From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to political uprisings in Africa and the Middle East to the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe, a seemingly unending series of dramatic global events has captured headlines in recent months. Many U.S. businesses have been directly affected by supply-chain disruptions, the loss of key customers, or damage to their foreign operations. Even for U.S. businesses without an overseas presence, the continuing turmoil in world markets has contributed to a feeling of unease, an anxiety that permeates the business world and dogs the recovery.
Yet for many finance chiefs, domestic bliss is not an option. With the U.S. economy expected to grow slowly over the next few years, emerging markets can't be ignored: their growing populations and rapid industrialization are giving rise to an increasingly sophisticated base of consumers who present a significant opportunity to expand business overseas. Whether by sourcing materials or services in lower-cost countries or establishing a presence to serve markets outside the States, many companies now believe that the key to future growth is to think, and act, globally.
Finance executives must proceed cautiously as they weigh the risks and rewards. Our special global package, in which we examine political risk, common mistakes in overseas deal-making, and the opportunity that remains in one of Europe's most battered economies, offers help with both sides of that risk-reward calculation.
A World of Risk
In emerging markets, the clash between politics and profits poses multiple threats.
Making the Leap
As more midsize companies explore overseas M&A options, a little caution can go a long way toward ensuring success.
Back on the Map
Ireland's domestic economy may be in shambles, but expansion-minded U.S. firms see plenty of opportunity.