Interview: Grass-roots communication, long-term commitment crucial for foreign firms in U.S., expert says

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-03 13:22:33|Editor: Lu Hui
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NEW YORK, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Grass-roots communication and long-term commitment are crucial factors for foreign companies to achieve success and sustainability in the United States, an expert in financial services has said.

"Sometimes grass-root-level trust is much more robust than the federal level," Takaaki Nakajima, advisory principal of the New York branch of London-based PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), told Xinhua in a recent interview.

In the United States, state governments have more power to manage its own economy, while the federal government is more like a coordinator, said Nakajima.

State governments "always welcome any investment from foreign countries, because they want to grow the economy, they want more diversity, and more jobs," he said, emphasizing that "grass-roots trust and communication are key for many foreign companies working in the United States."

Long-term commitment is another critical element for foreign companies to create reputation, said Nakajima.

In 2016, multinational enterprises from Britain, Japan, and France were the top three foreign employment origins of U.S. workers, according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Nakajima believes it showed that "countries with strong and a long period of connections to local economies in the United States" will "make their investment more sustainable and successful."

"Back in the 1960s and 1970s, many Japanese companies were able to get themselves connected and attached to communities and people in the United State through slow, gradual development, and they built trust ... and reputation in the country," he said.

"The progress is time-consuming, and most shareholders and investors have had enough patience for future growth, rather than quick growth in the coming quarters," he said.

"I don't know if this model still applies to this 'everything/everyone moving quickly world,' but at least history tells us about that," he added.

Having engaged nearly 30 years in the financial sector in the United States, Nakajima, together with executives from Asian corporations, was invited by the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA (CGCC), a non-profit organization representing Chinese enterprises in the United States with more than 1,500 members, to share his insight on doing business in the world's largest economy.

The CGCC is writing an annual report on Chinese enterprises in the United States, which aims to guide the business community and policymakers from both countries to seek win-win cooperation.