Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

How to do business abroad (Journal of Accountancy)

“In the not-too-distant past, being a multinational company was synonymous with being a large company. Corporate giants such as Wal-Mart Stores, United Parcel Service, General Electric, and International Paper—multinationals that have tens of thousands of employees; billions in annual revenue; and generations’ worth of experience in selling, setting up offices, and establishing production operations overseas—have loomed large among the U.S. companies that own equity in a foreign enterprise. What has changed, though, is that more small and midsize companies such as Infragistics are venturing abroad in search of talent and leading-edge technology at a lower cost than in advanced economies in North America or Europe and establishing a foothold in markets with developing middle classes. What they’re encountering in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa are unfamiliar customs and laws, which, if not handled carefully, can pose significant risks.”

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Languages do matter!


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