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How Generational Gaps Impact Talent Retention & Recruiting Strategies

talent retention

How Generational Gaps Impact Talent Retention & Recruiting Strategies

Workforce development in the modern age presents a new level of opportunities and challenges to companies seeking to enhance their talent pool. Factors such as technology innovation, information overload, and new generations entering the workforce require thought leaders and experts to identify the best options to meet company needs. In order to attain this, recruiters must understand potential employees at their core and visualize the potential value and growth for both parties. This level of expertise is difficult to find. Dozens of talent recruiting websites and services exist in the marketplace with a similar promise: guaranteed results. What they don’t guarantee is the right kind of results. If a company is provided with five candidates with years of experience, but lacking the knowledge, skills, and company culture needed to thrive, the “results” go stale and the process is restarted, resulting in a never-ending cycle with a low success rate. 

“This is a relational business, not a transactional one. If you view it as the latter, you’ll surely fail long term,” explains Anthony Fletcher, President and CEO of My Future Consulting. “Whether you’re in search of a new business opportunity or an exceptional candidate, I found that organic, genuine, and empowering relationships enable businesses to build a network comprised of the most talented, knowledgeable, influential, and accomplished professionals in the world.” 

Anthony Fletcher boasts a wealth of knowledge developed over 20 years managing Fortune 100 company’s operations, manufacturing, planning and sales. Through his dedication to understanding people, Mr. Fletcher demonstrates competitive knowledge required to develop a successful approach in matching the right people with the right jobs and beyond. My Future Consulting differentiates the recruiting process through a carefully developed process that considers the needs of both employers and candidates, ultimately ensuring life-long partnerships while tackling the challenges in workforce development head-on. 

Candidates in the modern workforce come with a variety of personalities, levels of skills, experience, and expectations. Furthermore, generational gaps create complexities that can be difficult to navigate, especially for a company looking to fill a vital position quickly and successfully. The hiring process has evolved significantly in recent years and now requires a granular approach to recruiting the right people to build a lasting team. Simply put, there is no “one size fits all” approach and it takes an expert in people to successfully achieve such results. That’s the difference My Future Consulting brings to companies in eight different industries, boasting a 93 percent employee placement retention rate. 

“’Your Future is Our Priority’” is embodied in every phase of the search process. Our end goal is to make the process both seamless and stress-free for all stakeholders,” adds Mr. Fletcher. “Unlike most recruitment firms where recruiting is approached transactionally, My Future Consulting approaches it as a relationship-based business. We take tremendous pride in critically evaluating necessary steps to ensure all of our clients have a phenomenal experience during each and every phase of the recruitment process. Additionally, 95 percent of our candidates and 90 percent of our clients lack the knowledge and/or resources to effectively negotiate salary and compensation. This is another reason why our services are greatly valued as we are able to propose a competitive compensation – a package that presents a win-win outcome for both the candidate and client.” 

Taking it a few steps further, My Future Consulting focuses on presenting candidates to clients that bring results through a thorough understanding of company culture and the differences presented in different generations of employees seeking a family of companies to grow with. Among the major differences in the talent market today is the emergence of Gen Z into the mix of millennials and baby boomers. Communication, experience, goals, and skills are unique to each candidate presented. An example of this is seen with the level of experience in technology. While a seasoned Millennial candidate presents skills in communication and writing, a Gen Z candidate with less experience might present a deeper knowledge of platforms vital to a company’s audience. If an overwhelmed supervisor is tasked with the responsibility to fill a position quickly, identifying these factors could very well be overlooked and the right candidate dismissed. 

“From a recruitment standpoint, it can be extremely challenging for Baby Boomers who may not be knowledgeable of the many social media platforms and networks that exist today, as this has become a primary connection point for most millennials, Gen Z and a few straggling Baby Boomers,” adds Fletcher. “Lack of engagement on the aforementioned could result in a competitive disadvantage in the war of talent that exists in today’s job market.”

More so than before, finding the right talent has proven to be increasingly difficult as more factors present themselves in a variety of industries. The workforce culture is changing while technology is advancing and companies are confronted with the need for change in developing a strong team. What proved to be successful previously is not guaranteed to work in the modern age. Hiring managers and business owners alike are beginning to realize addressing these challenges is best left for the experts to tackle. 

“For Gen Z and Millennials, technology is the most appealing aspect of a job and lack thereof will only lead to high turnover. Today’s candidates lean towards organizations that are always on the cutting edge of technology. For those companies that have an antiquated approach in running their organization, they are perceived to be out of touch, stifling the individual capability of the organization, thus leading to morale and performance issues – a recipe for mass exodus.” 

Understanding a candidate from a generational, cultural, and skills point of view is not something companies can rely on an average recruiting website or firm to deliver on. What many recruiters fail to understand is how to determine which candidates are ready for the next step in an industry and which candidates need some finessing for placement success. From the personalized, 10-point resume assessment services to its career transition services, the experts at My Future Consulting address recruiting from both sides to ensure the right candidates are set up for success and while companies are paired with the best option. Instead of isolating one side, both participants in the process are evaluated holistically, resulting in satisfied clients and employees. 

“Every search begins with the goal of it lasting. When uniting candidates with clients, we go into each search with the thought of it being a long-term business marriage,” adds Fletcher. “Long term viability is our end goal, so we go to great lengths to understand the needs and goals of both the candidate and the clients. Once we identify what we perceive to be the ideal candidate we begin to court them accordingly.” 

“Based on the unsolicited feedback we’ve consistently received from both the candidate and our valued client base, our unique methodology, timely and personalized style of communication clearly differentiates us from any perceived competitors. We firmly believe that effective communication is critical and serves as the foundation for our firm. It enables us to provide clear direction and impeccable service to our clients.” 

Another critical element in today’s workforce is the theme of diversity and inclusion – regardless of the industry. This directly ties in with the Gen Z and Millennial generations entering the workforce and what is expected as a standard, not a “perk.” There’s a direct correlation between company culture and employee satisfaction, quality of work, and most importantly, company reputation. If a company neglects its own culture (i.e. people), employees can lose motivation, creating more positions to fill, raising turnover rates, and restarting the never-ending cycle. If a company is known for extensive hours, poor culture, and lack of technology, a qualified candidate – particularly a Gen Zer, can become quickly disinterested and offer their skills to a competitor. Even worse is when that employee spreads the message of poor culture and working conditions to other potential candidates. Word of mouth plays an equal part in developing your company’s profile in the talent pool. 

Fletcher adds: 

“Jobs that lack an intense level of engagement from a digital space could lead to boredom, which if not addressed could result in high turnover. Gen Zers appear to be more motivated by security versus millennials, who tend to be motivated by purpose. This explains the constant job-hopping and indecisiveness when it comes to career choices among these generations of workers. This also shows how critical it is to know your employee’s career goals and motivations as well as talent opportunities.” 

“Work experience and skill set are equally critical when identifying solid talent to present to our clients. However, a vibrant, inclusive, and engaging work environment is where we expend immeasurable energy in to ensure that we’re putting candidates in a position to succeed from the moment their step on the campus of the new employer.” 

Taking it another step further is balancing the needs of both employers and employees once the right candidate has been identified and hired. This is one of the most critical steps once an employee has been selected and begins integrating into a company’s atmosphere – beyond the deliverables and daily tasks. An example of this is commonly found with Gen Z candidates and accurately assessing career paths against personal goals, expectations, and skills development. Today’s workforce requires career-mapping and consistent goal setting for success. 

“Gen Zers operate with an entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic, meaning they are high energy, self-motivated, and independent in thought. This poses a tremendous challenge for most hiring managers that typically oversee more traditional operations where policies and procedures not only guide, but sometimes place a stranglehold on employees and their success. Striking a balance is the key to success,” adds Fletcher. “Studies have shown that both Gen Zers and Millennials want to be catered to quite intensely. I believe that applies to all generations, but the latter is simply more outspoken about it. This can pose a problem to hiring managers that are Baby Boomers, as their inclination is to not to coddle candidates, leading to miscommunication and unmanaged expectations which ultimately results in loss of job opportunities, career advancement, and retention rates dropping.” 

From managing expectations to providing the right amount of challenges and feedback for this generation, it takes an expert in people to ensure the match is successful in the long-term. This is another way My Future Consulting differentiates itself among talent recruiters. It’s through the extensive knowledge and expertise offered that 93 percent of their candidates thrive in their new roles, followed through with consistent checks and balances to ensure retention is achieved. 

“We identify the five most critical skills sets that are required to be successful in the role we’re recruiting for and provide a detailed analysis of each that is included in our candidate submission summary. Once a candidate is converted to employee, our firm check-in with the candidate on day 60-90-180. No other search firm in the world has a similar practice. We send congratulatory gifts to the client and candidate up signing. We also celebrate the candidates 1st year anniversary and follow-up with the candidate twice a year to discuss performance, culture, and transition.” 

The My Future Consulting difference speaks for itself through satisfied clients and successful employees the firm has placed in a multitude of industries over the years. The unmatched knowledge found within the team of experts at My Future Consulting goes beyond addressing recruiting and retention roadblocks and spotlights the importance of company reputation. Not only does the firm take pride in connecting companies to candidates but takes the time to prepare the next generation of workers for their ideal job while growing businesses nationwide. 

“Over 95 percent of the candidates that we look to present to our industry leading clients are passive professionals, thus not actively searching for a new opportunity. We are often referred to them by trusted associates, both past and present. New business opportunities tend to arise from satisfied clients and business partners who refer new clients to our firm. In fact, 80 percent of our new business is a result of unsolicited client referrals. This data point, as you would imagine, makes us very proud as an organization,” Fletcher concludes. 

______________________________________________________________

 

Anthony Fletcher, Sr. (@Real_AFletcher) is the owner and president of My Future Consulting and Integrity Sports Agency. Drawing from over two decades of Executive Management experience in leading innovative solutions, staff building and talent recruitment, Mr. Fletcher founded My Future Consulting (MFC) in 2007. Working towards innovation based on his experience of matching the right person with the right job, this innovative staffing company has revolutionized how organizations meet their need with experienced and high-potential talent. My Future Consulting was founded on the principle that people are an organization’s most important asset and was ranked as a Top 20 Employment Agency in Chicago by Expertise.com in 2018 and 2019. 

Mr. Fletcher is a popular keynote speaker and can often be found sharing his story and insights on leadership, empowerment, and the importance of people with professional, civic, and community organizations. He is also a lecturer and visiting professor at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. 

Anthony lives in Orlando Park, Ill. with his family. He is a dedicated philanthropist and volunteer, serving as a chairperson and fundraiser for many area nonprofit organizations. Mr. Fletcher has raised over $54,000 for MS Walk and volunteers as an executive advisor to organizations, 

including the American Diabetes Association, Boys and Girls Club of America, and Feed Our Starving Children. 

Global Lard Market to Grow 1.6% a Year through 2025, Fuelled by Rising Demand in China

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Lard – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The global lard market revenue amounted to $15.7B in 2018, jumping by 2.9% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +2.1% from 2012 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 when the market value increased by 6.6% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the global lard market attained its peak figure level in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the near future.

Consumption By Country

The country with the largest volume of lard consumption was China (2.6M tonnes), accounting for 40% of total consumption. Moreover, lard consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the world’s second-largest consumer, Germany (615K tonnes), fourfold. Brazil (478K tonnes) ranked third in terms of total consumption with a 7.3% share.

From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of volume in China totaled +2.2%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Germany (+0.7% per year) and Brazil (+1.3% per year).

In value terms, China ($11.1B) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Russia ($1B). It was followed by Brazil.

The countries with the highest levels of lard per capita consumption in 2018 were Belgium (12,397 kg per 1000 persons), Germany (7,481 kg per 1000 persons) and Canada (4,662 kg per 1000 persons).

From 2012 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of lard per capita consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Russia, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Market Forecast 2019-2025

Driven by increasing demand for lard in China, the world market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next seven-year period. Market performance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +1.6% for the seven-year period from 2018 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 7.3M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Production 2007-2018

Global lard production totaled 6.5M tonnes in 2018, increasing by 2% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.6% over the period from 2012 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 with an increase of 2.5% against the previous year. The global lard production peaked in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, lard production stood at $15.6B in 2018 estimated in export prices. The total output value increased at an average annual rate of +2.0% over the period from 2012 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 with an increase of 11% against the previous year. The global lard production peaked in 2018 and is likely to continue its growth in the near future.

Production By Country

The country with the largest volume of lard production was China (2.6M tonnes), accounting for 39% of total production. Moreover, lard production in China exceeded the figures recorded by the world’s second-largest producer, Germany (653K tonnes), fourfold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Brazil (481K tonnes), with a 7.4% share.

In China, lard production expanded at an average annual rate of +2.3% over the period from 2012-2018. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Germany (+0.6% per year) and Brazil (+1.3% per year).

Exports 2007-2018

In 2018, approx. 243K tonnes of lard were exported worldwide; jumping by 9.2% against the previous year. Over the period under review, lard exports continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2015 with an increase of 11% y-o-y. The global exports peaked in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the near future.

In value terms, lard exports amounted to $220M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, lard exports continue to indicate a slight setback. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 when exports increased by 26% y-o-y. The global exports peaked at $241M in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2018, exports failed to regain their momentum.

Exports by Country

Germany (46K tonnes), Spain (45K tonnes) and Belgium (35K tonnes) represented roughly 52% of total exports of lard in 2018. The U.S. (17K tonnes) ranks next in terms of the total exports with a 6.9% share, followed by the Netherlands (5.7%), Italy (5.3%) and Austria (5%). France (10,645 tonnes), Canada (9,206 tonnes), Denmark (7,849 tonnes), Poland (7,002 tonnes) and Portugal (4,028 tonnes) took a minor share of total exports.

From 2012 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Portugal, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Spain ($57M), Germany ($31M) and Belgium ($23M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2018, together comprising 50% of global exports. The U.S., Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Poland, France, Austria, Denmark and Portugal lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 41%.

In terms of the main exporting countries, Portugal experienced the highest rates of growth with regard to exports, over the last six years, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the average lard export price amounted to $902 per tonne, falling by -4.1% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the lard export price continues to indicate a temperate slump. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 when the average export price increased by 15% against the previous year. The global export price peaked at $1,027 per tonne in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2018, export prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was Poland ($1,359 per tonne), while Austria ($452 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2012 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the U.S., while the other global leaders experienced mixed trends in the export price figures.

Imports 2007-2018

Global imports stood at 223K tonnes in 2018, increasing by 8.2% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.3% from 2012 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2015 with an increase of 11% y-o-y. In that year, global lard imports attained their peak of 236K tonnes. From 2016 to 2018, the growth of global lard imports remained at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, lard imports totaled $194M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, lard imports continue to indicate a moderate drop. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 with an increase of 11% y-o-y. Over the period under review, global lard imports attained their peak figure at $227M in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2018, imports remained at a lower figure.

Imports by Country

In 2018, Spain (50K tonnes), distantly followed by the Netherlands (26K tonnes), Mexico (20K tonnes), Slovakia (18K tonnes), Denmark (16K tonnes) and France (11K tonnes) were the key importers of lard, together achieving 63% of total imports. Belgium (9,105 tonnes), the UK (7,294 tonnes), Germany (7,042 tonnes), the U.S. (6,910 tonnes), Portugal (6,763 tonnes) and the Philippines (5,311 tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2012 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by the Philippines, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Spain ($41M), Mexico ($22M) and the Netherlands ($18M) were the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2018, with a combined 42% share of global imports. Denmark, Belgium, France, the U.S., the UK, Germany, Slovakia, Portugal and the Philippines lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 35%.

Slovakia experienced the highest growth rate of imports, in terms of the main importing countries over the last six-year period, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average lard import price amounted to $870 per tonne, standing approx. at the previous year. In general, the lard import price continues to indicate a perceptible reduction. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 when the average import price increased by 13% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the average import prices for lard attained their peak figure at $1,100 per tonne in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2018, import prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was the U.S. ($1,157 per tonne), while the Philippines ($131 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2012 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Denmark, while the other global leaders experienced mixed trends in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

younger generation

How To Entice The Younger Generation Into Utility Careers

Unfortunately, there is a serious age crisis within the energy and utility sector at the moment. Many companies recognized, in approximately the 1990s, that they were facing a severe problem with the age demographics of their workers: younger people didn’t want to work in these areas, due to a number of factors such as better access to alternative education and a lack of faith in the sustainability or career options within such career pathways. However, this has only really started affecting business now, since the older wave of workers are beginning to retire, leaving energy companies scarce of any manpower. So, in these dire times, we must look to the younger generation to fill the gaps and become the new driving forces in the energy and utility sectors, but how can you entice them into joining your company?

Changing Attitudes

Of course, not all of your older workers are going to disappear overnight, so you have to consider the effect and impact that focusing on the younger generation might have on them, due to many cultural and societal clashes which are common between the differing ages of workers. Older workers may see younger workers as finicky and addicted to their material possessions – think less antiques and hand-me-downs and more iced coffees and mobile phones – which may create friction within the workplace which could put off younger workers. Make sure that any pre-existing staff are educated on diversity and how to be welcoming to the younger generation, and inform them of the changes which you are trying to make to the workforce, and the reasons behind your doing so. Education is the best way to avoid this being a problem.

Think Local

“Often, the best talent – and the most willing to work in our areas – is found locally,” says Richard Ford, an HR at Thesis Writers and Big Assignments, “since we often find that implementing training with the surrounding education centres and informational days for students is the way to go. Many kids from the cities won’t know much about creating electricity or the jobs which are involved with energy, but if we reach out to the students living around our workplace and teach them how they can go far in our business, often the pull to stay near home and find a stable job leads them to join a career in our sector, since they can often stay near family and childhood friends, and work and live in a town which they are familiar with.”

In short, education – not only of your staff, but also your possible future staff – is the way to go. Make sure that you are taking advantage of every opportunity to reach out into the local schools and colleges and inform the students of the career options which they have, which are closer to home than frightening and unknown office jobs in big cities with long commutes.

Appealing To The Younger Generation

“The current workplace has been shaped by the older, “baby boomer” generation, who helped to make the culture and social atmosphere of workplaces everywhere appear how they are today,” explains Amanda Wills, an HR at Dissertation Writing Service and Essay Services.

However, in order to appeal to the younger generation, you may need to make a couple of changes, keeping in mind the differing social climate of today. Generally, younger people are more conscious of their social standing, in regards to giving back to communities, so making sure that your company does a lot of work in the community is vital. Younger workers may also want to have more of a say in how the company is managed, so letting them take part in important decisions and making sure that everyone feels like their voice is being heard is also a good idea.

“Although they’re not ‘snowflakes’, younger people do require a different working climate to the generation which we are used to, which may make appealing to them seem a little difficult at first,” Jade Coates, a journalist at UKWritings and Boomessays, states, “but once you have put the changes in place, you’ll find it easy to attract younger workers and revive the life in your workforce, or so to speak! Education is usually the best method, but making sure that you are open and honest is also important, and keeping all rules and regulations (including social guidelines for your working staff) regularly updated is also a good idea, to remove any chances for friction or problems before they can happen.”

Summary

The younger generation may seem difficult to attract to jobs in the utility and energy sectors, but it only takes a little bit of change to get them on board. Investing in education opportunities and keeping your current staff up-to-date and welcoming is always a plus, and developing your workplace for the modern era by keeping the community and social morals in mind can make your company appear more inviting and viable.

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Aimee Laurence writes professionally for Top Assignment Writing Services NSW and Research paper help services. She has a personal interest in the energy industry and enjoys spreading her knowledge on the creation of electricity and the workforce behind it. Also, Aimee is a tutor at Student Writing Services.

 

China market

Success in China: Market Opportunities & How to Get Started

Are you an ambitious entrepreneur from the west seeking to expand to China? Or are you interested in opening a new business in China? If yes, this article is for you. We will explain the 5 most viable business openings in China today and the 5 most reliable tips on how to get started in this highly-competitive market. Please be our guest.

Which Viable Market Opportunities Can You Pursue in China?

As the affluent middle class continues to expand in China, solid economic transformations in the country are being realized day by day. The biggest beneficiaries of these transformations are multinational companies who have set up or are planning to open a shop in China. There are now bigger and better market opportunities to pursue, more advanced industries to invest in, and more tech-intensive manufacturing opportunities to consider. As a matter of fact, China now boasts of a 50% bigger manufacturing economy as compared to the USA.

If you are looking to tap into the continued increase in high value-added production, increased globalization of the service sector, as well as the increased outbound investment in China, these 5 market opportunities would be lucrative enough for you:

Healthcare

Rising wealth often comes with an increase in lifestyle diseases. An increase in manufacturing, on the other hand, brings forth many environmental concerns. These two factors have made the healthcare industry very lucrative in China. You will create a reliable cash cow if you could invest in a business that deals with herbal supplements or small health products- or a mainstream pharmaceutical company, so to speak. Also, the use of skincare products is on the rise in China. It’s best to set up a wholly foreign-owned enterprise for such operations.

Import and export trade

China is currently the largest exporter of tech goods and importer of processed foods globally. That means you can build a profitable importing and exporting business here in a heartbeat. 

Supplementary education

Many middle-class Chinese are keen on improving their English and expanding their knowledge of different aspects of business and politics. If you can offer them after-school private tutoring services, you will be making impressive annual returns on a consistent basis. Moreover, online tutorage is on the rise in China, which enables you to tutor more people in a more cost-effective way.Food production

This goes without saying: Everyone needs food, everyone loves good food. And now that the middle-class in China is welcoming new entrants in huge numbers, there is a significant supply gap within this class for as long as the food is concerned. A rise in class obviously comes with a change in lifestyle, and food is at the center of every lifestyle. 

Mobile phones and accessories

The whole world has in the recent past turned to China for all its tech needs. The nation is the largest producer and importer of affordable mobile phones and accessories, meaning that a business in this industry would be extremely profitable.

How to Get Started In China

As lucrative as China could be, many investors from the west talk about it with fear. Some of these foreign entrants tried and failed, or struggled to find their footing in this Asian economic giant. But what would render you unable to compete and survive here? For starters, the business environment here is too unforgiving and the competition too stiff for the faint-hearted. Also, cases of language barriers, cultural differences, and bureaucratic government regulations have led to the peril of many. 

In the middle of all these, how do you defy the odds and succeed in China? Here are 5 actionable tips on how to get started in China:

Don’t just translate your content for China; ensure that everything about your business is localized for China. 

It is important to understand and comply with all business regulations in China. The hiring process can be tricky to a new entrant, which necessitates the services of a Chinese recruitment agency. Such an agency will help you with all employment laws, privileges, and remuneration. 

Ensure that you understand and respect the cultural differences that exist between the west and the east. 

Never underestimate the power of customer opinion in China. Let the customer tell what their experience with your product is, respect their opinion, learn from your mistakes, and ensure that you find lasting solutions to all their concerns. 

As much as possible, try to work with a local partner in order to benefit from the many favors local entrepreneurs get from the government. 

south american

Embracing the South American Ecommerce Marketplace

Ecommerce is on the rise in South America. Double-digit growth is expected for 2019 with sales of $71.34 billion (USD), tying it with the Middle East and Africa as the world’s second-fastest-growing retail ecommerce market. 

That’s great news for shippers looking to expand their online retail presence in South America.

A diamond in the rough

Online retailers in South America have been struggling for years to overcome several obstacles to success, including extensive customs delays, poor transportation infrastructure, and the lack of end-to-end supply chain visibility. Progress has been made on all three of these “challenges,” but more work is necessary to ensure the region’s continued double-digit growth. 

Within each challenge lies opportunity

While these obstacles may keep a few shippers from expanding into South America, others are viewing the area as a “diamond in the rough” and working diligently to reap the rewards of this truly untapped region. 

Having the right information is the first step to wading through the muck and mire of this complicated ecommerce marketplace:

South America customs vary by country

Red tape and bureaucracy pose the biggest obstacles for importing products into South American countries. In addition to customs taxes, tariffs, and fees, it can take 30+ days for some goods to be cleared through customs, especially in Brazil and Argentina. As a result, inventory builds up, costs rise, and customers wait longer for their products to arrive. In comparison, however, Chilean customs are very similar to the U.S. and allow products to flow through relatively quickly.

As you can tell, customs procedures can differ significantly, making it difficult for shippers to ensure compliance with each region’s unique customs. For a more seamless process, it’s essential shippers work with a customs broker or third party logistics provider (3PL) with local offices in the area. They’ll know the customs standards and understand the paperwork necessary to ensure products are approved for import.

Free trade agreements 

The United States-Chile trade agreement allows all U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to enter Chile duty free. While still in the works, the United States-Brazil free trade agreement can help facilitate trade and boost investment between the two countries, especially in infrastructure. The United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement eliminates tariffs on 80% of U.S. consumer and industrial imports into Colombia. 

South America infrastructure at port and inland

South America is hobbled by its inadequate infrastructure, and it’s probably not going to change anytime soon. Roads remain the primary means of transportation, but 60% are unpaved, hampering the speed of delivery by truck to inland locations. Improvements are slowly occurring, thanks to increased government funding (but corruption hampers many efforts). It’s worth mentioning that China, the largest trading partner of Brazil, Chile, and Peru, invests heavily in the region, providing more than $140 billion (USD) in loans for infrastructure improvements in the past decade, according to The Business Year.  

While surface transportation remains stagnant, ocean freight shows promise. According to icontainers.com, routes going to and from South America represent 15% of the total number of trade services.

The largest container port in South America is in the city of Santos in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state. Its location provides easy access to the hinterlands via the Serra do Mar mountain range. More than 40% of Brazil’s containers are handled by the Port of Santos as well as nearly 33% of its trade, and 60 % of Brazil’s GDP, according to JOC.com

In 2018, Brazil’s busiest container cargo port handled 4.3 million TEUs, compared with 3.85 million TEUs in 2017. 

For Argentina, Zarate serves as the critical port for roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) and breakbulk cargo, while Buenos Aires and Rosario serve as the top container ports. Only two countries in South America are landlocked, Paraguay and Bolivia. 

Shippers and ocean carriers using the Port of Santos have been complaining about congestion and labor disputes at the port, and about politicization and time-consuming bureaucracy. That’s why it’s essential that shippers must have the latest information on traffic through these South American ports. Global freight forwarding companies in the area will have the newest information available to help you choose the right port of entry for your freight.

End-to-end supply chain visibility

Most online retailers and carriers understand that the sale is not complete until the product is delivered to the consumer. If merchandise is damaged during transport or arrives much later than promised, it reflects poorly on both parties and undermines consumer trust in ecommerce purchases. 

Lack of adequate infrastructure has forced many online retailers to put logistics on the back burner, focusing on the user experience through purchase. That’s why many products take weeks to arrive at the customer’s door, setting a bad precedent that must change. 

The South America trucking industry is highly fragmented, with providers ranging from owner-operators (about one-third of the industry) to sizable fleet operators and experienced freight forwarders who may not own any trucks at all, according to Tire Business newspaper. 

Final mile, LTL services paramount in South America

Once your product reaches port in South America and makes it through customs, how it gets delivered to the customer’s door can add extensive costs to your supply chain. Less than truckload (LTL) and final mile services are paramount to successfully operating in the region. Especially those carriers that can provide GPS freight tracking capabilities, such as C.H. Robinson’s Navisphere® technology

Final thoughts

Yes, there are obstacles to operating a supply chain in South American countries. Knowing the ins and outs of each country’s unique customs procedure, understanding which South American ports are best for your freight, and being able to track your shipments end-to-end will ensure your success in the region. Shippers who realize the potential of this “diamond in the rough” marketplace should work with a freight forwarder who will be extra focused and diligent in ensuring their freight moves quickly from customs fiscal warehouses to the final destinations. 

Enlist the aid of a global freight forwarding provider, like C.H. Robinson, who offers a global suite of services and has offices in the region that can help navigate any disruption in your supply chain.

Start the discussion with an expert in South America to accelerate your ecommerce trade. 

european market

European Market for Citrus Fruit Jams and Purees – France Benefits from the Highest Export Price ($4,292 per tonne)

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Citrus Fruit Jams, Marmalades, Jellies, Purees Or Pastes – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The market revenue for citrus fruit preserves (jams, marmalades, jellies, purees, and pastes) in the European Union amounted to $319M in 2018, growing by 8% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). In general, citrus fruit preserves consumption, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 with an increase of 22% against the previous year. The level of citrus fruit preserves consumption peaked at $331M in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, consumption failed to regain its momentum.

Consumption By Country in the EU

The countries with the highest volumes of citrus fruit preserves consumption in 2018 were the UK (26K tonnes), Italy (24K tonnes) and Spain (18K tonnes), with a combined 56% share of total consumption. France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Ireland, Poland and Hungary lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 33%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of citrus fruit preserves consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Poland, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the UK ($83M), Italy ($60M) and France ($42M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2018, with a combined 58% share of the total market. These countries were followed by Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Romania, Germany, Hungary and Poland, which together accounted for a further 32%.

The countries with the highest levels of citrus fruit preserves per capita consumption in 2018 were Ireland (591 kg per 1000 persons), Italy (412 kg per 1000 persons) and Belgium (410 kg per 1000 persons).

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of citrus fruit preserves per capita consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Poland, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Production in the EU

In 2018, approx. 125K tonnes of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes were produced in the European Union; rising by 13% against the previous year. Overall, citrus fruit preserves production, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 when production volume increased by 29% y-o-y. The volume of citrus fruit preserves production peaked at 138K tonnes in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2018, production stood at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, citrus fruit preserves production amounted to $313M in 2018 estimated in export prices. The total output value increased at an average annual rate of +1.1% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2008 when production volume increased by 22% against the previous year. In that year, citrus fruit preserves production attained its peak level of $338M. From 2009 to 2018, citrus fruit preserves production growth remained at a lower figure.

Production By Country in the EU

The countries with the highest volumes of citrus fruit preserves production in 2018 were the UK (26K tonnes), Spain (24K tonnes) and Italy (24K tonnes), with a combined 59% share of total production. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, Denmark, Hungary and Poland lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 32%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of citrus fruit preserves production, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by Belgium, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Exports in the EU

In 2018, approx. 36K tonnes of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes were exported in the European Union; surging by 7.5% against the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.7% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 with an increase of 14% y-o-y. Over the period under review, citrus fruit preserves exports attained their peak figure in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the near future.

In value terms, citrus fruit preserves exports stood at $87M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total export value increased at an average annual rate of +1.9% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2008 when exports increased by 15% y-o-y. Over the period under review, citrus fruit preserves exports reached their peak figure in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

Exports by Country

The exports of the eight major exporters of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes, namely Spain, the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, Belgium and Ireland, represented more than two-thirds of total export.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Spain, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, France ($19M), the UK ($15M) and Spain ($15M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2018, with a combined 55% share of total exports.

In terms of the main exporting countries, Spain recorded the highest growth rate of exports, over the last eleven years, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The citrus fruit preserves export price in the European Union stood at $2,436 per tonne in 2018, increasing by 2.5% against the previous year. Overall, the citrus fruit preserves export price, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2013 when the export price increased by 15% y-o-y. In that year, the export prices for citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes reached their peak level of $3,042 per tonne. From 2014 to 2018, the growth in terms of the export prices for citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes remained at a somewhat lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was France ($4,292 per tonne), while Denmark ($1,750 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by France, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in the EU

In 2018, the amount of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes imported in the European Union amounted to 32K tonnes, going up by 11% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.9% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 with an increase of 36% against the previous year. The volume of imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, citrus fruit preserves imports stood at $69M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +1.3% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations being observed throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 when imports increased by 28% year-to-year. Over the period under review, citrus fruit preserves imports reached their maximum in 2018 and are likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.

Imports by Country

France (7,472 tonnes) and the UK (6,570 tonnes) represented roughly 43% of total imports of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes in 2018. Germany (3,454 tonnes) ranks next in terms of the total imports with a 11% share, followed by Italy (9.5%), Ireland (9.1%) and Portugal (6%). Poland (1,196 tonnes), Sweden (1,188 tonnes), Spain (1,175 tonnes), the Netherlands (759 tonnes) and Belgium (565 tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Portugal, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the UK ($14M), France ($13M) and Germany ($10M) were the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2018, with a combined 54% share of total imports. Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 37%.

Portugal recorded the highest rates of growth with regard to imports, in terms of the main importing countries over the last eleven-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

The citrus fruit preserves import price in the European Union stood at $2,121 per tonne in 2018, approximately mirroring the previous year. Overall, the citrus fruit preserves import price continues to indicate a mild slump. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2008 an increase of 7% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the import prices for citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes attained their maximum at $2,824 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, import prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Belgium ($4,655 per tonne), while Ireland ($1,386 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Belgium, while the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

professionals

5 Ways Professionals Can Succeed As New Entrepreneurs

It’s been a common occurrence in recent years: Company downsizing or restructuring has left skilled professionals looking for a job. Or, feeling constrained, they jump to a better growth opportunity.

But, with the era of lifetime jobs at a single firm or company long gone, many doctors, dentists, lawyers and other professionals also are opting to work for themselves, becoming entrepreneurs and launching their own start-ups.

Some who already started small practices have expanded into several locations. As dentists and business partners Dr. Seth Newman and Dr. Efstathios Giannoutsos can attest, the learning curve of running and growing a business in multiple offices — while still practicing their profession — can be challenging but also rewarding.

“It was never my plan to run a practice, or even co-run one,” says Giannoutsos,  (www.asktheorthos.com), an orthodontist and co-author, with Newman of Giving It To You Straight: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Orthodontics But Were Afraid To Ask. “But then the financial crisis of 2008 happened, and a lot of the opportunities that had been available before were now gone.

“But we were able to flip those circumstances on their heads and use them to our advantage.”

“The biggest challenge initially was finding clients,” Newman says. “But we learned to use different resources and educate ourselves in the business side as we did in our chosen career.”  

Newman and Giannoutsos offer five tips for professionals transitioning to running their own business:

Be passionate. Entrepreneurs tend to be extremely passionate about their work. They need to incorporate the same passion for running a business. “Think about how running your own business could transform your career, send it soaring,” Newman says. “That kind of spirit energizes you and all those around you.”

Be bothered by inefficiency. Entrepreneurs don’t have a high tolerance for inefficiency, and the bonus is they don’t have corporate red tape to cut through. “You can fix problems that come up quickly because of your expertise and the freedom of not running into typical corporate obstacles,” Giannoutsos says. “If you or your business partner are mired in work processes that are too slow, analyze the inefficiencies and consider the places you could implement solutions.”

Don’t be afraid to take on more risk. One thing that sets many entrepreneurs apart from the average professional is their appetite for risk. “A business owner knows the risk-reward possibilities, and by taking well-calculated shots, bigger rewards can come,” Newman says. “Set aside time to strategize, and listen to the best-qualified people working for you to develop a precise plan.”

Brainstorm more. Constant innovation is crucial to a business’ long-term success, so entrepreneurs have to take time to let their minds be loose and creative. “Set aside time each week for brainstorming sessions with your staff — and remember to have fun doing it,” Giannoutsos says.

Don’t limit your dreams. “The most important aspect of the entrepreneurial spirit is being limitless – the sky’s the limit,” Newman says. “Many people are conditioned in the workforce to be realistic and practical, but dreaming big sets the mission for your company, and it’s why you became a business owner.”

“It can be daunting at first, performing the myriad tasks of a business owner,” Giannoutsos says, “but if you believe in what you do and those you’ve hired around you, it’s so worth the effort.”

Dr. Seth Newman (www.asktheorthos.com) is an orthodontist and co-author, with Dr. Steve Giannoutsos, of Giving It To You Straight: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Orthodontics But Were Afraid To Ask. He owns orthodontic practices in the New York City area. Dr. Newman completed his dental training at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, where he was a member of the National Dental Honor Society. He was a clinical instructor of the Invisalign system at the NYU School of Dentistry.

Dr. Efstathios Giannoutsos, or “Dr. G.” as he is commonly called, was born in Astoria, Queens, just outside of New York City. He graduated from St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens, with high honors and a BS in Biology.  He is also the co-author with  Dr. Seth Newman of Giving It To You Straight: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Orthodontics But Were Afraid to Ask (AskTheOrthos.com). He completed his dental training at NYU, where he graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. He was also accepted into NYU’s highly competitive orthodontic residency program. During that time, he also discovered a passion for treating children and adults with facial deformities. Coinciding his passion, his research thesis to attain specialty certification involved children with cleft deformities.

peach

African Peach and Nectarine Market – Egypt to Dominate Production and Trade in 2019

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Africa – Peaches And Nectarines – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the peach and nectarine market in Africa amounted to $1.7B in 2018, therefore, remained relatively stable against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

The total market indicated a strong growth from 2008 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +2.9% over the last decade. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period.

Based on 2018 figures, the peach and nectarine consumption increased by +32.3% against 2014 indices. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017, with an increase of 23% against the previous year. In that year, the peach and nectarine market reached its peak level of $1.7B, leveling off in the following year.

Production in Africa

The peach and nectarine production amounted to 1.2M tonnes in 2018, going up by 2.5% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.9% from 2008 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed in certain years. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2017, with an increase of 9.9% against the previous year. Over the period under review, peach and nectarine production attained its maximum volume in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the immediate term. The general positive trend in terms of peach and nectarine output was largely conditioned by a mild expansion of the harvested area and a moderate growth in yield figures.

Exports in Africa

In 2018, exports of peaches and nectarines in Africa totaled 59K tonnes, going down by -14.5% against the previous year. In general, peach and nectarine exports continue to indicate a drastic descent. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2016, with an increase of 9.7% against the previous year. The volume of exports peaked at 99K tonnes in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, peach and nectarine exports amounted to $100M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total export value increased at an average annual rate of +2.8% over the period from 2008 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2017, with an increase of 20% year-to-year. In that year, peach and nectarine exports attained their peak of $110M, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Exports by Country

In 2018, South Africa (18K tonnes) and Egypt (14K tonnes) represented the main exporters of peaches and nectarines in the region, together creating 55% of total exports. Guinea (7.9K tonnes) held a 13% share (based on tonnes) of total exports, which put it in second place, followed by Morocco (11%), Tunisia (8.9%) and Tanzania (7.4%). Zambia (2.3K tonnes) held a relatively small share of total exports.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Tanzania (+228.4% per year), while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, South Africa ($38M) remains the largest peach and nectarine supplier in Africa, comprising 38% of total peach and nectarine exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Egypt ($15M), with a 15% share of total exports. It was followed by Guinea, with a 12% share.

Export Prices by Country

The peach and nectarine export price in Africa stood at $1,675 per tonne in 2018, jumping by 5.9% against the previous year. The export price indicated a strong increase from 2008 to 2018: its price increased at an average annual rate of +8.2% over the last decade. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, the peach and nectarine export price increased by +120.3% against 2008 indices.

Export prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest export price was Zambia ($4,702 per tonne), while Egypt ($1,034 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of export prices was attained by Guinea, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in Africa

In 2018, approx. 54K tonnes of peaches and nectarines were imported in Africa; rising by 72% against the previous year.

In value terms, peach and nectarine imports totaled $41M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, peach and nectarine imports continue to indicate a prominent expansion. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2013, with an increase of 43% against the previous year. Over the period under review, peach and nectarine imports reached their peak figure at $43M in 2015; however, from 2016 to 2018, imports stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Imports by Country

In 2018, Egypt (29K tonnes) represented the key importer for peaches and nectarines, comprising 53% of total imports. Algeria (17K tonnes) took the second position in the ranking, distantly followed by Libya (2.6K tonnes) and South Africa (2.6K tonnes). All these countries together held approx. 40% share of total imports.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Algeria, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest peach and nectarine importing markets in Africa were Algeria ($19M), Egypt ($12M) and South Africa ($3.8M), with a combined 83% share of total imports.

Import Prices by Country

The peach and nectarine import price in Africa stood at $758 per tonne in 2018, reducing by -28.1% against the previous year. Overall, the peach and nectarine import price continues to indicate a significant descent. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2017 when the import price increased by 56% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the import prices for peaches and nectarines reached their maximum at $1,098 per tonne in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2018, import prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average import prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, the country with the highest import price was South Africa ($1,479 per tonne), while Egypt ($401 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of import prices was attained by Libya, while the other leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

carousel

CAROUSEL RETALIATION: TARIFF UNCERTAINTY ON ANOTHER RIDE

The Ride Music Starts

On October 2, a World Trade Organization (WTO) arbitrator rendered a decision that authorizes the United States to apply retaliatory tariffs on as much as $7.5 billion worth of European exports each year until WTO-illegal European subsidies to its aircraft industry are removed.

In a press release issued that day, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that beginning October 18, the United States would apply WTO-approved tariffs on a list of EU products. The list includes 10 percent duties on civil aircraft, but also 25 percent duties on goods we consume directly including butter, various cheeses, clementines, clams, green olives and single-malt Irish and Scotch Whiskies.

Before their next cocktail party, U.S. shoppers might stock up to beat the tariffs, but they may not want to go overboard buying Parmigiano Reggiano. That’s because the Administration is reportedly considering what is known as “carousel” retaliation – a regular rotation of goods targeted for tariffs, designed to impose maximum pain. The United States and Europe have been on this ride before.

Theme Park Rules

In a trade dispute, the parties first enter into consultations. If they are unable to come to an agreement, the complainant may request a WTO panel to review the dispute. Once the panel issues a report, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) will adopt it, unless a party appeals it or all DSB members vote against adoption.

If there is an appeal, the Appellate Body reviews the case and delivers its findings, together with the panel report as modified by the appeal, to the DSB. If the complaining party wins, the losing party is given a “reasonable” period of time to implement the decision. The original panel may be called upon to determine if the losing party implemented the ruling in the agreed timeframe. If not, there are two alternatives for the party bringing the case: seek compensation or retaliate. In the latter case, the complainant estimates its loss, the losing party can seek arbitration on the level, and the DSB authorizes the final amount.

Such countermeasures should be “equivalent” to the injury caused and “related to” the economic sector of the illegal measure, with the goal to induce the removal of the offending measure. Often the offending party will, in fact, withdraw the measure before the imposition of authorized retaliatory measures.

US wins 7.5 billion dispute against EU on Airbus illegal subsidies

Beef and Bananas – How Carousel Started

In some cases, applying tariffs on imports isn’t enough to induce compliance. When the United States, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico won their case in the WTO challenging the legality of Europe’s banana import policy, the European Union (EU) failed to comply with the ruling, even in the face of nearly $200 million in U.S. tariffs.

U.S. banana exporters, increasingly frustrated with the EU’s lack of compliance with the WTO ruling, looked to Congress to enact a new tool to increase the pressure. They found allies in U.S. livestock exporters, who had won a WTO case that a European ban on U.S. imports of meat produced with hormones was inconsistent with the EU’s WTO obligations. As with the banana case, the EU had employed delaying tactics to stall implementation of the panel decision against it.

Riding a New Horse

Two months after USTR imposed retaliatory tariffs in the beef hormone dispute, a group of Senators introduced S.1619, the Carousel Retaliation Act of 1999. Proposed as an amendment to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, its provisions would have required USTR to “carousel” or rotate its product retaliation list when an offending country does not implement a WTO decision. More specifically, USTR was to rotate items 120 days after the first retaliation list and every 180 days thereafter, with the ability to opt not to do so if compliance is imminent or rotation is deemed unnecessary. The bill language ultimately became part of the Trade and Development Act of 2000.

While banana and meat producers were supportive, other industries were not. Some argued that frequently rotating the products subjects to tariffs would be challenging for retailers. The EU contended the method was WTO inconsistent, though the WTO never ruled on the matter.

USTR ultimately did not pull the trigger to rotate its retaliatory tariff list in either the banana or beef cases as the matters got bound up in a separate dispute over U.S. tax benefits for foreign sales corporations (FSC). The EU had previously won a case against FSC and the U.S. amended its law in November 2000 in response. The EU challenged whether that revision brought the measure into WTO compliance. The United States and EU agreed informally that the EU would not pursue sanctions in the FSC case, but if the United States revised its product lists under the carousel provisions, all bets were off. Ultimately, the WTO ruled the revised U.S. law was not compliant, the United States lost its appeal, and the issue was not resolved until five years later.

Others Get on the Ride

The United States develops retaliation lists with an eye to maximizing pain on the trading partner that committed the foul, while trying to minimize the inevitable adverse impact on its own consumers and firms. Mexico has adeptly turned this practice against the United States in response to practices it viewed as inconsistent with WTO or NAFTA obligations.

NAFTA provisions governing retaliation state that an injured party should first “seek to suspend benefits in the same sector” as that covered by the restrictive measure. If it is not practical or effective to suspend benefits in the same sector, the injured party “may suspend benefits in other sectors.”

During the original NAFTA negotiations, the United States and Mexico agreed to phase out restrictions on cross-border passenger and cargo services. In 1995, however, the United States announced it would not lift restrictions on Mexican trucks and, in 2001, a NAFTA dispute panel found the U.S. to be in breach of its obligations. After years of negotiation and a false start with a U.S. pilot program, Mexico retaliated in 2009 on more than $2 billion worth of U.S. goods.

Mexico used a carousel approach, rotating different products on and off the retaliation list. The first list of 89 products went into effect in March 2009. The list was revised in August 2010, by removing 16 of the listed products and adding 26 more, bringing the total number of products on the updated list to 99. Through this method, Mexico was able to target key pain points, leading the U.S. to institute another pilot program in 2011, and Mexico to remove its tariffs.

More recently, when the Trump Administration moved forward with 25 percent tariffs on Mexican steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on Mexican aluminum imports in June 2018, Mexico responded with retaliatory tariffs on $2.7 billion of U.S. goods that included various steel products but also pork legs, apples, cheese and other agricultural products that had seen significant growth in export value and market share in Mexico.

In March 2019, Mexico’s Deputy Economy Minister Luz Maria de la Mora stated that if the United States did not repeal the tariffs, her government would have an updated list in its “carousel” of U.S. targets ready in about two months, noting that Mexico would bring in some new products and remove others. In early May, she announced the revised list was ready and under final review, but the United States agreed in mid-May to remove its tariffs, hoping to boost the chances of ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement.

Round and Round We Go

Perhaps symbolic of the differences that the United States and Europe are trying to bridge, in America carousels turn counterclockwise and in England and much of Europe, they rotate clockwise.

Some observers see the recently announced U.S. retaliation list against the EU as more restrained than expected. Tariff rates of 100 percent had been possible and some of the announced exemptions were not anticipated. We’ll soon know more about the Trump Administration’s thinking on a carousel approach and how the Europeans will respond. There are no height restrictions to get on this tariff retaliation ride, but riders may need to buckle up.

__________________________________________________________________

Leslie Griffin is Principal of Boston-based Allinea LLC. She was previously Senior Vice President for International Public Policy for UPS and is a past president of the Association of Women in International Trade in Washington, D.C.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

european

Doing Business in the US: Challenges and Experiences of European Companies

European companies open branches in the United States for a host of reasons. For starters, the US gives these businesses a completely new base of customers; a chance to step out from the almost saturated European market and stand out from the crowd. Secondly, there are many government incentives in the US, making the business environment incredibly favorable. Last but not least, it gives them more brand recognition and a chance to reinvent their products in a hungry, welcoming market. 

Starting a business or moving an existing business from Europe to the US can, indeed, be an exciting time for an entrepreneur. However, that is not to mean that aren’t any thorny experiences and business-threatening challenges to contend with while there. Nevertheless, before commencing your business transition to the USA, you must be sure to acquire the necessary visa, so that you do not do anything illegally which might cause problems later on. 

Apart from the UK-based businesses, those coming from other parts of Europe may have to hire a translation company to translate their content for localization purposes. That would mean higher initial and overall running costs. Besides that, here are some of the other challenges and experiences that European companies encounter when doing business in the US:

Strong multicultural influence

The US is a country founded on the pillar of unity in diversity; there are too many ethnic groupings in the country, each with their own unique culture and needs, yet they all expect outsiders to see them as one inseparable people. The multiculturalism in this country is on another level; you will have to contend with it in government offices and in the business setup. 

How you handle the employees is also affected by this cultural influence as there are some historical injustices that plague the labor market up to today. That is not particularly the case in Europe as most countries in the region have a homogenous culture. Your success or failure might be tied on this seemingly inconsequential factor.

Complexity in the taxing system

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)- revenue service of the United States federal government- is very strict with its enforcement of the federal taxes, sometimes to the point of scaring off investors who come from jurisdictions with lenient tax laws. And as if that is not enough, you will also have to deal with tax collection authorities both at the state and local levels. 

Even though the government is in the process of lowering the transition tax to about 8-15% and the corporate tax from 35% to 21%, there still are some vital teething issues that would demand a skeptical approach to America’s taxation framework.

The financial sector’s influence

Wall Street, arguably the most influential financial sector in the world, is keener on short-term profits and high stock values and not the traditional long-term value opportunities. The hedge funds and investment firms on Wall Street have become so powerful that without their blessings, you may be forced to sacrifice your brand’s reputation just to impress them.

High competition from multinational corporations

America is home to some of the biggest multinational corporations. While you will greatly benefit from their existence in terms of benchmarking on their success, sometimes the competition they bring forth can be unbeatable. To make matters worse, these corporations have political connections and friends in the highest places in the demand and supply chain, so they often get the lion’s share of government incentives.

Most multinationals have their planning and thinking inclined to global markets which, apparently, greatly affect the nation’s job market. They will hire the best talents in the country and proceed to outsource and offshore manufacturing jobs to other countries overseas. That means that they will enjoy both the benefits of hiring cheap outsourced labor and highly-qualified American professionals. Also, competing with a country that outsources cheap manufacturing services can be a daunting task. 

Complicated electricity and construction rules

If you wish to acquire property in the US, probably your main offices, you will have to pass through more than 10 bureaucratic steps before you get the legal permits to register it under your company name. Environmental inspections and reviews, for example, can take weeks if not months. In big cities such as Los Angeles and New York, you may have to wait for more than 2 months to have your electricity turned on. And if you need additional constructions in the property, that can cost you anywhere between 3,000 to 6,000 USD $ in terms of building plan check and permit.

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George Foster is a marketing manager at Day Translations.