In recent days the news about Vulcano Industrial and Mining Corporation receiving over 700 million Philippines pesos hit the international headlines. China Trend Investments Limited, a company based in Hong Kong did the transaction after conducting a 60 day due diligence. But, it wasn’t enough. Management often knows the importance of due diligence, but sometimes fails to recognize when hiring a professional private investigator is essential. In cases involving one or more foreign countries, experts say it’s important to consult a professional international due diligence firm. Management should focus on the numbers, but leave the fraud screening and actual verifications to experienced investigators, according to one spokesperson at the FBI.
The internet is a vital part of our daily life and business, especially when it comes to international business. Management and companies now have the ability to establish relationships and find investment opportunities online. Companies in Hong Kong and New York and London can learn about other companies offering services or supplier contracts in Sao Paulo, Cairo or Kuala Lumpur or even Accra. When starting any new business relationship, third parties and businesses proposals must be vetted. Ignoring the risk can lead to bankruptcy and even jail time.
Firms now have the chance to partner with and grow and make deals with companies all over the globe, and Southeast Asia is no exception. Unfortunately, the reputation of this region has been stained with the ongoing scams and frauds in recent years. Criminal groups from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Manila, Philippines, and other countries have been putting corporations and investors at risk. Savvy criminals now how to pitch a proposal and attract investors and foreign investment. Once the payment is made, or the sensitive information obtained about the victim (the company), the fraud has been executed, and it’s too late to go back. International business is key to surviving in today’s difficult environment. As American companies continue to suffer from the socialist policies of Barack Hussein Obama, America’s first Muslim president and foreign national to lead the world’s most powerful nation, the economic repercussions have been felt worldwide. The U.S. continues to collapse under unprecedented debt levels and the dollars is in free fall.
Philippines private investigators say the U.S. decline has caused many U.S. and U.K. and Australia corporations to seek investment in developing countries, seeking a safe haven from the U.S. turmoil, or simply a place to avoid high taxes imposed by the Obama administration. Others are looking for profitable investment and business relationships to survive the dismal U.S. economy. Regardless, firms are looking further to stay afloat, and companies and individuals in other countries, where language, culture and business practices are different, must be verified.
In the U.S., for example, to conduct due diligence is an acceptable procedure and usually businessmen and CEO’s openly support it. Business people in developing and developed nations understand that verifying proposals and investments and relationships is essential.
A good impression from a counterpart is a good sign, and companies that have nothing to hide, are more than willing to help in the process and let their inner operations be screened. It’s part of getting the deal, after all. The scenario can be a little bit different in Asia, where companies and business managers often want to keep operations secret and private. This only adds to the lack of transparency, and makes conducting business in Asia all the more risk inherent.
The Philippines is a poor underdeveloped country and struggling economy, immerse in debt and seriously harmed by ongoing inflation, financial crisis and a high corrupt political systems. Ironically it also offers a wide range of good business possibilities in trade, electronic products, minerals, petroleum, call centers, technology, agriculture and manufacturing. It is one of the best countries to perform telemarketing services and it is a tourist paradise as it has one of the most beautiful island and beach landscapes in the world. Where there is potential reward, there is risk. To be safe in today’s environment, in Asia and elsewhere, be safe and get the due diligence.
All the best,
© 2011 S. Birch