Question

1. You are the Product Manager of Acme Biotech, a Seattle-based firm that develops vaccines for the health industry. Your boss is thinking about opening a new R&D center in SE Asia and she asks to recommend one of three countries: Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore. Based on the national competitive advantages of each of the three countries, which country would you recommend, and why? Please refer to (and quantify) three indicators that would be crucial to this analysis.

2. You are the new VP of International Development for Citibank in New York. The U.S. government is asking your bank's opinion on whether to sign a free-trade agreement with China whereby U.S. banks would have complete access to the market of China. At the same time, Chinese banks would have free and complete access to the U.S. market. What would be your opinion, and why? Please support your position.

3. Your distributor for electronic components in India tells you that if you pay a "facilitation fee" of $2,000 directly to the Minister of Widgets, Mr. Singh, you will receive an order for 10,000 of your product. Please label and answer these questions: (1) What does the FCPA say about such a practice? (2) What does Indian law say about bribery? (3) If a competitor claims later that you have been paying bribes through your distributors, and the U.S. government investigates, how can you defend yourselves against this allegation?

4. You are the Finance Minister of Elbonia, and your country's steel industry is being hurt by cheap imports of steel from China and your newly deregulated banking industry is losing business to aggressive Chinese banks. The Prime Minister has asked you to come up with a list of three specific tariff barriers and three NTBs to help give these industries breathing space. Please list these items. Assuming you deploy these, what reaction can you expect from China?

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Of these the countries, Singapore has the highest trade development index (TDI) score and is ranked #5 in the world. Malayasia and Thailand have much lower TDI scores and therefore based on the TDI, I would recommend locating in Singapore. The TDI is a composite measure of national competitive advantages, but I would also look at related components of the TDI that are relevant to R&D and the health industry.

External (market access) factors to look at is

1) an indicator related to competition: Growth rates of creative services exports and imports, annual average, 2003-2011 and 2008-2011 (specifically R&D); and

2) market access indicator: the Most favoured nation rate (MFN rate) and effectively applied rate, annual, 1988-2012 (e.g. in chemicals).

An internal (supply) factor to look at is

3) an indicator of access to technology: B2: Proportion of persons employed routinely using computers and local labor costs....

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