inicio | contacto | buscador | imprimir   
 
· Presentación
· Trayectoria
· Artículos y notas
· Newsletter (español)
· Newsletter (english)
· Radar Internacional
· Tesis de posgrado
· Programas de clase
· Sitios recomendados

Publicaciones
· Las crisis en el multilateralismo y en los acuerdos regionales
· Argentina y Brasil en
el sistema de relaciones internacionales
· Momentos y Perspectivas


  Félix Peña

INTERNATIONAL TRADE RELATIONS NEWSLETTER
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

A GLOBAL COMMERCIAL SCENARIO WITH MULTIPLE OPTIONS
Necessary requirements for the development of an assertive strategy


by Félix Peña
July 2020

English translation: Isabel Romero Carranza


 

When considering the possibilities for the future development of foreign trade from the perspective of a country such as Argentina, among others, it is advisable to acknowledge that the global commercial scenario presents multiple options. This holds true both for those who seek to sell goods and services and for those who need to define what and where is most convenient to buy.

There are three requirements that would be necessary in order to substantially improve our country's ability to understand the future development of its foreign trade, in a global context with multiple options and that is undergoing a process of constant change.

Without dismissing others, these three closely linked requirements are:

  • having human resources capable of understanding other national realities and their modes of consumption, particularly of those goods and services that, due to the endowment of its own resources, a country such as Argentina can produce and eventually export;

  • facilitating the development of specialists with sufficient knowledge of the political, economic, cultural and legal realities of other countries, including, of course, their foreign relations; and

  • having human resources with a reasonable understanding of the predominant language of other countries and a sound knowledge of the prevailing customs of their populations.

To conceive and develop a successful strategy for the commercial insertion in the global scenario of a country such as Argentina, will require a constant effort from its society to understand the dynamics of the changes, especially cultural ones, that affect the priorities of the citizens and consumers in other countries. These have become increasingly empowered, meaning that they are now fully aware of the numerous options at their disposal and of their power when deciding what they need or want to acquire.


One of the effects of the current Covid-19 pandemic has been to accentuate the relevance of two complementary perspectives that influence the definition of a country's international insertion strategy. The first of these perspectives is that of the reality and the interests of the country itself, the second is that of the world as a whole, not because they can be viewed as a unit, but because certain external factors that affect a country can only be understood from a global perspective, i.e., that of the group of countries in their reciprocal interaction.

When reflecting on the possibilities for the future development of foreign trade in the perspective of a country such as Argentina, among others, it is advisable to acknowledge that the global commercial scenario presents a picture of multiple and growing options. This holds true both for those who seek to sell goods and services and for those who need to define what and where it is most convenient for them to buy. (See the April 2020 edition of this newsletter: "Trade and integration in a more contagious world. Ideas, beliefs, values, dreams, plagues…in a hyper-connected global world ", on http://www.felixpena.com.ar/).

Developing practical knowledge on how to identify such options, from a specific national perspective, is then one of the needs that Argentine SMEs that attempt to project successfully to the rest of the world have to address.

This is so because the world today has multiple protagonists with varying degrees of relative power and with a greater capacity to define their own strategies for international insertion. The global market is now much more populated-by countries, companies and people-and, at the same time, more connected-geographically, economically, digitally and culturally-. Above all, there is a larger number of consumers that have become aware, due to their income level and their access to information, of the options available to them when deciding what they need to buy and where they can get it, even in markets other than their own.

But, above all, because it is a world where the factor of cultural diversity has acquired widespread presence and relevance, which makes it even harder to try to reach these different consumers without adapting the offering to their tastes, beliefs, values, lifestyles and priorities. This also involves having an in-depth knowledge of foreign markets, including their historic roots and differentiating aspects. In general, such knowledge is acquired by having lived in a country for a certain period of time and gained experience, in one way or another, of its market.

This is a world in which not only the undergoing profound changes have become more evident in recent years -and even months, if the experience of the Covid-19 is taken into account-but which will also continue to develop in a constant process of change. As we have pointed out before, these are changes that have an enormous capacity to render obsolete criteria, concepts and theoretical approaches that have been used for a long time in an attempt to understand the international reality.

There are three requirements that would seem necessary in order to substantially improve the ability of a country, such as Argentina, to understand the future development of its foreign trade in a global context with multiple options and in a constant process of change.

Without dismissing others, these three closely linked requirements are:

  • Having human resources capable of understanding other national realities and their respective modes of consumption of goods and services that, due to the endowment of resources, the country can produce and eventually export. That means to train professionals and technicians to have a correct and, if possible, direct knowledge of what consumers from other countries may eventually demand. This kind of knowledge can be acquired mainly through living in a foreign country for a period of time as a student, company executive, temporary worker, journalist, artist, scientist, athlete, diplomat, or any other activity, even as a "backpacker". This helps capture a more in-depth knowledge of the effects of cultural diversity with respect to the observer's country of origin;

  • Facilitating the development of specialists with sufficient knowledge of the political, economic, cultural and legal realities of other countries, including, of course, their foreign relations. This implies human resources with a sufficient knowledge of literature and history, as well as of the eventual ethnic or religious diversities of the countries with which it seeks to increase commercial ties. It involves training people who can show not only understanding, but, above all, respect and even admiration for the other country.

  • Having human resources with a reasonable understanding of the predominant language or languages of the foreign country and the main customs of its population. Although English is a language of universal scope, having at least an understanding of the predominant language of the foreign country, when it is not English, is highly advisable for anyone wanting to live and eventually work there.

These are human resource requirements that can, moreover, affect the modalities of cooperation between our country and other countries of our own region (for example, Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance) and other regions of the world (for example, the European Union; ASEAN and other Asian schemes of preferential trade and regional development, and the various processes of African integration), and with countries that, due to their relative economic dimension, have a strong presence in all regions of the world, as are undoubtedly China, the US, and several others in the category of "intermediate powers", especially from Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

These are requirements to be developed with the necessary interaction and cooperation between educational institutions of the country itself and even of other countries and at all levels, including universities; business chambers and other social institutions; and national and federal agencies that have a bearing on the promotion and development of foreign trade and the internationalization of companies, especially SMEs.

A suitable modality for the collaboration and interaction of these different protagonists can be that of trade laboratories (Tradelab), developed with special emphasis on the legal aspect. (In this regard refer to the book by Joors Pauwlyn and Mengvi Wang, listed as recommended reading, among others).


Recommended Reading:


  • Afinogenov, Gregory, "Spies and Scholars. Chinese Secrets and Imperial Russia's Quest for World Power ", The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge & London 2020.
  • Bircher, Marisa, "Mercosur-UE: un año del consenso que marca el camino que necesita Argentina", in El Cronista newspaper , June 27, 2020.
  • Elizondo, Marcelo, "Sector automotor: el nuevo pacto con Brasil, ¿es el último paso antes de nuevos cambios?", in the Foreign Trade Supplement, newspaper La Nación, Thursday June 4, 2020, www.pressreader. com / argentina / lanacion.
  • Frankopan, Peter, "El Corazón del Mundo. Una Nueva Historia Universal",, Editorial Planeta, Barcelona 2016,
  • Frankopan, Peter, "Las Nuevas Rutas de la Seda. Presente y Futuro del Mundo". Editorial Planeta, Barcelona 2016.
  • Frankopan, Peter, "Las decisiones que se toman en China la darán forma al mundo del siglo XXI", interview by Hugo Alconada Mon published in newspaper "La Nación", June 28, 2020, p. 12, www .lanation.com.ar / the-world / peter-frankopan-the-decisions-are-made-china-nid2387027.
  • Gewen, Barry, "The Inevitability of Tragedy. Henry Kissinger and his World ", WWNorton & Company, New York 2020.
  • Kimmage, Michael, " The Abandonment of the West. The History of an Idea in American Foreign Policy ", Basic Books, New York 2020.
  • Klein, Matthew C .; Pettis, Michael, "Trade Wars are Class Wars. How Rising Inequalities Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace ", Yale University Press, New Haven & London 2020.
  • Nogués, Julio, "Biodiesel: la lección que le dejaron a la Argentina las disputas con EE.UU y la UE", in "The Chronicler," June 24, 2020
  • Nye, Joseph S. Jr., "Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreing Policy from FDR to Trump ", Oxford University Press, New York 2020.
  • Pauwlyn, Joost; Wang, Mengvi (eds),"Building Legal Capacity for a More Inclusive Globalization. Barriers to and Best Practices for Integrating Developing Countries into Global Economic Regulation ", The Graduate Institute - Center for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI), Geneva 2019.
  • Peña, Félix, "Un quiebre bajo análisis: ¿considera el gobierno de Brasil dejar el Mercosur?", published in the Foreign Trade Supplement of newspaper La Nación, Thursday, June 18, 2020, www.lanacion.com. ar / economy / evalua-brazil-leave-mercosur-nid2380362.
  • Scott, Andres J .; Gratton, Lynda, "The New Long Life. A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World ", Bloomsbury, London 2020.
  • Sinclair, Upton, " The Jungle ", Xist Publishing, Tustin CA 2015.
  • Sinclair, Upton,"Worlds End ", Open Road, New York 2016.

Félix Peña Director of the Institute of International Trade at the ICBC Foundation. Director of the Masters Degree in International Trade Relations at Tres de Febrero National University (UNTREF). Member of the Executive Committee of the Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI). Member of the Evian Group Brains Trust. More information.

http://www.felixpena.com.ar | info@felixpena.com.ar


Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a monthly e-mail with the
latest articles published on this site.


 

Regresar a la página anterior | Top de la página | Imprimir artículo

 
Diseño y producción: Rodrigo Silvosa