The international business community has linked up into a single entity – The Federation of International Employers – to support their activities as major employers, explore new business methods and provide a central forum for discussing constraints and opportunities in the different jurisdictions where they operate.
The Federation was, in fact, born as a small club of multinationals over 25 years ago. Its growth and widening geographical brief has since followed the course of many individual enterprises. According to Robin Chater
“From the outset we have had to help companies deal with their successive growing pains. It is not easy expanding even into the relatively settled economies of western Europe and North America – but opening up operations in the rest of the world is a much harder task. Major companies have senior teams geared to business expansion – but it can be very lonely at the top of the corporate hierarchy, and in conditions of uncertainty there is generally no one “right answer””.
Asked why the Federation chose Bristol rather than London – and the UK over other countries – for its headquarters Chater said
“ Our former purely European-orientated organization was based in London. I guess the UK seemed logical because the UK is a genuinely multicultural society, is the birthplace of the English language and sits in a strategic position between continental Europe and North America. Bristol provides a more pleasant working environment than London, where the infrastructure is frequently stretched to the limit. Bristol also sits in a major transport hub with a busy international airport serving much of Europe.”
The Federation begins its existence with corporate members based in countries across all five continents and plans to achieve its most significant growth in Asia. This is why an Asia office has been established in Hong Kong and many of its services will, in future, be available in both English and Chinese.