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SURVEY: RISK MANAGEMENT CONCERNS RISE AT PORTS AROUND THE WORLD

risk management

SURVEY: RISK MANAGEMENT CONCERNS RISE AT PORTS AROUND THE WORLD

The deadly spread of COVID-19, and the economic and trade disruption the pandemic has caused, is prompting port managers to examine new ways to improve risk management and digital processes.

Those are the conclusions in the latest biennial global ports survey conducted by Remy InfoSource, which was established in 2001 in the Netherlands to provide artificial intelligence diagnostic solutions to the high-tech and transportation industries. The lifecycle contract management specialist is now based on Australia.

The “2020 iSpec Ports Industry Survey” was undertaken during the height of worldwide economic lockdowns in the second quarter of 2020 and on behalf of iSpec, the world’s leading web and mobile-based software procurement solution for buyers of capital intensive outsourced projects such as ports.

The survey revealed that 51 percent of port executive respondents now identify risk management as the key area they would like to improve on in the future, up from 32 percent in the previous iteration of the iSpec Ports Industry Survey in 2018. That year, the top two areas for improvements noted by ports and terminal executives were shorter lead times and more standardization.

“I think it’s no surprise that in such an uncertain world the importance of risk management has increased dramatically,” says Pieter Boshoff, CEO of Remy InfoSource. “Disruption to supply chains has increased across the globe causing operational and investment uncertainty and, with social distancing rules, also changing the way we all conduct our business.

“Managing that risk has become a major challenge at ports, particularly when it comes to managing outsourced equipment tender and procurement projects that are often complex in nature and frequently involve multiple vendors.”

Port operators represented 71 percent of the respondents to the 2020 iSpec Ports Industry Survey, up from 58 percent in 2018. More than two thirds of respondents are responsible for the procurement of quay cranes, reach stackers and trailers.

Asked how the COVID-19 lockdown had affected the way ports were conducting business, 41 percent of global respondents said the pandemic had required a shift to more digital collaboration, 49 percent said more projects were now on hold, and 62 percent said they were now working from home more often.

The 2020 iSpec Ports Industry Survey also found that “quality” has become the leading reason for customer/supplier disputes. In the 2018 survey, “delays” was cited most often as the cause of customer/supplier disputes.

“No matter what the business, the spread of coronavirus has forced executives to find new ways of conducting business and for the most part this means turning to digital solutions,” Boshoff explained. “There is no doubt in my mind that this is a trend that will accelerate in the future. It is becoming abundantly clear that for many businesses there are benefits and efficiencies in the new online and outsourced methods they have developed during the pandemic. I think many of the work processes adopted during lockdowns, particularly around communication, will outlast the coronavirus crisis and become part of our normal way of working.”

risk management

Strategic Risk Management Means Preparing for the Worst but Hoping for the Best

Trading globally comes with risks. You’re operating in a foreign market with different rules, regulations and business practices, not to mention the lack of geographic proximity makes it difficult to keep tabs on your trading partner and ensure the relationship is strong and payments will be made promptly. That said, those risks can be minimized with a smart risk management strategy that tips the risk/reward balance in your company’s favor.

A smart risk management strategy begins with a solid foundation in research that takes a macro look at the market and a micro look at your trading partner and their sector. For the former, the World Bank’s ease of doing business index can provide valuable information on business regulations in nearly 200 economies. Trade credit insurers can also help you keep tabs on specific markets and sectors.

To better understand your trading partner, start by researching the cultural elements of doing business in that market. Making a mistake can negatively affect or even end your relationship with your trading partner. Ask colleagues about any business culture etiquette you should be aware of, and review your notes before making the initial introduction. Getting this part correct will help you forge a strong relationship moving forward.

Next, take your time before signing any contracts. It may be tempting to quickly jump into a new opportunity, but if you rush through the documentation process, neglect to have a lawyer review the terms of your agreement or fail to validate your trading partner’s sound financial standing, you could end up with major headaches in the future.

Once you have an agreement in place, figure out how to maintain a close relationship with your trading partner. You don’t want to find out too late that your trading partner is in distress – you want to be aware of the first signs of trouble so you can take steps to protect yourself against late payment or nonpayment. Some of the classic signs of a company headed for insolvency include sudden late payments, pushing back for discounts or a drop-off in communication.

If your customer is overseas, don’t assume email and phone calls will be enough. A local presence is advised, as this is the only real way to understand the subtle shifts occurring in the local market and with your trading partner. How you establish the local presence will depend on the size of your opportunity. Large business deals may require establishing a foreign office, while appointing a local agent or having an employee visit frequently may suffice for smaller opportunities.

Finally, have contingency plans in place to cover any and all likely scenarios, including disruptions to trade via major events (such as the coronavirus shutting down production facilities in China or the trade wars suddenly making input materials more expensive) or delinquent customers. For the former scenario, you’ll want to understand how political or economic developments will impact your costs and know how you’ll pivot, if needed.

For delinquent customers, your first step should be establishing the facts and uncovering what’s actually going on. If the customer proves slippery and evasive, consider engaging a third-party expert to mediate. Review your contract terms to make a list of options available to you – can you recover your goods? Or is it time to start the legal collection process?

Strategic risk management is really about preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. A thorough understanding of the market, the sector and your trading partners, paired with detailed plans for how to react to any likely scenarios will minimize the risks to your business and help you feel confident conquering new markets.

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Gordon Cessford is the president and regional director of North America for Atradius Trade Credit Insurance, Inc.

supply chain

Three Supply Chain Lessons for Businesses Coping with COVID-19

As governments and healthcare agencies around the world work to stop the spread of the coronavirus, importers and exporters across 164 countries are struggling to manage the pandemic’s growing impact on their supply chains.

Despite past lessons from 2003’s SARS outbreak and 2011’s Fukushima tsunami about the hidden weaknesses in their supply chains, companies are challenged to manage logistics concerns stemming from sourcing strategies and risk management.

Developing a methodical supply chain response to the coronavirus pandemic will prove challenging, given the scale and rate of the pandemic’s spread. That said, supply chain leaders must mitigate such disruption and plan for future incidents, or risk falling behind.

Here are three lessons that the logistics industry can take away from the ongoing pandemic:

Lesson one: Evaluate your supply chain design

Current supply chain designs have predominantly followed a one-size-fits-all philosophy, on the assumption that raw materials are readily available for sourcing and production globally. While this has enabled a lower ‘cost-to-serve’ model, recent trade tensions and now the coronavirus pandemic have thrown a curveball for the global logistics environment.

Organizations should aim to optimize production and distribution capacity of their supply chain with dynamic, rather than static, operational capabilities. For example, a technology company can consider diversifying production facilities with local sources of supply in each of its major markets, rather than relying on a single source. In some companies, supply chain managers recognise the risks of single sourcing, but do so to keep costs low. These decisions trickle down the supply chain, affecting customers who do not directly source materials from impacted countries but whose suppliers do.

To prevent such future situations, companies should research suppliers in different geographical locations in anticipation of rerouting shipments from affected countries or consider having a secondary source outside the primary region to mitigate the impact. This can help further diversify the value chain.

Lesson two: Apply risk management principles in advance

While many global firms recognize the value of a risk management plan, it is often placed at the bottom of the priority scale in the absence of a crisis situation. According to a paper published by the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee, only 25% of a typical company’s end-to-end supply chain is being assessed in any way for risk.

Supply chains inevitably have multiple dependencies, but firms can proactively manage possible vulnerabilities at every stage through their risk management plans.

For example, having an accurate assessment of inventory is a given, but it is also critical to understand how restrictions on imports from China and affected countries will impact current inventory and regular shipping cadence. Interruption risk management strategies, including mapping and monitoring suppliers, should be applied when developing an informed inventory plan. Companies must also look ahead to forecast if the demand for goods may change in upcoming weeks – bearing in mind decreases in air capacity due to cancelled passenger flights and higher logistics demand due to current backlogs.

Lesson three: People first strategy

Above all, remember that people are the most affected throughout this pandemic. The health and safety of employees and customers must be prioritised amidst this evolving situation. Wherever possible, activate contingencies for remote-working arrangements, and implement a clear communications plan within the organisation. Doing so will go a long way in keeping employees informed while ensuring business operations are minimally disrupted.  For example, companies can develop an online information hub to address frequently-asked-questions and outline company policies that map out staffing plans.

Involve your suppliers within these plans as well – align on operational readiness including appropriate staffing numbers and facility planning for surges in volume.

Maintaining flexibility in customer support and services to customers in these difficult times is key – and how effectively a company responds to these issues will mean they remember you when things take an uphill turn again.

Plan ahead to navigate disruption

While global events such as the coronavirus pandemic are impossible to predict, it is possible to cushion their impacts by increasing supply chain preparedness. Companies must keep their contingencies in place before a crisis occurs. And when these crises do occur – these businesses will rise again.

Millennials

Millennials To Become Richest Generation — Here’s What We All Need To Know

Data shows that many millennials don’t have it easy compared to their parents’ baby boomer generation. Onerous college debt, tight wages, expensive real estate, and high insurance costs are big challenges they face and ones that weren’t as formidable to boomers when they were in their 20s and 30s.

But thanks to the wealth that baby boomers will pass on to their children, life will get easier for a sizeable percentage of millennials. They are expected to inherit $68 trillion from their baby boomer parents by 2030. That total is spread among 45 million U.S. households, according to a report from research firm Cerulli Associates.

Amid the biggest generational wealth transfer in U.S. history, however, financial planner Jeannette Bajalia says there are many important factors that both generations and financial advisors must consider to make the transfer go smoothly and avoid issues that could harm the financial legacy.

“Inheriting money is wonderful, but managing an inheritance can be difficult and risky,” says Bajalia (https://www.womans-worth.com), founder of Woman’s Worth®, an insurance and financial professional for four decades and the author of three books.

“Boomers, especially women, are worried about events that could take a big bite out of their children’s inheritance, such as long-term care and market corrections. And many financial advisors have to get up to speed on how to best serve millennials — a very different generation that looks at money management a much different way — while at the same time helping steer both generations in the right direction.”

Bajalia offers these tips to help boomers, millennials and financial advisors navigate the biggest generational wealth transfer ever:

Boomers: Start the inheritance conversation with your children. Studies have shown that heirs often blow through an inheritance quickly. This squandering can stem in part from being uninformed by their parents about the details of the estate. “It’s imperative to have that conversation with your children,” Bajalia says. “It can help your children make informed decisions, and bringing an advisor into the conversation adds structure and family trust. Parents should discuss priorities they had and impress upon the heirs how to handle the inheritance responsibly. If there is an indication of money management issues with the heirs, an estate planning attorney will need to add provisions to the legal documents in order to manage the distribution.”

Millennials: First, don’t rely on inheritance as an instant problem-solver. The inheritance shouldn’t be used as a new source of daily income, but mostly for the big picture. “With many millennials behind on retirement savings, a healthy inheritance is a way to kick-start it,” Bajalia says. “This is a great chance to pay down some college debt. Cash and other assets can help your future in numerous ways, but generally it’s wise to consult an advisor to learn about taxes and about how to construct a long-term plan including investments, particularly if the inheritance had IRAs as part of the pot. You can get back in the driver’s seat with an inheritance only if you don’t get in a hurry and take ill-advised risks.”

Advisors: Adapt to the first digital generation. Millennials were the first digital-savvy generation, making them a much different type of client to advisors compared to their boomer parents. They often educate themselves online about products. “Advisors need to learn how to connect with their clients’ children,” Bajalia says. “The younger generation expects a much different service experience than their parents did. They want better communication, convenience, integration of their financials through online portals, and readily accessible products — overall a customized experience.”

“Inheritance can be a life-changing event,” Bajalia says. “But so much depends on how the younger generation protects it and invests it. Boomers want to leave their children the best legacy possible, and advisors have a great opportunity to be that steady bridge between generations.”

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Jeannette Bajalia (womans-worth.com) is the founder and president of Woman’s Worth®, where she specializes in the unique needs of women as they plan for retirement. She is also president of Petros Financial Group and is an Investment Advisor Representative with Petros Advisory Services, LLC, a registered investment advisory firm. She has authored three books — Planning a PURPOSEFUL Life, Wi$e Up Women! A Guide to Total Fiscal and Physical Well-Being, and Retirement Done Right! An Ed Slott Master Elite Advisor and recognized as one of 20 Women of Influence by The Jacksonville Business Journal, Bajalia has over 40 years of leadership experience as a business owner and insurance and retirement income planning professional.

She has appeared on CNBC and Growing Bolder as well as in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, Bloomberg Businessweek, USA Today, Retirement Daily, and the Jacksonville and Orlando Business Journals. She completed her graduate and undergraduate studies at the University of North Florida, and was selected as one of the 2019 Women of Distinction by the St. Johns County Girl Scout Council.

trade

10 Steps to Building a Winning Trading Plan

There is one elegant formula in the materials: “fail to plan = plan to fail”, which is understood as “not to plan anything, it means to plan the failure”. No one starts a business without a business plan, but why does the majority start trading without a plan?

Trade is an occupation that requires constant work on yourself. If in most spheres of life you can remain yourself to be successful, then the market is not going to adapt to anyone.

The market uses the darkest sides of the personality to turn you into fuel. Therefore, think about the main weapon of the trader – a trading plan.

While writing a trading plan, you need to remember one thing – you create it in order to comply. This is the set of rules that must be observed in each situation and never deviate.

This is the set of rules that must be observed in each situation and never deviate.

Setting goals

From the very beginning, accept the fact that the safe market trading plan is not a static thing. As you develop yourself as a trader and improve your skills, the plan will also develop.

You should not look for the perfect plan from other people, it does not exist. Each trader is unique, but there are generally accepted elements that are worth taking into their plan.

Inspection and analysis of the sale point

First, conduct an external examination and analysis of the point of sale. Go to the point and greet the staff and decision makers. Then conduct internal inspection and analysis of sale point, if necessary, adjust the purpose of the visit. Conduct a preliminary survey of sellers and together with the staff of the point take off the leftovers.

Skill assessment

Are you ready to trade? Do you have a proven system you are sure of? Are you ready to follow your rules without hesitation? Understand that you can work by your own rules; the market cannot impose anything on you until you give up the slack. Be a pro and take your profits from a crowd that does not have a winning plan.

Determine how to trade

There are many ways to trade in financial markets, such as scalping, day trading, position trading and more. Some choose one option, others successfully use several. Whatever choice you make, the most important thing is to have an understanding in advance of possible scenarios and actions to be taken. Write them in the trade plan.

Define your market

Register in what market, what tools do you want to trade. Consider that the main movements occur at the same time, be on the market at this time.

Increase your level of knowledge in your tools, see what influences them and take this information into account in trade.

Define your trading system

Trading system – a number of rules that will help bring trade to automatism. Freedom of choice in the market will not give you an advantage, so write it in detail.

Write in which platform the analysis will take place, and in which one – the trading, what additional settings are required. It is a good idea to read trading plan template capstone help, in order to be aware of if your plan is rendered successfully.

Stop loss

This is the thing that, even before entering a trade, will help you determine what potential trade has, as well as a stop loss keeps you trading in the long term. At the same time, the stop may be different for each instrument, depending on its volatility, so it is easier to install it as a percentage of your depot.

Management of risks

Perhaps the most important part of the plan. With the right risk management, you can toss up a coin and stay with your money.

It is necessary to prescribe how much you are willing to risk in each transaction, while you can make it dynamic, depending on how good the transaction is. It is also possible to come from your form – maybe you are now at the peak of your form and have the opportunity to earn a little more.

Way to manage open positions

Greed will always prevent you from closing a profitable position when it is clear that the trend has stopped. Fear and hope will prevent you from closing an unprofitable position.

In order for emotions not to interfere, you need to have a simple strategy to exit.

Keep a trade journal

An important point is also neglected. The magazine is a tool for training and analyzing your activities. Keeping a simple diary will allow you to avoid repeated mistakes, or vice versa will allow you to develop a new trading advantage.

It may seem strange, but the breaks are not less important than the intervals of activity. During the rest you relax, you charge with new forces. You can reflect on your trading and make your trading plan even better.

No one will give you guarantees that trade will bring you money. The chances of success depend on your skill, control system, discipline and much more. But as they say, you can lose the battle, but win the war. And to win the war, you need a good plan that will make you consistently successful and allow you to survive in the market.

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Melissa Cartew is a writer, who enjoys writing on diverse topics. She has education in the realm of marketing and is highly aware of the trade. Her hobbies also include traveling, reading about promotions and psychology.

ProMat Day Two: Disruptive Technology and Game-Changing Strategies

Day two of this year’s ProMat Trade Show kicked-off with exhibitors showcasing the industry’s top innovative solutions and another full day of keynote speakers and education seminars – many of which were at full capacity.

Among today’s featured speakers included Raymond Corporation‘s Stacey Patch, Dale Dunn, and Derrick Miller speaking on the importance of optimization efforts before implementing automation into operations. In order for a company to fully grasp the benefits of automation, a deep understanding of potential efficiency must come first. The process of automation should start with a focal point on optimization before investment. Additionally, the company made it clear that before fully replacing, tech and automation will maximize human activity and support operations.

Swisslog Logistics Automation’s made an appearance on stage as well, informing attendees of ways to creating a competitive weapon out of supply chain. John Dillon Vice President, E-Commerce/Retail and David Schwebel Vice President, Business Development and Market Intelligence identified the industry’s biggest challenge of risk and how to navigate through it with strategic, forward-thinking approaches, as seen with their container-based warehousing system providing increased efficiencies and flexibility.

Day three will continue exploring the world of leading logistics initiatives, product innovations, and industry education on topics including removing barriers for improvement, addressing the labor shortage, and smarter packaging technology options.

3 Steps Companies Can Take To Improve Mental Health In The Workplace

Sick days among workers are commonly associated with physical ailments, but mental health issues also account for frequent absences. A report from the 2018 Mental Health in the Workplace Summit showed that more people miss work due to stress and anxiety than for physical illness or injury.
Dealing with mental health can be a delicate issue for both employers and employees. Some think it carries a stigma, thus employees may attempt to hide their problem. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that less than half of American adult workers felt their companies supported the well-being of their employees.
Yet more companies, cognizant of productivity and cost issues associated with employee absences, are starting to implement mental health initiatives as part of their workplace wellness programs.
“Employees try to hide what they’re going through because they fear the negative consequences of being discovered. And these fears are justified,” says Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio (www.greengateleadership.com), formerly Vice President, Health and Wellness, at Prudential and founder of GreenGate Leadership®. “Many otherwise capable managers become very uncomfortable when they hear one of their team members mention words like stress, anxiety, and depression.
 “Forward-thinking employers are implementing initiatives that break stigma and improve access to effective care. They recognize the role of leaders at all levels in creating positive, respectful, health-promoting work environments. As has often been said, culture trumps strategy every time. An employer can have all the right policies in place, but it’s the culture that either brings these to life or makes them a joke.”
Dolan-Del Vecchio’s tips for employers:
Break the stigma. Studies indicate one in five American adults experience a form of mental illness. “Like most health conditions, these are most effectively treated when identified early,” Dolan-Del Vecchio says. “Stigma causes many who suffer to deny their need for care and, therefore, delay seeking it. Senior execs are in the best position to break the stigma. They can share their personal story if they live with a mental health condition, talk about how they have supported others, and sincerely encourage their employees to get the care they deserve.”
Improve access to effective care. “Hold your benefits provider system accountable for effective care delivery,” Dolan-Del Vecchio says. “Take a searching and fearless look at how well your organization’s mental health benefits actually serve those in need. You do that by creating an anonymous feedback mechanism for your employees and their family members. Sadly, I can almost guarantee that the results will show need for significant improvement.”
Train leaders. “Stress,” Dolan-Del Vecchio says, “is the enemy of health and sustained productivity. More than any other factor, our immediate supervisor creates the culture of our workplace. When leaders at every organizational level treat those who report to them with an attitude of caring and respect, including respect for initiative, autonomy, diversity, and reasonable limits when it comes to productivity, the best organizational results will follow.”
“It’s in everyone’s best interest for employers to fight the stigma linked to mental health issues, ensure medical benefit partners are delivering on their promises, and make sure leaders of people are up to the task,” Dolan-Del Vecchio says.
About Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio
Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio (www.greengateleadership.com) is an author, speaker, family therapist, and leadership and life skills consultant. His books include Simple Habits of Exceptional (But Not Perfect) ParentsThe Pet Loss Companion: Healing Advice From Family Therapists Who Lead Pet Loss Groups andMaking Love: Playing Power: Men, Women, and the Rewards of Intimate Justice. Ken founded GreenGate Leadership® after retiring from his role as Vice President, Health and Wellness, at Prudential, where he was responsible for behavioral health services for the company’s 20,000 U.S. Employees. Ken’s team’s work led Prudential to receive the American Psychological Association’s 2017 Organizational Excellence Award. Ken is a monthly NBC TV affiliate on-air guest and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Fast Company, Bloomberg, Ignites, Entrepreneur, Fox Business News, The Chicago Tribune, Inc. Magazine, Working Mother, HR Executive and other media. In 2016 Ken was named Corporate Leader of the Year by the National Alliance of Mental Illness’ New York City-metro chapter.

 

Series C Attracts $44 Million Investment

Feature management platform, LaunchDarkly, announced they will invest big bucks along with Redpoint, Vertex Ventures, DFJ, and Uncork Capital. The company confirmed the investment will support company initiatives in risk management while increasing efficiencies.

“Our goal is to help product development teams worldwide, from small teams to huge enterprises, to keep up with the speed of innovation while reducing risk,” said Edith Harbaugh, CEO and co-founder of LaunchDarkly. “We believe the future is built on software, and the additional capital will allow us to further impact the world of feature management and meet the needs of our customers in delivering fast results and excellence to their own customers.”

“In the past year the LaunchDarkly platform has evolved both in scale (we now see over 200 billion feature flag requests per day) and capability– we’ve become a key piece of the puzzle for software teams practicing continuous delivery,” said John Kodumal, CTO and co-founder of LaunchDarkly. “This latest funding will help us scale the platform even further to meet the growing demand we’re seeing in the market and build new functionality to help our customers deliver better software experiences to their customers.”

This announcement closely  follows the company’s confirmation of the hosting of the upcoming April  Trajectory conference for software development professionals. The conference will be held in Oakland, California from April 8-9.

“The sheer speed of innovation today makes it more difficult than ever for enterprises to release product changes quickly and reliably,” said Ethan Kurzweil, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “Having invested in developer platform companies for nearly a decade, it was instantly clear that LaunchDarkly has the product and market vision to be the central platform for feature management. We are extremely excited to partner with Edith and the rest of the talented team at LaunchDarkly!”

“The LaunchDarkly platform enabled BMW to go from 0-60 in one Agile Release Cycle”,  said Chuck Medhurst, President & GM at BMW Technology. “The ability for BMW to test, develop and deploy variable feature sets across our premium brands, markets and platforms results in delivering the optimal value to our customers!”

For more information on the upcoming conference, visit:  https://trajectoryconf.com.

 

Source: LaunchDarkly

 

Exporters to Russia Face Increased Payment Risks

Los Angeles, CA -Russia is currently experiencing a slowdown in economic growth, and the situation is most likely to deteriorate further as a result of the newly imposed sanctions, according to a new country analysis report issued by The Atradius Group, the Netherlands-based global risk management firm.

Atradius is observing an impact across all sectors in the form of decreasing domestic demand, a weaker ruble exchange rate, a rise in inflation, limited access to external financing and international capital outflow.

Exporters to Russia “could experience an increase in payment delays and defaults with some sectors expected to be more affected than others,” the report said.

Russian sanctions on imports of food and agricultural products “will hit the food sector, in particular the fish, meat and dairy subsectors, with a negative impact on the whole value chain, while sectors dependent on consumer demand, such as the consumer durables and consumer electronics sectors are also expected to see further slowdown,” it said.

In addition, the report said, US and EU sanctions on financing are expected to put a toll on Russian businesses dependent on financing.

The oil and gas industry “is still performing well thanks to high commodity prices, but businesses in other strategic sectors such as metals and mining are suffering, and may not be able to refinance their large debts. While the Russian government is ready to provide financial support, its reserves, though ample, are limited.”

Some sectors, however, such as the pharmaceuticals sector, “are expected to be less impacted and local agricultural production could even benefit from restrictions on food imports,” the report said.

“In case of price controls, however, business profits may be hit with higher costs that cannot be transferred to consumers in such cases,” the report concluded.

09/23/2014