Pilfering on the docks of New York City was once so rife that, so one story goes, an Italian shoemaker shipped his goods in two separate consignments – left and right shoes – to prevent them from being stolen. Today, companies doing business across borders might yearn for such a simple problem. On top of a global economic slowdown, they must now contend with everything from regulatory uncertainty and commercial disputes to intellectual property theft.

In Business Across Borders, The Economist Intelligence Unit – on behalf of global law firm Reed Smith – investigates companies’ international strategy, the regulatory obstacles to crossborder business and the risk of international commercial disputes. As part of the research, the EIU conducted a global survey of 451 executives and interviewed a number of experts and senior business leaders.

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