Kiesling of Honeywell Inc. was asked how his company was handling another risk inherent in doing business in eastern Europe: the lack of hard currency.
"I look to the Central European countries, the former Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria (em we are covering risks in our margins," he said. "If you don't take the risk you won't gain anything. So overall we didn't get paid fully on two projects, but if I take the full scope of our business for the last five years, we are very pleased with the results."
Joseph F. Schuler Jr. is senior associate editor at Public Utilities Fortnightly.
An Agency Short List For Overseas ESCOs
U.S. TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORP.
OVERSEAS PRIVATE INVESTMENT CORP.
WORLD BANK GUARANTEE PROGRAM
EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT
ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACILITY
BANCO NACIONAL DE DESENVOLVIMENTO ECONOMICO E SOCIAL
FINANCIADORA DE ESTUDOS E PROJETOS
Thailand, Japan? Think Again
EDWARD L. VINE of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
suggested tips for ESCOs considering tapping the Japanese market. The tips could, however, apply to doing business in many countries.
• The ESCO business is risky; some project it will lose money.
• Marketing is key to success.
• The ESCO industry is based on relationships, not projects. Companies must offer services and solutions, not just projects.
• Government needs to be committed to supporting the industry.
• Prices should factor in environmental benefits.
• The country's business mindset needs to be creative and innovative so that it takes more risks, allowing for performance contracting; ESCOs tend to move fast.
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