Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Strategies For Competing In The New Era Of Globalization

Competition for business in any sector is usually indirectly proportional to the quantity and quality of trade barriers present. In unparallelled fashion, when trade barriers tumble, competition for markets show marked increases in intensity, duration and strategy. Small states who no longer have the protection of subsidies or trade preferences. are consequently at severe risk of becoming welfare states as they lose market share and jobs hopscotch to India and China.

For the past 40 years we should have been using the calculus, statistics and the competitive advantage of each island to devise a strategy for integration. West Indian cricket has been prophesying to us, for what 70 years and we still did not understand or heed the message. Let me make the prophesy clear now. Small Caribbean states with average or below competitive advantages in agriculture, land topography, geographical location, education, human resources, population size, economics, natural resources, marketing and technology, cannot compete effectively in todays global economy by themselves- they must integrate or utilize the strategies listed below, and even now it will be difficult because they delayed and lost tremendous time advantage, become welfare states and thus lose their sovereignty and true independence, or perish. It is difficult indeed to manage human emotions and choices which is why referendums combined with education, should be used in guiding a population to choose an option which may seem restrictive but is the only practical path to survival.

I think we need a new major in the business school curriculum at the local schools and universities, to focus on the challenges of globalization because the adjacent obstacles which it brings are among the greatest that we face today.

This is a suggested title for such a course: Competing in The Global Economy; Strategies and
Techniques. Here is how such a course might be broken down.

1.Vertically integrating the production and marketing channel of production companies.
2.Retail market ownership, domination and positioning.
3.The role of Patriotism
4.Pioneering, patenting and trademarking business strategies with models if possible
5.The best marketing system- not necessarily the best product, wins the majority of the time.
6.Strategies for using the World Trade Organization to break market domination.
7.The power of geographical alliances.
8.Securing stock options / part ownership in business arrangements with any international conglomerates.

There are numerous examples like Cemex of Mexico and others who have integrated production, marketing and retailing and thus dominate a world-wide niche and so have an unchallengeable dominance. Locally, Seprod has shown that it can be done and the Jamaica producers Group’s juice company in England was an important second step in retail market positioning. Overseas retail market ownership, however, should be the primary goal of any local business who wants to assume a dominant position.

Business schools in the Caribbean should be fervently studying and developing courses for immediate implementation for this, and researching this topic because there is no other way for Caribbean countries to compete with Archer Daniels Midland (adm,nyse or Bunge bg,nyse or other strong international agribusiness conglomerates.

About the author

John Anthony