The exciting world of international business beckons the brightest minds and sharpest business performers to excel in relationships, governance, and financial acuity in order to create a better future for all people. World changers need spaces in which to gather to share ideas, spur one another on, create relational opportunism, mingle with industry and governmental leaders, and dream of advanced systems to enhance our daily lives. Many such venues exist but it’s not always easy to know which ones with which to associate. This article discusses key places for the entrepreneur to consider.
A plethora of international business organizations exist to promote education and facilitate business transactions around the world. The following organizations are among the most active and well known. Whether you are a business person transacting international business or a student looking to learn and eventually get in on the action, these organizations will open the door to your forward-looking international worldview.
1. World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the premier worldwide group geared toward the politics of international trade. Government officials meet together within the WTO context to negotiate trade agreements and negotiate the politics of international business. The WTO receives significant media attention while also proactively publishing data related to accessing international markets. Check out their annual World Trade Report for research, analysis, and featured member nation stories.
The WTO’s student-friendly approach contributes internships, a youth ambassador program, and essay awards for young economists in the hope of promoting business and friendship for young international professionals. The newly created Youth Ambassador Programme gives young leaders a voice at the international trade table to offer their unique opinions and perspectives. The internship program for post-graduate university students develops knowledge, understanding, and experience in global trade policy and compliance. Internships can last up to 24 weeks and take place exclusively in beautiful Geneva, Switzerland. Interns also receive a stipend.
2. International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) promotes world business by providing forums, leadership development, and advocacy for nations who desire for their citizens to enjoy a higher global standard of living while living in a world of peace. The ICC conducts training events, arbitration conferences, financial summits and numerous other programs to promote their agenda of building peace and prosperity on earth.
ICC online training modules expose students and business professionals to certification level expertise developed as ICC constituents intermingle on the world stage at G20 Summits and United Nations forums. The ICC maintains policy commissions in the areas of the digital economy, competition, the environment and energy policy, intellectual property, and taxation, among other topics. Dispute resolution, antitrust compliance, international sales contracts, arbitration provision and anti-crime initiatives are just a sampling of the services proffered by the International Chamber of Commerce.
Students can benefit specifically with the Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF). YAF is a place for young professionals to learn from seasoned international practitioners about issues related to arbitration and arbitration career development. Events are held regularly all around the world.
3. International Association of Business Communicators
The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a networking association for communication professionals. The IABC promotes professional development and communication standards worldwide. They tout a membership of 15,000 professionals in over 80 countries.
4. International Business Organization
The International Business Organization (IBO) is a group that serves the international community who wants to do business in or immigrate to the United States of America with a special purview related to the state of Florida. The IBO can assist with real estate information, immigration services, health insurance, and unique networking contacts.
5. The Federation of International Trade Associations
The Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA) is an online clearinghouse of 8,000 international trade Web sites. FITA is comprised of 450 association members and 450,000 linked company members. FITA brings together trade agents, distributors, and service providers that contribute toward import and export activities. Their market research tools and leads increase the capacity of members to conduct international trade ethically and legally.
Check out their Web site tools of the trade including customs and tariffs, intellectual property rights, trade barriers, logistics, and more. This fully-orbed research driven site will help you to determine, among other things, how to import horses into China, how to franchise overseas, how to fight against fraudulent individuals in Nigeria, and how to invest in Afghanistan.
The IBO Web site provides country profiles for more than half of the nations of the world. Profiles contain demographics, country overview, currency and communications information, and basic economic data.
6. The World Technology Network
The World Technology Network (WTN) brings innovative individuals together from the science and technology communities to share ideas, discover synergies, and create momentum within the realm of emerging technologies. Add in financiers and futurists and the organization builds capacity for creating roadmaps into the rest of the 21st Century. The community also includes marketers, writers, entrepreneurs, government officials, and policy analysts – people who are bent on creating dynamic systems to enhance world productivity and efficiencies.
WTN’s headline event, The World Technology Summit & Awards ceremony, has taken place annually for twelve years. Awards are presented in the following categories: arts, biotechnology, communication technology, design, education, energy, entertainment, environment, ethics, finance, health and medicine, IT hardware, IT software, law, marketing communications, materials, media and journalism, policy, social entrepreneurship, and space. Awards are presented in these categories to both individuals and corporations who best represent WTN goals and ideologies.
7. International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
The International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) is a professional accrediting organization related to business education. They promote business educational standards and opportunities for students and the professional educational community. Members include colleges and universities who are committed to strengthening business educational capacities worldwide.
IACBE member services range from mentoring and consulting platforms to the Journal for Excellence in Business Education. The International Business Education Consortium enables members to share curriculum ideas, provide fresh experiences for business students, create international teaching opportunities for faculty, and establish new revenue tuition streams for member institutions.
8. International Executives Association
The International Executives Association is an elite type networking group for companies and their respective top level employees. Their focus on inspiration and camaraderie refreshes business executives enabling them to prosper as they share business leads and referrals with one another. Most local chapters are located in Canada and the United States.
9. Business Council for International Understanding
Started in 1955 as an initiative by President Dwight Eisenhower, the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) exists to foster dialogue among world business and political leaders. The BCIU organizes trade mission tours for cross-fertilization of business opportunities both internationally and domestically-hosted, roundtables for senior executives and politicians, and private meetings for high level officials of influence. A commercial training program geared toward embassy personnel and diplomats-in-training shows the diplomatic community how to promote business interests wherever they serve in the world by understanding the local business conditions and applying international standards for success. BCIU meets annually in New York for an awards gala.
BCIU provides fascinating internship opportunities for college juniors and seniors to obtain experience in both private sector and governmental contexts. Responsibilities include database management, research, writing, and communications. A key benefit is networking with interns from different cultural backgrounds.
10. Coalition of Services Industries
The Coalition of Services Industries (CSI) represents the needs for the service industries in the United States, industries such as banking, hospitality, logistics, telecommunications, and insurance. They also promote international policies that will benefit these industries seeking to develop business worldwide. Special working groups have developed around the themes of financial services, insurance, telecommunications, media, and information technology. In addition, groups focus on the emerging economies of China and India.
Take the time to explore these organizations and you’ll see a world that contains unlimited possibilities. Determine what it is that you are looking for and then narrow down your search based upon geography, association fees, personal and professional goals, membership opportunities and requirements, and the capacity for association members to influence you to influence your sphere of the world.