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Protection from political risk

24 February, 2015 - 17:30

Companies can reduce their exposure to political risk by careful planning and monitoring political developments. The company should have a deep understanding of domestic and international affairs for the country they are considering entering. The company should know how politically stable the country is, strength of its institutions, existence of any political or religious conflicts, ethnic composition, and minority rights. The country’s standing in the international arena should also be part of the consideration; this includes its relations with neighbors, border disputes, membership in international organizations, and recognition of international law. If the company does not have the resources to conduct such research and analysis, it may find such information at their foreign embassies, international chambers of commerce, political risk consulting firms, insurance companies, and from international businessmen familiar with a particular region. In some countries, the governments will establish agencies to help private businesses grow overseas. Governments may also offer political risk insurance to promote exports or economic development. Private businesses may also purchase political risk insurance from insurance companies specialized in international business. Insurance companies offering political risk insurance will generally provide coverage against inconvertibility, expropriation and political violence, including civil strife (US Small Business Administration). Careful planning and vigilance should be part of any company’s preparation for developing an international presence.