Countertrade Connection: Where to Get Additional Information
Harben, Peter, American Banker
Countertrade must be one of the few in-vogue subjects missing from the shelves of the Grand Central Station bookstalls. Yet the information is out there, it's just a question of knowing where to look. A steady stream of books, journals, and meetings has been generated in an attempt to satisfy the increased demand for information on countertrade and related subjects.
The list of reference material is burgeoning to the extent there is a bibliography on the subject covering everything from newspaper cuttings to text books (C/T Research, PO Box 1490, Cambridge, MA 00238. $9.75). A few of the more important titles are described below.
Further evidence that countertrade should be taken seriously is the availability of the $100 to $1,000-plus multiclient surveys. The price of these documents tends to restrict readership to the highly motivated. One example, a general overview called "The World of Countertrade: An Analysis of the Current Environment & Prospects for Future Growth," was published in 1983 by Business Trend Analysts, Inc. (2171 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, New York 11725. Price: $1,250).
Business International of 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York City, recently published "Exploring Countertrade Opportunities in Africa" ($400). BI will shortly publish "Threats and Opportunities of Global Countertrade -- Marketing, Financing and Organizational Implications" at a similar price. Another example of a regional study is "Countertrade: Latin America" put out by Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. of New York ($175). Back to Basics
Going back to basic information, a couple of primers on countertrade published by the American Management Association make interesting reading. "Countertrade Business Practices for Today's World Market" deals specifically with the various forms of countertrade, how to negotiate the deal, formulate the contract and organize for the resultant agreement.
The second, "ETCs: New Methods for U.S. Exporting," is useful in understanding the ramifications of the 1982 Export Trading Company Act which, among other things, opened the way for banks to trade. In fact, a chapter is dedicated to "The Role of Banks in ETCs."
"Countertrade and Trading Companies: Trade Trends in the '80s" is a collection of articles by prominent authors. Included are discussions on U.S. government attitudes to countertrade, countertrade with China and Poland, the Eximbank's involvement, ETCs, U.S. laws, and insurance possibilities.
Two new books worthy of note are due out in September. "Countertrade, Barter, and Offsets -- New Strategies for Profit in International Trade" by Dr. Pompiliu Verzariu (Senior Advisor, Office of Major Projects, in the U.S. Commerce Department) and "Trade Without Money" by Leo Welt. Details are available from the publishers, McGraw-Hill and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich respectively. "Countertrade Business Practices for Today's World Market" Leo G. B. Welt, and "ETCs: New Methods for U.S. Exporting" Leo G. B. Welt, Editor American Management Briefing. (Both books available from AMA, 135 W. 50th St., New York City 10020. Price: $7.50 members, $10 nonmembers). "Countertrade and Trading Companies: Trade Trends in the '80s" Peter D. Ehrenhaft, Law and Business Inc., Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 757 Third Avenue, New York 10017 Journals
Journals dealing exclusively with countertrade is a relatively recent phenomenon. Previously, the subject cropped up haphazardly in the general business press, particularly those dealing with trade and/or finance. However, things have improved with the arrival of publications dedicated just to countertrade.
"Countertrade Outlook," a weekly newsletter costing around $150 a year, covers news of specific deals or government action on countertrade, along with news of personnel moves and other up-to-the-minute items. It is timely and a useful guide to the industry. (Published by DP Publications Co. …