CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Integrity Creates Market Advantage in International Transactions

Avoiding local corruption is advisable in any international transaction, urges Going Global.

In "Say No to Corruption and Make It Your Market Advantage," the blog urges business persons to 'just say "No!"' when it comes to local practices involving corruption.

Reasons given include:

     "Under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, it is a criminal act for an American company to obtain business through bribery. Do you really want to go from being an American business person to an American criminal to make a few more bucks?

     A second reason is that you can become a hostage to your foreign partners / customers / suppliers / competitors. Most foreign counties also have laws against corruption, and while enforcement may be lax, they are far more apt to be enforced against an alien corporation in response to a complaint by one of their citizens....

     But if the legal constraints are not enough to dissuade you and the threat of being held up just fills you with contempt, let me give you a positive business reason that may be the best of all -- taking a hard stand against corruption in a generally corrupt market can be a winning strategy to differentiate your company to the customers with whom you most want to do business. Asia Inspection gets it.....

     Even in corrupt markets, not all business people are corrupt, and even fewer like it that way. It's incredible how many business people are looking for a way out of the muck -- and that translates into an emotional need that the local competitors aren't meeting. In my experience, if you take a hard and clear stand against playing the corruption game, while you may lose some short term opportunities as you use them to demonstrate the steadfastness of your commitment, in the long run you will begin to attract the cream of the crop of customers and business partners. The people who have been aching for someone to give them an opportunity to elevate their business game where it's what they do and not who they pay off that matters."

This is seems like sound advice. It may be tempting "when it Roman, to do as the Romans do" (well, there probably were many honest Romans, maybe even a philosopher-king). But integrity can be honored not only for itself, but for those utilitarians among you, also for its positive benefits in terms of creating a market advantage, because unfortunately, those have who it are rarer than those who lack it.

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Michael H. Cohen, Esq.; 468 North Camden Dr. | Beverly Hills, California 90210 | 310-844-3173