(Savannah, Ga.) Doing business globally adds complexity to your business. Every country has its own market conditions, cultural traits, government regulations and business conventions. Is the complexity worth it? As a business owner, it is important to use the best resources available and the most knowledgeable partners to find the answer to that question. While there’s no complete handbook for the challenges that will be encountered, BB&T | SunTrust now Truist Savannah Market President Patton Dugas shares insights into how best to integrate into global markets and how to utilize the resources available to make that happen.

So where to begin? Dugas recommends tapping into government resources first. He suggests using the U.S. Commercial Service, which has 85 international offices pursuing trade promotion and a U.S. Export Assistance Center. The Farm Service Agency, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), can help with agriculture-based export and provide resources like the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to support farmers. For political risk insurance, Dugas recommends the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which provides all-risk guarantees and direct loans for U.S. investment projects in developing nations and emerging markets. Finally, he suggests utilizing the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), which facilitates the export of U.S. goods and services by supplying loans, guarantees and insurance programs that reduce commercial and political risks.

Dugas highlights the importance of practical financial tools during the exporting process. Businesses can use a set of risk management tools to balance their ability to compete globally with their need to protect profits and maximize working capital. Programs offered by the Ex-Im Bank and the Small Business Administration (SBA), which help small businesses that might otherwise not be able to obtain trade financing, are good places to start. Dugas notes that payment risk is generally greater in global transactions and mitigating that risk starts by understanding typical global payment schemes and the financial tools to support them including unprotected trade, clean payment in advance, documentary collection, letters of credit and export credit insurance. In addition, Dugas stresses the importance of using international treasury solutions such as international wire transfers, International Automated Clearing Houses (ACH) payments and multi-currency reporting services.

As you consider exporting, Dugas recommends using all the resources at your disposal such as national, state and local-level programs. He also suggests working with experts in global trade, such as World Trade Center Savannah, attorneys, freight forwarders, customs brokers and international trade insurance specialists. BB&T | SunTrust now Truist can also help clients find and develop the most suitable solutions to mitigate risk. Finally, Dugas says to find and work with partners who can simplify the complexity of global business and accelerate your progress by bringing years of trade experience and local market knowledge to your management team.

For more information on expanding into global markets, contact BB&T | SunTrust now Truist or World Trade Center Savannah.

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