critical network access point since the early days of the World Wide Web, Virginia plays a key role in supporting today’s global Internet traffic, says Stephen Moret, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

With the second-highest concentration of tech workers in the country, according to Cyberstates 2016, Old Dominion has become a world-class center for emerging IT, software development and advanced communications companies. Seventy percent of the world’s Internet traffic passes through the Metropolitan Area Exchange East, located in Ashburn, Virginia, and the Commonwealth is one of the most active data center markets in the country.

In addition to its critical IT infrastructure and pipeline of skilled talent, Virginia continues to attract high-tech companies because the Commonwealth serves as a gateway to the rest of the nation and the world,” Moret says. “Centrally located on the U.S. East Coast and bordering the nation’s capital, Virginia is within a one-day drive of approximately 43 percent of the U.S. population.”

The Port of Virginia, served by every major shipping line, is the U.S. East Coast’s best-positioned first and last call port for post-Panamax ships. As the only East Coast port with authorization for 55-foot channels, the Port of Virginia boasts deep shipping channels, no height restrictions and double-stack rail service with two Class 1 railroads.

New Jersey

New Jersey’s highly educated, tech savvy workforce and extensive broadband network are among the many assets attracting technology companies to our state,” says Michele Brown, president and CEO, Choose New Jersey Inc.

New Jersey is ranked the No. 1 state for broadband connectivity, and Newark boasts the fastest Internet speeds in the world, with miles of dark fiber ready for use, Brown says. The Garden State also offers a world-class transportation infrastructure, including the Port of New York and New Jersey, the largest maritime cargo center on the East Coast, making it easy to import and export goods and products.

An investment of more than $5 billion in infrastructure improvement projects at the ports, including the raising of the Bayonne Bridge, road improvements and doubling intermodal capacity, ensure they are ready for the neo-Panamax era,” Brown says.

New Jersey also boasts five foreign trade zones, including one of the largest contiguous foreign trade zones in the country: FTZ 49 at Port Newark/Elizabeth.

Our strategic location in the heart of the U.S. Northeast corridor and 2,800 miles of Interstates and highways give technology companies the ability to reach 22 million consumers and thousands of businesses within a two-hour drive,” Brown says.


High-tech, multi-national companies have options in Delaware, which is the first state to be approved by the Foreign Trade Zone Board for “Alternative Site Framework,” says Cerron Cade, director, Delaware Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism.

Centrally located in the Mid-Atlantic, Delaware is within two hours of 40 million people. The First State has access to five major, international airports, passenger and commercial rail service, a deep-water port and more.

Delaware is adept at transporting not just people and things but information, always ranking at/near the top for overall Internet speeds,” Cade says. The state provides companies access to a workforce that is productive (No. 2 for hourly GDP per person) and highly educated (No. 3 for most PhD’s per capita).

In addition, there are 89 universities within 50 miles. Incubator and laboratory sites such as 1313 Innovation, The Mill, Delaware Innovation Space and The Star Campus offer “perfect location choices” for any high-tech company, whether start-up or been-up.

Finally, the New Economy Jobs Tax Credit can provide significant benefit to a company bringing jobs to Delaware in new and emerging sectors,” Cade says. “And it is just one of a number of programs and incentives that provide companies options in Delaware.”


Forbes ranked Utah the No. 1 state for business and careers six out of the past seven years, boasts Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Utah’s 5 percent corporate tax rate hasn’t changed in nearly 20 years, and state leaders try to keep government regulation to a minimum. “We have a very business-friendly legislature and so, overall, Utah’s soil is very fertile for growth,” Hale says. “Consequently, there is tremendous entrepreneurship taking root, especially in technology.”

The Beehive State has developed a critical mass of technology companies, with a software and IT industry that includes nearly 4,500 establishments employing more than 73,000 workers. Utah is also home to more than 900 high-tech aerospace companies.

Utah’s infrastructure makes it an ideal distribution hub and gateway to international trade,” Hale says. “The state is one to two days from all major western ports, as well as Canada and Mexico. Salt Lake City International Airport leads the nation for on-time departure rankings and connects the state to cities across the world.”

The state is exploring the development of an inland port, which would help alleviate processing bottlenecks at seaports and serve as key way stations in the national e-commerce distribution network. Salt Lake City is also home to Foreign Trade Zone 30.

Other States

Maryland, South Carolina, Colorado and Nevada are among the other states with established or fast-growing emerging high-tech sectors.

Expansion will allow port to handle more shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.


The Port of Corpus Christi–already the No. 1 exporter of U.S. crude oil in the nation–is about to embark on a channel improvement project that will further boost the resurgence of the American energy sector.

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in September executed a project partnership agreement for the deepening and widening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. The CC Ship Channel Improvement Project will widen the CC Ship Channel to 530 feet and create additional barge shelves, which will enable two-way vessel and barge traffic. The project will also deepen the CC Ship Channel to 54 feet MLLW (Mean Lower Low Water) to allow for safe passage of deep draft vessels.

These improvements will significantly benefit the country’s energy sector, says Sean Strawbridge, deputy executive director and chief operating officer.

The United States is on track to become a net exporter of its energy production by 2022–the last time the U.S. was a net energy exporter was 1953,” Strawbridge says. “This resurgence of the American energy sector after many decades of relying on foreign energy is clearly driving the growth at the Port of Corpus Christi.”

To place crude or natural gas in foreign markets, it has to be done competitively, with larger ships that can transport “more molecules,” he says.

The channel improvement project further solidifies our customers’ ability to be competitive in the global marketplace,” Strawbridge says. “They’re competing with other countries, particularly in the Middle East, and must have the infrastructure to handle the larger ships such as the Q-Max and VLCC vessels. The transportation savings with these vessels is significant, as much as $1 per barrel.”

Port commissioners also approved the acceleration of $32 million in port funds to the Corps to expedite the initial construction phase of the project, which will deepen of the channel from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island.

Congress, under the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, initially authorized the entire project. Congress re-authorized it when that law was revisited in 2014 and reaffirmed its commitment to the project under the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act.

With the Corps’ proportionate cost-share projected to be $225 million and the port’s proportionate cost-share projected at $102 million, the entire project is estimated to cost $327 million. The PPA allows the PCCA to accelerate its portion of the project cost-share, thereby allowing construction to commence ahead of federal appropriations up to $102 million.

The Port of Corpus Christi is “at the forefront of the energy resurgence,” says Strawbridge, citing its proximity to the Eagle Ford Shale, which extends deep into Mexico, and the Permian Basin, the nation’s largest crude oil producing region. That dominance is especially evident now with the port’s ability to deepen and widen the ship channel as well as build wider berths and a higher bridge, including the new $1 billion Harbor Bridge Project.

That’s why we’re seeing $50 billion in private investments in and around Corpus Christi’s ship channels–which just solidifies the energy dominance of the U.S. energy sector,” Strawbridge says.

Polk County, Florida, boasts abundant infrastructure for shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.


Foreign firms looking to do business in Florida or the greater eastern US have a clear alternative in Polk County.

Ideally situated along the I-4 corridor between Tampa and Orlando, Polk County has the best of both worlds: unparalleled access to multimodal transportation, while at the same time offering a lower cost of living 10.5 percent below the national average, as well as lower operating costs for businesses—and an abundant, highly skilled workforce.

Businesses operating in the region have access to two major international airports; 15 deepwater seaports–including two less than an hour away each, Port Tampa Bay and Port Manatee; CSX rail; and excellent roadways and Interstate highways.

Polk County is located within Foreign Trade Zone No. 79, which assists companies by streamlining the process and minimizing the costs associated with qualified importing, exporting, manufacturing and distribution activities.

The Central Florida Development Council in Polk County focuses on companies in the technology, aviation, logistics and manufacturing industries considering investing into the United States. The non-profit organization responsible for recruiting new businesses and helping existing businesses expand, particularly supports global trade opportunities for firms looking to import to or export from the region–or anywhere within the eastern United States.

The council also actively supports the efforts of institutions of higher learning for collaboration and international studies, in addition to an international high school slated to open in 2018. Polk County is part of the high-tech I-4 corridor, anchored by STEM-focused Florida Polytechnic University.

Established in 1985, the mission of the CFDC is to grow Polk County’s economy based on high-skill, higher-wage sustainable businesses. The mission is to help develop a community of prosperity where every citizen has the opportunity to earn a higher-level wage.

From its talented workforce to its strategic geographic location, Polk County offers the ideal conditions for businesses to thrive. Sound like the place your business should be? Visit

Amerijet carries air shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.


When is an air cargo company not just an air cargo company? When it has the capabilities to provide a comprehensive set of logistics solutions–in the air, sea and land–to give clients a “supply chain competitive edge.”

Amerijet is that kind of company.

With 25 U.S. offices and 130 international offices, Amerijet is close to many operation facilities, providing all-cargo global transportation services from its core markets in the U.S., Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America to anywhere in the world.

The company offers scalable solutions ranging from traditional airport-to-airport to port-to-port movements, as well as door-to-door services to its primary destinations. Amerijet provides highly distinct air cargo services through its worldwide network, offering consistent delivery of all types of shipments, including live animals, high-value shipments, hazardous materials, temperature controlled and pharmaceuticals. With a consistent aim to increase efficiency, quality and reliability, and the experience to transport difficult-to-handle freight, Amerijet’s tailored industry solutions combine land, air and ocean operations.

For customers requiring dedicated service solutions due to the intricacy and scale of their projects, Amerijet operates long and short-term charters within and beyond its network. Amerijet’s strength lies in its collaborative customer approach to understand the complexities of each project and deliver the solutions they need.

Amerijet operates a fleet of B767 Freighter aircraft from its own terminal at Miami International Airport. The company’s 210,000-square-foot export and 100,000-square-foot import air cargo handling facilities in Miami include a custom-built, 10,300-square-foot (227,419 cu. ft.) perishable handling center providing refrigerated, frozen and chilled storage to maintain the cold-chain integrity of pharmaceuticals and perishables during the transportation process. Advanced monitoring procedures provide real-time shipment visibility, alerts and cargo tracking. Is it any wonder Amerijet is known for its reliability and service with a strong customer focus?

Learn more at or call (305) 506-2995.

Odessa, Texas, offers opportunities for companies with shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.


Odessa—the hub for commerce in West Texas—has the infrastructure, skilled workforce and business spirit to help companies thrive. No wonder that Odessa is one of the fastest growing markets in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Located in Ector County midway between Fort Worth and El Paso, Odessa in the heart of the Permian Basin, an area of 100,000 square miles in West Texas that collectively is the largest single source of oil and gas deposits in the United States.

International trade, distribution opportunities and proximity to major markets make doing business in Odessa a breeze–and the Odessa Development Corp. (ODC) can help boost opportunities even further.

ODC actively recruits and attracts new business and maintains Odessa’s existing industry base. The organization provides job creation grants, capital investment grants and other incentives for businesses seeking to expand in Odessa, based on the number of new jobs created, annual payroll and the amount of a company’s capital investment.

Other possible incentives include infrastructure improvement grants, property tax incentives, training and recruiting and screening of employees. The Skills Development Fund is designed to help businesses apply for job training funds in partnership with local community colleges and technical schools to finance customized job training.

Moreover, businesses that locate in designated zones may be eligible for local and/or state benefits in the Texas Enterprise Zone Program. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism may grant state benefits if a business is awarded “Enterprise Project” status.

Examples of state benefits include state sales tax refunds of taxes paid on machinery and equipment, building material, labor for the rehabilitation of existing buildings, and electricity and natural gas purchased for use in the Enterprise Zone. Additionally, companies that locate in non-entitlement communities may receive funds for needed infrastructure through the Texas Capital Fund Infrastructure Program.

Explore how the ODC can help your business succeed at

Michigan helps companies with shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.


Manufacturers wanting a favorable business climate should look no farther than Michigan.

The Wolverine State has no personal property tax, significantly reducing costs for companies that have expensive capital investments in equipment. Pollina Corporate/AEDI consistently ranks Michigan as a Top 10 Pro-Business State, and Site Selection considers it a Top 10 state for major new and expanded corporate facilities.

The crème de la crème industry in the state is automotive manufacturing. Since 2010, more than $23 billion in new automotive investments have taken place in Michigan, more than in any other state. Michigan also has the nation’s most robust tool and die and manufacturing infrastructure, and is also one of the most attractive states for aerospace manufacturing.

And the accolades just keep coming: According to Business Facilities magazine, Michigan not only ranks No. 1 in automotive employment, but the state is also No. 2 for education tech skills, No. 6 for manufacturing, No. 7 for automotive manufacturing and No. 8 for exporting.

Michigan also ranks sixth in the nation for total export dollars, at nearly $54.4 billion in 2016, and third for exports to the United States’ 20 Free Trade Agreement partners, at $37.5 billion, according to the International Trade Administration. The Small Business Administration ranks Michigan No. 5 for assisting exporters with $820,000 in federal dollars.

Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s International Trade program assists more than 425 companies annually with their export initiatives. Since 2012, the program has facilitated more than $1.5 billion in Michigan export sales, creating 7,300 jobs.

The MEDC has been recognized for providing a number of successful programs to attract manufacturers to the state, and to help existing companies expand and thrive. Michigan provides millions of dollars in support each year for business expansions and growth through its resources, incentives and loans.

Explore why “Pure Michigan Means Business” at

Indiana has site selection opportunities for companies with shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.


Businesses considering expanding or relocating to Indiana or southeastern Illinois can get a boost from Hoosier Energy Economic Development, which is one of the Midwest’s leading economic development utility organizations to foster growth.

The Hoosier Energy economic development team, which works in collaboration with member cooperatives and state and regional organizations, is regarded as a one-stop shop for all of a company’s expansion or relocation needs.

Located within a day’s drive of more than 70 percent of the nation’s population, the Hoosier Energy service territory offers a broad portfolio of shovel-ready sites and available buildings with Interstate and rail access, all of which can be easily searched at

The team at Hoosier Energy, an electricity generation and transmission cooperative, also facilitates access to local grants and incentive programs, provides rate estimates and rate information, offers discounted industrial rates, promotes energy efficiency programs and provides access to renewable electricity.

Indiana, a right-to-work state, has a very pro-growth business climate, with no inventory or inheritance taxes, and continued corporate and individual tax cuts. As the crossroads of America, the state has committed $1.2 billion a year through 2024 for transportation infrastructure projects.

Chief Executive magazine’s 2017 rankings of the Best States for Business had Indiana at No. 1 in the Midwest and No. 5 nationally. In 2016, CNBC also ranked Indiana No. 1 for Cost of Doing Business, and Forbes had the Hoosier State at No. 4 for Regulatory Environment.

Hoosier Energy provides low cost, high quality wholesale electric power to its owners—18 distribution cooperatives throughout central and southern Indiana and southeastern Illinois. Electric energy is generated from a highly efficient fleet of natural gas, coal and renewable fuel generating stations, meeting the demands of industrial, commercial, agricultural and residential customers over a 59-county region in the heart of the Midwest.


Sending executives to work in foreign countries, particularly emerging markets or in “hot spot” areas, can be challenging, sometimes dicey. There are a myriad of insurance solutions that can offset the risks, but experts say companies should also educate themselves on the best practices for risk management in each of those locales—because their executives can’t always run to the nearest police station in places where law enforcement may not be all that effectual.

And then there’s also just responding in the most feasible way possible at the moment. Take this case:

For the first time, a client of corporate relocation firm Cartus Corp. was deploying its executives into remote locations in Africa, India and China, where there is much less infrastructure, including comfortable housing they would find in the Western world or schools they would feel are safe for their children, says Cindy Madden, director of Consulting Solutions at the Danbury, Connecticut-based firm.

The companies first moved their executives to get “a lay of the land,” but when the executives got to the locations, they were very upset because their household goods either took a long time to arrive, didn’t show up at all or were stolen at the port.

“In these situations, sometimes it’s just better for the company to pay outright for new household goods rather than waiting for any insurance claim to be paid,” Madden says.

One of the most critical insurance products that companies deploying executives in foreign countries must have is an admitted directors’ and officers’ policy for each market, says Lee Lindsay, a managing director with Aon’s Financial Services Group in Denver. Even if a U.S. company has a global directors and officers liability (D&O) policy written in the U.S., executives working in such countries need to be covered by a separate D&O policy written by a local carrier that was admitted to place insurance in that country.

This is critically important when it comes to the Side A component of D&O insurance, which is for non-indemnifiable loss, Lindsay says. This is personal cover for directors, officers and other senior management in instances when a company is not permitted to indemnify them.

“Over half of the world’s countries don’t have laws on company indemnification, so companies deploying executives in foreign countries don’t know whether a particular country is going to allow corporate indemnification of an executive when a claim comes in against that individual for committing a wrongful act,” she says. “This is when admitted D&O insurance for personal cover is important.”

The only way a company itself can indemnify that individual and pay defense costs is if that person is adjudicated innocent or not liable, Lindsay says. With a Side B claim, however, if a foreign company allows a company to pay for defense costs of an individual even if they are not adjudicated innocent or not liable, then the insurance company can pay the parent company’s claim in the U.S., under the parent company’s U.S.-based global D&O policy.

“This issue became a bigger concern after the 2008 global financial crisis, when there was a surge in claims against U.S. executives working in foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies,” she says. “Before the crisis, carriers were selling 15 locally admitted D&O policies a year, but now [they] are selling over 3,000 policies a year.”

Separate workers’ compensation policies may also be needed, says Terry Campbell, a managing director of the global risk management practice at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in Los Angeles.

For short-term assignments of less than a year, workers’ comp would be covered by the foreign voluntary provision of a company’s domestic workers’ compensation policy, Campbell says. But for longer assignments, employers should make sure they get covered by the appropriate workers’ comp scheme in the country of employment.

For companies that send employees to hot spots such as Iraq and Iran to conduct government-related work, they should get an extension on their workers’ comp policy for Defense Base Act coverage, he says. This coverage is for people who work on a government contract on a military base or on foreign soil, including consultants. Should they get injured, they can get significantly higher workers’ comp benefits since they are working on behalf of the military or other federal government agencies, like the State Department, so employers should make sure they get that specific coverage endorsed under their domestic workers’ compensation policy.

“We also recommend a business travel accident policy for employees, including their families that may accompany them, which gives them access to medical care provided at local hospitals and doctors that are available,” says Lance Becker, another AJG managing director in New York City. “We would recommend that these policies extend to provide medevac evacuation to get the executive out of the country to get access to the U.S. or closest location for specific medical care.”

Companies deploying executives to hot spot areas should definitely consider kidnap and ransom policies (K&R), Becker says. When employers buy such policies, they are buying more into networks and solutions provided by firms specifically set up for crisis management when situations happen—“and they can happen fast.”

“This is all about good risk management,” Campbell advises. “By procuring a policy, they have special ops and resource people who know what’s going on in that country, particularly in the hot spots, and it’s really inexpensive insurance. But employers should never admit that they have K&R coverage, because that would just attract kidnappers.”

With a lot of these programs for hot spot areas, employers are going to need the assistance of the military—“they are the network and the go-between,” Becker says. Employers should at least advise the military about what they are doing in a particular country, as the military is the communication channel. “But the best risk management practice is to plan ahead, before employers even think about entering a particular part of the world,” he says.

Indeed, companies need to educate executives to an area’s local customs, and to act using “common sense business acumen,” says Campbell. Executives should be aware of their surroundings because if something happens in the area and they are caught off guard, they may not be afforded the same safety measures they have locally in the U.S.

“There are also cultural expectations about the way business is done,” Campbell continues, “but employers should make sure their executives know that they can’t operate differently than was is expected and required in the U.S. just because it’s acceptable in that area of the world.”

U.S. executives, while working abroad, are held to the requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Campbell notes. For example, even if it’s acceptable locally to have an intermediary help a firm win a contract and for that, the firm gives the intermediary certain enticements, it’s not acceptable under the U.S. law. Executives have to conduct themselves and operate their operations just like they would if they were in the States.

Matt Chamberlain, manager of Consulting Services in Cartus’ Swindon, U.K. offices, offers additional best practices “to ease the burden” for executives being sent to hardship locations. The most common best practice is providing security briefings to executives and their families prior to moving to the hardship location, which cover very specific threats within that country, including terrorism and political unrest, Chamberlain says. Cartus also recommends mandatory cross-cultural training.

Companies should also consider conducting candidate assessments to determine employees’ readiness to go into hardship locations, and employees can assess themselves if they can handle it personally and professionally, Chamberlain says.

Since finding suitable secure housing may be a challenge, many companies have their executives and families stay within a compound where housing is likely of a higher standard compared to local housing. If the level of hardship is high, then Cartus’ staff advises a split-family situation, in which the executive is based in a remote location, but the family is based in a location with better infrastructure, and the executive visits them on the weekends.

“Russia is a good example, as there is massive disparity in the level of infrastructure services,” Chamberlain says.

Transportation in emerging markets or hot spots can be “a definite challenge” due to traffic conditions or crime in certain areas.

“For example,” Chamberlain says, “people shouldn’t stop at traffic lights in major cities in Brazil, or their car could get hijacked. Companies typically provide security escorts or a car with a driver, and will discourage employees from using public transport.”

Companies should give their executives hardship allowance to compensate for the stress and everything that comes with going to such a location, Chamberlain advises. The allowance is normally a percentage of salary based on the hardship index, which calculates the difference between the conditions of their home country and the hardship location.

“We also recommend that companies provide their executives all-expenses paid rest and relaxation trips in a destination location, so executives working in hardship locations can literally have a breather for a week or two,” he concludes.