Logo

World Tradewinds
April/May 2001 - Issue N. 107
A Publication of the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA),
a BAYTRADE
partner


MBITA CORPORATE SPONSORS:

Toma International

Grunsky

Victory

Lexus

Language Line

Greyzone


IN THIS ISSUE
:

MBITA Update:

The exports of technology services and products remain a viable business option for many companies located in the 'Cybercoast' region of the Monterey Bay and Silicon Valley. Opportunities with local 'cutting-edge' technology companies to form strategic alliances, joint-ventures, distributor relationships and export/import ventures with European, Asian and Latin American regions are there for the taking.

MBITA's strategy to form economic development programs with counterpart organizations in Europe (Veneto Innovazione), Germany (GWZ) and Russia (Partner Regions), will help our members and clients reach their global marketing objectives. Please contact our office for further details.

Robert "Tony" Livoti
Executive Director
tlivoti@mbita.org

MBITA
PARTNERS & AFFILIATES:



Upcoming events:

March 30
Osaka: One of Asia's Giants for Trade and Investment
Luncheon

Monterey Hilton,
1000 Aguajito Rd.

Monterey
Time: 11:30am registration
noon lunch to 1:30pm
Admission fee:
Members: $20.00
Non-members: $25.00

April 10
Global eCommerce Seminar

McPherson Business Center
Santa Cruz, 725 Front St.
Time: 8:30am continental breakfast
and registration
9:00am to noon: presentations
Admission fee: $45.00

For more information on MBITA events please visit the MBITA "Events" web page
or contact the MBITA office.

 

MBITA Board of Directors:

President
John Griffin
Smith Barney

Treasurer
Joseph Scott
CPA

Executive Director/Trade Manager
Tony Livoti

tlivoti@mbita.org

Membership/Event Manager
Cristina Polesel
cristina@mbita.org

Back to top

MBITA Contact Info

725 Front St. Ste 104
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 U.S.A.
Phone: 1-831-469-0148
Fax: 1-831-469-0917
Email: info@mbita.org
Web:http://www.mbita.org

This newsletter has been created by MBITA's editor
Cristina Polesel

cristina@mbita.org

If you would like to have an article published on this newsletter please contact the editor by email.

Back to top

MBITA New Member:
Dominyon Services

MBITA would like to introduce to you its new member, Dominyon Services, an international collection agency based in Todd, North Carolina. The President, Michelangelo Liberio, developed his professional experience with foreign commercial collections while working for other commercial collection agencies for over twenty five years in the international business arena.

"The collection agencies I worked for always focused on domestic bad debts and of course they justified it by saying 'International commercial collection is not cost effective.' In essence they where not experienced or did not have anyone who could perform in the global theater," Mr. Liberio declares. "I innovated a program for myself whereby I began marketing companies that were strictly exporters, freight forwarders, logistics and high technology companies marketing their products and services to foreign markets. The results were overwhelming; many companies had foreign bad debts, but lacked the knowledge and manpower to recover their arrears," Mr. Liberio continues.

Dominyon contacts your debtors by phone within hours after receipt of your claim. The aggressive pursuit of your company's money is handled tactfully, yet persuasively. Dominyon's experience and skill will strengthen the posture it takes with debtors and allows them to demonstrate "fast action" in procedure and recovery of a company's delinquent accounts receivables. When promise of payment has been extracted from the debtor, a courier is sent out to their place of business to pick up the check. The client's office dictates the payment option and collection mode. Dominyon does not employ any electronic means of payment other than an international bank to bank wire transfer.

"The first success story was not to treat the principal on the phone as I would with a domestic principal i.e. I want you to send the balance today! With a forceful voice." Mr. Liberio explains. "I found that dealing with foreign principals required a basic psychology of dignity and respect for the 'bad guy' and it worked like a charm from that point forward," Mr. Liberio continues. "The problem I incurred at first was not the language or culture but which countries had the most debtors. It was all of Latin America, not for the lack of money, but because the principals would 'never' do as they agreed on the phone. It became a child's game of 'tag-you're-it' every day, but tenacity always won the day. I just simply refused to go away," Mr. Liberio points out.

One of Dominyon's most unusual experiences in an international collection case was when one of their clients gave them a large balance to collect from a German company. " I found out that corporate HQ was not responsible for the debt, but each division located worldwide were autonomous and each were responsible for a portion of the debt," Mr. Liberio explains. "This meant that I had to call and collect from fourteen countries and proceed from there, which was a logistical nightmare," he continues.

Dominyon's services are strictly contingent on collection with no initial sign up fees. Dominyon is paid based on what is actually collected and special rates may be negotiated. Primarily the entire industry charges by the age of the account which determines the fee anywhere from 25% to 50% of the total amount past due. Mr. Liberio negotiates his fees with clients. While his basic rate is 30%, large balance accounts warrant a lower rate and consideration is given to those while assigning a rate. Accounts may also be assigned rates based on age of account when placed. Naturally, accounts with less age on them require less work than accounts that have aged substantially.

Many exporters do not realize the possible loss of revenue overseas if accounts are not handled in the proper fashion. Western Europe, with the exception of France, is the easiest area to deal with in international collection business. "The hardest country to deal with by far is Brazil due to their banking laws and governmental laws that are quite confusing and very hard to meet the requisites from both sides of the isle," Mr. Liberio explains.

Dominyon Services is committed to helping U.S. companies in resolving their overseas bad debts while conforming to professional standards tailored to your specifications. Dominyon is experienced to meet and analyze overseas risks and pre-existing exposure. Dominyon works, when required, with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Embassies worldwide and translators on site. Monies recovered are bank-to-bank transfers in U.S. Dollars. Their collection mode is tailored to meet your needs as directed.

"The best successful method Dominyon can provide is to slowly educate its clients and make their salesforce out in the field understand the 'do's and dont's' when making a sale abroad. I always make sure my clients tell their salesmen to dot the 'I's' and cross the 't's' before the sale is complete. Also, always get a signature. In a case where litigation is recommended the signature of the principal would be undisputable evidence in a court of law. Then of course its a question of intent to pay the arrears," Mr. Liberio remarks. "A young professional that might want to get into the international collection industry should speak one or two foreign languages first and be open minded about the opportunities that lie ahead. Always be tenacious, but keep in mind to listen more and talk less to your counterpart. Thereby the results are greater," Mr. Liberio concludes.

For more information on Dominyon Services email at dominyon@fastransit.net

Back to top

Monterey Bay "Connects" with the Russian Far East

Vladivostok, Russia nestled on the shores of the Sea of Japan, is approximately 6000 miles east of Moscow and located in the center of the Asian industrial complex of Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong. It is the headquarters of the Russian Pacific Fleet and has been referred to by some as the 'San Francisco' of the Russian Far East. Pioneered by East European Russians in the middle of the nineteenth century, the city of Vladivostok is located in one of thirteen regions of the Russian Far East comprising an area 2/3rd the size of the Continental United States. Rich in minerals, timber, oil and fish, the Russian Far East proves to be a fertile marketplace for Pacific Rim countries in the years to come.

"Vladivostok has many similarities to San Francisco with Its European style buildings situated on rolling hills overlooking Vladivostok's bay. It seemed to have many similarities to San Francisco and I felt closer to home than the 6000 or so miles of Pacific Ocean that separated Vladivostok from the San Francisco Bay", comments Tony Livoti, Executive Director of the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA) . Mr. Livoti visited Vladivostok last November under a grant from Winrock International, a American non-profit organization dedicated to promoting worldwide economic opportunity and sustaining natural resources in developing nations throughout the world.

MBITA's mission in Vladivostok was to work with their Russian counterpart partner, the Far East Center for Economic Development (FECED), to develop a market analysis on Global eCommerce and the wireless broadband industry. FECED is a non-profit organization funded with grants from the US Agency for International Development (AID) and other non-profit foundations to support trade between the Russian Far East and the West Coast of the U.S.

FECED arranged thirteen business meetings for Mr. Livoti with city and regional government officials, successful Russian Far East trading companies, freight forwarders, custom brokers, educators, software developers, ISP's and trade associations. "These meetings were high quality and I was treated with warm greetings and optimism ", comments Tony.

The recovery of the Russian economy from its sudden entrance into the world of Capitalism in the early nineties, and then the crash of the Russian ruble in 1998, has proven hard times for the people of Vladivostok. "The majestic pre-Bolshevik buildings need painting, plastering, upkeep and care, and the roads need paving. "You can tell that the last ten years in Russia have taken a toll", states Mr. Livoti, "but, at the same time the influx of imported Japanese cars in the last three years have crowded the streets and you get the feeling the economy is improving," Mr. Livoti continues. According to Evgueni Baranov, trade Representative for the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, the year 2000 was the best year for the Russian economy in the last twenty-five years.

"I really respected the people of Vladivostok for their enthusiasm to work with American businesspeople in an effort to turn around their recovering economy. They are a very warm people and hardworking", says Mr. Livoti.

Within this renewed atmosphere and environment of the improving Russian economy, MBITA has proposed to create a 'model' Global eCommerce portal between Russian Far East and California SMEs called the Global Trade eCommerce Program (GTEP). This Global eCommerce portal will facilitate the entire process of an international business transaction in a 'paperless' way, including shipping and banking procedures, without any investment of hardware or software, just good Internet access. The GTEP 'model' will also employ a wireless broadband technology for fast internet access for the initial users.

California has the largest and most advanced SME business community in the world, plus, it is the world leader in eCommerce technology. The GTEP program will leverage these strengths with the Russian Far East SME community providing a cost-effective and efficient method to import and export products and services online. "This model will be able to be copied by other Russian regions and other parts of the world", continues Mr. Livoti. It's pretty exciting to experience the potential of the new technologies in bringing together the people of Russia and California with peaceful and productive projects", concludes Tony Livoti.

Back to top

The European High-Tech Community Convenes
in San Jose, CA

On March 14th & 15th, 'World Tradewinds' attended a first-of-its-kind conference in San Jose, Ca. Fifty (50) of the most promising European IT startups met in 'Silicon Valley' to present their technologies, services and products to a group of prominent US-based analysts, CEOs, investment banks, and venture capital firms. Discussions and presentations on industry trends, the intricacies of securing funding and reaching the right markets when building a business to the path of profitability were presented.

The event, called EuroTech, addressed the growth cycle of the IT community in the European Community. "The money crowd is seeking to branch out from the cozy world of Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley start-ups. Europe - places like Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam and of course London - is the next stop on the gravy train", (CBS MarketWatch 9/15/00).

EuroTech was produced by DASAR, a highly selective organization dedicated to assisting startups to expand globally, showcasing technology, connecting leaders and reporting on news and trends in the international IT arena through multiple media ventures. DASAR serves as a bridge among American, Asian and European IT companies to help facilitate partnerships, joint ventures, mergers & acquisitions as well as a valuable filter for potential investors and venture capitalists worldwide.

Attending EuroTech were an array of European IT startups from a 'spider' search engine technology to a European real estate website marketplace. One company that caught World Tradewinds' particular attention was Audientia.

Headquartered in Paris, France with affiliate offices in London, Madrid and Milan, Audientia offers real-time solutions for collecting online usage information while studying audience behavior from an intuitive site-mapping interface. When World Tradewinds interviewed Mr. Jean-Michel Lunati, CEO for Audientia, he said Audientia is unique because they have developed a 'black-box' which remains proprietary to the users server with no chance of security breaches that are possible with other ASP models in website tracking and trend analysis services.

The highlight of the event was the keynote speech from venture capital icon, Pierre Lamond of Sequoia Capital. The seventy year-old Lamond was a picture of confidence and invaluable experience. He gave a very frank 45 minute presentation on the Venture Capital world from the inside out. Known as one of the pioneers of the Silicon Valley venture capital industry, Lamond gave the audience, comprised mostly of European entrepreneurs, the basics of raising money for a start-up operation.

"Without offending anyone in the audience, I have to say that the basic difference between Silicon Valley investors and European investors is that the European investors are bankers and not businesspeople. A start-up company needs an investor that can help them develop their business model. An investor that has business expertise with connections and a qualified network of professionals in different aspects of industry", said Mr. Lamond.

Interviewed by Alex Vieuz, CEO of DASAR, Lamond said at this point in his life he works for the fun and not the money. "That's why I'm still here. You can only play so much golf. I love the challenge. The idea of helping create a company and making it a success is great. I do it for the fun of it'" concluded Mr. Lamond to a standing ovation from an adoring and enthused audience.

Eurotech is looking forward to the European Technology Roundtable Exhibition (ETRE) 2001, scheduled in Rome, Italy, October 7-10, 2001. ETRE 2001 will present the most exclusive gathering of Information Technology CEO's from across the globe. ETRE reduces the distance between IT corporations, executives and the world. For those who market technology, use it strategically or invest in it for the future, ETRE attracts a dazzling array of 1000 CEOs from more than 40 countries. At ETRE 2001 in Rome, discussions will center on the theme "Survive and Prosper: A Return to Value." From roundtable debates moderated by prominent journalists to corporate and keynote presentations, the conference agenda is intelligent, fast-paced, interactive and dynamic.

For more information on ETRE 2001contact:
DASAR North American Headquarters
1931 Old Middlefield Way, Suite Z
Mountain View, California 94043 USA
Tel: 1(650) 321-5544
Fax: 1 (650) 321-5597
E-mail: info@dasar.com
Web: http://www.etre2001.com

MBITA and the World Tradewinds newsletter left EuroTech with a renewed energy to move its 'Silicon Lagoon' project in the Veneto region of Italy forward. (please see Silicon Lagoon project on MBITA's website). The 'cybercoast' region of the Monterey Bay has much to gain in developing strategic alliances, partnerships and investment opportunities with the European IT community. Please contact the MBITA office if you are interested in the European IT marketplace.

Back to top

WORLDCOM's Free Benefits for MBITA Members
MBITA is proud to announce an outstanding opportunity with the Federation of International Trade Association (FITA) and its exclusive partnership with WORLDCOM, the world's largest telecommunication company in the world with an internet backbone and a data infrastructure far superior than its competitors.

As a member or affiliate client of MBITA and the international trade community, your organization may qualify for FREE AIRLINE TICKETS or PREPAID CALLING CARDS and SPECIAL DISCOUNTS on your global telecommunications services.

MBITA endorses WORLDCOM to take full advantage of their many Internet services which include:

  • data services, including international private lines and frame relay
  • Internet access, dial-up or dedicated
  • #800 inbound service, both domestic and international web hosting
  • voice services, including local and long distance service, toll free, international and calling cards

To arrange a no cost analysis of your telecommunication needs, please feel free to call
FITA's Anthony Castronovo @ 310-204-3388 .

We hope to see you take advantage of this FREE OFFER!
388 Fax (310) 204-3384
Email: anthony@fita.org
Website: http://www.fita.org

Anthony Castronovo Regional Manager West Coast

Back to top