Why US exports provide increasing opportunity for lawyers everywhere

US exports are increasing

As the Daily Beast reported in 2013, the notion that America doesn’t make anything that the world wants is a misconception.  They point to a report last year by the US Commerce Department which indicates US exports had reached a record high of $191.1 billion.  The report also outlined how the US is exporting a diversity of products and services including grain, oil, machines and services including education and tourism.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Most potential consumers are outside the United States

As Fox Business reported earlier this year — most potential consumers are outside the United States.  Indeed the U.S. population “accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s roughly 7.2 billion people”.  And while US consumers on average have more disposable income, the gap in disposable income between American consumers and consumers in developing markets is projected to continue to narrow.

Developing nations playing an increasing role in world trade

The markets for US exports are both expanding and diversifying.  For example, as the Latin American Herald Tribune recently reported:  According to a new report from the World Trade Organization (WTO) — for the first time — “the participation of developing countries in world trade accounts for nearly half of global trade”,

The report highlights that between 2000 and 2012 the involvement of developing countries in world trade increased from 33 percent to 48 percent of global totals.

Obama Administration actively promoting the expansion of US exports

Importantly, the Obama Administration is actively promoting the expansion of US exports.  As Bill Krist II has outlined in America’s Trade Policy (@Trade_Policy), this effort is in “fact…just one of many such efforts by the U.S. Government over the past 40 years.

As Krist outlined: “On March 11, 2010 the [Obama] Administration issued Executive Order 13534, “National Export Initiative” (NEI), which called for the following actions, among others:

  • Expanding the number of trade missions;
  • Strengthening commercial advocacy on behalf of U.S. companies;
  • Increasing the availability of export credit to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • Rebalancing the global economy; and
  • Reducing barriers to our exports and robustly enforcing our trade agreements.”

Importantly for lawyers (which I’ll explain below) is that Krist cautions that:  “Traditional trade promotion techniques implemented since 2010 are very limited in potential. If the U.S. really wants to substantially increase our exports – e.g. to double our exports – we would need to make some serious structural changes.”

Implications for law firms

The forces I’ve described above bode well for lawyers who would seek to act in an entrepreneurial fashion to meet the needs of US companies exporting globally.  US exports are up, developing nations are buying more – and the likelihood is that this trend will continue.  US lawyers can seek to act for those companies – and foreign lawyers in both developed and developing economies – can do so also. Each in unique ways.  That the US government is supporting the efforts of US companies (and has done for decades) reflects both a continued commitment to increasing US exports and the likelihood exports will continue to increase.

Importantly for lawyers, however, is that as I’ve outlined above, US efforts to promote exports point to a need in the market for private sector support to help US exporters find and capitalize upon new markets and niches in existing marketsLaw firms can act as this private sector support if they seek to become a resource to companies in America already exporting or seeking to export.   But this type of initiative requires law firms to understand comprehensively how to go about becoming this resource – and then acting upon the development of this initiative by maintaining an active and disciplined effort to see it to fruition (i.e. the development of  new US export client base).

46dcc894fe940c873fb966b046eda439_400x400John Grimley assists legal, financial services and public affairs professionals create and implement custom international business development plans. To enquire about his services, contact him at +1.213.814.2855 or at jg@jgrimley.com or on Skype at: JohnGrimley

The Asia-Pacific Legal Markets 2014: Opportunities and Challenges

Last Friday evening I made a presentation to the Clyde & Co Asia-Pacific Conference in Hong Kong on the subject: The Asia-Pacific Legal Markets 2014: Opportunities and Challenges.  The presentation was based on excerpts from my new book entitled: A Comprehensive Guide to the Asia-Pacific Legal Markets.  Here’s the outline of that presentation:

10410403_538969076205605_1817142706317518592_nAsia-Pacific Legal Markets projected to double in next few years

On April 18, 2013, Alan Hodgart, London-based management consultant to the legal profession, predicted that the Asian legal market would double in size between 2012 and 2017. Mr Hodgart made this prediction in Seoul at the annual conference of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).  George Beaton, Partner at Melbourne-based Beaton Capital and management consultant to professional services firms takes a somewhat different view. Beaton outlines why a doubling of the market would not occur by 2017, but rather by approximately 2022.  Whether the Asia-Pacific legal market doubles by 2017, 2022 or later – it will in the estimation of many observers of the global legal profession be one of the most if not the most important legal markets in the world in the not-too-distant future.

What is the Asia-Pacific region?

The Asia-Pacific region is an expression frequently used, yet, what does it mean precisely? The Asia-Pacific region covers an extensive geographic area comprising some 2.8 billion hectares of land or roughly 22% of the global land area. It stretches from the perimeters of China-Mongolia in the north to the southern tip of Australia and New Zealand to the south.

Australia plays an important role in the Asia-Pacific legal market

Asia-Pacific regional integration has been brought about by many years of national and regional collaborative initiatives and strengthened by increasing cross-border trade, financial integration, improvement in mechanisms of human interaction, shifts in technology and transfer of skills.  Australia has been an integral part of this integration. Since 2004, Australian commerce has carried out more trade with Asia than with the rest of the world combined and that trade is on the rise more than four times faster as before. Three of Australia’s five prime trading partners – China, Japan and the Republic of Korea – are in Asia. Together with the ASEAN group, these nations account for approximately half of Australia’s overall international trade activities.

Emerging trends impacting legal services in the region

A number of major factors are influencing the legal services sector globally and in the Asia-Pacific market in 2014. They include: Increased competition; Commoditization hastened by new technology; Novel forms of rivalry from new service providers; A change in the role of in-house general counsel; Globalization; Changing foreign direct investment trends; Economic growth; A shift from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market; More decisions being made by clients; The appeal of Asian markets to western law firms; Legal market liberalization; The rise of the Internet economy;  Price Competition; Intra-Asian law firm growth; Law firm mergers and
Alternative Business Structures.

Key for law firms in the region going forward will include how to address all of the above issues, including: What is the future of NewLaw in Asia? How is technology impacting the practice of law? How is Generational Marketing Becoming More Important for Law Firms?

What are the most important legal markets in the region and why they are important?Plus a look at some of the developing and less recognized nations and their potential in the future.

India; China; South Korea; Japan; Australia, Myanmar and Indonesia

Asia-Pacific Region Legal Market Growth: The impact on US and European firms

According to the Lawyer Asia-Pacific 150 published in June, 2014, the Asia-Pacific region has become the new home of international law firms. In January 2013, Asian Lawyer sized up the international competition in the region and discovered that global giants based in the U.S. were taking the lead in the market. As for the European firms, U.K. based firms dominate the market despite their dwindling headcount.

What are the major opportunities available to US and European firms?

Nick Seddon, Partner with Beaton Capital and former head of Asia for DLA Piper and Eversheds, sees four main opportunities available to US and European firms in Asia: Market liberalization; Economic Growth; Outbound foreign direct investment and Inbound foreign direct investment

What are the major sectoral growth areas?

Reports reflect that the Asia-Pacific is one of the fastest-growing economic regions in the world. GDP in the Asia-Pacific region is projected to rise at 6.4% per year between 2011 and 2020, compared to 2.5% in the US and just 1.3% in the Eurozone. Growth will be driven by 5 key industry sectors: Ecommerce, Tourism, Infrastructure, Energy, Machinery and Transport Equipment.

The global impact of the Asia-Pacific legal markets

George Beaton and Eric Chin of Beaton Capital in Australia see regional macro-environment forces and the legal services industry life cycle accelerating the pace of change for indigenous law firms:

  • Five major reasons why the world is now in the Asian Century;
  • How economic changes are impacting local law firms in key markets within the region;
  • The state of the legal services industry life cycle across the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Will Asia foreign direct investment soon lead the world?

Finally:  The Asia-Pacific region has demonstrated high-growth in both inbound and outbound foreign direct investment flows. The region has also demonstrated remarkable flexibility in a challenging global economic atmosphere. The Asia-Pacific region is, therefore, poised to lead the world in the future in both inbound and outbound foreign direct investment.

A Comprehensive Guide to the Asia-Pacific Legal Markets. was recently reviewed in Beaton Capital blog by Xinyu Zhang, who wrote:  “Written in an articulate style, the book presents comprehensive and detailed information that will allow law firms to create strategic future plans, making it a must read for legal practitioners who are considering entering into the Asia-Pacific markets or seeking to expand their practices within the region.” [Emphasis added].

46dcc894fe940c873fb966b046eda439_400x400John Grimley assists legal, financial services and public affairs professionals create and implement custom international business development plans. To enquire about his services, contact him at +1.213.814.2855 or at jg@jgrimley.com or on Skype at: JohnGrimley

China invests heavily in Central Europe: How CEE professional services firms can benefit

China is investing more heavily in Central and Eastern Europe and this provides and instant opportunity for professional services firms in the region to generate new clients around this investment.  As Spiegel reported in May of 2012: ”[A]t the April [2012] China-Central Europe-Poland Economic Forum in Warsaw, [then] Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao announced the creation of a $10 billion credit line to support Chinese investments in Central European infrastructure, new technology, and renewable energy.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Indeed, as the New York Times reported in April of that year, Wen stated that China wants to double trade with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to $100 billion a year by 2015.  Beyond investment, Wen has pledged $500 million in funds to be made available to Chinese companies seeking to make first-stage investment in the region.

The region straddles the European Union and includes Poland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria, among others.  Indeed, as the New York Times reports: “Trade between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe has grown by 32 percent annually over the past decade, to $41.1 billion in 2010″, citing the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

“The credit line is only one of a number of major China-related developments in Central and Eastern Europe in recent months”, reported Spiegel. “Shortly after Wen’s trip, Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Li Kequiang also traveled to the region, announcing a string of deals, including a $1 billion credit line to Hungary for the construction of a Chinese-built rail line to the Budapest airport. Chinese shipping giant Cosco has also said it is considering investing $1 billion to develop the port of Rijeka, Croatia.  And earlier [in 2012], Great Wall Motors, a Chinese automobile manufacturer, began production at a new plant in Bahovitsa, Bulgaria.”

Where Central European Service Providers can win new business among Chinese companies

“Central Europe means access to Europe,” according to Eberhard Sandschneider of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, as reported in Speigel.  [However, and importantly]:  ”Chinese investors will [need] to adapt to the local market. [Including] adapting to local laws.”  And this is where the opportunity lies for Central European Investment Banks, Accounting Firms, Management Consulting Groups, Law Firms and others.

Chinese investment is a tremendous economic boost to Central Europe, however what is needed is the local knowledge and assistance of those with an expertise in local laws, business practices, taxation – and the commercial insights to guide Chinese corporate management teams toward shrewd acquisitions, successful local management strategies, legal compliance, EU government contracts (access to which by foreign companies is an issue within the EU) and a host of other solutions, strategies — and opportunities — that any new market entrant would need and seek when doing business in Central Europe.

With this in mind, Central European professional service providers should now be actively creating tailored business development plans focused on China and those investors and corporate management teams from China who will be seeking opportunity in your respective countries.  A well thought out plan would include:

  • Identifying your strengths and what you can best offer Chinese companies seeking to expand in Central Europe;
  • Making yourself a gateway to your respective markets;
  • Researching and identifying Chinese companies seeking to do business in Central Europe;
  • Reaching out to those companies and investors in an organized and efficient fashion;
  • Establishing a social media presence to attract those Chinese companies who might not have known about you otherwise;
  • Establishing effective, business development-focused referral and best-friend relationships with Chinese investment banks, law firms and other professional service providers within China;
  • Developing and nurturing ties with national, regional and local trade organizations within China;
  • Consider opening a cost-efficient business development office in China;
  • Ensuring you know how to convince your potential clients of your unique abilities to help them secure new business in your country or region;
  • Importantly, small and medium-sized professional service firms can and should compete for business among new Chinese entrants to the Central European market;

China’s plans for substantial economic engagement in Central Europe is a tremendous, long-term opportunity for professional service firms committed to establishing and maintaining a truly effective business development effort aimed at identifying and assisting new market entrants to the region from China.  However, any plan to do so must be well thought out, as well as implemented and managed properly – to succeed.

46dcc894fe940c873fb966b046eda439_400x400John Grimley assists legal, financial services and public affairs professionals create and implement custom international business development plans. To enquire about his services, contact him at +1.213.814.2855 or at jg@jgrimley.com or on Skype at: JohnGrimley

Lawyers: 10 steps to becoming a strategic business advisor to foreign clients

Much has been written recently about the importance for lawyers of becoming a strategic business advisor to clients – above and beyond their roles as legal advisors.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Earlier this month, Lindsay Griffiths (@LindsayGriffith) wrote in Zen & the Art of Legal Networking Blog that: “Clients are looking for a business partner (emphasis on the “business”).  During the LMA’s GC panel, we even heard one client comment that she sees her outside counsel as a business arm of her company. So act as though you are an extension of that client’s business – what would you need to know about them? How would you go about finding out how they operate, what risks and challenges they face, etc? Don’t be their lawyer; be their partner. “

Also earlier this month, Barret Avigdor wrote in Major, Lindsay & Africa’s (@MLAGlobal) in Brief: A Legal Career Blog that:  “The best in-house lawyers take value to another level by becoming trusted business advisors.”

Both these articles are superb and ought to be read in full by any lawyers seeking to become a comprehensive strategic advisor to clients beyond the confines of the strict practice of law.  With these articles in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 10 steps business-focused lawyers in private practice can take to become comprehensive business advisors to foreign clients.  Here they are:

  1. Identify basic information about the company - Before making any effort to seek to become a business advisor to a client, it is imperative to start with the basics.  If one is seeking to be of assistance to clients from overseas who may be interested in your market – first identify the size of the company, revenue and profit figures, ownership structure, sector vertical(s), among other fundamental/basic information.
  2. Identify current exposure to international markets – It’s important to understand whether any company you are seeking to represent already has exposure to foreign markets (including yours).  And if so, have they been successful?  If so, how?  Also, determine what  challenges or problems they needed to solve in those markets.  And how did they solve them?  Importantly, too, identify opportunities the company sought to capitalize upon in those foreign markets and the motivation for pursuing those opportunities.
  3. Identify opportunities in your market – What opportunities in your market might be uniquely interesting to the potential client you’ve identified?  These opportunities may or may not require your services to consummate – however your domestic referral sources might be able to help. This creates an event where when you refer that potential client, you can reasonably expect your referral sources will be keeping you in mind for their next referral requiring your services.  So when looking at all potential opportunities for a prospective client – consider those opportunities which might appeal directly to the commercial interests of your potential clients.  For example, the availability of government contracts, acquisition opportunities, distribution channels or other unique opportunities specific to their sector or other corporate characteristics and driving motivations.
  4. Does your jurisdiction provide unique tax or regulatory benefits to foreign companies?  Foreign companies are often very attracted by favorable tax and regulatory treatment.  It’s important to learn about these and the companies which they may apply to – before seeking to represent foreign clients in your market.  Awareness of these opportunities can be a profound advantage when meeting with potential client about retaining your firm to help them enter your market.
  5. What dangers exist in your market unique to your prospective foreign client?  Dangers are often at the forefront of the minds of corporate executives seeking to determine whether to enter a foreign market.  Determine what these dangers are in your market and seek to provide solutions for your prospective client before you meet with them.  For example, if your jurisdiction presents significant tort-liability risk – seek to provide clients with a pre-market entry liability audit.  Also determine whether your market is hyper-competitive in your potential client’s niche and where you might help provide unique competitive advantage to your client.  Is their uniquely aggressive governmental oversight over your client’s industry?  If so, seek to provide a menu of potential solutions to clients before you meet with them.  These options might include the services of business allies in investment banking, public affairs advisory services, management consulting, tax and accounting services, and more.
  6. Political alliances – Determine what if any political alliances might be advantageous to your prospective client.  For example, in the US, locating an aerospace corporate headquarters in the district of a member of a Congressional committee related to the aerospace sector can help a company navigate the domestic market more effectively with the counsel of a well-informed congressional advocate.
  7. Put together a panel of local experts – Consider presenting a list of potential advisors to your client.  Business, political and other strategic advisors you work with and whom you will call on to provide strategic advisory assistance to the client should you be retained.
  8. Provide active business intelligence – Before meeting with any prospective client – identify commercial opportunities which are likely to be of interest to your client.  Corporate clients, no matter how well-informed, can never be aware of all opportunities in all overseas markets.  Become a source, therefore, of unique opportunities in your market.
  9. Study the management team – Make sure you study the biographies of the management team of your prospective client.  Determine which direction they’ve take the company before – to better inform you of what trajectory they may be interested in taking the company in your market.
  10. Determine carefully which channels of communication you may wish to utilize to engage each potential client.  Should you work through local or regional connections who may know them?  Should you contact them directly via phone, letter or email?  Or should you instead blog about issues of importance to them and their competitors?  Each situation requires a unique strategy.

Important to remember is, international trade is increasing every year and by seeking to represent foreign clients, you will diversify your law firms revenue stream beyond strictly domestic clients.  But before embarking upon any effort to become a strategic business advisor to foreign clients, be sure to be fully prepared.

46dcc894fe940c873fb966b046eda439_400x400John Grimley assists legal, financial services and public affairs professionals create and implement custom international business development plans. To enquire about his services, contact him at +1.213.814.2855 or at jg@jgrimley.com or on Skype at: JohnGrimley

How a law blog can act as an international calling card

In an increasingly connected world – I’ve noticed that lawyers who maintain law blogs – are becoming more and more identified as nearly synonymous with their respective international jurisdictions. By blogging about legal issues in their markets – they have become well-known far beyond their borders – and are often regarded as a “go-to” person for their market.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Not only does a blog help you become known in your own market – it has also become an international calling card when traveling abroad. Many lawyers with international practices travel extensively to industry conferences, on client matters – and for strictly business development purposes. I would estimate that the vast majority of lawyers do not blog. Therefore – they must often rely on generating interest in meetings with new prospective clients and referral sources – in new cities overseas – at the last-minute. Those who blog on the other hand – are finding that they have become known by peers thousands of miles away – because they’ve become synonymous with the jurisdictions they’re blogging about.

Some international lawyers who blog

Some law blogs in specific jurisdictions that come to mind are Mexican Law Blog authored by Alberto Esenaro.  Rob Bratby blogs from Singapore in Watching the Connectives. China Law Blog’s author Dan Harris is frequently mentioned as essential reading by lawyers I’ve met throughout Asia. Sean Hayes authors The Korean Law Blog from Seoul. Zohar Fisher is a lawyer/marketer in Israel.  Gavin Ward a lawyer/digital entrepreneur in Scotland. Oman Law Blog is authored by the attorneys at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP.  And Indonesian Insights is authored by lawyers at Soewito Suhardiman Eddymurthy Kardono (SSEK).

Blogs make international business development easier

As the ABA has outlined – law blogs do generate new business for lawyers. But what I’ve also noticed in practice is – they generate relationships long before a lawyer arrives at a foreign airport.  And those relationships are “rekindled” in person – after having been forged online.

It used to be that social media was not an option for international lawyers. Before Twitter and LinkedIn and the wider use of blogs – it was much harder to find referral sources or potential clients in overseas markets. It took hard work, lots of research and very creative emails and phone calls – to open doors that a law blog can now open with relative ease. If you’re an international law practitioner seeking to build relationships overseas – I cannot more strongly encourage you to consider blogging.

Bridge the gap

The gulf between those lawyers who blog and those who don’t – in my estimation – is vast. Imagine flying into a new foreign city with no contacts? Imagine instead – you’ve never been there – but you’ve developed long-term relationships on-line and can look forward to meeting your “old friends” in person for the first time? Too, any lawyer, anywhere – with access to the internet and the ability to write – can establish and maintain a blog and compete for market share with even the largest global law firm (yes, they can). Which blogging lawyer is in your mind synonymous with a specific international jurisdiction?

46dcc894fe940c873fb966b046eda439_400x400John Grimley assists legal, financial services and public affairs professionals create and implement custom international business development plans. To enquire about his services, contact him at +1.213.814.2855 or at jg@jgrimley.com or on Skype at: JohnGrimley

 

5 key business development strategies for international law firm networks

Sydney-based legal business development professional Richard Smith (RWS_01) shared an article on Twitter recently entitled: Special Report: Law firm networks — Catching the white whales by Natasha Bernal (@TheLawyerTasha) of The Lawyer.

The article highlights the efforts by international law firm networks, many of whom have member firms that are boutiques, to attract general counsels of major corporations doing business internationally.  International law firm networks can and should be a means by which to attract more business for firms of any size.  And those networks may wish to consider a series of 5 key strategies which I’ll outline below — to maximize their abilities to generate this work.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The essence of these strategies is well-designed, pro-active business development initiatives staffed internally by highly capable international legal business development professionals – or spearheaded by practicing lawyers prepared to devote considerable time to the generation of new business versus the practice of law.

Track global macroeconomic trends – Global trade is increasing year-on-year.  Indeed, global foreign direct investment (FDI) increased 11% in 2013.  It is this trade in goods and services which provides law firm networks with a unique and growing opportunity to be a on-stop-shop for clients seeking legal representation in one or numerous international markets.  The very foundation of the effort involves ensuring your global network’s business development initiatives places the needs and commercial objectives of clients at the forefront of any effort.  Clients expect lawyers to be both capable practitioners and efficient in the delivery of services.  However lawyers can also uniquely distinguish themselves by being a proactive and informed commercial advisor to clients beyond the strict practice of law.  The most important element in this effort is identifying commercial trends and opportunities in the myriad of jurisdictions your law firm network member firms are operating in – so as to seek to serve a client in legal needs associated with achieving commercial objectives in those jurisdictions.  This on-the-ground and network-wide, active intelligence work by a law firm network business development operation will first seek to identify cross-border trade and investment trends so as to plan for more well-informed, detailed research to follow.

Track sector and market-specific economic trends – After identifying macro-economic trend-lines in international markets – international law networks can then dig-deeper by identifying sector and market-specific trends within this activity.  By identifying sector and market-specific trends, the shape of business development activity ahead begins to take shape into more manageable and actionable commercial intelligence.

Match trends as against ideal potential corporate clients – This lays the road-map down for specific client or prospective client focused action.  Once trends are broken down by markets and sectors – law firm networks can then take from this data actionable commercial opportunities (or dangers) uniquely relevant to highly specific potential clients and applicable to individual or numerous law firm network firms and practice groups within those firms.  Importantly, this effort requires an understanding of which trends to look for and why, which practitioners or practice group leaders within the network are relevant to the trends — and which potential clients and existing clients might be identified as uniquely benefiting from these opportunities.  This practice can and should also be inverted.  In other words – take a specific client or ideal potential client and research specific commercial opportunities or dangers which might be of interest to them in specific or numerous jurisdictions – with an aim to presenting these opportunities to the client or prospective client.  Again, this effort requires an informed understanding of the intersection of macro and micro-economic trends, industry sector economic triggers of opportunity and danger – and how each of these intersects with the practice of law among practitioners within the network.

Produce unique, company-specific actionable commercial opportunity/danger reports for the GC and commercial staff of companies – As I mentioned above – tracking economic and other data ought then to be transformed into reports and utilized to secure discussions with existing and potential clients as a means to discuss how the law firm network or member firms within the network might act for the client or prospective client in relation to the opportunities or dangers identified.  This is an active, ongoing initiative that can and should always be improved upon and made as client-centric as possible.  Seek always to be an indispensable commercial asset to your client or prospective clients.

Establish an internal, global business development initiative to include all network firms – Tying all of the above together requires firms to establish practitioner-specific, practice group-specific, firm-specific and network-wide business development initiatives.  The aim of these initiatives is to ensure the network has a global, regional and local, well-informed and proactive business development effort (coordinated within  the entire network) in place to effectively and efficiently achieve the consummation of numerous new client relationships.

Importantly, much more than I have outlined above can and should be done.  But the guidance I’ve provided herein will permit an international law firm network the ability to attract and retain new business on an ongoing basis – far beyond that which it would have achieved without the adoption of this effort.

46dcc894fe940c873fb966b046eda439_400x400John Grimley assists legal, financial services and public affairs professionals create and implement custom international business development plans. To enquire about his services, contact him at +1.213.814.2855 or at jg@jgrimley.com or on Skype at: JohnGrimley

Why it’s important to articulate the EU’s public procurement opportunity online

As the European Commission has outlined: “Public procurement affects a substantial share of world trade flows, amounting to € 1000 billion per year. It also makes up a significant part of national economies: 10-25% of gross domestic product (GDP). In the EU, the public purchase of goods and services has been estimated to account for 16% of GDP.”  Hence, EU public procurement represents a substantial opportunity for many business, both European those overseas.  

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Indeed, as the EUObserver reported recently, EU-focused lobbying groups are catering to an increasingly diversified group of clients from not only traditional sources of trade like North America, but also, according to Eurostat, newly emerging markets in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere.

Articulating the EU opportunity to foreign markets

As Interest in the EU among foreign companies continues to diversify geographically, the opportunity for Brussels law firms and public affairs firms with a specialism in public procurement advisory services is clear.  You have a clear opportunity to communicate key information about one of the world’s most lucrative public procurement regimes to a growing, global audience around the world – via refined content distributed across digital platforms and accessible via the internet.

Many foreign companies will simply be unaware of opportunities the EU public procurement regime offers them – without hearing from groups like yours with a unique position at the heart of European decision-making in Brussels.  Too, with the numbers of groups in Brussels with lobbying capabilities growing, it’s in your interest to undertake sophisticated methods aimed at communicating those message to key audiences – so as to effectively differentiate your firm and your service offer.

The opportunity cost of not engaging

As studies have shown, sophisticated professional services firms face a mounting opportunity cost if they don’t choose to engage effectively on digital platforms like blogs.

For example: “”Social Media Influence (SMI) [has] underscored the rapid acceleration of new business generated by engagement on social media, citing a “study conducted by Austin-based PulsePoint Group and the Economist Intelligence Unit, which indicates companies that fully embrace social media are seeing ‘four times greater business impact’ than their less socially engaged peers.'”

Looking forward

Considering the sizable opportunity the EU public procurement regime represents to foreign companies, Brussels public affairs firms would be wise to consider the possibility of articulating messages about this opportunity to potential foreign clients – via sophisticated online engagement.

46dcc894fe940c873fb966b046eda439_400x400John Grimley assists legal, financial services and public affairs professionals create and implement custom international business development plans. To enquire about his services, contact him at +1.213.814.2855 or at jg@jgrimley.com or on Skype at: JohnGrimley