Globalization is juxtaposed with this; nations are integrated on the level of economic prosperity. Nevertheless, Mills points out that many Christian principles prevail in the globalization paradigm: fair trade, the accountability of the government, the interdependence of nations and the upliftment of the poor are some of the issues mentioned in this regard.
According to the author, globalization is therefore a phenomenon that can be very beneficial from a Christian perspective. It is however important that the correct actions are taken and specific principles upheld.
When I first realized that Mills' article was going to address the Christian perspective of globalization, I must admit that I experienced a sinking feeling in the vicinity of my rib cage. I also admit to thinking something like, oh no, one of those. I expected the article to beat the whole globalization to a pulp, because it is reminiscent of the Tower of Babel and very, very wrong for people of different cultures to integrate in any way at all.
Great and pleasant was my surprise when I actually found myself reading a well-written, thought-provoking article.
Mills uses the Bible as the foundation of the discussion. He does not however do this in a hysterical manner, as is often typical of Christian articles on the topic. Instead, he addresses episodes from the Bible in a balanced an honest manner, applying them to the globalization issue to highlight its benefits and potential threats.
To my further surprise, Mills seemed non-hostile towards the globalization issue. Indeed, he proves most of the negative assumptions about globalization incorrect, pointing out that the phenomenon has benefited many a poverty stricken country. Furthermore, he applies the Christian paradigm to a wider context than only the Tower of Babel and how globalization means the imminent return of Jesus. Instead, he regards the issue in a very practical, but also in a very Christian way.
Instead of the fundamentalist view, Mills approaches his integration of Christianity and globalization from the point-of-view of Christian charity and a concern for the poor. Indeed, the poor is an issue frequently addressed by the Bible. In this, Mills then views globalization as an opportunity for Christians to help others, welcoming them into their own community and at the same time benefiting those who are less fortunate.
Mills' article proves that not all Christians are fundamentalist or hostile. Indeed, there are those attempting to live by the principles taught by the Bible in the first place.
Article 4: How to Find Success in the Import Export Business by Randy Wilson
In this brief article, Randy Wilson encourages the reader to invest in import/export businesses. Indeed, globalization and the Internet have opened the import/export market for many and entrepreneur. Wilson first addresses the export opportunity to countries in the East. The mysticism attached to the West and its culture have made especially American products popular in Easter Europe. Wilson cites the example of American blue jeans in Russia as a starting point for this paradigm.
In terms of importing goods, Wilson states that the need for low priced goods in the United States and other Western countries also provides the importer with many opportunities for prosperity. Such goods can then in turn be imported from Eastern European countries, and specifically from China.
Wilson suggests a number of different ways in which the entrepreneur can embark upon an import/export business: this can be done via the Internet, by means of a physical storefront in one's home town, by affiliation with existing import/export companies, or by purchasing and reselling goods. Any combination of these methods can also be used to establish such a business. The way in which the entrepreneur will build the business largely depends upon the size of the initial cash layout at his or her disposal.
The only point of caution the author provides is that the entrepreneur should be careful in investigating the tax and legal issues related to the business. It should be ensured that the goods being moved across the border are legal in all respects, and that the relevant tax laws are adhered to. If this is done, according to the author, the entrepreneur has opened a world of opportunity for profit. Indeed, the relaxation of many import/export laws by Eastern countries ensures that this will remain a profitable business opportunity for a long time into the future.
This article is extremely interesting, and highly appealing in its enthusiasm. It reads almost like an advertisement for a new and exciting product. This for me is however also its fundamental flaw. I am instinctively distrustful of advertising, and it was difficult for me to take the article seriously while it contained such an obviously commercial tone. As I read further, the tone seemed to improve, however, providing the reader with valuable advice regarding the import/export market.
Indeed, the author makes it appear absurdly easy and ridiculously profitable to embark upon an import/export business. This is another fundamental flaw. No business is without its problems. I believe that the highly positive tone of the article is misleading. The author addresses only a few potential problems, including possible legal and tax issues. In terms of the business itself, he makes it sound so easy that even the person without any business sense whatsoever will be tempted to invest in it.
While it may in fact be easier than other businesses to start an import/export venture, I feel that the author should have been more serious in his tone. I would have found an article addressing the various pros and cons of such a business in a comparative manner much more realistic. What basically therefore bothers me about this article is the lack of balance in its tone. The fact that it begins with such a commercial tone sets a precedent of mistrust for me. I therefore find it very difficult to entirely trust the rest of the information in the article, regardless of how good it may sound.
The article provides a number of good points, including the various ways in which a person can start import/export business. While I am sure many would enthusiastically take the author's advice, I personally would be careful to investigate all aspects of the business before leaving my day job.
Article 5: How to Successfully Promote your Business to an International Audience
By Marie-Claire Ross
In this article, Ms. Ross addresses the issue of how to appeal to an international audience with one's product. She discourages using the most common approach of brochures. One important reason for this is that brochures tend to be cumbersome and uninspiring. Another reason is that this quality is exacerbated when the brochure is translated into a foreign language. This makes it even less accessible to the target audience, and eventually has the opposite effect from the one desired.
Instead, the author suggests video promotion. This kind of promotional materials have been proven, according to the article to be up to four times more effective than written material. The reason for this is the human tendency to recall audio-visual material much more easily than written work. In this regard, the author suggests that CDROMs are particularly useful, as they can incorporate a variety of different materials, including Web site links, company brochures, audiovisual materials, and whatever other information is relevant to the company and its promotion. Another way in which to offer corporate videos is via Web sites, which saves distribution costs to the manufacturer.
An additional advantage of audio visual material is the fact that voice overs can be translated in a natural and flowing way that makes it appealing to foreign customers. This is far superior to a written brochure, of which a translation tends to be stilted and unnatural.
To substantiate her point, Ross cites the example of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory. Its managers have successfully used audiovisual materials to promote their business. Ross emphasizes that audio visual material should incorporate answers to the most important questions potential customers may have.
While I find the article extremely interesting in terms of promotional ideas, the beginning is somewhat slow. The first paragraphs simply did not engage my attention in a very targeted way. There are two reasons for this: Ross begins the article with a question that she will supposedly answer: How do you market to an overseas buyer? In my view, it is reasonable to expect an answer. The author does not however provide such an answer. Instead, she explains what the international business person should not do. While I understand that her intention is to contrast this with what should be done, the positioning of the negative view is unfortunate.
A further flaw in the article is that she then repeats the question - what should the business person do? This makes the reading even less exciting and tempts the reader to either skip to the last paragraph, which must surely contain the answer, or simply to stop reading altogether.