Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘American Business’

16th January 2012

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that Apple Inc. and the Korean firm Samsung are apparently working in cooperation in order to fashion the next generation of PC tablets. In order to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from The Korea Herald via the Asia News Network:

Apple Inc’s chief operating officer Tim Cook discussed adopting Samsung’s AMOLED display technology for tablet PCs during his recent visit to South Korea, industry sources said…Tim Cook is not only the COO, but also acting CEO of Apple. During Cook’s trip last week, Apple seems to have offered Samsung an advance for the AMOLED displays, the source said…

It is recommended by the administration of this blog that readers click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in further detail.

As technology continues to be a defining component of a more dynamic global economy there is hope that cooperation between American and Asian technology firms will result in further technological as well as economic advances. Concurrently, such cooperation is likely to also manifest itself in the form of better computing platforms for the general public.

It is interesting to note that while Northern Asia, especially Northeastern Asia has seen industrial advances the Southeast Asian region continues to show growth in the agricultural sector. This has arguably been the case in the Kingdom of Thailand for quite some time. However, there seems to be evidence to indicate that agricultural growth is expanding into the neighboring countries, such as Cambodia, which also happen to be members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Most notably, it would appear that a company in the Kingdom of Thailand is poised to undertake a new venture in the Kingdom of Cambodia with the aim of increasing rice production therein. For further elucidation this blogger must quote directly from the official website of The Bangkok Post:

Asia Golden Rice Co, Thailand’s second-largest rice exporter, has mapped out a 1.5-billion-baht rice investment in Cambodia in a bid to expand regionally…The plan includes modern, fully equipped milling and processing plants with a capacity to process up to one million tonnes of rice per year, and is considered a milestone investment in rice industry of Cambodia, the world’s sixth largest rice exporter…

It is once again recommended that readers click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read further on these developments in detail.

The overall ramifications of this plan remain to be seen. That stated, there is certainly room for speculation that a venture such as the one described above could have positive benefits for ASEAN as well as Asia as a whole. Since many countries around the globe import rice from Southeast Asia one could surmise that increased production could drive down the cost of rice internationally and thereby benefit rice consumers around the world.

For related information please see: ASEAN.

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9th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Supreme Court of the sovereign State of New Jersey has handed down a decision which appears to differentiate between message boards and “mainstream” journalists. To cast further light upon this issue it may be best to quote directly from Yahoo News at Yahoo.com:

TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Supreme Court says people posting in online message boards don’t have the same protections for sources as mainstream journalists. The court ruled Tuesday that New Jersey’s shield law for journalists does not apply to such message boards…New Jersey’s highest court says online message boards are little more than forums for discussion and don’t fit the definition of news media as described by the law.

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this story in full to gain further context.

As the so-called “alternative media” or “new media” continues to thrive and grow it stands to reason that US Courts will be hearing cases which place something of a new spin upon long-held notions pertaining to journalism and the press. It is this blogger’s opinion that the above case is not the “last word” on this topic as it seems likely that further cases in the future could possibly speak to this issue as well. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research to keep abreast of such matters.

Meanwhile, the United States Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was recently noted for his optimistic outlook for the ASEAN-American relationship, to quote directly from the official website of VIVA News, VIVANews.com:

I know you will agree that a peaceful, prosperous, and more integrated Southeast Asia is good for the world, the United States and for American business. As the United States’ fourth largest export market, ASEAN provides remarkable opportunity. Our presence and support now for this dynamic region of 580 million people will help ensure markets for U.S. goods and services for decades. We just concluded the 24th ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue last week—a gathering of more than 70 U.S. and ASEAN senior officials to discuss a range of issues. The message from the Dialogue is clear: The U.S.-ASEAN relationship is deepening and opportunities exist.

This blogger encourages readers to click on the relevant links above to read this in further detail.

Clearly, there are going to be further business opportunities in the jurisdictions (including the Kingdom of Thailand and the Kingdom of Cambodia) which comprise ASEAN. As these opportunities arise it is hoped that America can maximize the beneficial aspects of such developments. If the readership of this blog is as uninformed as this blogger (and he must sheepishly admit that he was not aware of this recent  development), then it comes as a surprise that there is an American Ambassador to ASEAN. In order to explain further it may be best to quote from a more informed source. Namely: the official website of The Irrawaddy, Irrawaddy.com:

David Lee Carden, a former attorney who has been named the first US ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), will attend the Asean Summit in Indonesia next week…

The administration very strongly recommends that readers click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read that insightful article in full. To cast further light upon the appointment of a US Ambassador to ASEAN it may be best to quote directly from a posting dated April 26, 2011 from the official website of the US Mission to ASEAN:

In a ceremony today at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, H.E. David Lee Carden, the United States’ first resident Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, presented his credentials to ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan. Dr. Surin will transmit Ambassador Carden’s credentials to ASEAN foreign ministers via the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives in Jakarta.

To view the official homepage of the US Mission to ASEAN please click: HERE.

Clearly, America is committed to a strong ASEAN-American relationship as evidenced by the posting of an Ambassador. This development, in this blogger’s opinion, is not without good reason as ASEAN’s future economic potential is, well, rather staggering. This is especially true when considering the possible refractive benefits which could accrue to ASEAN from the potentially massive growth in the economies of, in, and around India and China. Hopefully, strong ASEAN-American relations will result in political and economic benefits for all concerned.

For related information please see: US Embassy Thailand.

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18th April 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that there are important events occurring in the realm of finance as the United States recently appears to have had its sovereign debt rating outlook lowered by Standard & Poor’s. To quote directly from an article written by Robin Harding, James Politi, and Michael Mackenzie on the official website of the Financial Times at FT.com:

Standard & Poor’s issued a stark warning to Washington on Monday, cutting its outlook on US sovereign debt for the first time and throwing more fuel on the raging debate over America’s swollen deficits.

The agency kept America’s credit rating at triple A but for the first time since it started rating US debt 70 years ago, cut its outlook from “stable” to “negative”. A negative outlook means there is a one-third chance of a downgrade in the next two years.

The administration of this blog strongly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks above to view this story in detail as further insight can be derived therein.

The ramifications of this announcement are likely to reverberate around the globe, but in the United States there appears to have already been at least a market reaction to this information. To quote directly from an article written by Larry Elliot posted on the official website of The Guardian at Guardian.co.uk:

US budget deficit has moved from a surplus at the turn of the millennium to a deficit of 11% by 2009. Shares fell sharply on Wall Street today after the ratings agency S&P issued a warning to the US government about its soaring budget deficit. In a move that surprised and rattled the financial markets, S&P said it was cutting its long-term outlook on America from stable to negative…In early trading in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average had lost nearly 250 points – 2% – with the dollar weaker on the foreign exchanges and yields rising on US Treasury bills. The FTSE 100 in London was also down 2% or 126 points at 5869.

Again, this blogger strongly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks above to read further and gain greater insight.

Hopefully, the consequences of the S&P downgrade will be short lived for America and her People, but there are some who argue that further turbulence may be ahead as countries around the world are economically re-aligning in ways which are unprecedented.  To quote directly from an article written by David Marsh on the website Yahoo.com:

China and four other leading high-growth economies have taken landmark steps toward lowering the importance of the dollar in international financial transactions — part of a seminal shift in the move towards a multicurrency reserve and trading system…Addition of South Africa to the former BRICS format seems to have galvanized the grouping. The five countries agreed to expand use of their own currencies in trade with each other — an important step toward putting the dollar into a new downsized place. One key influence is the annual expansion of China’s trade volume with other core countries by 40% in 2010 — and the buoyancy looks set to continue. The BRICS’ state development banks, including the China Development Bank, agreed to use their own currencies instead of the dollar in issuing credit or grants to each other — and they will also phase out the dollar in overall settlements and lending among each other.

In the recent past, it seemed as though many were discussing an “alternative” reserve currency to take the place of the dollar in an international context. However, from the information which can be gathered above, it would appear as though the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and newly added South Africa) are moving towards something of a multicurrency system which, presumably, would incorporate the currencies, to one degree or another, of the member states noted above.

It is difficult to comment upon these events in detail at the time of this writing as the full ramifications of S&P’s downgrade, in conjunction with the BRICS announcements, could substantially impact the United States, Thailand, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a whole; since all of these entities have economic and political ties to the BRICS nations.

Concurrently, it would appear as though the Kingdom of Thailand remains something of an oasis of economic stability amidst the events unfolding above as tourism in Thailand along with the business of Thai Companies would appear to be steady. Currently, Thailand maintains thriving economic ties with the United States pursuant to agreements such as the US-Thai Treaty of Amity.

For related information please see: Thai business visa or US Company Registration.

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25th March 2011

Those following this blog or the many other sources of information available on the World Wide Web may have, no doubt, noticed the impact of the recent tragedy in Japan and the unfolding events springing therefrom. The tragic plight of the Japanese people was further highlighted recently by what appears to be a trend among many nations in their refusal to allow imports of foodstuffs from Japan. To quote directly from the website NAMnewsnetwork.org:

TOKYO, March 24 (NNN-BSS) — Australia, Canada and Singapore joined a list of countries shunning Japanese food imports Thursday as radioactive steam wafted anew from a disaster-struck nuclear plant, straining nerves in Tokyo.

The grim toll of dead and missing from Japan’s monster quake and tsunami on March 11 topped 25,000, as hundreds of thousands remained huddled in evacuation shelters and fears grew in the megacity of Tokyo over water safety.

The damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant from the tectonic calamity and a series of explosions has stoked global anxiety. The United States and Hong Kong have already restricted Japanese food, and France wants the EU to do the same.

The administration of this blog highly encourage readers to click on the above hyperlinks to read further about the situation in Japan. As the situation becomes more dire in Japan it would appear that even Japan’s key allies are unable to allow importation of possibly dangerous food products. The authorities in the Kingdom of Thailand appear to be taking preventative measures regarding importation of possibly tainted food as well. To quote directly from Bloomberg.com:

Thailand will check all fruit and vegetable imports from Japan’s main island, Honshu, before allowing their sale and will randomly screen other products such as fish, Pipat Yingseri, secretary-general of the Thai Food and Drug Administration, told a media conference today. The country hadn’t found any abnormal contamination since checks started in mid-March, he said.

As Thai, Hong Kong, Chinese, American, Australian, Canadian, and Singaporean authorities place restrictions on food imports, speculation abounds as to the response from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In discussions regarding the ramifications of the Japanese Crisis it may be best to remember the human elements which are constantly present in all of these regulatory and policy calculations.

As the situation in Japan continues to have global implications it remains to be seen how the various governments and international organizations around the world will react both politically and economically. One thing is clear, the crisis in Japan has the potential to completely reshape the geopolitical situation in Asia from both an economic as well as political perspective. How this change will impact both Thailand and the ASEAN community will be of increasing interest to the administration of this web log.

For related information please see: Legal.

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14th January 2011

It recently came to the administration’s attention that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States is reportedly investigating possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). To quote directly from a recent blog entry written by Ashby Jones on the Wall Street Journal‘s website wsj.com:

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether banks and private-equity firms violated bribery laws in their dealings with sovereign-wealth funds, according to people familiar with the matter. Click here for Dionne Searcey and Randall Smith’s article in today’s WSJ; click here for the NYT story; here for the Bloomberg story.

According to the WSJ, the SEC has sent letters of inquiry to banks such as Citigroup as well as private-equity firms including Blackstone Group, the people said. Though the letters didn’t contain specific allegations of bribery, they requested that firms retain documents and asked about the firms’ dealings with sovereign-wealth funds, the people said.

Those who are unfamiliar with the FCPA should note that the provisions of the law deal primarily with matters pertaining to bribery and corruption of foreign officials. Some Americans are under the mistaken impression that companies and individuals operating outside of the United States’ physical boundaries are entitled to engage in activity which amounts to bribery. In fact, this is simply not the case as the United States has a great deal of legislation in place as an attempt to discourage and punish such activity. When the legislation was passed it would appear that the intention was to criminalize activity by those physically abroad (or companies doing business abroad). However, the circumstances in the above cited matters would seem to suggest that those under investigation were operating (at least partially) within the geographical boundaries of the United States. To quote the aforementioned blog posting on wsj.com further:

The letters appear to be tied to a broad Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation of the banking industry, said attorneys who are familiar with past FCPA investigations of other industries. Foreign employees who work on sovereign-wealth funds would be considered government officials and covered by the FCPA, legal experts said.

As of yet, it would appear as though no one noted above has been formally charged in any matter pertaining to the FCPA. Furthermore, it should be noted that until such time as a party has made a pleading or been convicted of a violation of the FCPA they are, in the eyes of the law, innocent.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is an important piece of legislation for Americans and American companies. Pursuant to the provisions of the FCPA, American individuals and corporate entities are precluded from engaging in acts of bribery or, as the title of the act itself suggests, corrupt practices. That said, application of the FCPA must take into consideration the factual circumstances in a given case. Therefore, those conducting business abroad may find that the opinion of American legal experts experienced at handling legal and business matters in jurisdictions outside of the USA can be beneficial by providing unique insight and perspective into the customs and procedures of governmental organizations and officers abroad while maintaining an American attorney’s understanding of the FCPA.

For example, the Kingdom of Thailand has a very different legal system compared to that of the United States. Meanwhile, the business community in Thailand is also dissimilar from that of the USA. An upshot of these facts is that American Citizens and US Companies attempting to conduct business in Thailand may have little idea of how to effectively operate while still complying with laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  The same can be said for many of the nations of Asia as the legal systems, cultural traditions, customs, and trade practices of some countries can prove bewildering to those who are accustomed to conducting business in a more “Western” context. The fact is: the FCPA is a serious piece of legislation with which American companies and individuals must maintain compliance. In some cases, retaining the services of legal counsel to assist in understanding the FCPA and methods of maintaining compliance can prove highly beneficial for both natural and corporate persons.

One can hope that the aforementioned inquiries prove fruitless due to the fact that no violations occurred. Bearing that in mind, if violations of the FCPA occurred, then it would seem highly likely that an organization such as the SEC would be able to uncover them.

For related information please see: Amity Treaty Company or American LLC.

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