MARCH 2018
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To Buy, or Not to Buy? : Risks of purchasing property in Mexico
This month in VantagePoints, we begin a series of articles regarding international business operations. In an ever-accessible global arena, there are growing opportunities for companies to invest and/or operate overseas.
This edition is a collaborative effort with one of our international associates. It underscores the need for effective and ongoing information gathering - what we term "Ground Truth" - to avoid or contend with complications arising from offshore business relationships.
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Considering a Business Relationship Offshore? Or, Is the One You Have Troubled? 
The U.S. business community is   globalized, in a sense--dollar diplomacy under changing political shadows-─nothing has changed. Volatility is always present everywhere  . Let's look at the most recently available global private  consumption numbers from 2005: a. the globe's wealthiest 20% accounted for 76.6% of consumption, b. the next 60% of all global consumers consumed 21.9%, c. while the world's poorest consumed a meager 1.5%. [1] Now here is the kicker: the U.S. economy in 2016 generated 24.58% of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), [2]  even though it only comprises roughly 1.5 % of the globe's surface area (read: resources, about 6% of the globe's land area [3] (again... resources), and less than 5% of the globe's population [4] (read: consumers & producers). Sustainable? Only through continued globalization.
Continued globalization is essential for everyone, everywhere. For the uninitiated... finding and watching offshore investments can become analogous to watching television commercials, with no audio, through the wrong end of your binoculars, at 100 yards. Globalization is essential, here to stay, will accelerate, and is something everyone can benefit from. Applause is due for those investing in off-shore enterprises while at the same time prayers should be said that investors realize they will have to work differently, more earnestly, harder, and longer to create relationships which will both prosper and endure. There is nothing negative here as goodwill, mutual patience and understanding, toil, and cooperation can fulfill both the globe's and the offshore investor's destiny. 

"Build-Own-Operate," "Build-Own-Operate-Transfer," "Design-Build-Finance-Operate," etc., are commonly used terms. What is missing from this acronym smorgasbord is analogous to "Invest-Build-Own-Lose." Recently, a director of an entity making its first plunge into international waters spoke privately, and unconvincingly, about "solid insightful investments" that suddenly and unexpectedly became absolutely breathtaking divestitures. The account clearly heralded a fundamental lack of "Ground Truth" (i.e., the proper know-how and know-who). Consequently, changes in the boardroom are probably forthcoming.
There are a litany of ways and means by which...  Read More