English for Export Management

Course Map

The Job of an Export Operations Specialist

“The secret of success is to do the common things uncommonly well”

John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil (1839-1937)

Export Operations Specialist: Job Interview Questions

  1. Do you work or are you a student? Can you tell me a bit about your work or studies?
  2. What languages do you speak fluently? Are you learning any foreign language now?
  3. What opportunities are there for working abroad?
  4. What is it about your profession / job you enjoy?
  5. Are there any aspects of your job you are not keen on?
  6. What qualifications do you need to do this job?
  7. What skills are important to achieve success in your work? What new skills are you learning at the moment that will help you get to the top 10% of your field?
  8. How would you define success in your career? What would make you leave this job?
  9. Do you feel comfortable working with people from other cultures? How can you adapt to overseas work culture?
  10. Do you do paperwork? What qualities are necessary to work with export documentation?
  11. What is it about your work that you find very difficult to do now? Why?
  12. Are you good at Maths? Do you think you need good Maths skills in your work? Why? Why not?
  13. Have you got any experience in sales? What are the habits and techniques of successful salespeople?
  14. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges in facilitating export of goods and services?
  15. What are your career goals? Describe the work environment that would make you most productive and happy with your work.

International Trade & Export Business

“If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen”

Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany from 1968 to 1974
Key words: global economy, cross-border trade, domestic trade, balance of trade, gross domestic product, assets, resources, capital, foreign direct investment (FDI), foreign currency, international marketing, export, import, buyer’s country, seller’s country, purchase, sale, goods, services, end customers, merchants, commerce, logistics, retailer, wholesaler, distributor, global supply chain, international marketplace, saturated domestic market, competition

Listen to an expert in international trade, Mr Kovalski, and answer the questions:

Listen to the second part of the interview and answer the questions:

Top 10 countries by GDP, 2023

As of May 2023, World GDP is 95.28 $US trillion.

1. US23.3 $trillion6. UK3.1 $trillion
2. China17.7 $trillion7. France3 $trillion
3. Japan4.9 $trillion8. Italy2.1 $trillion
4. Germany4.3 $trillion9. Canada2 $trillion
5. India3.2 $trillion10. South Korea1.8 $trillion
Source: www.wisevoter.com

Listen to the third part of the interview and answer the questions:

Exporting: Conversation Questions

  1. What is Trade? What is Business? How is trade different from business? Is export more about trade or business?
  2. What is export / exporting country? How is it different from import / importing country?
  3. What are the benefits and opportunities of exporting? Are there any disadvantages?
  4. What is more diversified, export flows or import flows? Why?
  5. What is a country’s Balance of Trade and why does it matter?
  6. How does an inflow of foreign direct investment affect the country’s capabilities to export?

6. What characteristics of a successful business can you think of? Will these characteristics be different for a successful export-oriented business?

7. Can SMEs (small and medium size businesses) become global? What makes a company global?

The Role of English in Export Business

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world”

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher
Key words: world language, international language, global language, a lingua franca, language of cross-cultural communication, common language, communication tool, a means of communication, domination of English, promotion of English abroad, English-speaking countries, international communication, global presence, English for specific purposes, functions of the language, first language, second language, foreign language, non-native, official language, working language, market language, varieties of English, the language of administration, spread worldwide

International Economic and Trade Organizations and their official or working languages:

(WTO) The World Trade OrganizationEnglish, French, Spanish
(APEC) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation English
(EFTA) European Free Trade AssociationEnglish
(ICC) International Chamber of CommerceEnglish, French
(ASEAN) Association of South-East Asian NationsEnglish
(OPEC) Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesEnglish
(OECD) Organization of Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentEnglish, French
(SAARC) South Asian Association for Regional CooperationEnglish
(WCO) World Customs OrganizationEnglish, French
(ECO) Economic Cooperation OrganizationEnglish
(UNESCAP) United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the PacificEnglish, Chinese, French, Russian
(UNCTAD) United Nations Conference on Trade and DevelopmentEnglish, French
(UEMOA) West African Economic and Monetary UnionEnglish, French, Portuguese, Spanish
(COMESA) Common Market for Eastern and Southern AfricaEnglish, French, Spanish
(EAEU) Eurasian Economic UnionRussian
(SCO) Shanghai Cooperation OrganizationChinese, Russian
(GCC) Gulf Cooperation CouncilArabic

English and International Trade: Listening

The Effects of English Language Skills On Export Business: Conversation Questions

  1. Why are English language skills useful for export business?
  2. How does English correlate with a better export geography?
  3. What makes English a market language?
  4. What effect might the staff’s poor English language skills have on the growth and success of an export business?

Global Mindset and Export

*Mindset – a person’s way of thinking; a set of beliefs, thoughts, opinions

Key words: geopolitical changes, globalization, economic integration, global village, free trade, protectionism, barriers to trade, taxes, subsidies, quotas, licences, regulations, export / overseas market, domestic producer, exporter, local vs global, globe-trotting lifestyle, globally-structured supply chain

“More precisely, the global would be like the queen in the game of chess, whereas the local would be like the king. The global/queen is capable of great movements across the board, whilst the local/king can only move one square at a time. Otherwise, both the global and the local ought to be envisioned as chess pieces engaging each other in a common open space”.

“What is Global and What is Local? A Theoretical Discussion Around Globalization”
Jean-Sébastien Guy, PhD

Globalization and Protectionism: Conversation Questions

  1. What is economic globalization? Is it a new phenomenon?
  2. How does globalization affect exports? In what way does an exporter benefit from globalization?

3. What is protectionism? What are barriers to trade? Give definitions to taxes, subsidies, quotas, licences, regulations.

4. What are the effects of trade protectionism?

5. What is import substitution? Is it always good for the economy of the country?

Local and Global Mindset



ethnic and
cultural diversity
Languagelocal languagelocal language
lingua franca
Trade policydomestic,
juxtaposition of
protectionism and
free trade

overlapping, shared
functions and powers
egalitarian style,
adaptive, cohesive
Social integrationphysically co-presentseparated in time
and / or space

Developing a Global Mindset: Conversation Questions

  1. How do you understand the term ‘mindset’? How is action or non-action correlated with this term?
  2. What does ‘go global’ mean to you? What is a globe-trotting lifestyle? Give examples.
  3. What is a global mindset? How does it influence individual qualities, language and communication skills, business savvy and know-how?
  4. Is it possible to develop a global mindset? How?
  5. Is it possible to say, where the local ends and the global begins? Why? Why not?
  6. Should businesses be export-oriented right from the start?
  7. How can export business managers get psychologically prepared to the geographical and cultural distance when working in a global business environment?

Cross-Cultural Business Communication

Key words: choosing an export market, CQ (cultural intelligence), national culture, cultural diversity, cultural background, cultural and language differences, adapt to cultural norms and requirements, cross-cultural communication, cultural awareness, (mis)interpretation, misconception, preconceptions, be customary, assumption of similarity, stereotypes, non-verbal communication, reduce conflicts, promote harmony, abide by the customs, communicate effectively, respect other people’s way of life, adapt and function effectively in different cultural settings

A famous Chinese proverb says:

入乡随俗 (Rù xiāng suí sú)

入 – (Rù) enter, 乡 – (xiāng) township, village, countryside, 随 – (suí) with / comply with, 俗 – (sú) custom

When entering a village, comply with their customs. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

*Rooster of Barcelos is a national symbol of Portugal

A famous Portuguese proverb suggests that to go to a new place you should be ready for change and adapt to it.

Um passo à frente e você não está mais no mesmo lugar.

A step forward and you’re not in the same place anymore.

How to Say Hello in Different Languages

Understanding Cultural Differences in Export Markets

Culture unites the society and makes it unique. When a company is considering gaining a foothold in a foreign market, it must learn how to deal with the culture of that particular market.

The very word “culture” is derived from Latin colere, meaning ‘to inhabit, live in (place), promote growth, protect, cultivate, tend, foster, maintain’. In modern English, culture generally means the way of life, beliefs, customs, values, behavior of a particular group of people.

Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social psychologist, defined culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from those of another” (1991). For exporting companies, this “programming of the mind” means facing multiple issues arising from cultural differences.

Determinants of Culture

  1. Explain how each component reveals the concept of culture. Give examples.
  2. Does culture matter for development of the society? How?
  3. What aspects of culture do you consider the most important for international communication? For entering a foreign market? Why?
  4. By using the determinants of culture, analyse the culture of your country and the culture of your importing country. In which aspects do you have the biggest gaps between the two countries?

Intercultural Understanding and Cultural Iceberg Model

“People of different cultures don’t only speak different languages, but what is possibly more important inhabit different sensory worlds.”

Edward Hall

In 1979, cross-cultural researcher and anthropologist Edward T. Hall (1914-2009) developed his cultural iceberg model, which illustrates two parts of culture – an explicit, or conscious one, which is the tip of the iceberg and can be seen or observed, and an implicit, or subconscious one, which consists of values and thought patterns, that form the foundation of the behaviour of a certain cultural group, and lies below the surface and can only be subconsciously observed.

Explicit and Implicit Cultural Components: Conversation Questions

  • What are the key cultural values and deep-rooted thought patterns underlying the behaviour of the people living in your buyer’s country? How can you describe their lifestyle?
  • What are the preconceptions or stereotypes about this culture?
  • Which of the following components of this national culture can be recognized easily and which of them can be recognized only if you are very familiar with it?
  • What are business customs and practices in your buyer’s country?

Hofstede’s 6-D Culture Model Theory

Gerard Hendrik Hofstede (1928-2020) was a Dutch social psychologist who came up with a 6-D model of analysing national cultures. Each dimension can be measured on a scale from 0 to 100.

Individualism / Collectivism (society as a whole vs independence of individuals):

1. Are people in your country / company motivated by their personal goals or society’s goals?
2. What does it mean to be an individual? Is it about freedom of making your own choices in life and pursuing your own wishes?
3. Is it ok for people in your country / company to be different or do they like to conform to others?
4. Is individualism anti-social?
5. Is it ok to be ambitious and boast about your achievements?
6. Do people tend to build business relations for life?
7. Do people tend to use “we” instead of “I”?
8. Do you agree that collectivism encourages and supports uniqueness in people?
9. Is it possible to reconcile personal and social interests?
10. Do you thinks that a collectivist society means the same as a social collective?

What do you think is the cultural context of the following proverbs or sayings? What is the message of each proverb? Which proverb(s) do you agree with?

Power Distance (high and low ranks in society, level of acceptance of hierarchy and power):

1. What is power? What are the good sides of power? Does power have a dark side?
2. In your country or company, do people in power tend to be more informal in communication?
3. Can you say that in your country titles, ranks and attributes of power (cars, watches, jewellery) are important?
4. In meetings, do all members freely express their opinions? Does each opinion matter?

5. What makes it hard to reach people in power? Does society need hierarchy and ranks?
6. In your country, is it ok to express disagreement with your managers? Is the boss always right?
7. Is seniority (being older or in higher position) highly respected in your country / company?
8. How big should the distance be between a power holder and a subordinate?
9. Should people in power have any special conditions for life and work?

Motto on the Fijian Coat of Arms:

Rerevaka na Kalou ka doka na Tui

“Fear God and honour the Queen/King”

What do you think is the cultural context of the following proverbs or sayings? What is the message of each proverb? Which proverb(s) do you agree with?

Feminity v Masculinity (emotionally closer genders vs distinct gender roles):

1. Do you think that all countries should have loose or relative gender roles (equal pay, equal
positions in power, in choice of profession, clothes, lifestyle, etc.)?
2. What is the ratio of men and women in power in your country / company?
3. According to your national traditions, which public roles in life and responsibilities
at home do women and men have?
4. Do you think that in your country social gender roles overlap? Give examples.
5. Would you like to live in a feminine culture (like Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands)? Why do you think they are considered to be feminine?

6. According to the World Bank, about 2.4 billion women globally don’t have the same economic rights as men (mobility, pay, work, assets, entrepreneurship, marriage, etc). How can you describe the situation in your country or community?
7. What behavioral style and character traits are expected of men and women in your community?
8. Would you like to live in a masculine culture (like Japan, China, US)? Why do you think they are considered to be masculine?
9. Which country / countries would you name as having the most gender equality?

What do you think is the cultural context of the following proverbs or sayings? What is the message of each proverb? Which proverb(s) do you agree with?

Uncertainty Avoidance (society’s tolerance for unpredictability, uncertainty)

1. How long do people in your country / company stay with one employer?
2. Do people in your country / company prefer acting according to the established rules? How often are these rules reconsidered?
3. In your opinion, is change always for the better? Why do people resist change?
4. Would you like to change anything about your life now?
5. Is there any use in setting goals if life is so unpredictable?

6. Do people in your company / country welcome new ideas and immediately implement them in real life?
7. What is the difference between change and innovation?
8. Has your country / company changed a lot over the last five or ten years? How?
9. In your opinion, do people benefit from volatility, change, uncertainty? Why? Why not?
10. How can one be prepared for black swans? Is it possible to embrace the unknown?

What do you think is the cultural context of the following proverbs or sayings? What is the message of each proverb? Which proverb(s) do you agree with?

Long-Term Orientation vs Short-Term Orientation (society’s focus on the past or readiness for future):

1. Is your culture past-oriented? Do people honor the past?
2. In your country, is tradition a source of great wisdom and is management tied to the past models?
3. Do people try to “save” face in society and “hide” their mistakes, inabilities, ignorance?
4. Are people risk-averse and tend to stay in comfort zone?
5. Does history define future? Is your future fated by your past?

6. Is your culture oriented towards the present or the future?
7. Do people work “toward the dream” without looking back?
8. Do people know how to set goals? Are they good at brainstorming, planning, creative thinking?
9. Do people in your country tend to make investments?
10. Is human potential fostered for the future?

What do you think is the cultural context of the following proverbs or sayings? What is the message of each proverb? Which proverb(s) do you agree with?

Indulgence vs Restraint (freedom to enjoy life vs pessimism and control over one’s desires):

1. Generally, are people in your country / company happy and content with life?
2. Do people in your country / company often smile and look relaxed?
3. Do people have a feeling that they control their life? Do they fulfill their desires?
4. Do people in your country / company have enough rest and leisure?

5. Generally, do people in your country pay more attention to duty than to their own needs?
6. Do people suppress their desires and withhold pleasures?
7. Do people strictly follow the prescribed moral discipline?
8. Is leisure of low importance? Do people know how to spend their free time?

What do you think is the cultural context of the following proverbs or sayings? What is the message of each proverb? Which proverb(s) do you agree with?

Corporate Social Responsibility

Key words:
CSR, business ethics, management concept, four principles of CSR, responsible business, accountability, commitment, planning and scheduling, disruption management, recovery, strategic initiative, adaptive strategy, environmental health, economic vitality, social policy, tools and practices, social impact, future generations, community well-being, sustainability.

Archie B. Carrol’s Pyramid of CSR

“Corporate social responsibility encompasses the economic, legal, ethical and discretionary (philanthropic) expectations that society has of organizations at a given point in time”

(Carrol, 1979)

Modern concept of corporate social responsibility has its roots in the work of Archie Carrol, Professor of Management at the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia. He created a graphic depiction of the four categories which constitute the concept of CSR and characterize the nature of businesses’ responsibility to the society where it operates. Read More

Corporate Social Responsibility: Listening

Listen to a radio podcast on CSR. Answer the questions below:

  • What is CSR? When and where did the CSR doctrine appear?
  • What are valued social goals?
  • Why is self-interest in conflict with social interest? Give examples.
  • Do you agree that the ultimate goal of business is to make profit? Why? Why not?
  • In your opinion, to what extent should businesses be responsible for the well-being of the society?

Sustainability: Preparing for Global Megatrends

*Sustainability is the ability to maintain and support a process or operation over time without negatively impacting the society and the environment.

Key words: sustainable development, ethics, well-being of future generations, evaluation of economic effects, national and global implications, integration of economic, environmental and social actions, burden upon the environment, resource use, overproduction, over-consumption, wasteful behavior, careful attention to long-term viability, feasibility, green economy, renewable energy resources (RES), governmental initiatives, preserve ecosystems, transform industrial processes


More than half (57%) of the world population now lives in urban areas. More than 5 billion people will live in towns and cities by 2030. Urbanization will mainly unfold in Africa and Asia leading to huge transformation in resources and economic development (Source: UNFPA).

Urbanization: Conversation Questions

  1. What is a city or town? How and why did first cities in early civilizations appear?
  2. In your opinion, what is the future of cities?
  3. What is urbanization? What are the reasons for people to relocate from the country to cities?
  4. What are the fastest growing urbanization centers in the modern world? Why do they continue to grow?
  5. Is urbanization a problem? Why? Why not? Can urbanization be sustainable?
  6. How does urbanization affect global economy and international trade?

Population Growth

According to UNCTAD:

  • over the last 25 years, the world population has increased by 2.5 billion people mainly in developing countries (in Asia and Oceania + 2.1 billion, in Africa + 0.7 billion people);
  • in the next 25 years the population in the world is projected to increase by 1.6 billion, with Africa taking the lead (+0.9 billion people).

Population Growth Rate: Conversation Questions

  1. Is the world overpopulated today? What are future population projections?
  2. What is over-production and over-consumption? What natural resources, raw materials and goods are wasted or thrown away in big amounts? Give examples.
  3. What resources are needed for food production? Do we have enough resources to feed the world?
  4. What are the consequences of overpopulation? Do we need to implement any overpopulation solutions? Which ones?
  5. What is the impact of overpopulation on trade flows?

Aging Population

According to UNFPA:

  • As of 2023, people over 60 make up 12.3% of the world population; this number is forecast to increase to 22% by 2050;
  • More and more families will require support for caregiving, age-friendly environment and social protection for the elderly (preventing discrimination, abuse and violence against older people, ensuring their health, safety and independence, and providing a source of income).

Aging Population: Conversation Questions

  1. What is longevity? What is an average life expectancy today?
  2. What are the social and economic challenges associated with aging population? Is population aging a global or local issue?
  3. If we continue to increase the age of retirement, will it solve the problem of providing resources and adequate support for older people?
  4. How can countries manage aging populations better?
  5. How can businesses be prepared for aging population?


*a migrant is any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from their place of habitual residence regardless of their legal status, causes of this movement and the length of their stay

According to IOM (International Migration Organization):

  • As of June 2019, the number of international migrants was estimated at 272 million (3.5% of the world population), with 2/3 being labour migrants;
  • 2022 saw the highest displacement figures (32.6 million) in a decade due to disasters;
  • In 2023, 28.3 million people have been recorded displaced due to conflicts and wars.

Migration: Conversation Questions

  1. What is migration? What is the difference between emigration and immigration?
  2. Why do people migrate?
  3. What problems do migrants face?
  4. Where in the world are migration flows concentrated? Why? Are they stable and predictable?
  5. If countries open borders for immigrants, do they increase their international trade? Why does immigration stimulate trade?

Poverty and Inequality

*poverty is manifested through hunger and malnutrition, limited access to basic services, including water and sanitation, health, education, social discrimination and exclusion, low income and resources;

OHCHR and World Bank report:

  • In 2015, 10% of the world population (over 736 million) were living in extreme poverty, below the international poverty line;
  • In September 2022, the World Bank identified $2.15 per person per day as the international extreme poverty line, which replaced $1.90 poverty line;
  • From 1990 to 2017, global poverty reduced from 36% to 9% due to an increase in global trade;

Poverty, Inequality: Conversation Questions

  1. What is poverty? By global standards, when is a person considered to be poor?
  2. Which countries are the poorest? Why?
  3. Can poverty and income inequality be reduced? Can export make poor countries rich?
  4. Does globalization make the poor even poorer? Or do poor countries benefit from it?

Global Warming and GHG Emissions

An increasing level of man-made carbon emissions is said to cause

  • global warming, depletion of ozone layer, UV (ultraviolet) radiation, melting of polar ice caps due to a built-up of CO2 in the atmosphere;
  • changing of climate and seasons (heatwaves, floods, droughts, hurricanes, sudden change of weather patterns, intensification of extreme weather conditions) due to rising average temperatures;
  • migration and relocation of people and animals due to altering habitats, rising sea levels;
  • polluted environment, e.g. air pollution, smog, biodiversity loss, deforestation, acid rain, ocean acidification, which may cause respiratory, infectious and cardio-vascular diseases;
  • food shortages, malnutrition and drastic hunger levels due to decreased arable land and reduced crop yields;
  • socio-economic disasters, social upheaval

Total green house gas emissions by economic sector (USA, 2021):

transportation (28%): burning fossil fuels for cars, ships, trains, planes;

electric power (25%): burning fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) for electricity and heat;

industry (23%): fossil fuels burned at facilities for energy;

commercial and residential (13%): burning fossil fuels for heat, lighting, cooling and refrigeration;

agriculture (10%): GHG emissions come from cultivation of crops, livestock and agricultural soils. (Source: www.epa.gov)

CO2 Emissions (in tonne) from fossil fuels and industry by country

Countryin 2000in 2021
China3.64 bt11.47 bt
India978.10 mt2. 71 bt
Russia1.48 bt1.76 bt
Germany899.35 mt674.75 mt
Brazil340.18 mt499.88 mt
UK569.03 mt346.77 mt
France406.83 mt305.96 mt
Source: www.ourworldindata.org

Global Warming: Conversation Questions

  1. What is climate change? What is global warming?
  2. How is trade connected with environment?
  3. How can climate change influence trade flows and routes?
  4. According to The New York Times, climate change may lead to trade wars. Do you agree with it?
  5. What is the EU green transition? What does it mean to be climate neutral? Do you think the green transition will lead the world to sustainable economic growth?

17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

Study the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) worked out by the United Nations Organization. How is each of them related to and crucial for:

  • sustainable development
  • markets and economies of the world
  • your company’s or your own principles

Entering a Foreign Market

Key words: economic system, market, potential market, market sectors, industries, product, service, market research, trade data, import and export statistics, enter a market, competitive landscape, regulations and standards, barriers to market entry, market trends, export plan, marketing objectives, position a product, customs, logistics and infrastructure, shipping, payment

Creating Your Company Profile

1. Company name and legal address

2. Market sector, industry, export product, HS code

3. Mission statement, values

4. Company history (major turning points in your company’s life)

5. Export strategy

Identifying Your Customers’ Needs

  1. What is the main purpose of using your product? How often will your customers use it for this purpose?
  2. What are your customers’ wants, needs and fears? Why does this need or problem occur?
  3. What is the worst-case scenario for your customer if they don’t solve this problem or don’t meet this need? What financial and emotional losses will they incur?
  4. What would motivate them to choose your product over your competitors’ product? What is its main advantage over other options available?
  5. What physical or non-physical added value would your customers expect or benefit from (free shipping, prime membership, etc.)? What are the losses that customers will avoid due to your solutions? Make a list of additional features of your product.
  6. How would your customers see an ideal product? Use your imagination to show new ways you could offer your customers in the future to solve their problem or meet their need which they are now not aware of. Make a list of attributes of your ideal product.

Breaking Up a Large Market into Smaller Customer Segments

Market segmentation helps to identify certain segments or groups of customers who have common or similar needs and who may respond in a similar way to the marketing actions and branding of the product.

locationagelifestylepurchasing behavior;
occasion and
climate and
gendervalues and
specific benefits
languageincomehobbies and
customer loyalty
e.g. Coca Cola:
“Coke knows
no season”.
e.g. Chevrolet:
“See the USA …
in your Chevrolet”.
e.g. Marriott hotel:
“Live like a local”.
Fuji Film:
“Do you speak
“Genesis does
e.g. Danone:
“One planet.
One health”.

e.g. Volvo cars:
“For life”.
Old Spice:
“The original. If
your grandfather
hadn’t worn it, you
wouldn’t exist”.
e.g. Michael Kors:
“A chic, luxurious,
sexy fragrance for women”.
e.g. Torchmark.Corp:
“For middle income
e.g. Gillette: “The
best men can be”.
e.g. Flik Flak:”It’s
good to be a child”
e.g. Haribo: “Child and
adult is happy”
e.g. Starbucks:
“Starbucks Frappuccino.
Work can wait.”
e.g. IKEA:
“Let’s make your
home special”.
e.g. Playstation 2 –
“Fun, Anyone?”
e.g. Kellog.Co
“See you at
e.g. Clarks Shoes:
“For all places
you’ll go”.
e.g. Evian: “Live
e.g. Lavazza: “Good
karma. Great coffee”.
e.g. H&M: “Long live fashion”
e.g. PayPal: “The
safer way to pay
e.g. M&M:
“Melts in your mouth,
not in your hands”.
e.g. Estee Lauder Cos:
“Bringing the best to
everyone we touch”.
e.g. Macerich:
“We create shopping
e.g. Visa Inc: “Go with
e.g. Coca-Cola:
“For people on the go”
e.g. Dettol: “Keep the
memories, but not the bacteria”.
e.g. British Airways:
“The red-eye has
been replaced by the

Modelling the Company’s Most Likely Customer

Market Segmentation and Customer Profile: Conversation Questions

  1. How old is your ideal customer?
  2. Where does your ideal customer live? What kind of environment do they live in?
  3. What is their gender?
  4. What ethnic group or race do they belong to?
  5. What are their religious beliefs? Do they practice any religion?
  6. What is their native language? What is their second language?
  7. What is their education level (college degree) and occupation?
  8. What is their individual or household income?
  9. What is their marital status? Have they got any children? How many?
  10. What are their hobbies and interests? What is their lifestyle? What are their values?
  11. What economic and social factors influence their purchasing behavior?
  12. Why do they buy this product? Where and when do they buy it? How do they prefer to pay for it?
  13. What is their attitude to this product? How familiar are they with it? How does it fit in their lifestyle?
  14. Are they the decision-makers for buying this product?
  15. How does this product make their lives better?

Examining Countries with Different Levels of Development

Market economies are free markets with minimum state control, whereas state-run economies are economic systems where government takes control of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.

A mixed economic system combines capitalist and planned economies. Often, the government introduces regulations, subsidies, tariffs, and establishes state-run enterprises to intervene in the free market and get economic benefits.

Economic Systems: Discussion

  1. What is an economic system?
  2. What are the advantages of a market economy as a way of making money?
  3. What does a company’s success depend on in a market economy?
  4. What are the advantages of central planning?
  5. What do you think is the most prevailing type of economic system? What are the arguments for a mixed economy?

*Developed economies are industrialized countries with stable governments, sustainable economic growth and a high Human Development Index (HDI);

*Developing economies are countries which are undergoing the process of transition to a market economy;

*Least developed economies are countries with underdeveloped industrial base and a low Human Development Index.

Top 5 Developed Countries with the Highest Human Development Index (July 2023)

HDI measures the key foundations of human development across countries, which are life expectancy, education and income.

*GNI – per capita Gross National Income, used to assess the total wealth of a country and to measure the standard of living. It shows fair income distribution among the country’s population.

*PPP – Purchasing Power Parity, the exchange rate of two different currencies in equilibrium. It is calculated by dividing the cost of a product in country 1 in currency 1 by the cost of the same good in country 2 in currency 2 (US$).

CountryPopulationHDI value
countries >0.8
Mean years
1. Switzerland8,796,669
total median age: 42.7
0,96283,4 years16,2 years13,7 years68993
(constant 2017
2. Norway5,474,360
total median age: 39.5
0,96182,6 years19,1 years12,9 years66404
(constant 2017
3. Iceland375,318
total median age: 37.1
0.95982,0 years19,2 years13,3 years52769
(constant 2017
4. Hong Kong (China)7,491,609
total median age: 45.6
0.95285,2 years16,9 years12,2 years63908
(constant 2017
5. Australia26,439,111
total median age: 37.5
0.95184,5 years21,1 years12,7 years49238
(constant 2017
(Source: Worldpopulationreview.com)

3 Least Developed Countries with the Lowest Human Development Index (July 2023)

CountryPopulationHDI value
< 0.55
Mean years
total median age: 14.8
0.40061,1 years5,9 years1,8 years1188
(constant 2017
total median age: 16.1
0.39452,5 years8,0 years2,6 years1364
(constant 2017
South Sudan11,088,796
total median age: 18,6
0,38555,0 years5,5 years5,7 years768
(constant 2017
(Source: Worldpopulationreview.com)

Developed and Developing Countries: Discussion

  1. Is export volume bigger between non-rich to non-rich, rich to rich, non-rich to rich, or rich to non-rich countries? Why do you think so?
  2. What foreign trade problems do developing countries have?
  3. Are there any advantages of living and working in a developing country?
  4. What are characteristics of a least developed country?
  5. Why are least developed countries marginalized in global trade?

Researching Free Economic Zones

*a free economic zone in a country (FEZ) is a territory designated by the government where businesses benefit from reduced duty payments or no taxation on foreign merchandise

Key words: free trade zone, free zone enclave, industrial estate or park, duty free zone, free port, export processing zone, special economic zone, detached from the main body of the country, (not) apply normal laws of import and export, reduce governmental obstacles, liberal terms of foreign trade, export-oriented investment (FDI), concessionary value added tax, import duty exemption, be duty-exempt, be exempted from duties, (not) pay customs duties, be tax-free, provide duty relief, tax holidays, tax refunds on exports, permit on-site residence, offer warehousing, unlimited storage, distribution facilities for trade, transfer goods, bring goods in without fees or duties, operate in a free trade zone, handle transshipping operations, handle restrictions on quotas, accelerate mercantile activities, create partnerships between local and foreign capital

. FEZs are organized around major seaports, airports or national borders

. here companies may be incorporated; goods may be transported in and out, manufactured, processed, warehoused and re-exported without the involvement of the customs authorities

. customs duties are imposed on the goods only when they are moved to consumers within that country

CountryFree Trade Zones
USAaround 300 Foreign Trade Zones throughout 50 states
e.g. Texas, Louisiana, New York
UAEmore than 40 multidisciplinary Fee Trade Zones
e.g. Dubai Maritime City
China21 Free Trade Zones
e.g. Shanghai (SFTZ), Guandong (GFTZ), Tianjin (TFTZ)
Russiaaround 50 Special Economic Zones
e.g. Free Port Vladivostok (FPV), Irkutsk Gate of Baikal SEZ, Tomsk Industrial SEZ
Singapore9 Free Trade Zones
e.g. Airport Logistics Park of Singapore, Brani Terminal

Special Economic Zones and the Miracle of China

By 1990s, the four Chinese special economic zones accounted for 60% of total FDI in China. A bit earlier, in 1980, Chinese authorities approved of the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. When a small fishing village launched an Open Door policy to welcome foreign investment, and turned into China’s first SEZ, it soon became a cosmopolitan city attracting billions of dollars in FDIs. It is now known as “the Miracle of China” and “China’s Silicon Valley”.

Today, foreign companies from nearly 20 countries of the world are represented in Shenzhen, among them are McDonalds, Starbucks, Tesco, Toshiba, Samsung, IBM, Intel, etc.

Free Economic Zones: Discussion Questions

  1. What is a free trade zone? How does it work?
  2. How did FTZs appear?
  3. Where are FTZs located?
  4. What are the benefits of FTZs for export?

Examining 11 Market Sectors

Market Sectors: Discussion

  1. How can you define a market sector?
  2. How are different sectors connected?
  3. What are the main growth drivers in each sector? What factors does the growth depend on?
  4. Which market sectors will advance in the future? Why?
  5. What is the difference between a market sector and an industry? Identify the sector which the following industries belong to:
auto components
hotels and restaurants
textiles and apparel
leisure products
stock exchange
credit card issuing
apartment rental
land leasing
real estate appraisal
property management
Internet service providers
wireless telecommunications
media streaming
nuclear power
petroleum refiners
hydroelectric power
renewable energy
household products
hygiene products
airfreight and logistics
construction and engineering
port and harbor operations
public transportation
hosting services
search engines
technology hardware
family planning
nursing care
diagnostic laboratory
retirement communities
forest products
containers and packaging
metals and mining
gas pipeline construction
water and sewage line
demolishing and wrecking
paving contractors

Measuring Your Home Country’s Trade Position: Internet Research

Analyse your home country’s trade position:

  1. Search for the key terms and figures mentioned in the diagram;
  2. Organize all the information in infographics (line graphs, bar charts, pie charts, tables)
  3. Using the information from the graphs, write a report with comments on your findings.

PEST Analysis: Analyzing the Factors Influencing Foreign Market Entry Strategies

Economic Factors / IndicesYour home countryYour buyer’s countryComments
country’s size and distance between countries
type of economy
FDI inflow and FDI outflow
key interest rate; exchange rate stability
country’s debt
consumer confidence index
inflation: CPI (consumer price index), WPI (wholesale price index), PPI (producer price index)
retail sales
nation’s infrastructure(transport; ICT; energy supplies)
industrial structure, main industries and companies
industrial production index
Socio-Cultural FactorsYour home countryYour buyer’s countryComments
language; language barriers
business communication and negotiation styles
socio-economic status of residents
(high/middle/low), quality of life and expectancy, family income level or income per capita, household structure
urban population as a share of total population
human development index
poverty index
unemployment rate and working conditions
migration to the country and emigration rate
level of education and access to education
access to quality healthcare and proper nutrition
total population, age distribution, ethnicity
religion or beliefs, religious differences
cultural customs and traditions
social support system and programs
residential construction growth and housing
Geopolitical and Legal FactorsYour home countryYour buyer’s countryComments
country’s membership in unions, international alliances, international projects and initiatives
political, human rights and corruption risks
involvement of the government in business sector (trade restrictions, tariffs, taxes, subsidies, import quotas, licences, product standards and regulations, currency controls, free trade zones, export financing, etc.)
Technological FactorsYour home countryYour buyer’s countryComments
IT infrastructure, access to global Internet and social media platforms, wifi, telephoning, public TV network, radio
digital trade and online marketplaces, B2B and B2C
e-commerce sales
Global Innovation Index (GII), Technology Achievement Index (TAI)
digital currency (CBDC), mobile payment platforms
high-technology export, innovative and smart products, bio-technology, trade shows
climate performance ranking, ecological environment, contribution to global warming, energy resources, scarce resources, RES: renewable sources of energy and green technologies (recycling, non-wasteful packaging)

Conducting a Microenvironmental Analysis of the Market

Microenvironmental issues include:

  • Potential market size and market share
  • Competitors
  • Market access
  • Localized marketing strategy (adapting and modifying your product, resources, skills, etc.)

Market Size and Market Share

The market size is the number of people who could become potential buyers of your product and the revenue these sales may generate. By calculating your market size you can understand how much profit you can get from this business and what your marketing strategy should be.

  1. Identify your target audience. Create your customer profile to understand what kind of person your potential client or customer is, the needs you can meet with your product or service, and how you can reach these customers.
  2. Calculate potential sales to estimate the market size and your share in this market.

Market Attractiveness: Discussion Questions

  1. What is the structure of your foreign market? What kind of companies are there in this market? How many? What is their market share?
  2. What are the market trends at the moment? Are there any new products? Any new companies? Any companies that are leaving the market? Any products that are withdrawn or phased out? Is economic or political situation changing? How? Are there any new technologies or marketing techniques?
  3. What is your potential market size? What is your potential market share? Is there a niche for your product? Which? How are you going to compete with existing market players?
  4. What challenges are you expecting when entering this market (culture, logistics, economic or political situation, competition)?
  5. How are you going to promote your product? What is your marketing strategy?

Degree of Competition: How Competitive Your Product Is

To better understand your company’s strengths and weaknesses in a particular market and to compare your position with that of your competitors, you can conduct a competitive analysis:

Competition and Product Feature Matrix: Discussion questions

  1. Is competition between people, companies, and nations necessary? Why? Why not? What happens when there is no competition?
  2. Are you competitive by nature? Give examples from your life. Do people who are more competitive achieve greater success in life?
  3. Do you think that business leaders should constantly check where they are on a competition track or they should focus only on their own goals?
  4. How do you evaluate the competition in your market? Is your industry competitive? Are there many rival companies in the domestic and global market? Who are the key players? What can you say about their strengths and weaknesses?
  5. What are your direct, indirect and replacement competitors? What are the distinctive features of your product that (can) make it a bestseller? How do you evaluate the threat from replacement competitors?

Analyzing Ways to Enter a Foreign Market

The international expansion strategies are as follows:

  • direct and indirect export;
  • partnerships and strategic alliances (B2B collaborations, joint ventures (JVs), licencing and franchising agreements, foreign direct investments (FDI), mergers and acquisitions (M&A);

The Range of Foreign Market Entry Methods: Discussion Questions

  1. What are the ways to enter a foreign market? How is direct export different from indirect export?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each expansion strategy? Think about reputation, level of control, PEST-related risks, investment, resources, communication, future orientation, profit potential, etc.
  3. What is the best way for you to enter a foreign market? Why?

Developing a Localized Marketing Strategy: Go Global, Stay Local

Key words: localization, global culture, cultural nuances, taboos, offensive practices, localized content, localized marketing, website content localization, focusing on local search engine optimization (SEO), marketing and product materials, return on investment (ROI), budgeting for localization, connecting with local customers, the cost of localization, localization errors, a professional localization services provider, to drive demand, to find new consumers

“Speak to your audience in their language about what’s in their heart.”

Jonathan Lister, North America Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn
  • Localize your product / service as well as content on your website and social networks (adapt them to the local language by taking into consideration cultural, social and behavioural aspects of your target customers.
  • Understand the costs of localizing your communication media content: getting high-quality translations done with a translation company, choosing or creating relevant marketing channels (landing pages, e-books, e-mails, blogs, news, web content, images, icons, graphics) and optimizing them for local markets, creating mobile apps, localizing advertizing campaigns, improving SERP ranking (search engine results page), crafting your communication media content, offering promotions adapted to local cultural peculiarities (holidays, seasons, etc.), making use of local media, running promotion campaigns with local businesses, partnering with local influencers, encouraging customers to leave feedback and reviews, post campaign work, etc.
  • Understand the cultural differences that can jeopardize your marketing efforts (behavioral patterns – e.g. gestures; history of the country – e.g. history of black civil rights in US; product regulations – e.g. standards for halal food and products; language – e.g. local slang, idiomatic expressions, pronunciation; metric systems – e.g. quarts, pints, gallons for measuring volumes in US; symbolism – white is the color of mourning in China, etc.

Localized Marketing: Discussion Questions

  1. How do you localize a product or service?
  2. What content do you need to localize in communication media?
  3. What things should you consider before, during and after localization?
  4. What are your localization goals?
  5. What resources do you need for localization? What are your localization costs?

SWOT Analysis of the Market

SWOT analysis is a tool to describe internal company’s strengths (S) and weaknesses (W), as well as external opportunities (O) and threats (T) which exist in the market where the company is operating. This matrix was created by Albert Humphrey (1926-2005), an American business consultant who specialized in strategic management and cultural change.

To raise awareness of the internal and external factors involved in your business operations you should identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses (financial, physical and human resources, current processes) and external factors (market and economic trends, socio-political factors, business networks, downstream and upstream supply chain factors, legal regulations, etc.). You can develop four resulting strategies:

SO (Strengths-Opportunities): how you can use your strengths to capture new opportunities

WO (Weaknesses-Opportunities): how you can make use of new opportunities to improve your weak points

ST (Strengths-Threats): how you can use your strengths to overcome external threats

WT (Weaknesses-Threats): how you can overcome your weaknesses to deal with threats

SWOT Analysis: Discussion Questions

  1. What are your strongest assets (location, building, property, funds, cashflow, cash cow (product), production facilities, inventory, equipment, skilled labour force, customer base, intellectual property, etc.)? Which asset is the strongest?
  2. What is unique about your company? What makes you better than your competitors (your advantages, mission, qualifications, experience?
  3. What are the things you need to improve (customer base, profit, experience, know-how)?
  4. What are the current trends in your industry? Are they bringing positive changes to you? How can you take advantage of them?
  5. How can you satisfy your customers’ needs better? How can you increase your profit?
  6. What are the negative trends in your market?
  7. Are you currently facing any difficulties or obstacles (new rivals, economic changes, government regulations, changes in consumer behaviour, new technologies, etc.)?

Global Logistics Management

Key words: logistics, procurement, transportation, distribution, inventory management, stock control, freight forwarding, storage, supplier, delivery service, warehousing, shipping operations, carrier, vehicles and machinery, cargo customs clearance, returns processing, marking and labelling, transport companies, quotation sheet, customs documentation, loading, unloading, port of destination, perishable and non-perishable goods, heavy-weight and overwidth cargo, infrastructure, security, urgency, dimensions, container, pallet, insurance rates, loading capacity, calculations, measurement, weight, size, bill of lading, freight, shipment, cost, letter of credit, waybill, customs declaration, invoice, receipt, payment, transfer, etc.

Global logistics is a part of the global supply chain. It deals with the movement and distribution of goods and services across the globe and ensures that they are delivered in a proper and timely manner.

To analyse the industry, the World Bank releases Logistics Performance Index (LPI) which is based on the following parameters measured on the scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high):

  • the efficiency of customs and customs clearance
  • trade and transport infrastructure
  • competitive shipment arrangements
  • quality of logistics services
  • tracking and tracing services
  • delivery efficiency (how often deliveries are done according to the schedule)

Logistics Performance Index 2023:

  1. Rating 4 and over: Singapore, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Belgium, etc.
  2. Rating 3 and over: Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, USA, UK, Australia, Bahrain, China, Egypt, etc.
  3. Rating 2 and over: Russia, Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Georgia, Venezuela, etc.

The main logistics activities include inbound and outbound logistics which can be broken down into warehouse management, storage, inventory flow, packing and labeling, and transportation.

The Cost of Shipment

The cost of shipment depends on:

  • the shipment type
  • cargo size and weight; whether it requires any special handling and transportation conditions
  • location and distance
  • seasonal trends, holidays, weather

Selecting The Most Appropriate Transport Mode For Your Shipment

Fill in the following table:

General informationAvailability.
(nature of
Safety /
/ Freight rates
1. Describe the roadway system of the country
2. Make a list of necessary documents
3. Conditions of entry and exit by driving a foreign car
1. Make a list of rail corridors and major cities connected to the railway network
2. Make a list of necessary documents
2. What kind of freight can you ship by rail?
1. Make a list of major seaports, their facilities and services
2. Plan shipping routes to your buyer’s country and estimate them
3. Make a list of necessary documents
1. Make a list of major airports, their infrastructure (road/rail), amount of cargo they can handle
2. Make a list of necessary documents
3. What kind of freight can you ship by air?
1. Describe the network of oil and gas pipelines; total throughput
2. Make a list of necessary documents
1. Study the feasibility of different modes of transportation
2. Develop a routing plan, add transport fixtures for each transport mode, calculate related costs

Shipping Your Cargo: Discussion Questions

1. What are your cargo characteristics (fragile, high-value, perishable, temperature-sensitive, liquid, hazardous, consolidated, break-bulk)?

2. What are the dimensions and weight of your cargo?

3. What do you need to protect the goods in transit?

Insurance, shipping contract, packaging, ventilation, humidity level, drainage system, temperature control, special loading / unloading equipment

4. What transport documentation do you need?

Sales contract, bill of lading, pro-forma invoice, commercial invoice, letter of credit, certificate of origin, packing list, inspection certificate, insurance policy, veterinary and phytosanitary certificate, export declaration

5. Can one logistics company handle all your needs or do you need several shippers?

6. What transport modes are available and most suitable for your product?

7. How urgently does your customer need the product at the destination point? Does your business depend on the timely arrival of your freight?

8. What are your shipping costs?


Key words: Incoterms (international commercial terms), ICC (International Chamber of Commerce), terms of sale, internationally recognized rules, responsibilities of sellers and buyers, consignor, consignee, freight forwarder, to bear costs and risks, to cover the costs, to take on the risks, to carry out the customs formalities, to obtain an export/import license, to load / unload the goods, export transaction, to ship the goods, to hand the goods over (to the buyer), to provide for cargo insurance coverage, the risk of loss or damage, transfer of risk, pre-shipment inspection, customs clearance, contract of sale, commercial invoice, cargo delivery, agreed location, named place of destination, place of delivery

Choosing Incoterms®2020: Questions for discussion

  1. What is your transportation capacity? What assets have you got to carry, store and deliver the goods? What is the transportation capacity of your business partners?
  2. Do you have any need in 3rd Party Logistics (outsourced logistics services)? When choosing a 3PL provider, what information about them will you focus on?
  3. Which party will be responsible for providing insurance?
  4. Which transport mode(s) do you think will be the best solution?
  5. What is the quality of infrastructure you are going to use (roads, ports, railways, etc.)?
  6. How can you optimize your route?
  7. What are your considerations on weather conditions? Seasonality?
  8. What is the lead time between the oder placement and its fulfilment?
  9. How can you reduce the costs of transportation?
  10. Which incoterm(s) do you think will be the best solution for you? Why?

Export Documentation and Correspondence

Writing an Email

ComponentFormal emailSemi-formal email
The HeadFrom: Victor Smirnov
To: Olaf Larsson
Sent: 25 March 2024
From: Victor Smirnov
To: Olaf Larsson
Sent: 25 March 2024
SalutationDear Mr LarssonHello Olaf
Reference to
previous contacts (if any)
In reference to your letter of
24 March 2024, we would
like to inform you that the
goods are ready for shipment.
Thanks for your letter!
Giving informationFor your information, we haven’t
received the draft yet.
This is just to let
you know that we haven’t
received the draft yet.
Requesting informationWe would be grateful if
you could send us a copy of
the contract.
Can I ask you to send
us a copy of the contract?
Expressing interest in
further contact
We look forward to
hearing from you!
Hope to hear from
you soon!
ClosingYours sincerely,
Victor Smirnov
Sales Director
Kind Regards,

Assignment: You are a shipping manager working for a Finnish seafood company. You want to write an email to inform your new client, a Swedish restaurant, that your company has shipped them sample products. In your email you should

  • confirm the shipment of samples
  • attach the pro-forma invoice and give details of the invoice
  • ask them to send you their feedback

Writing A Quotation Letter

A quotation letter is a sales offer sent to a potential buyer.

Company LetterheadYawo Haridi
Sales Manager
Organic Coco PLC
22, Hall Street, office 205
South Africa
Name and address
of the Recipient
Mr John Blackwood
Fresh Drink Ltd
28 Park Ave
New Hampshire
SW 70 2MD
Reference to previous
Ref: Reply to the letter of 20 August 2023
SalutationDear Mr Blackwood
Thank for the inquiryThank you for your letter of 20 August 2023.
We appreciate your interest in our organic coconut milk.
Describe the productHere is the quote you requested.
Product: Coconut Milk, 100% organic, vegan, plant-based, non-gmo, keto-friendly, kosher, no chemicals, unsweetened
Package: 6-pack (1L)
Quantity: 1000
Price per pack: $12
Warranty: 1 year
Sales terms and conditionsOur normal trade discount is 2% if the order is made for 1000 items at a time.
Additional package price is $100.
Payment Terms: Bank Transfer
Delivery Terms: FOB Johannesburg
ClosingWe will be happy to discuss this quote with you and answer any questions you might have. If you need any further details, please feel free to contact us.
Contact informationYou can reach me on my phone +2710 111111 or by email at cocomilk@gmail.com
Yawo Haridi
Sales Manager

Assignment: You received the following quotation request letter. Read it and write your quotation letter.

Dear Sir/Madam

Our “Choco Diet” company is a small family business with a good reputation based in Amsterdam. We would be grateful if you could provide us with a quote for the following items you produce:

  1. Dark chocolate peppermint bar
  2. Orange and tangerine dark chocolate bar
  3. King-size nutty chocolate bar
  4. Crispy almond white chocolate bar

Required quanity: 1,000 of each category, individually wrapped. We would be interested in a long-term cooperation with you and we hope to get a good price for the items. We assure you of prompt payment on receipt of your invoices.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Noah Daanhart

Purchase Manager