In the News

Richard Goetz Quoted in Automotive World

Offers Perspective on the Legal and Ethical Challenges of Doing Business in Global Regions Where Corruption Exists

March 5, 2014

Richard G. Goetz, Detroit-based senior counsel and leader of Dykema’s International Practice Group, was extensively quoted in a recent article, “When Sweeteners Turn Sour—The Challenge of Doing Business in Regions Rife with Corruption”—that appeared in Automotive World.

The article’s premise is that—as they seek to compete globally—automakers and industry suppliers are more likely to encounter circumstances in which bribery and corruption are commonplace.

Goetz—who has practiced international law for 40 years, three decades of which were with Ford Motor Company where he helped established Ford’s operations in China, India, Korea, Russia and Eastern Europe—observes that corruption isn’t confined to emerging markets. “It’s more predominant in emerging markets,” he observes, “but it’s certainly not exclusive to emerging markets.”

Goetz recommends several action steps for companies who find themselves working in a new region of the world:

  • Look how things are done in that country. Ask yourself: can you do business without paying bribes? If not, walk away.
  • Make friends. It's important to know people in government at different levels, so that—should someone hold their hand out for a building permit—you have recourse to other levels of government "to explain why you can't do that and enlist support."
  • Establish top-down policies against corruption, and train and develop trusted employees. It's essential to make certain they are knowledgeable about, and fully trained in, the parent company's policies and the laws governing it, as well as the local jurisdiction's legal and compliance requirements.
  • Do a risk assessment. Identify the areas of greatest risk for corrupt behavior; train and monitor accordingly.
  • Plan and be prepared for delays.

To read this article in its entirety, click here.