One nation’s misfortune... Featured

9:58am EDT July 22, 2002

Dennis Unkovic, a partner with law firm Meyer, Unkovic & Scott and an experienced foreign trade lawyer, advises growing businesses that there are opportunities as well as pitfalls in doing business in East Asian countries where economies are experiencing a slump. Here are a few of his observations:

  • Businesses that are in the market for real estate, plants or equipment can grab up bargains at depressed prices. One of his clients, Unkovic says, bought nearly new equipment in Korea at about half of its original price. Property purchased during the savings and loan liquidations of the 1980s by Japanese companies are being scooped up at bargain prices by U.S. companies, especially hotel operators.

  • Keep on top of the political situation in your host or target country. “I wouldn’t do business in Indonesia right now,” Unkovic says.

  • Consider a local partner to help open doors and navigate through the peculiarities of doing business in a foreign country.

  • Some industries continue to offer good opportunities. Health care, specialty materials, computer software and food products still have strong markets in Asia. And some companies continue to market heavily in slow economies because they see a payback coming when those countries rebound.