UHY Advisors

US-Africa Trade & Investment Expansion Faces Doubt from Houston Executives: UHY LLP Survey

 
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Houston, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/16/2013 -- Despite initiatives like President Obama's recent trade mission to Africa, the prospects for enhancing U.S. economic engagement with the African continent face an uphill climb, according to a survey of senior managers at Houston-based companies.

In the survey sponsored by UHY LLP http://www.uhy-us.com and Financial Executives International, none of the Houston executives responding selected Africa as the continent to which their companies are most likely to expand their businesses, compared with 36% naming South America as their most likely expansion target, and 27% targeting Asia. Sixty percent of the executives cited fraud and corruption as the primary reason for concern about doing business in Africa, with 35% blaming political instability. The survey was conducted among executives attending this morning's breakfast in the

“Challenges of Foreign Expansion” series.

“Our experience in helping Houston companies is that operating in Africa is often difficult, if not dangerous," said UHY LLP Principal, Christopher Lozier. "However the size of the opportunity in Africa, both for oil and gas companies and others, is large enough to be well worth the trouble and risk, provided companies build an effective compliance program," Lozier said.

“The three steps companies can and should take to minimize risks and maximize the opportunity when expanding to Africa include:

- Risk Assessment - Perform a risk assessment of all relevant areas including geography, governmental official involvement, bidding process, importing and exporting needs, taxation and human resources. This is a critical first step to a defendable approach for determining how much effort will be required and ensure time is spent addressing areas with the most risk.

- Third-Party Due Diligence - Conduct thorough due diligence of all third parties including background investigations, and ensure procures are in place for periodic updates. The extent of the background investigation should be tiered-based on the level of involvement with the third party and risk.

- Compliance Program - Build an effective risk-based compliance program with appropriate policies and procedures, training, third party due diligence, monitoring, and testing compliance. It is important to ensure the compliance program fully meets the expectation of the FCPA and the local anti-corruption legislation for all areas where the company does business.

The series of UHY LLP- and FEI-sponsored private breakfasts continues Tuesday, July 23rd with a session on international taxation, transfer pricing profit allocation in international operations. Registration information is available at info@uhy-us.com.

UHY Advisors TX, LLC conducts operations in Texas as a subsidiary of UHY Advisors, Inc. The firm also has an office in Dallas. UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities have nearly 1,000 professionals providing services from offices throughout the United States. UHY Advisors is ranked as one of the Top 20 professional services firms providing tax and business consulting services in the country by Accounting Today. Attest services are performed through an alternative practice structure with UHY LLP, a licensed independent CPA firm in Texas.

UHY Advisors, Inc. and UHY LLP are U.S. members of Urbach Hacker Young International Limited, a UK company, and form part of the international UHY network of legally independent accounting and consulting firms. “UHY” is the brand name for the UHY international network. For additional information, please visit their website at http://www.uhy-us.com.

UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities are not licensed CPA firms. UHY LLP is a licensed independent CPA firm that performs attest services.

About Financial Executives International
Financial Executives International is the leading advocate for the views of corporate financial management. Its 15,000 members hold policy-making positions as chief financial officers, treasurers and controllers at companies from every major industry. FEI enhances member professional development through peer networking, career management services, conferences, teleconferences and publications. Members participate in the activities of 86 chapters, 74 in the U.S., 11 in Canada and 1 in Japan. FEI is headquartered in Morristown, NJ, with additional offices in Washington, D.C. and Toronto. Visit http://www.financialexecutives.org for more information.