political environment in international marketing

The critical concern

Political environment has a very important impact on every business operation no matter what its size, its area of operation. Whether the company is domestic, national, international, large or small political factors of the country it is located in will have an impact on it. And the most crucial & unavoidable realities of international business are that both host and home governments are integral partners. Reflected in its policies and attitudes toward business are a governments idea of how best to promote the national interest, considering its own resources and political philosophy. A government control\'s and restricts a company\'s activities by encouraging and offering support or by discouraging and banning or restricting its activities depending on the government.
Here steps in international law. International law recognizes the right of nations to grant or withhold permission to do business within its political boundaries and control its citizens when it comes to conducting business. Thus, political environment of countries is a critical concern for the international marketer and he should examine the salient features of political features of global markets they plan to enter.


From the international laws point of view a sovereign state is independent and free from external control; enjoys full legal equality; governs its own territory; selects its own political, social, economic systems; and has the power to enter into agreements with other nations. It is extension of national laws beyond a country\'s borders that much of the conflict in international business arises. Nations can and do abridge specific aspects of their sovereign rights in order to coexist with other countries. Like the European Union, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are examples of nations voluntarily agreeing to give up some of their sovereign rights in order to participate with member nations for common, mutually beneficial goals.

For example the "pajama game" discussed in global perspective is not unusual for multinational corporations. The pajama caper was a controversy arose over a US embargo forbidding US businesses to trade with Cuba. Wal-Mart was selling Cuban made pajamas in Canadian market. When Wal-Mart officials in US came to know about this, they ordered all offending Cuban pajama\'s as it was against US law. Canada was incensed with the obtrusion of US law on Canadian citizens. The Canadian citizen\'s felt that they should be able to buy Cuban-made pajama\'s if they wanted to. Wal-Mart was caught between a Canada-US foreign policy feud. Wal-Mart Canada was breaking US law if it continued to sell pajamas, and was subject to a million-dollar fine and possible imprisonment. However, if it did pull out pajamas from Canadian market it was subject to 1.2 million dollar fine under Canadian law.

The ideal political climate for a multinational firm is stable, friendly environment. Unfortunately, that is never really the case, it\'s not always friendly and stable. Since foreign businesses are judged by standards as variable as there are nations, the friendliness and stability of the government in each country must be assessed as an ongoing business practice.


The most important of the political conditions that concern an international business is the stability or instability of the prevailing government policies. Political parties may change or get reelected but the main concern for MNCs is the continuity of the set rules or code of behavior regardless of the party in power. A change in the government does not always mean change in the level of political risks. In Italy the political parties have changed 50 times since the end of World War II but the business continues to go on as usual inspite of the political turmoil. In comparison is India, where the government has changed 51 times since 1945 but however much of the government policies remain hostile to foreign investments.
Conversely, radical changes in policies toward foreign business can occur in the most stable of the governments. Some of the African countries are among the unstable with seemingly unending civil wars, boundary disputes and oppressive military regimes.
Like one of the region with the greatest number of questions concerning long-term stability is Hong Kong as since China has gained control, the official message is that nothing will change and thus everything is seemingly going smoothly but the