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Vision Shopsters: The Top 10 European Specialty Chemicals Companies: Changing business models, strategies and SWOTs

The specialty chemicals operations of major European players remained relatively resilient during the economic downturn compared to their other business lines. The 2005-09 period witnessed a considerable rise in consolidation activities among European companies. Some players are focused on backward integration of operations whilst others are aiming to offload non-core franchises. Consolidation is in part prompted by fluctuations in raw material prices and rising competitiveness in the global marketplace.
The report profiles major European players in the specialty chemicals segment and elucidates trends associated with these companies, and insights into the opportunities and threats facing them. This report provides detailed profiles of ten leading European specialty chemicals companies, and brief profiles of other major players. The detailed profiles contain descriptions of business, financial performance, growth strategies and SWOT analyses. Analysis is based on:

• Each company’s consolidated and segmental financial performance;
• Each company’s growth strategies and major acquisitions and divestments relating to the specialty chemicals market;
• Key partnerships and alliances formed by these companies;
• Business-related strengths and weaknesses of these companies.

Key features of this report

• Key drivers and resistors to growth of leading European specialty chemicals companies.
• Common industry characteristics in strategies and performance of European specialty chemicals companies.
• Analysis of financial performance and growth strategies of leading specialty chemicals companies during 2005–09.
• Overview of specialty chemicals product portfolios of leading companies.
• SWOT analysis of the leading European specialty chemicals companies.

Scope of this report

• Learn from the strategies of European specialty chemicals companies to target future growth markets effectively, avoid their mistakes, replicate their successes and learn of the threats they face.
• Benchmark your performance against the leading European specialty chemicals companies by understanding their strategies.

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• Measure the resilience of specialty chemicals operations of European companies during the economic downturn.
• Compare performances of specialty and non-specialty chemicals operations of European companies in the global soft drink market arising from the change in consumers’ preferences and global recession.
• Save time, money and resources on analyzing the performance of leading specialty chemicals companies using this report.

Key Market Issues

• Raw material price fluctuations: Review of the 2005-09 period indicates that profits of specialty chemicals operations of leading European players are influenced by fluctuations in raw material prices. Rise in prices in early 2008 coupled with lack of backward integration squeezed margins of Ciba leading to its acquisition by BASF. Fall in prices during the economic downturn had considerable effects on operating margins of European players.
• Fall in demand during downturn: Fall in demand considerably suppressed operating income of European companies in 2009. However, prompt restructuring activities enabled several companies to maintain steady levels of operating margin.
• Relative resilience of specialty chemicals operations: Business Insights observes that the impact was less profound when compared to non-specialty chemicals. The contribution of specialty chemicals to the decline in consolidated revenues was relatively modest. Our in house developed Revenue Growth Index clearly differentiates the performance of specialty and non-specialty operations of European players.
• Consolidation: European players are focused on consolidating their position in the global specialty chemicals market through backward integration and shifting attention to core franchises. Ciba merged with BASF, sensing opportunities for backward integration. Lanxess divested its paper chemicals business, which was later acquired by Kemira.

Key findings from this report

• Business Insights forecasts that the global specialty chemicals market will grow at a CAGR of 2% during 2010–14 to reach a total value of approximately 9bn in 2014.
• The 15 leading European companies generated .9bn sales in 2009, accounting for 15.6% of the 8bn global specialty chemicals market.
• BASF was the largest European specialty chemicals company with bn sales in 2009. The acquisition of Ciba in 2008 propelled the company’s topline significantly.
• European specialty chemicals companies were not insulated from the fall in volume sales experienced by the global chemicals industry. The majority of these players were affected by the fall in industrial input costs as was observed in their selling prices.
• Business Insights’ Revenue growth index found that during the downturn, specialty chemicals businesses of European players performed better than their non-specialty operations.

Key questions answered

• What was the market size of the global specialty chemicals industry by value in 2009?
• What will be the market size of the global specialty chemicals industry during 2010-14?
• What are the key trends observed in the European specialty chemicals companies and strategic responses that are taking shape?
• Who are the major European players in the global specialty chemicals market?
• What are the growth strategies of the leading 10 companies?

To know more about this report & to buy a copy please visit :
http://www.visionshopsters.com/product/3825/The-Top-10-European-Specialty-Chemicals-Companies-Changing-business-models-strategies-and-SWOTs.html

Contact us:

Visionshopsters
Ph : 91-22-40583000
Emailid: marketing@visionshopsters.com
Website : www.visionshopsters.com

Visionshopsters specializes in providing comprehensive collection of online market research reports, events bookings, country reports, company profiles, latest books and magazines, customized research services offering informative solutions worldwide. We constantly believe in providing inventive solutions to clients all across the globe. Our clientele consists of over thousands of top most academic organizations, financial institutions, trading companies, legal service providers, accounting consultancies and other corporate business executives.


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5 Lessons for Smart Grid Business Success

What will be the “killer app” of Smart Grid?

Recently, President Obama announced grants of .4 billion for Smart Grid development. However, studies make it clear that given the mammoth size of the existing transmission and distribution (T&D) system, the new system will be built on the shoulders of the old. The existing T&D infrastructure will dictate the winners and losers in the Smart Grid space. The past is prologue.

The grid is in the early stages of a sea change. EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) points out that up to 4% of the total electricity generated is lost in the T&D system. This equates to as much as .4 billion worth of energy.

Can’t we have both efficiency and reliability? Yes we can…if we learn these five lessons.

5 Lessons for Winning in the Smart Grid Space…

1. The existing T&D system is balkanized. The US has fifteen transmission voltages running from 23kV to 765kV, all sorts of equipment manufactured over the past forty years, and a myriad of conductors. Interconnections can be overwhelming in their diversity. More importantly, company information systems are almost as fragmented. A product needs more variations, sizes and flavors than ice cream to conquer T&D territory.

2. The T&D system is old, as are its people. The heydays of rural electrification in the 1930’s and the post WWII boom drew engineers into the industry. That cycle reversed over the past decades as new graduates went elsewhere and early retirements downsized the industry. Walk into a T&D department nowadays and you will likely see only gray hair. Key insight: These employees were indoctrinated not to take risks. As we all know, change is risk. Technologies such as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and supervisory control & data acquisition (SCADA) have been around for decades. Silicon Valley did not invent them. A new mouse-trap will not necessarily attract more interest from the mice, and certainly not quickly. Investors will find that patient money wins the race.

3. To succeed in a “flat world”, companies need to transform their business models to optimize innovation globally. Thomas Friedman coined the term “flat world” to underscore how innovation travels and appears so quickly now in different parts of the world. For example, Smart Grid successes already occurred overseas. Look to the successes achieved in Germany, Sweden and Italy, ironically sometimes with US technology. However, the reasons for their successes are diverse. Germany doesn’t have armies of meter readers who would be unemployed by AMI. Consumers already read their own meters. Italy’s utilities use AMI to assure customer payment in the face of regulations which prevent termination of service. Now electric companies can turn down the amperage so that the late-payer has a choice. He can pay up or limit his enjoyment of modern accoutrements to three light bulbs.

4. The most difficult part of going global with Smart Grid is not international. It’s internal. An organization must have a willingness to develop a global mindset, adopt new procedures and modify their products. South Korea has reduced their T&D losses by 40% in thirty years by standardizing voltages and reducing conductor and transformer losses. Their T&D system now has the lowest losses in the world. Transmission lines are known to be major energy leakers, but quantifying hard savings can be difficult. That’s one reason why lower energy losing trapezoidal wire (TW) conductors, available in the US for years, have generally been ignored. Smart Grid successes will be those that impact the utilities’ revenues directly.

5. Undertaking a global journey means changes and a global mindset. Talent with a global vision and experience needs to be brought in to navigate change. This is the only way your organization will “cross the chasm” internally as well as internationally. A peek at the near-future of Smart Grid is what is happening in Cartagena, Colombia. AMI is being used to offer prepayment plans and to combat energy theft. Again, an application that impacts revenues directly. The testing ground of many Smart Grid applications will be in other countries first. The successful Smart Grid businesses will be there too.

What will be the “killer app” of Smart Grid? It will not be technological. It will be organizational. The ability to leverage international innovation locally and launch global businesses will determine who wins in the Smart Grid space. Those businesses with experienced global leadership who can transform their business model to a global engine are the ones to watch in the Smart Grid space.

Peter V. Poggi is an energy components / cleantech executive who works with private equity firms to help their middle-market companies grow into global businesses. If you’re looking to win in the Smart Grid space, then contact Peter through his LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/petervpoggi.


Article from articlesbase.com

Business opportunities in central Europe require Polish couriers

Poland is located in Central Europe and is bordered by some of the major economic powers of the world such as Germany and the Czech Republic and therefore businesses within the Polish market have access to these two large economies as well as presenting residents with opportunities to explore other countries in Central Europe. As well as Germany and the Czech Republic, Poland also borders Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania so the opportunities are clear when you are planning a move into the Poland market.

In order to make a successful entrance you are going to need the services of the online couriers that are on the market. The reason why you are sure to require these services is you will probably have to send a parcel at some point during your entrance and when you do, they can help you send a parcel to any destination in the world without the stress and hassle of the usual parcel delivery services. Their deals on offer are excellent and will save you a considerable amount of time and money.

In terms of Europe, Poland is the 9th largest country in terms of area and with a population of around 38 million; this presents a sizeable market for companies to aim their products at. As a member of various world organisations including the EU, WTO (World Trade Organisation), NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Poland has many ties with the leading economies in the world which sets businesses in good stead when they look to expand their offering by entering the Polish market.

The Polish government has undergone a process of liberalisation in order to attract more foreign investment and their plans seem to be working as an increasing number of businesses have decided to make the most of these opportunities. When they do the leading parcel delivery services online will be there to help whenever they need to send an important business parcel to an existing or potential client or maybe just for one of the employees to send something back home after they have moved to Poland as part of the job.
The pension system, education and healthcare have all gone through structural reforms which have made Poland a great place to live and the reason why companies are constantly moving into the market, as they know a happy workforce is a more productive workforce.

In order to send parcels to Poland you need to find the best deals from the leading international courier companies on the market.


Article from articlesbase.com

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Guangzhou by the end of business opportunities in emerging flowers

“The Second China Fair flower pot” to create opportunities in flower sales

In marketing spend away from the hot month of the season, “The Second China Fair flower pot” in the famous Flower City of Guangzhou held Lunar New Year Flower Fair will lead to variety and price movements, will be the flower business in sales a good opportunity to order flowers. To this end, the country all provinces except Tibet Autonomous Region have flowers outside the exhibitors, for Lunar New Year flower market opportunities. The more than 30,000 from around the world buyers, will bring big-oriented mart business.

Global buyers??? To come

By the China Flower Association and the Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government, Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Agriculture, Liwan District People’s Government hosted “The Second China Fair flower pot” will be December 28, 2005 to 31 in Guangzhou Flower Expo Park grand held.

Potted flowers around the theme of investment, the organizing committee invited a large number of exhibitors and buyers, especially the central exhibition hall, at home and abroad focused on a number of heavyweight companies, the quest for the national mainstream of the major flower producing flowers flower varieties and characteristics species, through this fair, companies can have complete control of domestic flower pot flower trends. Fairs all over the world more than 30,000 buyers, including Germany, Denmark flower purchasing groups, comprising 16 members of the Han Guolan Association delegation to Taiwan and China potted Development Association, the national major flower market, the Pearl River Delta to spend big shops, based mart will bring more business opportunities.

1.5 billion transactions??? To make

Wang Jianxin, Deputy General Manager of Guangzhou Flower Exposition Garden, said last year’s “China’s first flower pot fair” in 4 days, 32 million people entering the hall to purchase, turnover of 830 million yuan. Annual sales to spend on consumption have a significant impact, guiding the flower market variety, price, quantity and direction of the distribution, but also guiding this year’s flower production, import and export. This is a large potted florist flower fairs are the main reason for pursuit.

Fair has led the consumer trend, last year’s “Golden Flower Award” Product of the arrowroot, bergamot, etc., for the first time landing in Guangzhou, very popular. Wang Jianxin expected, “The Second China Fair flower pot” to create 1.5 billion turnover.

“The Second China Fair flower pot” is a new, Liwan District, the first time since the establishment of national events, Liwan District, to spend for the media to promote the new Wan commerce, culture and tourism center of the building. It is understood that the Chinese settled in the Guangzhou Trade Fair potted flowers, and further consolidation of the plants in Guangzhou in the country’s leading position. Liwan District hopes to spend Fair successfully held, Liwan District of flowers to create the production, development, trade and sales center.

Digital read the news

Settled down in Guangzhou, China Fair potted flowers, potted plants and further consolidate the city flower of Guangzhou’s leading position in the country. In 2004, there are 32,120 employees in Guangzhou flowers, including professional and technical staff 6758 people, flower planting area of about 10,483.97 hectares, output value of 1.633 billion yuan, of which, potted flowering plants planted area of 2,148.52 hectares, about 101 million pots sold, value of 7.78 billion yuan, ranking first in production and sales of potted flowers, potted flowers and plants market sales accounted for more than 50% of the total sales volume.

I am an expert from China Manufacturers, usually analyzes all kind of industries situation, such as timeline maker , crepe machine.


Article from articlesbase.com

Staying Up-to-Date Important for Business Success in the EU

With nearly 500 million people speaking 23 languages in 27 member states, the European Union is home to a broad array of corporations and industries, including some of the world’s leading multinational companies.  Allianz, the largest financial service company in the world by revenue, Airbus, which produces about half of the world’s airplanes, Air France-KLM, the world’s largest airline, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest beer company, beauty products company L’Oreal Group, mobile phone maker Nokia Corp, and Royal Dutch Shell all call the EU home.  Industries as varied as agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, health care, construction, and finance are strong drivers of the EU’s diverse economy.

With the variety and complexity inherent in an economy as large as the EU’s, keeping up with news, current events, and upcoming meetings can be a daunting task.  Promoting an event to these diverse constituencies can be equally intimidating.  On any given day, in Brussels and throughout the EU and the world, multiple meetings, conferences, seminars, hearings and networking events that could affect you and your business are taking place.  With regulatory agencies, NGOs, government agencies, and corporate entities all sponsoring and attending events, something is bound to slip past your radar.  And in this increasingly difficult and competitive business environment, attending relevant meetings and publicising your event to appropriate audiences is key to getting ahead.

There are many solutions to this problem.  You could spend hours every day reading newspapers, magazines, trade publications and NGO’s websites.  And if you have your own event to publicise, you could spend hours and scarce resources producing marketing materials, sending emails, and making phone calls.  Fortunately, there is a quick, innovative solution to this problem: events and meetings websites like BrusselsAgenda.eu.

These sites allow you to create a customised profile and will alert you when upcoming events match your interests.  This saves you the time and effort of scanning dozens of websites, newspapers and magazines to find out what events are happening in the EU and around the world.  And these sites doesn’t just keep you up-to-date on upcoming events, they also provide all the information you need to attend any event – nearby hotels, maps and driving directions, nearby airports and transportation hubs, and it can automatically translate listings to many major EU languages.  These sites can be the solution to promoting your conference or meeting – any registered user can post an event quickly and easily for free.

J. Mikula is a business professional, consultant, and writer.


Article from articlesbase.com

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Doing Business in Europe – an Etiquette Primer for Americans

The Opportunity

You’re an American businessperson whose company is expanding into European markets. Or your company is acquiring or has been acquired by one. Or you’re courting a supplier or venture capitalist from Europe. In any case, you want to make good impression.

You’ve heard the rumors that Americans are thought to be, well, somewhat less than cultivated. And it’s true that American businesses often place more stock in talent and skills than they place in polish and style- we’ve all seen American managers who are brilliant strategist but rudely answer cell-phone calls or type in their PDAs while having discussions with their subordinates. We know a defense attorney who has a stellar record in spite of (or perhaps because of) his unkempt appearance. (Maybe it’s disarming to jurists?) And we all know talented computer wizards who earn outrageous salaries going to work in jeans and flip-flops every day.

In Europe, dress, manners and demeanor are more important than they are in the States. But as business here becomes more global and as businesses become more competitive, even the most casual Americans are learning that there are benefits to having the more cordial manners of their European counterparts.

The Solution

There are some rules and standards of etiquette in Europe that are puzzling to Americans at first, and we cover some of those in this article. There are also some fairly simple rules of thumb that will spare you some awkward moments and prevent unintentional offenses.

Dress

For the past few years in the United States, businesses have been tending toward “business casual”- meaning polo shirts and casual slacks for men and women. In the recent few months, most industries are gearing back to a more “dressed up” appearance – blazers and slacks (if not a coat and tie) for men and more corporate pantsuits and dresses for women; although many workplaces still have “casual Fridays.”

As far as we know, there are no “casual Fridays” in Europe. A dark-colored coat and tie with a light shirt for men; and more formal skirt and pantsuits for women are de rigeur. Anyone wearing something less formal might be seen as someone who does not take his business very seriously, or who has too little respect for the people he’s meeting with to spend the time on his appearance.

Business Interactions

Typical business interactions are more effective (and more enjoyable!) if you consider some cultural differences such as titles and introductions, language differences, differences in organizational structure and philosophy, and issues of style in matters such as taking blame and giving credit, giving compliments, and resolving differences of opinion.

Titles and Introductions

In the U.S., if you work for the same company as someone else, you can pretty much take for granted that you’re on a first-name basis with them. Everyone from the CEO to the janitor is addressed by first name only, even if you’re barely acquainted with them. That often transcends companies, and anyone who calls you Mr. or Ms. is probably trying to sell you something.

The opposite is true in Europe. Calling someone by their first name (unless invited to do so) is considered presumptuous and too familiar for business interactions. Courtesy titles and last names are the norm.

Introductions are also very different. In the U.S., introductions are almost an afterthought- you get “introduced around” an office if you’re new to the company, and introductions in meetings are cursory if done at all.

In Europe, introductions are very important, and they follow the old rules of introducing the “less important” person to the more important one. If Mr. Smith is the owner of the company you work for, and Mr. Jones is your newly-hired colleague, an introduction would be as follows:

“Mr. Smith, I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Jones.”

If you are standing when an introduction is made, shake hands (firmly, please!) with the person you’re introduced to. If you are sitting, stand up, face the person, and shake hands. Always stand when making introductions yourself.

In meetings, formal introductions may be made before the meeting before the participants take their seats, or everyone may go around the table and introduce himself or herself, (while seated) but a meeting is never begun if there are any participants that have not formally met. Follow the lead of the meeting host, or if you are hosting a meeting, ensure that introductions take place before addressing any items of business.

Language

You may be told by a company that all business will be conducted in English, so there is no need to learn a second language. You will find, however, that there are differences in structure and usage between American English and “European business English.”

Language is more formal, and although there may be some slang (especially in new fields like computers) it’s best to avoid American slang and newer words.

The structure of sentences is a little different. The adjectives often come after the noun.

Take these differences in stride, and try to adapt your style of speaking and writing to the people you’re doing business with. It’s much more effective to communicate in he the way the majority of people are comfortable with than to try to change things to the style you may be more used to.

Organizational Structure and Philosophy

Companies in the U.S. have been tending in the last few years away from hierarchical systems and are more “flat” in style and structure. Senior managers might inhabit cubes the same as regular staffers, everyone is on a first-name basis, and everyone’s opinion carries equal weight if the idea has merit. In Europe, things are a bit more traditional and people are more deferential toward people who have “earned their stripes.” It’s fine to put forth ideas if you’re not the “top dog,” the only difference is in the style of communication. It’s much more effective to give suggestions than to pronounce opinions. (Note- although few would admit to it, this style often works better in the U.S., too!)

In the U.S., managers often listen to discussions of team members and say very little- allow the team members to come to a resolution themselves, and only facilitate discussion, resolve issues, or provide information as necessary. In Europe, managers are expected to be active participants, actively asking questions during the entire process. Otherwise they may appear to be uninterested or not knowledgeable.

Take Blame and Give Credit

In the 1930s, an American named Dale Carnegie wrote about the practice of taking blame for things that go wrong and giving credit for things that go right. Unfortunately, too few Americans seem to have taken his advice. But Europeans have! (Or maybe it was their practice all along and Mr. Carnegie happened to be the one to pass that along in the States. )

By admitting fault quickly and emphatically when you’ve made an error, you immediately take the antagonism out of a problem, and everyone’s focus turns more quickly to a solution rather than fault-finding.

Once when I was new at a company and putting together a web page, it was discovered that the search criteria didn’t work as expected. Although I wasn’t sure what was wrong with it, I admitted in an e-mail- “This is the first time I’ve done this, so I may have made an error on the page.” One of my colleagues immediately fired off an e-mail to everyone involved indicating that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my coding and there must be another problem. It was discovered that there was a problem with the search mechanism (not the page.) If I had not admitted fault (even incorrectly!) or had been defensive about my work, these people would still be wondering if there was something wrong with the code, coming from a “green” programmer as it were.

Passing along credit is even more effective than taking it for yourself. If a project goes well and you are congratulated, it is much more charming and effective to say “Thank you, but the administrative staff set it up beautifully” or “The programmers did all the work.” The administrative staff or the programmers will appreciate it, and the person congratulating you will think more rather than less of you for passing along credit.

Compliments

Another thing that Mr. Carnegie wrote about that seems more common in Europe than America is the practice of giving compliments.

In America, compliments are often seen as passe’ or condescending. Complimenting someone is seen as unnecessary. People refrain from pointing out things about differences in people’s dress, practices or cultures. Some men refrain from complimenting women colleagues in particular because they are trying to be “politically correct.”

Everyone likes to hear nice things about himself or herself, regardless of where they are in the world. But in Europe in particular, giving compliments is a perfectly acceptable and even expected mode of interaction. Compliments can be very simple- admiring someone’s taste in office furnishings (assuming you really DO like their office) or complimenting someone on their proficiency with the computer or complimenting their analysis of a situation. Many Europeans for whom English is a second language particularly like to be complimented on their grasp of English by Americans. (And often their English is better than ours! See notes on language.)

Being genuinely interested in other people, and expressing sincere compliments is a practice that is much more common in Europe but is effective in developing rapport with people anywhere.

Differences of Opinion

In the U.S., it is common practice at many companies to have spirited arguments in hallways and boardrooms. People that disagree with one another may use strong language or even raise their voices. In teams of people that have been working together for a long time, this is often seen as a healthy airing of opinions and no one takes the disagreement personally.

In Europe, however, differences of opinion are handled more decorously. If you disagree with someone, it is typically more effective to start with the points you agree on and work toward the differences.

“I agree that this advertising strategy will be expensive, and I understand your concerns that this year’s budget numbers will not support extravagance. However, I think that my idea may not cost as much as it might first appear.”

Handling differences of opinion in a more diplomatic fashion will be much more effective in Europe. And probably in the U.S., as well.

Meetings

Meetings in the U.S. are often brief, to the point, and may seem abrupt to people new to the company. There is often a focus on a particular problem or agenda item that people dive right into and attack from all sides. One company I worked for had fifteen minute meetings every morning to give status on the previous day’s results and the coming day’s planned activities. At exactly 8:30 someone would yell “Time!” and the meeting would adjourn- anything unsettled from the meeting was postponed to the following day’s meeting or assigned to someone to resolve immediately. It was a remarkably efficient use of time and everyone got immediately about their business without taking up too much of their day. It was also abrupt to the point where newcomers to the company considered it rude and even offensive, especially if they had something they felt warranted further discussion.. Efficient companies often schedule meetings before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 so as not to interfere with “work time.”

People in meetings in the U.S. often “multi-task”- answering cell phone calls and pages; or responding to e-mail on their digital devices or taking notes.

Meetings in Europe are generally more relaxed. Introductions are never neglected, and meetings often start with a joke or a “brain teaser” puzzle or activity to get everyone involved and thinking together. Meetings are seldom scheduled before 10:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m., in deference to people’s family or social activities.

Often, a significant amount of meeting time is used in setting up ground rules, determining the purpose and expected outcome of the meeting, and so forth, especially when there are people from several cultures involved.

People participating in meetings in Europe are expected to be involved in the conversation, not buried in their digital device or steno pad. They demonstrate interest and attentiveness to the person speaking with their body language and by asking relevant questions.

Dining

Dining in the United States is often a rushed activity. Meeting someone over breakfast or lunch is often informal and hurried. People eat and talk efficiently, and are done in an hour or less. Restaurants in the U.S. cater to this, and serve food quickly and do business by getting people in and out as efficiently as possible to make room for more customers. When entertaining a client, either you or the client may suggest the restaurant, people make selections from the menu for themselves (seldom asking advice, or giving it.)

In Europe, dining is a more relaxed event. When dining with Europeans in Europe, it’s best to take your host’s advice in the selection of food and wine at a restaurant they know well. (Food allergies or serious dislikes aside, of course!) One does not talk about business immediately. Let your host set the tone and the pace of the meal. Several courses and a significant amount of time may pass before business topics are brought up. Relax and enjoy, and of course, compliment the parts of the experience you enjoy. The rule of thumb is “do not discuss business before the wine and cheese.”

Conclusion

This was not intended to be a value-comparison of American vs. European ways of doing business, although naturally there are good and bad points to different ways of doing things. But by being aware of the differences, and making small adaptations to style, Americans can accomplish objectives much more effectively and forge some richly satisfying relationships with people and businesses in Europe.

Paula Williams is the host of Ravenwerks, a community for ethics, etiquette and effectiveness in our multicultural world.

www.ravenwerks.com


Article from articlesbase.com

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Is your business aligned with the EU VAT rules?

Financial benefits are critical in determining the country where a company needs to be set up. As the main goal of a business is to make profits, the incentives offered by a government makes it all the more attractive to set up business in a particular country. An adequate understanding of the list of European nations that comply with VAT can help save funds. The European Union’s 2010 VAT package simplifies VAT legislation, but adoption of rules by various member states varies, and in some countries the compliance requirements are more aggressive than anticipated. As companies assess the impact of the EU VAT package on their accounts and cash-flow, for most companies it is helpful to keep abreast of the ways various member states deal with the new legislation. A quick glance at several European countries tells us that it is helpful to understand and acknowledge how various countries are dealing with the new legislations.

The Netherlands, Finland and Belgium are among the countries that have not adopted the Use and Enjoyment Rules. (In the new EU VAT package, member states can prescribe Use and Enjoyment)

Austria, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Luxemburg are some of the countries that have adopted the Use and Enjoyment Rules for business to business transactions.

France has adopted the same for business to consumer transactions only.

Romania has introduced new versions of VAT returns.

Cyprus and France have set an aggressive EC Sales List for filing deadlines.

Switzerland requires a revised VAT declaration form from taxable persons registered for VAT.

Keeping your business aligned with the EU VAT rules is necessary as not all EU countries have the same regulations and interpretations. While there are sizable similarities between EU nations, there are also substantial differences that companies need to be aware of before they make any erroneous or risky moves. Although it is important for businesses to track how countries are adopting the legislation, understanding the tax regulations of each country in the region is cumbersome. Ignoring the tax compliance implications of EU Accession or leaving it up to local subsidiaries to address the problem may leave companies open to financial risk and can even put the company’s reputation at stake. Therefore partnering with an expert can help tremendously in understanding the complexities of the EU VAT rules. Professionals have the expertise to guide and ensure a trail blazing success in your international expansion.

Wriitng article is my hobby..


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Vision Shopsters: The Top 10 European Specialty Chemicals Companies: Changing business models, strategies and SWOTs

The specialty chemicals operations of major European players remained relatively resilient during the economic downturn compared to their other business lines. The 2005-09 period witnessed a considerable rise in consolidation activities among European companies. Some players are focused on backward integration of operations whilst others are aiming to offload non-core franchises. Consolidation is in part prompted by fluctuations in raw material prices and rising competitiveness in the global marketplace.
The report profiles major European players in the specialty chemicals segment and elucidates trends associated with these companies, and insights into the opportunities and threats facing them. This report provides detailed profiles of ten leading European specialty chemicals companies, and brief profiles of other major players. The detailed profiles contain descriptions of business, financial performance, growth strategies and SWOT analyses. Analysis is based on:

• Each company’s consolidated and segmental financial performance;
• Each company’s growth strategies and major acquisitions and divestments relating to the specialty chemicals market;
• Key partnerships and alliances formed by these companies;
• Business-related strengths and weaknesses of these companies.

Key features of this report

• Key drivers and resistors to growth of leading European specialty chemicals companies.
• Common industry characteristics in strategies and performance of European specialty chemicals companies.
• Analysis of financial performance and growth strategies of leading specialty chemicals companies during 2005–09.
• Overview of specialty chemicals product portfolios of leading companies.
• SWOT analysis of the leading European specialty chemicals companies.

Scope of this report

• Learn from the strategies of European specialty chemicals companies to target future growth markets effectively, avoid their mistakes, replicate their successes and learn of the threats they face.
• Benchmark your performance against the leading European specialty chemicals companies by understanding their strategies.
• Measure the resilience of specialty chemicals operations of European companies during the economic downturn.
• Compare performances of specialty and non-specialty chemicals operations of European companies in the global soft drink market arising from the change in consumers’ preferences and global recession.
• Save time, money and resources on analyzing the performance of leading specialty chemicals companies using this report.

Key Market Issues

• Raw material price fluctuations: Review of the 2005-09 period indicates that profits of specialty chemicals operations of leading European players are influenced by fluctuations in raw material prices. Rise in prices in early 2008 coupled with lack of backward integration squeezed margins of Ciba leading to its acquisition by BASF. Fall in prices during the economic downturn had considerable effects on operating margins of European players.
• Fall in demand during downturn: Fall in demand considerably suppressed operating income of European companies in 2009. However, prompt restructuring activities enabled several companies to maintain steady levels of operating margin.
• Relative resilience of specialty chemicals operations: Business Insights observes that the impact was less profound when compared to non-specialty chemicals. The contribution of specialty chemicals to the decline in consolidated revenues was relatively modest. Our in house developed Revenue Growth Index clearly differentiates the performance of specialty and non-specialty operations of European players.
• Consolidation: European players are focused on consolidating their position in the global specialty chemicals market through backward integration and shifting attention to core franchises. Ciba merged with BASF, sensing opportunities for backward integration. Lanxess divested its paper chemicals business, which was later acquired by Kemira.

Key findings from this report

• Business Insights forecasts that the global specialty chemicals market will grow at a CAGR of 2% during 2010–14 to reach a total value of approximately 9bn in 2014.
• The 15 leading European companies generated .9bn sales in 2009, accounting for 15.6% of the 8bn global specialty chemicals market.
• BASF was the largest European specialty chemicals company with bn sales in 2009. The acquisition of Ciba in 2008 propelled the company’s topline significantly.
• European specialty chemicals companies were not insulated from the fall in volume sales experienced by the global chemicals industry. The majority of these players were affected by the fall in industrial input costs as was observed in their selling prices.
• Business Insights’ Revenue growth index found that during the downturn, specialty chemicals businesses of European players performed better than their non-specialty operations.

Key questions answered

• What was the market size of the global specialty chemicals industry by value in 2009?
• What will be the market size of the global specialty chemicals industry during 2010-14?
• What are the key trends observed in the European specialty chemicals companies and strategic responses that are taking shape?
• Who are the major European players in the global specialty chemicals market?
• What are the growth strategies of the leading 10 companies?

To know more about this report & to buy a copy please visit :
http://www.visionshopsters.com/product/3825/The-Top-10-European-Specialty-Chemicals-Companies-Changing-business-models-strategies-and-SWOTs.html

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