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International Trade Tip: Remember the Financing

Car companies are getting aggressive about financing.

It is nigh unto impossible to tune into a radio station — any

radio station — without hearing about 0.9 percent car loans.

Forget

sun roofs and engines capable of going from zero to 60 miles per hour

in six seconds. Even the isolationist space of a passenger compartment

so high off the ground that a step ladder would be a useful accessory

is no longer prominent in the pitch. It’s all about financing.

Keld Hansen, director of the Center for Global Business at

Mercer

County Community College, says exporters would do well to take a page

from the car companies. "A U.S. company says `We have a real good

product and excellent service,’" Hansen says. But that company

doesn’t realize that business customers, just like consumers, may

be more interested in a good finance terms. This is especially true

in the international arena where, Hansen says, U.S. companies need

to realize they are up against competitors from countries like Germany

where the government helps out with financing.

U.S. companies have all the tools they need to be effective

competitors

overseas, but Hansen says many, especially among the smaller

companies,

are not using all of them. The Center for Global Business has put

together a panel to provide essential information on acquiring and

using those tools at its fall kick off International Business over

Breakfast meeting. Held on Thursday, September 13, at 8 a.m. at the

college’s West Windsor campus, the panel’s topic is International

Finance. Cost: $25. Call 609-586-4800.

Speakers include Herbert Austin, director, U.S. Small Business

Administration, who speaks on "How to Finance Working Capital,

Equipment, and Promotional Activities," Sharyn Hess,

business

development officer of Ex-Im Bank of the U.S., who speaks on

"Maximizing

International Sales with Minimum Risk;" Paul Holland, senior

vice president of PNC Bank, who speaks on "The Role of the Bank

in International Trade;" and Richard Cass, president of

Allied Asset Group, who speaks on "How to Ship to 140 Countries

— Worry Free."

Hansen says the center chose finance for its first topic of the season

because a need for money is something all businesses share. "It’s

what it takes to succeed," he says.

A native of Denmark, Hansen earned a masters degree in chemical

engineering

from the University of Copenhagen and an MBA from Harvard. He worked

for Colgate-Palmolive early in his career, and then was recruited

by Dansk Design, where he was in charge of product development before

taking over as CEO. As Hansen was pondering retirement options, he

decided to teach courses in international business at MCCC. When that

college received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for

a Global Business Center, Hansen was named director.

The Center exists to increase exports from New Jersey businesses.

The large corporations do not need help in getting their wares

overseas,

so Hansen says the Center concentrates on giving small and mid-sized

businesses the savvy they need to compete effectively.


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