TRADE WITH NORTH KOREA
Tempo Limited Inc. is a popular Australian company known for the shipment of fine arts and household items. Terim was the entrepreneur who started the company. The company involves shipping goods that are both commercial and non-commercial. Tempo Limited deals with fine art items, furniture, and other household pieces that always need to be packed, stored, and shipped very carefully to the place of destination.
It is a well-known company for both warehousing services and insurance as well for the items that belong to their esteemed customers. Being a large company, Tempo Limited has space to accommodate all kinds of items including delicate ones, as well as big items like sculptures and paintings.
North Korea is a country known for its trading prowess, which mostly involves the shipment of all kinds of items. Trading with North Korea is not a norm for most countries since this country happens to be the communist one. The case on Terim was serious in that they were not allowed to trade with communists. Capitalists and communists never engaged in business due to the difference in political grounds. The whole idea was not to be caught trading if one needed to do it.
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If caught, there would have been serious consequences. Trade with the enemy only means that one was supporting and helping the enemy to get what the enemy needed. Therefore, it is possible to say that Tempo Limited was not in line for neither support the idea from the Romanian to trade with North Korea nor allow someone else to trade with the country. Business is good but doing business with the enemy, or rather illegal business can end up with a lot of risks and losses.
The purpose of this study is to find out the choice Tempo Limited made for its illegal business and the number of costs as well as other non-monetary costs that the company had to undergo. Evidently, the goal of Tempo Limited was to partner with George Hagi, the Romanian, and to have a profit-sharing plan for the lumber from North Korea. Barter trade was the idea but the lumber was to be sold domestically in Turkey through ready cash. The entire trade from the beginning was illegal hence all the costs involved had to be taken care of with caution so as not to cause alarm with the local authorities. Trade with North Korea was always under tight supervision by the capitalist superpowers, the United Nations, and the United States of America.
The shipping was a barter trade, which was to involve an exchange of the Turkish chemicals for lumber from North Korea. The options that Tempo Limited had were two about the route, in which the lumber was to enter the Turkey borders. Through Romania, the lumber was to enter the Romanian border and later on be transported through trucks into Turkey using documents from the Romanian border. The other plan involved Syria whereby the lumber was to enter Turkey through the Syrian route but at the Turkish border, the officers were to receive bribes for the lumber to enter and reach Tempo Limited. Both routes were risky and some costs were to be involved (Hong, 2001).
Basically, transport of goods through both routes was to involve trucks. These trucks need special care, especially when transporting sensitive or rather illegal items. It meant that the people operating the trucks must be aware of illegal trade taking place thus to ensure it, an increase in their pay was mandatory to win their loyalty and ensure the business is handled quietly (Park, 2010). It involved definitely a lot of money and was not the usual case. For the Romanian route, the costs would have been way cheaper than following the Syrian route as George, the business partner of Tempo Limited, was Romanian. It would give them fewer costs as to enter the Turkish border no bribes would be necessary for the border officers.
Nonetheless, the Syrian option was complicated in a way that the Syrian government might find out about the trade. The route to enter Turkey via Syria involved giving bribes. Bribes can bring about difficulties because the trader is never sure if the officers will accept the bribe or hand them to high authorities, which might appear as a terrorism issue. The moment an officer rejects a bribe, the matter can be confounded and traders might find themselves behind bars.
It is a common situation at the borders of most countries as officers keep changing and one might not find an officer that was there three months before. Trade through bribes if successful is always very expensive and a hefty amount of money is thus indispensable. The Trade of Tempo Limited through Syria could have been expensive due to the illegal nature of their business. Therefore, the total costs for the Syrian route would be very high inclusive of an accepted bribe.
The other costs that Tempo Limited would have to incur are not necessarily monetary but if the company was to be discovered, its reputation would sink to the bottom of all other businesses and would rank highest for illegal entrepreneurs with no integrity. A factor that would affect the company's business and lead to much bigger losses inclusive of the money lost while trying to illegally transport lumber into the country. The business could close as customers would never want to deal with illegal traders.
Possibly, if not arrested for illegal trade as well as corruption while trying to bribe government officers, the company would have to pay a fine. The fine would definitely cause a huge pinch in the business capital and it would take time to recover.
If Tempo Limited chooses the Syrian route, they would choose to offer a bribe and it would be in two main forms. The first one would be to give the Turkish officers a share of lumber so that they can make a profit out of it on their own. The other form of the bribe would be the most common, which is money. A significant amount of money would be given to the Turkish officers for them to allow the lumber to enter the country, meaning, for them to keep their career and lives in line, they had to be paid handsomely. Bribes serve as tools to show respect to the officers and to ask them for the favor to allow Tempo Limited to bring lumber into the country.
For developing countries to be on a par with the superpowers, acts of bribery must be condemned through severe actions to those caught. Education on how corruption kills economies must be offered during entrepreneurship classes to all upcoming and already set up business persons.
Given it, Tempo Limited had more to lose than to gain for the illegal barter trade. The fact that more money or capital equal to the profit they could acquire would be spent on the illegal trade for it to succeed is a lesson learned. All total costs of a business venture and the long-term risks being taken must be clearly viewed to avoid loss of business and imprisonment due to corruption.
It is hence recommended that governments must work on their border officers, especially on the issues regarding integrity to avoid corruption through bribes as well as the shipment of illegal items from foreign countries. Businessmen must also learn to be patient with success as corrupt measures count in any successful business. Therefore, no business person should have allowed someone else to transact business with North Korea (Kim & Kang, 2009).
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