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GEN Helps Businesses Become ‘Worldly’ and Wise

FDU’s Global Enterprise Network delivers vital international trade seminars. 

The Global Enterprise Network (GEN) at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is helping New Jersey companies realize the many opportunities that exist in overseas markets through myriad available resources, perhaps the most compelling of which are its seminars focusing on trade opportunities in specific foreign countries. 

On December 4, the GEN will present its “Doing Business in Australia” program to be held at the university’s Teaneck/Hackensack campus. Describing these morning seminars, GEN Director Herbert Ouida comments that attending companies receive an overview of: a foreign country’s economy; the major industries in which there is a need for US products and services; the available resources to begin conducting trade; and more. Experts are always on hand to explain the many opportunities that exist in the foreign market. It can be someone from a foreign country’s consulate, a business operating in a foreign country or a US company already conducting business in that foreign country. “We may bring in a bank representative to help on the financing side or even someone from UPS because it is very much involved with just-in-time delivery,” Ouida explains.

Asked if GEN helps companies take part in foreign trade missions and trade shows, he says the network deals with entities such as the US Commerce Department, the New Jersey District Export Council, the New Jersey Business Action Center and the US Small Business Administration, among other groups, that deliver such assistance to companies.

Past GEN seminars have focused on doing business in the following countries: Brazil, Korea, China, India, Columbia, Mexico and Canada.

The GEN is also using additional FDU resources and expertise to help companies. These include: Dozens of faculty with global expertise offering courses and consultation; through the FDU library, online access to thousands of global and business magazines, newspapers, e-books and numerous relevant databases with professional assistance for research and inquiry; more than 600 graduate students in business, engineering and other technical fields available to assist with research, marketing and networking; partnerships with 35 international universities and 75 “global virtual faculty” members for help with contacts and information; and courses, programs, lectures, certificates and a wide range of educational offerings to build effectiveness and develop business plans.

Overall, the GEN “helps deal with all the micro issues that small- and mid-sized companies may be overwhelmed with regarding international trade. We try to take the fear out of the process and help people realize there are real overseas opportunities,” Ouida explains.

The most important piece of advice he gives a business wanting to conduct international trade is to find a qualified overseas partner. “The way you do that is replicate yourself in that [foreign market]. Why? If you are handling a high-tech product and you are looking for a distributor, or agent or if you want to conduct direct sales to an OEM, you need to find someone who understands your product as well as you do,” he says.

He also advises American companies not to worry too much about price competition. “It’s not the price of the product that settles whether you get the order. It’s the product quality and delivery time,” he says.


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