International Economics facilitates strategy discussions by providing technical and business technology insights, developing dashboards of key performance measurements, and giving advice to executive boards through effective communication and presentation of their strategic thinking. International Economics‘ team has developed a strategic framework built on comprehensive, reliable and up to date big data optimisation systems and leverages in-house international expertise in all areas of business internationalisation.

A strong and fast-responding private sector is necessary to ensure a country’s economic success. However, to achieve this, Governments need to put in place the right measures and tools to ensure the private sector flourishes in the international arena. International Economics‘ team brings more than 75 years of combined experienced in supporting national governments to establish and implement the necessary policies and regulations to ensure that not only can companies compete abroad, but also succeed in international markets.

Learn what we do and how we help companies in international trade

What we do

Identification and prioritisation of markets. Using large big data platforms, we have built systems to select countries providing the biggest potential for services and products by analysing factors such as:

  • Demand analysis and trends;
  • Tariff preferences;
  • Non-tariff measures;
  • Trade agreements in place;
  • Trade and logistics corridors;
  • Outlook and forecasts;
  • Computation of risk factors and trade-offs, etc.

Market Requirements. Once we have identified the most attractive markets, we explore in detail what the country’s rules are for the importation of the selected goods, such as Conformity Assessments and Standards, Customs Compliance, and Rules of Origin.

Market Entry Strategy. Once we have identified the most attractive markets, we carry out an in-depth analysis of the sector’s structure, importer, distribution and retail network, identify the country’s internal demand, price structure, competitors, and propose a marketing strategy.

Mapping the opportunities for e-commerce. We work with leading international organisations on identifying the strengths of online trading platforms, identifying gaps and strengths in the legal framework, payment systems, infrastructure, packaging and standards gaps, logistics and trade facilitation framework to take advantage of online tools for sales. We offer a full diagnostic of the e-commerce sector, mapping out the enterprises’ strengths as well as the institutional eco-system enabling it.

Developing a proof of sales concept. We provide enterprises with hands on guidance and advice on the design of the platform, security considerations, driving relevant traffic, strategy for converting visits to sales, developing a story for customer identification to the product, preparing a business plan, including financial forecasting and sensitivity analysis, etc.

Know-Your-Customer and focus on quality. We propose to our clients novel ways of providing customised services, tracking the feedback and experience of customers in their purchasing patterns and propose strategies for eliminating high churn rates.

Extend customer loyalty and retention. We propose to our clients novel ways to engage and interact with buyers, and extend the scope and benefits of loyalty programmes. Moreover, we help businesses focus on customer retention by simplifying the experience of online shopping for returning customers, and making it quicker and cheaper to do so.

Building a Strategy Map. We focus on the execution of the new market entry strategies, working with C-level suites and operations level staff to shape the key performance indicators and strategy map.

Detailed financial forecasting, resource planning and risk management. We monetise, carry out sensitivity analysis and prepare a detailed resource scheduling, as well as prepare standard performance dashboards to track the implementation process and financial ratio performance. We also work on a corporate leadership and change management strategy, where necessary. Finally, we develop the analytics, risk matrices and use our own cognitive computing insights to update these on an on-going basis.

Mapping of sourcing opportunities. The proliferation of trade agreements between countries has created immense opportunities but also lead to numerous challenges in the area of supply chain management, with countries, initially “out of the map”, becoming competitive due to the reduction or elimination of tariff barriers, improvements in customs efficiency, increased integration on transport networks, and lower transport costs.

Optimising the supply chain. Our focus is on price and opportunity, quality and varieties, as well as increasing reliability, or employing risk mitigation strategies. In this context, we analyse your existing supply chain, carry out trade-off analysis by identifying and structuring the company’s global production network and envisioning creative, manageable alternative sourcing capabilities, within a complex multi-country, multi-sector resource, costs and provisioning structure. We model the uncertainties using probability distribution functions, throughout the production life cycle. Our methodology employs systems dynamic thinking, combined with trade-off analysis using the INCOSE Decision Management Process using both deterministic and probabilistic techniques (as employed in complex systems engineering projects by NASA and MIT, amongst others).

International procurement and outsourcing strategy. We help you to carry out due diligence assessments of suppliers, and work through the trade-offs before defining the company’s strategy for transforming the firm’s supply chain into a leaner, more efficient network.

Building resilience and growth. We can help you introduce real-time and historical event data on disruptions to your supply chain (using weather data, political events, policy uncertainty risks, etc.).

Growth and development focus. Across the world, trade has been a source of development and a driving force for economic growth and, in turn, proven instrumental for poverty reduction. Nevertheless, trade liberalisation can cause inequality if not carefully considered and, thus, sequencing, complementarity to other development objectives and adaptation measures must be considered to ensure that the liberalised sectors/technologies can take advantage of the potential that trade presents.

Concerns for better and informed policymaking issues, such as increased regulatory effectiveness and efficiency, on the one hand, and the growing acceptance of sustainable development as an overarching guiding principle for policymaking, on the other hand, have boosted the use of Regulatory and Sustainable Impact Assessments to evaluate the impacts of cross-sectoral policies on the economy, in general, and on the country’s efforts in the development arena, in particular.

Quantitative analysis. Our approach towards Impact Assessments is based on both quantitative and qualitative descriptive analytical methods. The quantitative method relies on building economic indicators to analyse the trade flows between countries inside and outside membership of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and to identify patterns, trends and trade complementarity in value chains of goods and services between member countries. We build economic models to simulate the expected outcome of trade agreements over forecasted time horizons to predict the impacts into the future. Quantitative analysis provides guidance on the magnitudes and direction of impacts on different sectors of an economy, its society, economic geography and the environment.

Qualitative analysis. Qualitative methods, such as stakeholder consultations and multi-criteria analysis, are particularly important as these draw on a diversity of stakeholder knowledge input, particularly from societal and sector impacts, drawing up value chain analysis and understanding on non-quantifiable market effects. Sustainable Impact Assessments (SIAs) enable parties and coalitions to participate in an informed debate and refine the quantitative analysis with more realistic assumptions and scenarios.

Questions answered in our evaluations. Some of the many questions that domestic governments and international donors face during the implementation and finalization of their technical assistance projects include: Has the project met the expected outputs? Did it have the expected impact? Was it implemented in a sustainable manner? What have been the pathways for achieving development? Will its effects last over time, i.e. be sustainable? What are the lessons learnt?

Cutting edge methodologies. Our team has experience in implementing Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) projects all over the world and for a wide range of clients. In particular, our hands-on approach consists of working closely with the project’s implementing and funding agencies. Some of the core activities in implementing such projects involve:

• Revision of evaluation questions and the development of an evaluation matrix;
• Field visits and data collection;
• Face-to-face and online interviews; and
• Analysis of the data collected (value for money analysis, heatmap of expenditures, returns on investment).

Institutional learning. The lessons learnt and feedback mechanism we implement in our monitoring and evaluation processes support institutional strengthening and re-alignment of resources to ensure the sustainability and maximum impact of projects. The evaluation exercise revises the monitoring indicators of institutions and makes suggestions for reinforcing these, improving the communication of results and ensuring adaptation of projects in line with outcomes.

Streamlining resources. Despite the considerable progress made over the last couple of years, many developing countries lack the resources and expertise to participate effectively in bilateral, regional and multilateral negotiations and the wider decision-making process.
Bridging capacity weaknesses. We focus on bridging the gaps which exist in many countries with respect to:
• Creating an effective coordination between ministries and government agencies;
• Supporting a structured, institutionalised, dialogue with domestic stakeholders;
• Strengthening the communication between the countries’ delegations and their capitals;
• Improving the analytical capacity of the technical committees and working groups in preparation for negotiation rounds;
• Providing technical advice and trainings in sustainable impact assessments; and
• Advising on coalition building for multilateral negotiations.

Build scenarios and positions. The lack of resources and capacity has led to a situation where developing countries are sometimes deprived of a clear picture of their offensive and defensive interests in specific negotiations. We help clarify the baseline, best alternative to no agreement, and zone of possible agreement by studying the interest of negotiating partners.

Reaching effective outcomes. In this context, we have worked with government in East Asia and Africa to empower delegations and negotiators to participate effectively in trade negotiations and deliberations, whilst ensuring that their country’s interests and position is present at the outcome of the negotiations.

Growth and development through trade. While trade and private sector development is recognised to be a key driver for employment creation and poverty reduction, it needs to be sequenced and managed carefully. The holistic and cross-cutting nature of trade is such that it requires a modern, inclusive and integrated framework to deliver the long-term dividends for economies.

Designing effective programmes in complex environments. Our specific approach is based on mapping out existing strategies and policies in sector and cross-sector fields, followed by an analytical diagnostic study of the current performance and challenges to the system. We also project this into the future using scenario analysis to evaluate trade-offs of policy options (including sequencing, phasing in, and safeguards). We consult extensively in the design phase to refine the diagnostic analysis and gain insights into challenges. We identify ways of streamlining the regulatory framework, as in many instances policies and laws legislate on instruments within other policies, leading to unclear responsibilities, duplication or to the adoption of conflicting and contradictory measures. We also consider the role of Global Value Chains (GVCs), which have become a dominant feature of world trade, encompassing developing, emerging, and developed economies. The growing fragmentation of production across borders highlights the need for countries to have an open, predictable and transparent trade and investment regime as tariffs, non-tariff barriers and other restrictive measures impact not only foreign suppliers, but also domestic producers. In summary, we ensure that the use of industrial, investment, trade or other private sector policy instruments boost a country’s competitiveness.

Implementation modalities and strategy. Well-designed trade policies are critical, but just as essential is the need for effective implementation. A successful policy depends on the fluid collaboration between the public and the private sector, promoting dialogue and exchanges of information between them. It also requires a monitoring and evaluation framework and results measurement system, which we build using sophisticated real time dashboards using APIs, and reporting systems to ensure that action is taken whenever results fall outside an acceptable limit.

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