Let me begin by saying I’m a free-trade guy at heart. As we progress towards a more connected global economy, the relationships between employers and employees will be a driving force towards overcoming geographical and geopolitical borders. I could quote you statistics and facts about how cross-border trade benefits from both sides, but I’d rather work with real life situations.
For example, I spoke with an executive that recently hired an employee in Uruguay, and she was talking about making her first trip to Montevideo. The simple act of employing someone in that country sparked a visit and opened her eyes to Uruguay’s vast possibilities. Specifically, she said, “I had no idea what to expect, and yet I walked away with visions of great access to the region and future growth potential I never knew existed.” Or the time that a French employee told me, “I was honestly afraid of working for a U.S. company after all I’ve heard about their employment practices, but in reality, we had the same goals and the same way of doing business. That fear is now gone.”
We aren’t talking about large, government-backed infrastructure projects that make the headlines, these stories are individual employment relationships that are breaking down stereotypes, and rising tides that raise all ships. The employer-employee relationship transcends geopolitical movements and brings people together.
The corporate engine that puts bread on people’s tables at home fosters understanding and collaboration. The pursuit of a common goal that celebrates the commonalities as opposed to the differences in all of us is what truly makes the world flat. Globalization and international trade are here to stay and you risk falling behind if you sit on the sidelines. The only question is, how will you adjust to the shifting political environment?
We always talk about staying agile in your business dealings and expanding across borders is no exception. As long as the “political chatter” remains just that, and we don’t impose onerous and debilitating trade restrictions, then your global plans should remain steadfast. But finding creative ways to stay flexible is critical to defend against potential trade disruptions. Get into new markets fast and keep the ability to exit quickly if things turn ugly… But in the meantime, don’t take your eye off the power of international trade and what it can do to bring us all together as global citizens.
Ben Wright, Velocity Global CEO