Throughout most of history great powers sought political and economic control abroad by acquiring the territories and peoples of other societies through a combination of colonialism and military subjugation.
While military conflicts and ideologies continue as important means for determining political and territorial control of societies, they are becoming less important than the pragmatic role of business in developing the economic infrastructure of particular countries as well as in linking local economies to the larger global economy.
In many countries the coup d'etat, military rule, and ideology have passed into history as bankers and foreign investorsthose who service the national debt and extend credit for further economic expansionhave a major say in who runs the political affairs of a country. In this sense international business has become a powerful force for promoting democratic politics.
Large multinational companies and an increasingly interdependent world economy are making old ideologies and traditional concepts of nation-states obsolete as more and more countries are recognizing the importance of transcending parochial interests in favor of increased foreign investment and regional economic cooperation.
The European Economic Community is one of the most important cases in point. As Great Britain and Western European nations prepare for the 1992 economic union by ending trade barriers and issuing a common currency, Europe is destined to become a powerful economic force with its block of more than 350 million producers and consumers. As foreign investors scramble to get a piece of the action before Europe ties the knot in 1992, more and more opportunities are opening for multinational corporations and small businesses in Europe.
The international business community is largely dominated by companies based in the United States, Japan, Germany, and Great Britain. Large industrial firms that played key roles in transforming the economies of the newly emerging industrial countries of South Korea and Taiwan are now active in investing abroad and increasingly compete with the multinational firms of the United States, Japan, Germany, and Great Britain in the developing world as well as in Europe, the United States, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Involved in trade, manufacturing, and infrastructure development (roads, dams, telecommunications, plant construction, housing), these firms employ thousands of sales representatives, engineers, architects, lawyers, accountants, and technicians.
At the same time, the transition of communist and socialist systems into more competitive political and free-market economic systems requires a greater emphasis on foreign business investment, entrepreneurship, and education. The economic reconstruction of Eastern Europe, Russia, newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, Central America, and Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia will provide numerous opportunities for international businesses to expand their operations into these regions and countries.
While many international lending institutions and multinational corporations are positioned well to respond to such changes by extending their field operations into new investment areas, small businesses as well as individuals are finding new opportunities to promote their products and services in these countries. With greater emphasis on entrepreneur ship, we should see more small import-export and consulting businesses arising over the next decade.
Businessnot governmentwill be the primary catalyst generating international jobs in the decade ahead.
In short, businessnot governmentwill be the primary catalyst generating international jobs in the coming decade. These businesses will range in size from large multinational firms employing more than 100,000 people to small businesses and individual entrepreneurs who want to import and export products or offer specialized consulting services.
Requirements for acquiring such jobs will range from highly specialized language and technical skills to basic entrepreneurism in the form of drive, tenacity, and networking skills accompanied by a valid passport, fax machine, and a list of international contacts. (Read this before or Continue Reading)