Other Considerations: Logistics of Contract Development

Resource Requirements

The learning curve for joint implementation projects can be steep; the first project is expected to be the most expensive, as developers must invest in staff time, travel, translation services, attorney fees, permits, import agreements, and other expenses. Local counsel and translation services, though usually less expensive abroad than in the United States, can add to the transaction costs of this project. Project developers should also budget money for unexpected expenditures, which are bound to occur in any enterprise. It is also important to remember that the contract development process is iterative; developers should expect negotiations to last up to several months, as both sides comment on and revise contract drafts.

Seeking Assistance

When questions arise in drawing up contracts for Joint Implementation projects, developers have a variety of resources to turn to for assistance. While the USIJI Secretariat itself cannot offer legal assistance, Secretariat staff may be able to refer specific questions to Round One applicants who have encountered similar challenges and who may be willing to offer suggestions based on their own experiences. The best advice often comes from those who have implemented projects in the target country.

Depending on the issue at hand, one could also seek advice from government agencies specializing in international transactions. A question on general financing issues, for example, could be directed to the Ex-Im Bank, the World Bank, or OPIC. Questions regarding import and export of U.S. equipment could be directed to the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration in Washington, D.C. or the United States Council for International Business in Barrington, Illinois, or New York City (see note 6). There is also a growing literature on international business law; a search at a local law library might produce a number of articles on specific issues, such as legal aspects of doing business in a particular country, designing joint venture contracts, or understanding convertability issues, to name a few examples. In many cases your own attorney will have a network of colleagues from whose experience the project may benefit.

Notes

6. OPIC's telephone number is (202) 336-8595. The Ex-Im Bank can be reached at (202) 565-3946 or (800) 565-3946. The International Trade Administration's main number is 482-2000. ITA also maintains a series of so-called country desks, from which interested parties can obtain specific information on doing business in individual countries. A separate service exists to assist potential U.S. partners learn about business opportunities in the countries of the former Soviet Union. This service, called BISNIS, provides automated document delivery 24 hours a day. This fax number is (202) 482-3145. The telephone number of the U.S. Council for International Business' Barrington, IL, office is (708) 381-1558. The number for the New York USICB office is (212) 354-4480.

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