9/11 anniversary highlights international business threats

9/11 anniversary highlights international business threats

September 11th is a date that will forever be etched in the memory due to the terrible tragedy that took place.

Almost 3,000 people lost their lives after four planes were hijacked by al-Qaeda and crashed into the World Trade Center complex, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Over $10 billion (£6.2 billion) of property and infrastructure damage was also caused, while Wall Street had to be closed for six days as a result of the attack. 

Fast forward 13 years and there is a fresh terror threat as Islamic State (IS) militants continue to cause problems in Iraq as they seek to create and take control of a new Muslim state. Indeed, US president Barack Obama has said he will not hesitate to use military action to deal with any threat, and he told the group it will not be able to find a "safe haven" in Syria. 

Some 475 US military personnel are being sent to Iraq in an advisory capacity, while the country is also pursuing a systematic campaign of airstrikes against IS targets.

International business community 

However, just like 13 years ago, the international business community continues to operate, despite any problems caused by geographical boundaries and apparent threats from both home and abroad.

The economic consequences of international terrorism can be significant, especially around the insurance industry, but this does not mean trading across country borders is going to stop. 

In fact, global companies are as determined as ever to make their mark on the international arena, as there are still plenty of lucrative opportunities for firms willing to reach out and grasp them.

How can international firms operate more safely?

Doing business on a global scale is always going to create a series of challenges, be it language or cultural differences, geographical boundaries or adapting to new legislation or regulations.

But this does not mean companies cannot organise their meetings in a more efficient manner and minimise their exposure to risk. Thanks to the high quality technology on offer, international call conferencing has never been easier to use. 

The service allows people from all over the world to take part in meetings with less than an hour's notice, which in turn gives businesses a much more agile framework. For example, initial contact can be made with a potential client in the Middle East, which can then be followed up with a face-to-face meeting later on to seal a contract. 

This form of communication also cuts back on the amount of international travel that needs to take place, which is a cheaper and safer way of doing business. Moreover, it also means companies can reduce their carbon footprint.

For example, business travel is the biggest single generator of carbon emissions for many firms. At PwC, it accounted for 53 per cent of its footprint in 2013 (41 per cent of this was air travel). As part of the company's commitment to reducing this figure, it is encouraging both internal and client-facing teams to make better use of technological alternatives.

So for both security and economic reasons, a compelling case can be made for introducing international conference calls into a business' operations.