August 2011

Spotlight – In international business, almost every market around the world does things in a different way. This often leads to misunderstandings and unfulfilled expectations. However, different does not need to mean difficult and knowledge of the needs and characteristics of specific geographic markets is an advantage to those who are active in the global economy. These articles help you understand different aspects of the insurance industry around the world, enabling those who do business there to feel more “at home, abroad.”

Some of our readers will recall how we highlighted the fact that politicians in China and Taiwan were pointing missiles at each other while businessmen were sitting around the table, doing deals. What follows cross-border investment and distribution? Insurance. Often it is the facilitator with Letters of Credit, international property and liability coverages, marine transportation, etc. While Northern Africa continues to suffer from fear and uncertainty, something more than a trickle of an idea has been growing further south. The concept of a Free Trade Zone covering Southern and Eastern Africa is gathering momentum. This will have consequences for insurance. The Gauteng Business News and Insurancenewsnet.com have recently published very interesting and positive articles about this idea. We can provide links to these here and for further information, please contact our good friend Michael Duncan of Alexander Forbes (www.alexanderforbes.co.za/about-us/about-us.aspx) at duncanm@aforbes.co.za We also have a contribution from Global Alliance (www.globalalliance.co.za/Eng/about.html) where Kay Wilkinson will be pleased to provide more information at kwilkinson@globalalliance.co.za We are grateful for their support.

Please see WoRdS Free Trade Zone in Southern and Eastern Africa