DOING BUSINESS ABROAD by Gavin Kennedy

DOING BUSINESS ABROAD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Flip, frequently fly-by-night counsel on dealing with the cultural and commercial idiosyncrasies of foreign negotiations. Kennedy, who heads an enterprise called Negotiators' Clinics, published a somewhat different version of this guide in Great Britain under the title Negotiate Anywhere! Whatever the merits of the original, the revised edition is an unfailingly superficial piece of work. The bulk of his text is devoted to cursory briefings on bargaining styles (socialist as well as capitalist) in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. The gossipy run-throughs include precious few insights of any real worth. Among the exceptions is the intelligence that, during Ramadan, perceptive callers will not consume either food or drink in the presence of an Arab host (who is almost sure to be fasting from sunrise to sunset). In the main, however, Kennedy's hit-or-miss coverage (which omits Australia, Israel, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and other top markets for American goods) offers stereotypical perspectives--on, for example, fun-loving, volatile Italians, rigid Russians, xenophobic Chinese, inefficient Greeks and such. Kennedy also weighs in with a summary worm's-eye view of the Third World (which he places mainly in Africa and the Far East). Here, his focus is on payoff protocol, bill padding (to evade exhange controls), the use of go-betweens (principally, to bribe local officials), and irrevocable letters of credit (which ensure reimbursement for merchandise delivered or services rendered to rascally customers. As a practical matter, baksheesh, dash, LDC liquidity, and allied topics require far more cautionary (or at least explicit) treatment than Kennedy provides. In most respects, then, excess baggage. Turn to Neil Chesanow's The World-Class Executive (p. 404) for reliable advice on offshore business.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Simon & Schuster