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    Expansion in Middle East: Egypt

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    Details: Mr. Swanson and Content Cow Dairy employees need a crash course on doing business in the Middle East to prepare for the cultural differences in exporting to the area. One of the differences that have major legal implications for Content Cow Dairy is bribery. In the Middle East, it is the custom, and perfectly legal, to offer money or gifts to expedite a transaction. Prepare a briefing for Mr. Swanson on when and how the U.S.'s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and a companion agreement with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) would affect your client's behavior in doing business in Egypt. Would it be acceptable under U.S. law for Content Cow Dairy to offer baksheesh (a gratuity) to an Egyptian customs official to expedite the inspection of Content Cow's products? (A briefing involves a verbal presentation of the key points of a topic to bring the recipient up to speed quickly.) Your response of 1250 to 1500 words must include the following:

    a brief discussion on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (2007) and how it prohibits payments to obtain favorable business results
    research and discussion of the implications of payments to third parties that could be used to obtain favorable business results
    discussion on facilitating payments that are permissible under the Act


    Content Cow Dairy, Inc. began as a small, family-run dairy farm in Wisconsin in the 19th century, established by a Swedish immigrant, John Swanson. Over the years, the firm has acquired more land and now runs a herd of roughly 1,000 milk-producing cows. The firm is now incorporated for reasons of liability although the Swanson family retains control. The dairy has greatly expanded its production of milk and milk products to the point that Content Cow Dairy has sufficient cash flow to weather most fluctuations in dairy prices. The national Got Milk? campaign run by the industry helped keep consumption of milk products up in the U.S. for a number of years despite popular concerns about cholesterol and saturated fats and competition from other beverages. To maintain the company's growth and decrease its reliance on the mature American market, Karl Swanson, the President and CEO of Content Cow Dairy (and the great-grandson of its founder) is seeking new markets overseas for the company's products, particularly shelf-stable milk beverages and cheeses. Egypt is at the top of the list as a prime market and a focus of Content Cow's future plans.

    Currently, no one in the firm has any experience with overseas markets or how to export products. Karl has the idea that countries without the natural endowments needed for raising dairy cattle (ample water and grazing land) might be good markets for dairy products. He is also aware that his family firm is competing for foreign markets with other U.S. firms and firms from leading dairy countries such as New Zealand and Denmark. For these reasons and on the advice of his state's department of commerce, Karl has decided to seek the assistance of a trade consulting firm, Alexander and Kravis (A&K).

    A&K, Inc. is an international trade consulting service that has been in operation for the past 15 years. The principals in the firm include attorneys specializing in international trade law, economists, former members of the U.S. Foreign Service, former U.S. customs officials, logistics specialists, and customs brokers. The firm advises its clients on both importing to the U.S. and exporting from the U.S. to various foreign countries.

    The firm is especially knowledgeable about business conditions in Latin America, the Middle East, and North Africa although it has access to consultants for other geographic areas. The firm is able to assist its clients in identifying potential markets for its products, developing relationships with foreign distributors, navigating U.S. export and foreign import laws, understanding foreign business practices and customs, and developing a long-term strategy for expansion of the client's business overseas. It provides specialists who can prepare the necessary export and import documents and arrange for transportation and shipping of the exports. Translation services are also available. A&K has a number of large corporations as clients but has identified a niche in serving small to midsize, family-owned firms.

    As A&K's account manager for Content Cow Dairy, you are tasked with explaining various aspects of the international business environment and the export process to Mr. Swanson. You will be preparing a series of briefings, memos, and reports to help him understand.

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    Solution Preview

    The response addresses the queries posted in 1266 words with references.
    //This paper aims at providing assistance to Content Cow Dairy, an American company that deals in dairy products. The paper presents a detailed analysis of Foreign Corrupt Prohibits Act (FCPA), and offers its major observation to Content Cow Dairy in order to facilitate their business expansion in Egypt //

    Egypt is a middle-east country and is officially known as 'Arab Republic of Egypt'. The country is known for its civilization and culture across the globe. When we consider this geographical region as our business destination, there are a few important elements that must be taken into consideration for survival and success of our business in this country. The culture of a country is considered as one of the most important determinants for success of a business. When we take these factors into consideration in context of Egypt, we can observe that there are significant differences between the cultures of USA and Egypt. These differences not only influence the social dimensions or perception but also have a great influence upon business decisions.

    Content Cow Dairy has identified this country as a destination for its foreign expansion, so it is imperative for the company to go for an intensive research about the many relevant issues. In context of our scenario, we should have a fair idea about the ethical issues of bribery with respect to FCPA. In recent years, Egypt has liberalized its economic policies and has improved its investment policies (Sharan, 2003). The country has taken measures to improve taxation and banking system, which have increased the foreign investment. The government undertook liberal economic policies and investment procedures in order to intensify the pace of economic development.

    A major reform in the economy has been in 2003. It cuts the customs and tariffs. Foreign direct investments have been increased due to liberalization and country has high earning. In July, 2007, country has signed OECD declaration. It will increase foreign direct investment in the country. Presently, in the end of year ...

    Solution Summary

    The response addresses the queries posted in 1266 words with references.