POLITICAL RISK 
- and associated terms
      BUSINESS CONTINUITY
      DISASTER RECOVERY
      CRISIS MANAGEMENT
      COUNTRY RISK ANALYSIS
- Security Service companies (Globe Risk Ltd.)
- International Terrorism - re: Int'l Business
- Government Resources
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compilation of  lectures notes by Prof. Richardson for use in his various international business classes
last updated 2012 Dec 04
see also    www.witiger.com/internationalbusiness/politicalrisk.htm
see also    www.witiger.com/internationalbusiness/politicalriskcontingencyplanning.htm
see also   www.witiger.com/internationalbusiness/geographicenvironment.htm
see also    www.witiger.com/internationalbusiness/personalrisk.htm
and also  www.witiger.com/internationalbusiness/alanbell.htm
 
This web page has some audio and video clips - just click on the icon (like the one to the left) and you can hear Prof. Richardson's voice adding additional information to topics on the page. turn on your speakers 
..
 
INTRODUCTION , As said in the intro to Alan Bell's bio, successful International Business Management is based on solving problems. If there were not a lot of  problems, you wouldn't need managers - but because there are lots of problems, you need managers to analyze the problem, craft a solution, and monitor how the solution is carried out. 

Part of being a successful Int' Business Manager (especially after 911) is recognizing that risk and threat situations effect int'l business in many ways, and, these situations  have to be dealt with, and "managed", or your company will be compromised and subsequently uncompetitive.

WTGR

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Why This UNIT is Important "In the emerging economies of Central and South America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa, new business opportunities are continuing to present themselves on a daily basis as privatization takes hold, infrastructure needs grow and restrictions on foreign trade are lowered. While the potential rewards from doing business in these countries are tremendous, so are the risks. The companies that expand into these new markets with the greatest degree of success are those that do so cautiously and prudently, with the understanding that they may face political and economic risks that can cause unexpected and catastrophic losses. The possibility of loss resulting from political events such as changes in government policy, economic instability or acts of terrorism can be great."
James F. Quirk, a vice president of Marsh & McLennan
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Why This UNIT is Important

Mining 
Sector

One of the biggest sectors of the Canadian economy, that requires political risk assessment and contingency planning is the mining sector.

Mining is big business in Canada. 

Many mining operations worldwide are operated or controlled by Canadian mining companies which got their origins in northern Ontario and B.S. decades ago.

"Miners go where the minerals are - and this often leads them to remote, undeveloped and frequently hostile environments around the world."
 www.mineafrica.com
 

.ff
http://www.witiger.com/640radio.htm
http://people.senecac.on.ca/tim.richardson/audio/audio2008May12interview640news.mp3
During the 2nd week of May 2008, Richardson was interviewed by John Downs of AM 640 news for a segment about the consequences of a company involved in a foreign investment where terrorists benefit from the investment. 
MP3 here. http://people.senecac.on.ca/tim.richardson/audio/
audio2008May12interview640news.mp3

Several American victims of terrorist attacks in Israel are demanding millions in compensation from a Swiss bank. The Americans claim the Swiss bank should have known that sending money to Iran would result in terrorism being financed. 

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This interview relates to political risk in the context that Canadian companies are at risk when they do business in a country in which the political situation involves activities that may compromise the ethics or integrity of the Canadian firm and its customers and suppliers.
(Discussed also in the ethics.htm unit)

Richardson explained there are a number of examples of situations where a business directly or indirectly does things which benefit terrorists or  rogue states - a Canadian example cited by Richardson was the Quebec based helicopter parts manufacturer who sold technology and parts to a Chinese company that made the Z-10 "attack helicopters" for the Chinese army. Richardson noted that various human rights organizations such as  www.oxfam.ca have researched how Chinese attack helicopters have been used in the Sudan by the Muslim backed government to attack and kill Christian refugees in western Sudan's Darfur region.

"Canada has not authorized the export of combat aircraft to Colombia, where there are reports of aerial bombings of civilians as recent as 2004. Yet the Colombian Air Force is now acquiring Super Tucano aircraft from the Brazilian company Embraer, which are armed with two machine guns and are powered by engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada."  oxfam

...
click to view larger
v
click to view larger, and read the points about the mining sector and security, and Alan Bell, regular guest speaker in C44
two basic types of risk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEDH5cdB6tw Richardson discussing the difference between 
Pure Risk
and
Speculative Risk

Pure Risk - a negative thing could happen, if it does not happen, the company gains no advantage

Speculative Risk - a negative thing could happen, or a positive thing could happen
 

..
main categories of risk The main categories of risk which effect international business managers

CONFLICT / VIOLENCE - unstable ethnic, religious and military conflicts - including the types of threats within Political Risk

    • Political Risk - the risk that politics in the host country will develop in a way which makes it difficult for you to profitably carry on your 

    •  
      • Interference with operations
        • Confiscation(they take a piece of equipment)
        • Expropriation (they take the whole company)
        • Nationalization(they take all the companies in a business sector)business.
    • Risks to Personnel
      • violence
        • K&R, kidnap & ransom, 
        • extortion and theft
      • medical risks and threats
GEOGRAPHIC ENVIRONMENT
    • climatic and weather extremes that threaten the health and safety of nonresident travelers and effect the operational ability of equipment and machinery
    • topographical extremes that endanger personal safety, communications and transportation.
One of the best ways to deal with these security risks is by developing a comprehensive contingency plan.
..
Political Risk can be divided into several types of threats. CONFLICT / VIOLENCE 
  • Interference with operations
    • Confiscation(they take a piece of equipment)
    • Expropriation (they take the whole company)
    • Nationalization(they take all the companies in a business sector)
    • Economic instability, which effects production
    • Currency Repatriation, not being able to get your money out
    • Currency  Inconvertibility, not being able to exchange your money for another currency of international value (yen, dollars, pounds)
    • Contract Repudiation

    •  "... persistent and deliberate refusal ...to honour obligations as set forth in a Contract.."
    .
    Political Risk

    Political violence

    • Political violence – loss of assets or income due to 
      • war and revolution, 
      • insurrection or politically motivated civil strife, 
      • terrorism and sabotage
      • K&R, kidnap & ransom, 
      • extortion and theft
      • forced support of a political party

      • (give us money for the XYZ Party or we will cut off the electrical power to your factory)
    .
    Political Risk

    Political violence

    • Political violence – loss of assets or income due to 
      • forced support of a political party
      • Laurent Ghagbo lost the national election in the Ivory Coast in Nov 2010 but still clings to power - threatening to cut off cocoa exports - which would effect the world supply of chocolate since the Ivory Coast produces a significant percentage of the world supply
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZepEYLxnv9c View the video to see how almost anything can be a "teachable point" about international business.

    Filmed Feb 14th, Valentine's Day, Prof. Richardson uses chocolate doughnuts to make a point about political risk in the Ivory Coast

    .
    Political Risk

    Nationalization

    Nationalization is typically when an extreme government takes action against foreigners by using the military, or other power, to take ownership and control over a business sector, or a collection of resources or real estate.

    Typically this situation happens when foreign investors use their money to create some thing, such a develop a gold mine, or build an energy station, and the government decides to take over the facility by force or by some other action which leaves the foreigners without compensation.

    .
    Political Risk

    Nationalization
    click to view larger

    click to see larger view In October 2011 Hugo Chavez, strongman running Venezuela, threatened to nationalize the luxury homes on the islands of Los Roques, just off the coast of Venezuela
    These island are located 80 miles north of Venezuela and have become a major attraction for high-end expensive tourism. The area is known for white sand beaches unspoiled by typical tourist circumstances.
    .
    Political Risk

    Nationalization
    click to view larger

    In 2010  Venezuela took over 11 drilling rigs belonging to an American oil company (Helmerich  hpinc.com ) based in Oklahoma.
    Wall Street Journal reported "President Hugo Chavez nationalized the Helmerich rigs in June 2010 after the equipment had sat idle for months because of a payment dispute. The U.S. company claimed it was owed $43 million for completed work. "
    .
    .
    what are the 
    specific
    risks

    MEDICAL

    List of specific medical risks and threats that can effect international businesses
    • medical trauma in remote areas and the subsequent evacuation and treatment
    • Disease and plague
      • in late Sept 2005 the WHO World Health Organization broadcast alarming predictions that a pandemic stemming from the bird flu virus (presently killing people in Asia) could kill as many as 150 million worldwide
      • SARS 2003 could be considered an emergency that required carrying out Contingency Plans 
    ...

    ..
     
    what are the 
    specific
    risks

    VIOLENCE

    List of specific violent risks and threats 
    • theft of expensive equipment and recovery of important corporate data; 
    • kidnapping situations
      • kidnapping for money
      • kidnapping for political purposes
    • violent robbery and assault of executives; 
      • Mexico City, Moscow, South Africa, New York City, Detroit, L.A., Malvern !
    • extortion and threats against company operations, offices and facilities; 
    • security of communications and electronic countermeasures
    .
    what are the 
    specific
    risks
    List of specific risks from government problems or problems caused by gov't action 
    • municipal and regional government problems
      • power blackout, accident or sabotage
      • sewer flooding caused by heavy rains
      • road closures, earthquakes, flooding, tornadoes
    .
    VIOLENCE / PIRATES

    "pirate girl" pic supplied by student Z. K. at Seneca
    List of specific violent risks and threats - PIRATES - 2009 !!!

    In early Feb 2009, student Lulu W. in MGTC44 at UTSC emailed some interesting comments about Pirates.

    Lulu said 
    "I read an article about the Somali pirates yesterday. I found it interesting since this is related to the risks we may encounter when we are operating international business. The author mentioned that piracy has taken an increasing toll on international shipping in the water link between the Mediterranean Sea & the Indian Ocean. Although the warships of more than a dozen countries patrol Somali waters to protect vessels, the seizing of a German gas tanker unfortunately happened when no warship was there to help. Also, I found another interesting point: vessels with small loads of volatile oil products and chemicals are relatively likely to suffer pirate attacks (according to maritime experts), as captains are unwilling to take the risk of gunfire if they resist boarding. 
     
    Lulu concludes "I think contingency plans regarding pirate attacks are extremely important for those companies who transport cargos on international waters. Vessels with oil and chemical products should pay special attention to this because they have greater vulnerability and thus a higher possibility to be forcefully boarded"
     

    .
    VIOLENCE / PIRATES PIRATES - 2009 !!!

    WTGR responds adding Pirates are active in several areas of the world

    In 2008 and into 2009 Pirates are active in the Singapore Straits, around the Indonesian islands, near the coast of Bangladesh, and off the coast of Somalia, and in the east part of the Pacific off Peru + irregular activity in the Caribbean (mostly targeting yachts which can then be used for drug smuggling). 
    click to see the RPG in the front of the bow
    click to see a larger view, 
    and you can spot the RPG in the bow
    Some of the reasons this activity is taking place is based on capability and opportunity. With hand held GPS navigation it is easier for small fast boats to travel far offshore the coast, + access to weapons such as RPGs allow a small boat the ability to create a "big threat" which most ships would surrender to. 
    Additionally, most ocean vessels have not been "arming" themselves since the traditional pirate years of the 1600's and 1700's - which means you have a "target rich environment"
    - however that is rapidly changing as 2009 progresses.

    Somalians who have been captured and prosecuted for piracy, have told the foreign media that they committed these crimes out of desparation when they say their fishing livelihod was being stolen by large international commercial trawlers.
    see YouTube  youtube.com/watch?v=DSp9OGK69oA

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    VIOLENCE PIRATES PIRATES - 2011 update

    "Piracy off the coast of Somalia is getting worse" 
    As reported Feb 5th 2011 in "The Economist" magazine  (regularly read by the author of this site) in 2010 pirates took 
     o 1,100 people hostage
     o half were released after payment of ransom
     o a few died 
     o 700+ are still being held
    The Economist reminds that since Somalia has no functioning state government there is no one in Somaia to whom foreign governments can exert pressure to halt this situation.

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    .
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    The screen capture below is from the web site of  CanadExport of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs.
    It features an article written by Prof Richardson, for Dept. of Foreign Affairs publication, in 1998
    http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/english/news/newsletr/canex/980612fe.htm
    In this article, Prof. Richardson says

    "One consequence of government–private sector alliances’ stimulating exporting is that many Canadian  companies are doing business in farther reaches of the globe. However, some of the newer areas that are  being opened to international business are not as safe and free from risk as are more familiar markets and regions. Canadian companies should therefore plan for overseas security."

    "...these newer areas can be rewarding for exporters, but Canadian companies need to exercise caution. ...a Contingency plan is one way to address risks"
    WTGR

    the article used to be at http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/english/news/newsletr/canex/980612fe.htm
    - this link is no longer working in 2005
    .



    An excellent article explaining how the emerging economies offer lots of opportunity, but at the same time doing business there is very risky - and what companies should be aware of and how they should deal with it.
     http://www.mmc.com/views/96fall.quirk.shtml - this article was originally posted online in 1996
    James F. Quirk, author is a vice president of Marsh & McLennan
    in 2004 Quirk is Regional Director Political, Credit, & Terrorism Risk, Asia, Marsh Japan Inc
     
    http://www.mmc.com/views/96fall.quirk.shtml As more and more companies develop business in riskier areas around the world - providing risk insurance coverage of these companies is a growing business
    sd
    KEY
    POINTS
    The CanadExport article written by Prof. Richardson in 1998 was based on his work for, and with, a Canadian based, specialized security services company. This company, named Globe Risk, has some of the most distinguished people involved in security services consulting and contingency planning. The company, headed by Mr. Alan Bell, has its own web site at  www.globerisk.com
    . m
    Security
    Services
    Companies

    contingency 
    planning 

    business 
    continuity 
    solutions

    Security
    Services
    Companies


    http://www.globerisk.com/

    Globe Risk, "There are many questions when it comes to contingency planning and crisis  management. Similar to an insurance policy, it prepares your company for any disasters it may encounter. Even more like an insurance policy, it can either be money wasted or well spent. When a crisis strikes your firm, it will be too late to find out. Then it will be up to legal teams representing damaged parties, injured employees and government  regulators to determine your liabilities. "

    .
    Key Points 9/11 provided many examples of the challenges companies face when they did not have contingency plans to handle the large scale impact of that terrorist attack.

    Business Continuity is one of those terms that mean exactly what you think it means - the ability of keeping the business going after something bad happens

    Disaster Recovery is similar - you have a very bad situation that effects your company, and you carry out plans to recover, and keep going.

    One of the key things to keep in mind in International Business is that sooner or later bad things will happen to every company - life is like that - so successful companies are those that prepare for bad things and make sure they can recover, and then continue, which is good since un-prepared companies will not recover and the competitive environment will cause them to lose customers or halt production.

    WTGR

    . .
    Business 
    continuity & Disaster Recovery
    Marsh and McLennan is a large global company. Marsh had about 1,900 employees in the two towers at "Ground Zero" Sept 11th - 295 were killed. While it might have been reasonable for a company to have a plan if 5 or 10 employees were unavailable due to an illness, nobody could have foreseen such a disaster like 9/11, and, no company could have thought to prepare for what would happen when 295 head office employees are killed.
    Bernard Mascarenhas (54) lived in Newmarket, Ont. and worked for Marsh Canada as chief information officer. On Sept 11th he  was on the 97th floor of the north tower as part of a five-day business trip to New York. He was taking part in a conference call with other Marsh offices when the plane hit. Mascarenhas left his wife, Raynette, a son, Sven, and a daughter, Jaclyn. 

    Jane Beatty (53), originally from Britain, was on the 96th floor of the North tower, worked for Marsh in the U.S. She had survived five years with breast cancer until 9/11.

    See Pat Moore's article at
     http://www.disaster-resource.com/cgi-bin/article_search.cgi?id='48'
    .
    Key Points The business continuity part of contingency planning refers to the ability of the company to keep operating after a major disaster so as to be able to provide product and service to the customers and keep earning income so it can continue to pay its employees.

    In a very competitive business environment, it can be expected that some companies will encounter challenges, unforeseen, and if they are able to deal with those challenges then they will survive, if not, the company will collapse and the customers will be picked up by a competitor.

    WTGR

    . asc
    COMMENT Crisis Management is a very large topic and in some university business school graduate courses you can study this for weeks. The topic can be further subdivided into human threats (robbery, hostage negotiation), technology based (like a bad virus), political (change of government, revolution, terrorism), weather and environmental, disease and illness etc.

    WTGR

    . c
    Crisis
    Management
    What is a Crisis?

    "A crisis and a disaster are both bad for your business, but they are very different. A disaster is an event that results in great damage, difficulty, or death. A crisis is a situation that has reached an extremely difficult or dangerous point. A flood is a disaster. You should have prepared for that potential. Then you can deal with it according to your plan. A major product recall, such as Firestone has recently encountered with its SUV tires, is a crisis."

    "Crisis management means having a plan in place, having identified who will do what, and having practiced the plan for most conceivable events. Many of us think that we are good enough managers that we can handle anything that comes up. We think on our feet all the time and often all called upon to make quick decisions on key issues. "
    by  F. John Reh http://management.about.com/cs/communication/a/PlaceBlame1000.htm
     

    The reason for having a Crisis Plan is so that you do not have to take the time to "think" about what to do, you just quickly follow the steps of the plan which have been thought in advance. This allows response to be quick and effective and prevents the crisis becoming a disaster.

    WTGR

    .
    - Country Risk Analysis as done by a consulting company
    click to read original
    In this article, the authors "... explore the information in five different measures of country risk."Country risk assessment / Political Risk Analysis , p. 321
    - example of a political risk  rating system as used at Duke University
     - country risk analysis done for all the countries of the world
     
     
    COMMENT The field of Country Risk Analysis is usually something done for medium and large sized companies were multiple regions of the world are involved - it is not something we associate with small businesses involved in importing components or small businesses exporting to a few clients.

    We provide this information not for the academic objectives of this course - but rather as an opportunity to know about a category of international business which has become quite specialized, and one in which you might be interested for career purposes.
    WTGR


     
     
    A Summary of World-Wide Terrorism Events, Groups, and Terrorist Strategies and Tactics
     www.emergency.com/cntrterr.htm

    Presently, many medium and large sized companies involved in B2C and also B2B situations, recognize that many of the "safe" areas in the world are being saturated with business, and the only new opportunities lie in regions of risk - therefore in the field of international business there is (in some sectors) an increased interest in knowing more details about the regions of risk and what possibilities there are to do business there - this is particularly true for resource extraction companies and companies selling branded consumer items and services.
    WTGR

     

    http://www.emergency.com/cntrterr.htm
    .
     
    KEY
    POINTS
    When we discussed int'l terrorism in international business classes in 2000, 1999 and earlier, there was not the same interest and attention to details as we have had since Sept 11th, 2001.
    WTGR
    .
    click to view larger
     
    This article, which appeared in the Toronto Star Oct 30th, makes some good points about the effects of Sept 11th on shipping and business between Canada and the U.S.

    Canadians in international business should be particularly concerned because of the large amount of exports Canada has to the United States.

    .
    Canadian
    government
    info
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Canadian
    government
    info
     

    KEY
    POINTS
    This is an example of how federal governments can produce information and reports which allow business people to make decisions regarding risk and threat situations in different business sectors, and geographic regions.
    WTGR
    http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/eng/comment/com74_e.html
    Canadian government information on terrorism

    commentary piece by Dr. G. Davidson Smith
     

    As explained by the author, Dr. Davidson Smith "The term "Single Issue Terrorism" is broadly accepted as extremist militancy on the part of groups or individuals protesting a perceived grievance or wrong  usually attributed to governmental action or inaction"

    Here was the entire list of commentaries in the series
     www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/eng/comment/comsum_e.html (link broken in by 2012)
    Dr. Smith gave TR permission to quote from, and link to the CSIS site in an email 2005 June 22, Copies of emails kept on file in the permissions binder

    .
     
    KEY
    POINTS
    The reason we mention this topic on the CSIS site is because knowing about such things can assist companies involved in international business. If the activities of certain business are perceived as supporting some government action in a foreign country, which the local population are against - it is possible that local hostility could be extended to the foreign company, as well as the government.
    -  examples include the circumstances of Talisman which operated in the Sudan.
    WTGR

     
    Political Risk

    Political violence

    CASE STUDY
    Oil Industry
    Example: Africa

    A Reuters story, carried on CNN Sept 22, 2005, reported that "more than 100 armed militants stormed a U.S.-operated oil production platform in Nigeria and forced it to close on Thursday [Sept 22, 2005] in response to the arrest of an ethnic militia leader on treason charges."

    Reuters said "Armed with assault rifles, the fighters invaded the Idama platform operated by Chevron www.chevron.comin the southern Niger Delta, escalating a simmering political crisis in the world's eighth largest oil exporter. "Eight boats, each carrying 15 armed people occupied the Idama flow station. Six government security forces had their weapons taken from them," a source close to Chevron said."
    check  http://www.chevron.com/news/press/2005/ for updates

    Interestingly, the BBC reported much more detail on the situation than American controlled CNN. The BBC story explained that there has been a lot tension in the region between the foreign owned oil companies and the Nigerians who work for those companies and the Nigerians living in villages effected by the oil operations.

    The BBC noted in 3rd week of September (2005)
    " Women protesters who have besieged an oil terminal in southern Nigeria for more than a week say they have reached a deal with the refinery owners to end their blockade...Some 150 women took over the terminal eight days ago, demanding employment for their families and investment in the local community....According to Chevron, the company has agreed to build a town hall in the village of Ugborodo - home to many of the protesters - and build schools and electrical and water systems."

    This would be considered a good example of the Integrative Approach as  opposed to the Defensive Approach. If Chevron had adopted a Defensive Approach they would have hired more security to protect the oil rig platforms. In this case, an Integrative Approach seems to go to the root of the problem.

    The BBC added "Nigeria is Africa's largest oil-producer but protests are common in oil-producing regions by local communities, demanding that more of the oil wealth is used for their benefit. Locals often kidnap workers and demand ransom money from oil companies." 

    .
    Political Risk

    Political violence

    CASE STUDY
    Oil Industry
    Example: Africa

    "Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer and ranks among the top 10 oil producing countries in the world. Oil is the country's main natural resource and accounts for 80% of its revenue and 95% of its export earnings." from www.shell.com

    Royal Dutch Shell www.shell.com considered the threat to operations (Sept 2005) and looked at what happened to the American company, and evacuated non-essential staff from one of its platforms.

    "a senior industry source said the 70,000 barrels-a-day output from that facility would be maintained by a skeleton staff. Oil prices are near record highs due to hurricane damage in the southern United States. Any disruption to exports from Nigeria, the fifth largest supplier of the U.S., would make the situation more precarious."

    .
    Political Risk

    Political violence

    GENOCIDE

    SUDAN

    In the world today (2006) there are some situations of political risk that are so extreme they could be termed genocide - meaning that one ethnic group is trying to kill everyone in another group because of differences in language, cultural practices or religion.

    The Eight Stages of Genocide

    Originally written in 1998 by Prof. Gregory H. Stanton, http://www.genocidewatch.org/8stages.htm
    the eight stages of genocide occur as follows:

    1. Classification-This is the separation of peoples into different categories such as German and Jew or Hutu and Tutsi.
    2. Symbolization- These are distinguishing characteristics of a group of people leading to dehumanization.
    3. Dehumanization-The denial of a group’s humanity often coincides with hate propaganda.
    4. Organization-This phase involves planning, training, and organizing efforts that aim at the extinction of a group of people.
    5. Polarization-Laws, attitudes, and actions used to separate groups of people.
    6. Preparation-Victim identification based on ethnicity and religion occurs. Segregated people in concentration camps, ghettos, and specifically designated regions are apparent.
    7. Extermination-State or militia sponsored mass killings.
    8. Denial-Perpetrators try to hide evidence and intimidate witnesses. Complete denial of involvement and responsibility. Perpetrators blame victims for the killings.

    In 2004, Stanton ranked Sudan at stage 7. 

    .
    Political Risk

    Political violence

    GENOCIDE

    SUDAN

    Why do we mention Genocide in MGTC44 - because the actions or various international businesses have contributed to the conflict in the Sudan and it is something that responsible citizens of the world should not accept.

    The Sudan is an example of how cultural animosities are exploited for foreign multinationals in the pursuit of natural resources.

    International Business is not studied in a theoretical vacuum, - real things happen in the world of international business that can be observed and reported in the media and some of those "real things" are very bad. Students should be aware of these situations, read the newspaper, and make informed choices.

    WTGR

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