In today’s dynamic and challenging business environment, it is no longer practical to limit operations to a specific country or region. Growth-oriented businesses look to growing economies in India, Brazil and China in an effort to increase market share and tap into new revenue streams.
As businesses expand, security must expand accordingly. Security directors are often charged with developing security programs to protect a growing network of people and facilities within unfamiliar regions. In addition, CSOs and security directors are being asked to not only protect people and assets in multiple locations across the globe but to contribute to core business functions, a significant move away from the ”guns and guards” mentality of the past. Management looks to security practitioners to play a critical role in business expansion in new markets, relying on these leaders to develop a safe haven for new infrastructure, employees and customers while driving new opportunity and managing costs.
Global Facility Security Strategies
During the financial crisis, businesses have looked outside the United States for growth opportunities; however, expanding into a new region is not as simple as merely leasing property and opening an office. Business leaders need to conduct significant amounts of research in the areas in which they want to expand. At the same time, security teams must evaluate the risk profile of each location and look at local regulations before deciding what security program — technology and processes — needs to be implemented in a specific geographic area.
Security leaders must leverage a combination of people, processes and technologies to effectively protect their infrastructure and related assets on a global scale. Education on the local business climate is beyond critical, and this is where local-based personnel are key to operating in emerging or unfamiliar global markets. They understand the critical nature of the local business environment, along with local regulations and requirements. A product manufactured in one region, for example, may not be allowed in another region due to political or religious conflicts.
The regulatory environments in these different regions are constantly evolving and changing. Security executives planning to deploy in these regions need partners that are dedicated to helping them navigate the integrated security deployments — from inception to implementation — as well as the compliance and regulatory issues. An oil refinery in Dubai, of course, has a very different risk profile than an office building in downtown London.
Understanding the key differentiators is critical in regulated and emerging marketplaces. Here is a look at specific security issues by emerging market.
South America’s second-largest economy is heading toward its slowest growth rate since 2009 due to governmental import restrictions and a drought that affected the local soybean harvest, bringing the economy to a literal standstill.
In October 2011, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tightened currency controls and restricted imports, and then further tightened its regulations in February 2012 with legislation that requires pre-approval of all imports. Importers fought back and in May, the European Union filed a suit against the imposed restrictions, intensifying the disputes between the South American nation and its trading partners. The battle could take more than a year to iron out.
In the meantime, strict import controls continue to wreak havoc on companies trying to import security equipment into the country. Long delays are common, forcing companies to use equipment that is available from local providers.
Brazil is a thriving market with its booming population and significant interest in new technologies, creating a wealth of business opportunities. But Brazil’s import tax rates are notoriously high. It is not uncommon to pay upwards of 75 percent in taxes on imported material goods. Even consumers feel the crunch: Brazil is the most expensive country in the world to buy a computer and is one of the most expensive countries for telecommunications services.