Dwight Morgan, M. Holland vice president, corporate development, was one of five global business experts who took part in an executive roundtable hosted by Plante Moran and WBBM radio exploring the realities of doing business overseas.
CBS Chicago news anchor and reporter Kris Kridel moderated the discussion, taped earlier this winter at the CBS Chicago studio. (You can see the full recording here.)
In addition to Morgan, participants were Plante Moran partner Lou Longo; Theresa Mintle, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; Plante Moran international tax manager Jessica Wargo; and Robert Mueller, president of RIM Logistics.
Themes that arose included the importance of having a comprehensive strategy and the right network of partners in place, the talent shortage, and the risks and challenges that come with entering a foreign market.
“It adds a level of complexity that is exponential—the tax considerations, the cultural, political and economic risks,” Morgan said. “When you start to look internationally, the first thing you want to do is make sure you know why you’re doing it, and that there is a strategic imperative to do so. You don’t just do it to grow, because it’s complex. And once you make that commitment, you make sure it’s a long-term commitment because you have to expect a certain amount of volatility and risk.”
The talent shortage continues to inhibit growth, and Morgan discussed how, in response, M. Holland created the M. Holland University and its Commercial Development Program (CDP). The CDP recruits and trains candidates from universities as well as within the company for professional commercial careers in the plastics industry.
The panelists also talked about the importance of the physical location of operations. Mintle noted that global cities like Chicago, New York, and London have become critical to the success of companies operating internationally, propelled by their robust transportation networks and infrastructure, deep base of talent, and diverse economies and cultures.
RIM Logistics’ Mueller agreed, pointing out that Chicago’s strong transportation and warehousing infrastructure has enabled the company to grow and plan for expansion abroad, particularly in China.
Plante Moran’s Wargo discussed the tax implications of doing business overseas and the necessity to broaden one’s views beyond the U.S. perspective. Foreign taxes are changing—and can change the equation—and she reminded listeners to take the big picture into account as decisions are made.
You can learn more about several additional topics by clicking on the links below.
- The impact of policy changes, education, and risk on international business View Video
- Chicago as a Global City View Video
- The realities and opportunities for international business in uncertain times View Video
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