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Globalization of Markets and Competition Trade is increasingly global in scope today There are several reasons for this One significant reason is technological--because of improved transportation and communication opportunities today trade is now more practical Thus consumers and businesses now have access to the very best products from many different countries Increasingly rapid technology lifecycles also increases the competition among countries as to who can produce the newest in technology In part to accommodate these realities countries in the last several decades have taken increasing steps to promote global trade through agreements such as the General Treaty on Trade and Tariffs and trade organizations such as the World Trade Organization WTO North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA and the European Union EU Stages in the International Involvement of a Firm We discussed several stages through which a firm may go as it becomes increasingly involved across borders A purely domestic firm focuses only on its home market has no current ambitions of expanding abroad and does not perceive any significant competitive threat from abroad Such a firm may eventually get some orders from abroad which are seen either as an irritation for small orders there may be a great deal of effort and cost involved in obtaining relatively modest revenue or as icing on the cake As the firm begins to export more it enters the export stage where little effort is made to market the product abroad although an increasing number of foreign orders are filled In the international stage as certain country markets begin to appear especially attractive with more foreign orders originating there the firm may go into countries on an ad hoc basis--that is each country may be entered sequentially but with relatively little learning and marketing efforts being shared across countries In the multi-national stage some efficiencies are pursued by standardizing across a region eg Central America West Africa or Northern Europe Finally in the global stage the focus centers
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