Georgia entrepreneurs should be as open to new opportunities for doing business in China as the state’s largest companies, according to Claude C. Collins, a senior analyst for Home Depot Inc.’s global supplier performance department.
“By March 2013, China’s gross domestic product will exceed that of the U.S. if current trends continue,” Mr. Collins said at a seminar held May 12 at Georgia Perimeter College.
“You can always rent a room as a trade representative in the Portman Center in Shanghai and be in business overnight,” he said. “You need to find the right products and introduce them. We can always buy from you cheaper than if we have to put in a team of our own.”
Mr. Collins was one of four speakers invited to speak at the seminar that was focused on the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, known as the BRIC countries. The other speakers were Ashok Thakkar, president and CEO of the outsourcing division of ITTI LLC, a consulting firm based in Alpharetta; Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, research economist and assistant policy adviser, Federal Reserve Bank Atlanta and Dimitri Moore, CEO of Moore International Inc.
Frank Falcetta, assistant vice president for educational affairs at the college, told GlobalAtlanta that Georgia Perimeter organized the first BRIC seminar two years ago when the investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc. released its study of the four developing nations. He added that the seminars are part of the college’s mission to provide continuing education programs as well as expose local companies to new business opportunities.
Mr. Collins said that he would be leaving for China shortly on behalf of Home Depot to help determine whether the company should enter the country by acquiring a Chinese operation or starting one from scratch. “As the largest home improvement retailer, we will explore all possibilities,” he said. “Our financial strength will allow us to row our own boat.”
Dr. Thakker reviewed India’s economic development and pointed to gene sequencing and genomic information delivery for multinational pharmaceutical companies as “the next boom industry for India.”
Dr. Quispe-Agnoli said that Brazil is now the world’s largest exporter of beef and is looking to increase trade with China and the European Union as well as with the U.S. She also said that Brazil is the eighth largest provider of information technology services for U.S. companies.
Mr. Moore said that doing business in Russia provided great excitement, but he advised caution.
For more information, Mr. Falcetta may be reached at (404) 298-4906 or firstname.lastname@example.org.