I had a pleasure of being on the panel of International Forum with Tony Fish (Co-Founder, AMF Ventures, UK), Jeanette Kopak (Director Project Operations, Centre for Digital Media, Canada), and Jim Baker (Chief Marketing Officer, Icomera, Sweden). The discussion was moderated by Peter Lesyk (Director Business Development, TELUS).

Jeanette demonstrated Movisphere, application that the students at the Centre for Digital Media created for Telefonica, Spain. Movisphere is a multi-platform, massively multiplayer online game where a player can seamlessly switch between desktop computers and mobile phones.

I did a presentation on the West Midlands’ Bridge to Growth program. The presentation was well received with several members wondering if other countries have similar programs. Jim Baker who is currently looking at locations in both the US and Canada for setting up his North American operations commented he wished a similar initiative was in place somewhere in North America.

Jim and Tony, both veterans of international business, commented the need to thoroughly understand legal and cultural differences when doing business across international borders. They mentioned that products and service that needs to be approved by government agencies could be a major stumbling block in international trade. Telecommunication equipment that uses different spectrum for example is one such hindrance.

Recommendation: Seek professional advice when venturing into international trade, but don’t let that be a barrier to lucrative markets for your products.