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Why to get the removals international done from a professional company?

This era of globalization of businesses has seen increased movement of the people to different countries. There have been temporary as well as permanent migrations of the people to the other countries. These movements have also led to the movement of the belongings of the people to the new destinations. Whether you wish to move the household articles like furniture or your office materials or even you vehicles, the same can be done with ease by the moving service provider companies which are engaged in the removals international business.


For taking the removal overseas services, you would invariably require the services of a company which is capable of handling the international shipping. Some of the benefits of taking the services of such a company are:

Get the packaging done in the right way: The Company would know the requirements of moving the good in different conditions and by different modes of transportation. Therefore, it can do the packaging in the right way from the start itself.
Coverage against the risks of shipping: The companies also have tie ups with the insurance companies for removal overseas purposes. The insurance can be had quite easily against the different types of shipping risks to the goods by using the services of these companies.
Getting the clearances: The removals international require the clearances to be done for the materials which are to be shipped from one country to the other. These clearances are obtained after meeting certain conditions which are known well to the company providing these services. The trade import and export removal services can be best handled by the experience companies.
Tell about all the moving requirements of the special items like vehicles and the pets: While moving household items you might need to move your vehicle as well as the pets, like dog, cat, etc. The companies who do these removal overseas services know what all documents are required to be arranged prior to moving these items. You might also need to carry your automotive in a safe way and these companies are good at providing these services.
Storage needs taken care of: In international movement of goods, it is quite often the case that the goods are required to be stored before delivery to the destination point in the other country. The experienced companies have the tie ups with the storage service providers so that the goods remain safe.

The household removals can be full container or shared container. The full container will pack only your goods whereas the shared one will pack your and others belongings into one. The advantage of sharing is that the costs can be reduced and the removals international company can club the right types of goods together so that there is no damage or objection to the clubbing of these products.

All these points prove that the removals international companies are in a better position to meet the goals of your movements without any issues, hassles or damages.

Why Offshore Tax Haven Company Incorporation

Why Incorporate an Offshore Tax Haven Company?

An Offshore, International Company is commonly set up in a tax haven like the British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Caymans Islands etc, where there are no corporate or personal income taxes, capital gains taxes, reporting requirements, or restrictions on company employment policies.

As the “world” becomes global, fewer businesses are local and many corporations are increasing going internationalization. Corporate structuring and planning have achieved higher levels of complexity than ever before while the need for anonymity remains strong.Corporation must keep pace and be constantly on the look out for new ways to profit. One way is to have a clear understanding of the characteristics offshore foreign corporations and how they may be put to advantageous use.

Offshore Companies are only applicable if you are doing business overseas and not in the country where you’re offshore was incorporated. All income derived in and from the incorporated country is normally taxable. eg. An offshore incorporation in Bahamas, doing business in Bahamas will require to pay taxes in Bahamas, where else, if the business was done in USA or Hong Kong, all profit are not taxable.

Singapore and Hong Kong although not typically regarded as tax haven, has a favourable tax regime which effectively means that correctly structured, managed and administered these companies can be utilised for offshore business and international business without paying tax in Singapore or Hong Kong provided that any profits arising are not made in the respective country (non resident company) and the earned money can be remmitted back. This type of tax regulation is known as “territorial taxation”. With the strict rule in place for prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, opening bank account for other tax haven jurisdictions can be difficult. On the contrary, to open a corporate bank account for companies in Singapore or Hong Kong is easier as these companies are more transparent due to the strict compliance control by the government.

What is Tax Haven?

A tax haven is normally known as a jurisdiction, which actively makes itself available for the avoidance of taxes, which would otherwise be paid in a higher tax jurisdiction. A more correct term to use would be tax mitigation or planning, because there are ways of mitigating taxes without breaking the law, whereas tax avoidance is generally classified as a crime.

Is it legal for me to have offshore companies, and bank accounts?

Yes, because most nations encourage international trade and enterprise, there are usually no restrictions on residents doing business or having bank accounts in other countries. Reporting requirements on such accounts however, differ from country to country. Sophisticated and reputable high-net-worth individuals and corporations routinely use offshore investment vehicles worldwide.

Main keys benefits for having your an offshore company.

The main reasons to incorporate offshore are:

Asset Protection – Protect assets in combination with a Trust, an offshore company can avoid high levels of income, capital and death taxes that would otherwise be payable if the assets were held directly. It can also protect assets from creditors and other interested parties. From competitors, adverse claimants and other parties from whom you wish to keep your business interests private and to secure against future claims such as bankruptcy, judgment creditors and other litigants, etc.;

Confidentiality – Keep business affairs confidential, Offshore Companies offer complete privacy. If the company shares are held by a Trust, the ownership is legally vested in the trustee, thus gaining the potential for even greater tax planning advantages.

Estate Planning – Family and Protective Trusts (possibly as an alternative to a Will) for accumulation of investment income and long-term benefits for beneficiaries on a favorable tax basis (without income, inheritance or capital gains taxes);

Simplify the transfer of assets and properties held in several countries: The sale or probate of properties in different countries can become complex and expensive. If an offshore company collectively holds these, ownership can be transferred by company shares rather than transferring the actual properties owned by the company.

International Tax Planning – Conduct business without corporate taxes: Tax havens, such as British Virgin Islands, allow the formation of International Companies that have no tax or reporting responsibilities. This means you save money not only from the absence of corporate taxes, but also from reduced compliance and other regulatory costs. Reduce payroll and travel expense administration: Allow employment or consultancy fees to accumulate in a low tax area: Offshore corporations can contract the services of professionals to employers resident in high tax locations or politically unstable areas. This allows the fees to accumulate in a low tax jurisdiction.

Conduct business as an international entity: International Companies have the same rights as an individual person and can make investments, buy and sell real estate, trade portfolios of stocks and bonds, and conduct any legal business activities – so long as these are not done in the country of registration. Offshore Companies set up in offshore need not pay social security, withholding tax, or associated expenses of employees working in other foreign countries.

Major savings for companies that have staff working on overseas projects. Minimize tax exposure when dealing with international transactions: An offshore corporation can buy or lease products from one country and then sell or lease them to a company in another country so the profits of the transaction are accumulated in the offshore company where there is no taxation on profits. Maximize profits from intellectual property rights, franchising and licensing: An offshore company can franchise or license intellectual property rights in other foreign countries allowing the profits to accumulate in a tax-free environment.

Protect investments in other foreign countries: International Companies can loan funds to corporations in other foreign countries. Investors may set up, but not directly own, an offshore company that loans funds to a development company set up in another country and charge interest rates that will lower tax obligations and protect the long term ability to repatriate investment funds. This can be especially important when working in countries with strict exchange controls and high tax profiles.

Own or lease ships or pleasure craft: Shipping companies may own or lease ships or pleasure craft and pay no taxes on income derived from the vessels. Registration fees are low and vessels are welcomed in ports worldwide.

Set up an Offshore Company:

Rikvin International will set up an offshore company anywhere in the world on your behalf. It normally takes 24 hours to register an offshore company. An offshore bank account can be set up, although it will take longer for full access due to the need to have original signature cards (providing you wish to have direct access to the bank account in your own name.

Rikvin Offshore offers a convenient way to incorporate your company. We provide a comprehensive range of services to both local and international clients. When you want to setup an offshore Company, you can rely on us to be there every step of the way for you.

For more information, please visit or call us at 65- 64388887

Tags: offshore Incorporation, offshore business registration, setup offshore company

Shipping Company That Value Your Needs

Our international shipping company is an appropriate answer in international shipping industry for both domestic and international customers worldwide. Here we understands and values all your needs in an exclusive manner to entails high levels of international shipping coordination.

Knowledgeable International Shipping Experience

Our acquired experience in international shipping company has led us to provide you the best knowledgeable services that you expect from us in terms of money and time. Working with our worldwide shipping company will be a great advantage for you with best quotes and services. I must say that our knowledge in the international shipping industry will offer you the cost effective services.

Adequate Customer Needs

Our worldwide shipping company gives consideration to all the specific needs of clients before offering any quote to clients. We value all our clients. It is really worthy to pay shipping international company for informed decision. It is a right solution for everyone who needs the best cargo services.

International Coordination for All Industries

We maintain a strong need for integration and coordination for all the industries in all the segments. Our high-dispersion and high-coordination in worldwide shipping company helps us to deliver the goods at your door step. Our extensive international shipping company coordination is possible because of its efficient staff.

International Shipping Standards

Everyone wants to receive the best cargo services with best standards. We offer the services through all alternative modes available in our international shipping industry either it is air cargo, sea cargo or road freight, etc. Our worldwide shipping company meets all the international standards with the best offered international shipping quotes.

Strategy That Suits International Shipping

We are recognized for our best strategy to follow that suits the international shipping standard. We are recognized for our global integration in international shipping industry and the appreciable part is that all our clients feels good when we provide them the desired knowledge with the right quotes. This really helps us to work in all the remote corners of world and attain global integration.

Cost Benefits for Shipping International

Our International Shipping Company offers the cost benefit plans with the proper evaluation of the commodities in terms of pricing and best delivering. Our information about the cargo services, international freight shipping provides the cost-efficient decision to all our clients nationally and internationally.

Create Geographical Proximity

We believe to create the geographical proximity by deciding which activity can be sourced successfully. It can be any industrial value chain or any international shipping economic activity. We are intending to make international shipping company in scope for every industry. We also consider the costs generated by geographically separating activities without outweigh the benefits.

How to Choose the Right SEO Company for Effective Web Promotion

Web promotion is a terminology for marketing on web that’s gaining its acceptance from all across the globe. It is becoming popular by the day and many local and international companies are considering web promotion as a major element of web marketing strategy. Looking at the present scenario, if you want your website to survive the competition in the online world, you need to promote it properly. If you do not promote your website, definitely it will not be able to produce any money or query for you.

It doesn’t matter- what business you are in, your company’s internet presence must give you an extra benefit of wider and better online visibility. Therefore, web promotions must act as a vital factor for your overall web marketing strategy. You should not consider web promotion just as a one-time endeavor or asset. A proper search engine optimization process or constant assessment or adjustment of certain factors must be followed on regular basis like evaluation of return on investment / value, pay per link, cost per click, positioning in search engines and many more.

Today there are many SEO companies that offer SEO web promotion services to promote your website. This SEO service not only provides better visibility but also generates right kind of traffic for your company’s website. Moreover, these companies further ensure that your website gets optimized to many user-friendly key words. It is an ongoing process and for this reason it is more advisable to choose right SEO Company.

Here are some tips that can help you choose a good SEO company:

Research- Research the prospective companies until you are satisfied about all your doubts and curiosities. Find out its past and present customers and do they have good reviews or testimonials. Also check the PR (Page Rank) of the service provider’s website.

Compare quotes. Once you shortlist few companies, ask them for proposals. Every company charges SEO services differently. As a result, it is vital to ask for a few quotes and analyze them. The next vital point is, ensure further that the proposal states the timeline and key performance indicators of the project. This simple step ensures that both parties really recognize the objective of the entire optimization process.

Company Experience- Ensure that the SEO experts who will work on your website must have the required expertise in using the latest tools. A good experience and proper knowledge can help secure good ranking in major search engines.

Continuous Customer Support- Always go for that SEO Company that can be capable of providing you continuous customer support. If you choose a company that is not capable then you are surely wasting your money and time that you have invested for pulling potential traffic.

Search engine optimization is definitely the most valuable investment that a company can build to grow their business. With more targeted traffic, it increases the chance to get more enquiries.

New Offshore Company Registry Opens In UAE

Ras Al Khaimah, part of the United Arab Emirates, is launching a new offshore companies registry which is expected to attract thousands of international companies over the next three years.

The facility, part of the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ), is designed to offer international companies one of the most attractive offshore tax and legal regimes in the world and is expected to rival Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free zone as well as other more established offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.

“The RAK FTZ International Companies Registry gives more flexibility than other offshore company jurisdictions in the UAE. For example international companies will be able to own an interest in properties designated for freehold sales, anywhere in the UAE and there are no restrictions on the types of business other than those set out by public policy and local regulatory requirements of the licensing authority,” El Omari explained.

In certain circumstances, the International Registry will allow the provision of ‘bearer shares’, under which the shareholder’s identity is known only to the appointed agent. However, under the rules, the authorities would be able to see the shareholder’s identity if investigating suspicious transactions.

In addition, Ras Al Khaimah would allow companies to operate with a single director and would not impose an audit requirement on registered entities.

Also, at the time of incorporation, investors will be able choose the law under which disputes and inheritance matters will be handled for the company.

According to Al Omari, the registry has been set up by “extracting the best international rules and regulations to cater to the region,” and “thousands” of companies have already expressed an interest in registering in the new offshore zone.

It is expected by the RAK FTZ that some 5,000 firms will be registered within three years of the registry’s launch, Al Omari said.

Mlm campaign for succesfull international company

Growing FASTER and FASTER each day. Enroll FREE, go active at our launch and profit from EVERYONE coming in active after you!

How The GLOBAL-VIP-LAUNCH will work for you!

1. Enroll FREE >

2. You’ll be given a FREE personalized website at the time of signup, share this with everyone you know on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, E-mail and Text Message. Call all your friends and Family and send them to your replicated site to get enrolled.

3. Log in to your Global-VIP-Launch back office everyday to see your progress and watch the numbers grow.

4. Upon launch (approx 60 days after free enrollment begins), you could purchase the affordable and life changing product, get your team of enrollees to do the same and you’ll get paid! You also happen to get paid on EVERYONE that enrolls in the system through the bonus pool system, even if they aren’t directly part of your group.

5. Prepare to be part of the biggest network marketing movement in the world!

Growing FASTER and FASTER each day. Enroll FREE, go active at our launch and profit from EVERYONE coming in active after you!

1. Enroll FREE >
2. You’ll be given a FREE personalized website at the time of signup, share this with everyone you know on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, E-mail and Text Message. Call all your friends and Family and send them to your replicated site to get enrolled.

3. Log in to your Global-VIP-Launch back office everyday to see your progress and watch the numbers grow.

4. Upon launch (approx 60 days after free enrollment begins), you could purchase the affordable and life changing product, get your team of enrollees to do the same and you’ll get paid! You also happen to get paid on EVERYONE that enrolls in the system through the bonus pool system, even if they aren’t directly part of your group.

5. Prepare to be part of the biggest network marketing movement in the world!

for more information please contact me I will be very glad to explain you company overview, products structure, compensation plan details and per requests I am able to deliver sufficient sales trainings to help you sell the products and make money

Regenesis 2×2 This International Company Is Paying Big $1200 Checks No Sponsoring Required!

Regenesis 2×2 A Very Simple Program paying BIG Money Extremely FAST!

If Making BIG MONEY is YOUR #1 Reason for Starting a Home-Based Business You’re Going to Absolutely Love Regenesis 2×2 Hot New Pay Plan!

John Hostick sums up Regenesis 2×2 in a nut shell.

Regenesis 2×2 is a simple 2×2 cycler that pays it’s members 00 every month!
You receive 0 every time you have 2 people on your first level and 4 on your 2nd level.
Then you are re-entered into your sponsors matrix. Imagine having 4 to 6 people constantly
refilling your matrix with re-entries and the re-entries of the people they’ve sponsored.

You also receive 0 every time one of the people you sponsored in Regenesis 2×2 cycles! That’s a 100% matching bonus.This is powerful! With only a few people, you could easily be making 00 per week! Cost to you? Just a one-time 5.

Think about it! Everytime anyone has 4 people on their 2nd level the company pays out 0 to the person that cycles and they pay 0 to that person’s sponsor. The company also funds 5 for their re-entry into their sponsor’s current matrix.

So what are you waiting for?
Join Regenesis 2×2 right now!
see Live Video Proof Here

The best thing about Regenesis 2×2 is the Automated Recruiting System you
will never have to  recruit/sponosr people to make at least 00 per month every
month for life.

Listen to Regenesis 2×2 overview call at 1800-676-8530

Regenesis 2×2 have great conference calls
(There usually only 15 minutes long)

Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evening AT 6 pm PACIFIC Time
(9 pm EASTERN Time) there will be a live information call.
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Here’s some Regenesis 2×2 Testimonies

“I joined ’ REGENESIS with 3 Commission Centers (CC’s) and did not sponsor anybody. Within 30 days each Commission Center earned ,200 (,600 total) and I am now in the process of earning ,200 net per CC again!” Ryan C (TX)

“During my first 3 weeks I sponsored 23 people into REGENESIS and every person is cycling and earning money – as advertised, right on time!” JW (WA)

“I have been recruiting 1 person per day since the day I joined REGENESIS
and in just a few weeks my income has increased from 0 every couple of days to ,400 last week!” Mike S. (CA)

“I joined REGENESIS right when it started in late November. I have been Enrolling 1 person per week and my checks have been 0 to 0 per week – all checks have been right on time!” – Mary B. (AL)

“During my first 3-weeks I activated 2 positions and sponsored 4 people intoREGENESIS and I am earning 0 to 0 3 weeks in a row! I love the 100% Matching Bonuses – they can make you rich!” – R B (NY)

To Your Success!
John Hostick

International Company of Cosmetic Treatments

Company History

Natura Bisse International came into being in Barcelona, Spain on June 7, 1979. Natura Bisse International opened its US subsidiary in 1995, which switched into the retail market. In 2000, a new concept in cosmetics was created by Natura Bisse: DIAMOND CREAM, the most luxurious, global, anti-aging treatment ever, was launched at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores. The launching of “INHIBIT” and “INHIBIT DERMAFILL” as a cosmetic alternative to microinjections has been one of the most praised successes in the cosmetics industry in 2003-2004. Today the Natura Bisse brand has presence in over 35 countries worldwide with distribution in every major international market.

Core Brand Values

Natura Bisse is an expert in cosmetic treatments for the face and body. It does not manufacture either make-up or perfumes, and is not part of the fashion world. All products are created on the basis of the skin’s necessities, which are best dealt with by aestheticians, the real specialists in skincare. The requirements of professional aestheticians who demand the best guarantees for successful results means formulating cosmetics with the most exclusive active principles and high concentrations of active ingredients. Natura Bisse’s slogan, “My Skin My Secret” captures the essence of our idea of making sure that all the experience Natura Bisse has collected over the years reaches the client.

Production and Innovation

Natura Bisse’s facilities and head office are located in the Technological Park of Valles (Barcelona), where only businesses that employ cutting edge technology are permitted to set up. A very high percent of the company’s turnover is destined for constant R&D+i (research, development and innovation) of new formulas that allow maximum concentrations of active principles, novel active ingredients that are highly effective, and new textures. All together, Natura Bisse boasts 150 references that cover all the necessities of the skin.


Natura Bisse has been bestowed with various awards and decrees of distinction including the Prince Felipe Awards for Excellence in Business Management, Beauty Awards from the magazines Elle, Vogue and Telva for the most innovative facial and body treatments, and the Generalitat of Catalunya Award for the Internationalization of the Catalan Economy.

Becoming an Executive PA in an International Company Could be a First Step to Working Abroad

Copyright (c) 2011 Alison Withers

As part of the UK economy’s efforts to recover from the economic downturn one piece of advice that businesses are being offered is to look to export their services overseas.

As the global economic centre of gravity shifts towards India, China, Brazil, Russia and other emerging and growing economies the chances are that job opportunities will also become available, particularly in sectors where there are skills shortages.

This provides a real opportunity for specialist recruitment agencies to develop their range of offerings, but it needs planning. The REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) has recently suggested that many such agencies do not have a business plan to help them grow and has published a new guide, called Planning for Success, to help them to develop and grow and to be able to take advantage of new opportunities.

Candidates, also, can improve their skill sets to take advantage of new opportunities that could take them overseas. It may be that many dream of living and working in another country, perhaps after taking a gap year travelling and experiencing other cultures.

For someone with excellent secretarial skills the first steps to achieving that dream may be to learn another language. It is no coincidence that the rise of China as a powerful global economy has coincided with an increase in UK schools offering Chinese languages and with an increase in students choosing such courses.

Plainly some ability to speak one of the more unusual languages is likely to be a significant bonus.

Equally understanding how business is carried out in different cultures is important. In many countries the hierarchy of positions in the workplace is much less fluid than it is in the UK, so that there are conventions of behaviour when dealing with people in more senior positions than one’s own.

Often working in another country means that the culture, relationships and dress codes for men and for women are more formal than perhaps some UK workers are used to, not only at work but at other times too. Women, for example, are generally expected to dress more modestly in most Asian, S Asian and Muslim countries.

For someone with exceptional secretarial and PA skills, a first step to eventually working abroad could be to register with a specialist recruitment agency in a large city, where there are opportunities of placements at senior level in companies that operate internationally.

Gaining a placement as an executive assistant or PA in an international company not only helps to polish skills and experience, but also may provide an opportunity to make contact and interact with colleagues in other countries.

It will also mean that if there are opportunities for working in one of the company’s overseas offices do arise someone already working for the company will learn about them first, especially if they have let it be known that they would like to be considered for an overseas posting and can demonstrate some knowledge of the language and the culture of the country they are interested in.

International Company and Ethics

International Company and Ethics

The issue of business ethics is engaging companies more and more – both domestically and internationally. This trend is accentuated by high-profile examples of breaches of accepted standards of ethical behavior. For example, the recent Enron case where inadequate checks and balances within the firm enabled unethical behavior to occur, a development made easier by the failure of the external auditor to fulfill its role properly. Assumptions about ethics and business are influenced inevitably by fundamental beliefs about the role of business in society. On the one hand, there are those who believe that the sole social responsibility of business is to generate profit. For some proponents of this view, profit generation itself takes on a moral dimension whereas others see profits as the key to wealth generation – the main way of addressing social issues (Davies, 1997, p. 88). On the other hand, others believe that the role of business is much broader than that of profit generation and that all those who are affected by the way a company operates – shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, the local community, future generations (especially in relation to environmental issues) – have a legitimate interest and stake in the way a company conducts itself.

Many of these concerns are relevant to business whether it is domestic or international in nature. However, international business poses particular challenges and questions over and above those facing purely domestic business. In order to reconcile doing business internationally and remain ethical, the company should follow the main principles of human rights, comply with legal norms related to labor, avoid corruption and correspond to standards of environmental protection. Even though it is not easy to combine making profit and adjusting to ethical principles, sometimes failure to comply with legal norms and standards my result in negative public image for the international company and loss of customers. Therefore, international company can suffer even more damages if it decides not to follow the ethical principles.

The first issue related to ethics is human rights. It is a generally accepted principle that international company should not engage in direct infringement of human rights the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is commonly taken as the appropriate benchmark. However, some people would go further, preferring companies to refrain from doing business in countries known to infringe human rights on a systematic basis. Opponents of this view argue that if an international company abstains from conducting business in a country with an ethically dubious regime, the only concrete result is to hand over business opportunities to companies without such reservations (Barlett and Ghoshall, 1998, p. 110).

On coming to office in 1992, for example, President Clinton proposed to withdraw MFN status from China as a result of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 in which many pro-democracy demonstrators were killed (Kepstein, 2001, p. 108). Such action would have provoked retaliation against US companies operating in China and US business lobbied hard to persuade the president to change his mind. They argued that US business interests would be irrevocably damaged in a rapidly growing market and that the outcome would not be an improvement in human rights in China but a boost to the business prospects of American business rivals in China. The lobbying campaign was successful: the link between trade and human rights was broken and replaced by the doctrine that the possibility of bringing about change is greater if business and other links and contacts are maintained.

International labor issues can be linked with human rights, especially regarding matters of forced labor and child labor. Ethical labor issues also occur outside the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in circumstances where certain labor practices may be legal and commonplace in the host country but do not necessarily represent fair and equitable treatment of the workforce. The issue facing an international company is: does it maximize its competitive advantage by locating in a low-cost/low-regulation country and adopt local practices or does it refrain from reaping all the labor cost benefits by adopting higher standards and more ethical practices than strict compliance with local legal norms requires? A firm may choose to take the latter path and still experience significant competitiveness gains.

Corporate codes of conduct governing general corporate behavior and treatment of the workforce in particular are not new. Their modern manifestation began in the mid-twentieth century in the form of codes from the International Chamber of Commerce and other collective codes (Donaldson, 1989, p. 55). Their popularity surged once more in the 1990s in response to pressure from NGOs, the emergence of corporate social responsibility as a key consideration for firms and the phenomenon of socially responsible investment and shareholder action. Additionally, discussion of the possible inclusion of labour regulation under the WTO umbrella encouraged international firms to assume greater responsibility for their own labor standards, if only to demonstrate that international regulation was unnecessary. Corporate codes of conduct take many forms. Many international firms have developed their own individual codes to cover their own employees and those of their contractors and suppliers. Some industries have developed their own codes. Whatever form they take, codes are necessary for the positive public image of international company and they demonstrate that the company reconciles doing business and acting ethically. Codes need to comply with a number of conditions before they can be said to operate equitably and with credibility (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 88):

1.the contents of the code must be clearly worded and, at a minimum, comply with core standards;

2.the company adopting the code must be committed to it and be prepared to provide the resources to ensure its implementation, including training, information systems for monitoring and compliance and staff to implement new procedures;

3.knowledge of the code throughout the organization is essential to its implementation: in particular, employees of the firm and its subcontractors and suppliers must know of the contents of the code and a reporting system must be established that enables workers to report infringements without fear of reprisals;

4.the code should be subject to verification by independent assessors who have access to the site unannounced at any time.

The application of such codes can enhance internal governance and facilitate internal management across geographically dispersed sites. There is some evidence to show that real commercial benefits can be gained from the proper application of fair and equitable labor standards, although more widespread research needs to be done on this (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 111). Provided the code of conduct adopted by a firm has external credibility, it can both protect and enhance a firm’s reputation, particularly important these days when more is expected of firms in terms of corporate social responsibility.

Levi Strauss is one of the world’s largest brand-name clothes manufacturers and also one of the first international companies to adopt a corporate code of conduct to apply to all contractors who manufacture and finish its products and to aid selection of which countries in which to operate (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 118). The Code of Conduct has two parts:

1.Business partner terms of engagement: Levi Strauss uses these to select business partners that follow workplace standards and practices consistent with its policies and to help identify potential problems. In addition to meeting acceptable general ethical standards, complying with all legal requirements and sharing Levi Strauss’s commitment to the environment and community involvement, Levi Strauss’s business partners must adhere to the following employment guidelines:

-Wages and benefits: business partners must comply with any applicable law and the prevailing manufacturing and finishing industry practices.

-Working hours: partners must respect local legal limits on working hours and preference will be given to those who operate less than a 60-hour working week. Levi Strauss will not use partners that regularly require workers to work in excess of 60 hours. Employees should also have at least one day off per week.

-Child labor: use of child labor is not permissible in any of the facilities of the business partner. Workers must not be below 15 years of age or below the compulsory school age.

-Disciplinary practices: Levi Strauss will not use business partners who use corporal punishment or other forms of physical or mental coercion.

-Prison/forced labor: no prison or forced labor is to be used by business partners nor will Levi Strauss use or buy materials from companies using prison or forced labor.

-Freedom of association: the rights of workers to join unions and to bargain collectively must be respected.

-Discrimination: while respecting cultural differences, Levi Strauss believes workers should be employed on the basis of their ability to do their job

-Health and safety: Levi Strauss undertakes to use business partners who provide a safe and healthy working environment and, where appropriate residential facilities

2.Country assessment guidelines: these are used to address broad issues beyond the control of individual business and are intended to help Levi Strauss assess the degree to which its global reputation and success may be exposed to unreasonable risk. It was an adverse country assessment that caused Levi Strauss to cease its engagement in China in the early 1990s, largely on human rights grounds – a decision that has subsequently been reversed. In particular, the company assesses whether:

-the brand image will be adversely affected by the perception or image of a country among customers;

-the health and safety of employees and their families will be exposed to unreasonable risk;

-the human rights environment prevents the company from conducting business activities in a manner consistent with the global guidelines and other company policies;

-the legal system prevents the company from adequately protecting trademarks, investments or other commercial interests;

-the political, economic and social environment protects the company’s commercial interests and brand corporate image.

Levi Strauss is the example of the company that successfully combines doing business and following ethical practices. As we see, the company code of ethics demonstrates that Levi Strauss complies with the most labor norms and environmental standards; at the same time such actions of the company do not have any negative impact upon its business. On the contrary, since Levi Strauss has positive public image the customers should be more attracted to its products.

Some of the other important ethical issues that the company should consider is bribery and corruption. Bribery/corruption is not as clear-cut an issue as might first appear; indeed it can be rather a grey area. In some cultures, it is regarded as perfectly normal to give an official or host a gift (Asgary and Mitschow, 2002, p. 245). In others, only minimal value token gifts or no gifts at all are allowed. A problem arises when it is the norm for a contract to be signed only after the payment of a ‘commission’ to a key official or officials (Asgary and Mitschow, 2002, p. 240). Such circumstances place international companies in a difficult position: without payment of these commissions, the contract will not materialize and, if they do not make the payment, many other companies will (although that is not an ethical justification for going ahead with the commission). The position of the US is unequivocal about this: it regards all such payments as bribes and, as such, they are both unethical and illegal. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Law forbids US companies from making improper payments to foreign governments, politicians or political parties to obtain or retain business. Therefore, the only choice that American companies have regarding bribery is not to make any payments regarded as bribes; otherwise, it can be considered that a company violates the law.

The last ethical challenge that international companies face is related to environmental protection. Firms can encounter damaging publicity as a result of the environmental outcome of their activities as pollution attracts more and more media attention (Barlett and Ghoshal, 1998, p. 98). For many, environmental protection and corporate responsibility in this field has a clear ethical dimension. This debate is couched in terms of the ‘global commons’ in which all human beings have both a stake and a responsibility to ensure the well-being of the environment for future generations (Donaldson, 1989, p. 211).

In order to reconcile doing business and meeting environmental ethical standards an international company should comply with the following underlying principles in environmental policy.

The first norm refers to the “polluter pays principle.” It stipulates that polluters should pay the full cost of the environmental damage they cause (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 100). Environmental costs are often referred to as ‘externalities’ (for example, damage to health, rivers, the air, etc. arising from economic activity) that are not incorporated into the costs of a product but are borne by society as a whole (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 100). By making the polluter pay the full cost of its activities, including externalities, this principle provides an incentive to make products less polluting and/or to reduce the consumption of polluting goods. This internalization of external costs can be met through the use of market-based, policy instruments.

The other principle refers to prevention. If the company decides to follow the prevention principle it changes to products and processes to prevent environmental damage occurring rather than relying on remedial action to repair damage after it has taken place (Davies, 1997, p. 108). This implies the development of ‘clean technologies’; minimal use of natural resources; minimal releases into the atmosphere, water and soil; and maximization of the recyclability and lifespan of products.

In conclusion, international business adds an extra dimension to ethical issues within the firm. All organizations have their own culture based on common language and terminology, behavioral norms, dominant values, informality/formality, etc. This inevitably becomes more complex when an organization has a presence in more than one country. Some companies believe a strong corporate culture is a means of overcoming diverse national cultures whereas others evolve different cultures in different organizations and incorporate cultural diversity in their management strategy. Many organizations like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s do use core brands but still adapt their products for local markets and follow ethical standards, either out of necessity or to maximize returns. Ethics and corporate social responsibility are closely related. Debates about corporate social responsibility have been dominated by labor and environmental issues but a growing number of corporate governance scandals involving multinationals is increasing pressure for stricter regulation. International companies can reconcile doing business internationally and remaining ethical if they comply with labor and environmental norms enacted at the international level and establish and follow the code of ethics. In the long run, corporate commitment to sound ethical principles and socially responsible behavior is good for business.

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