Cross-border cooperation

Driving global commerce with Allinial Global

As the world’s second largest accounting association, Allinial Global is investing significantly in cross-border collaboration between countries and across continents. Ozgur Demirdoven, EVP, Global Commerce describes resources to support growing commerce for members and offers a case study highlighting the synergies created by two member firms, CW CPA and Alfredo López y Cía, cooperating to grow business between the APAC & LATAM regions

Within our global community, we see incredible potential for members to identify new business opportunities and better serve clients simply by leveraging the existing client groups of AG member firms. Recognising this opportunity, we launched the Driving Global Commerce (DGC) initiative in early 2022, to enhance the association’s commerce function.

As part of the DGC initiative, we are implementing targeted tools and resources to develop the initiative into a fully standardised, state-of-the-art AG Commerce Centre.

To help our members maximise opportunities to drive global commerce, we assembled a collection of commerce focused resources. The AG Commerce Centre helps our member firms identify specific strategies and steps they can take to enhance commerce and build successful working relationships with Allinial Global peers.

Resources include:

  • AG Connect
  • AG Commerce Guide
  • AG Recruiting Guide
  • AG Global Business Compass
  • AG GO
  • AG Marketplace
  • Client Survey Project
  • Doing Business In (DBI) Brochures
  • Driving Global Commerce (DGC) Community
  • Standardised Firm Profiles
  • Quarterly Meetings and Webinars
  • Cross-Border Roadshows

It’s important to highlight a key element of the DGC initiative, Cross-Border Roadshows, which are helping member firms expand their horizons within global commerce.

The success of international organisations and the strengthened role of investment as a driver of commerce and growth are important economic realities. To improve member firms’ trade and commerce capacities and their awareness of international business opportunities, we continue to visit member firms to highlight their cross-border business with clients, prospects,and business partners, and occasionally with our members from different countries.

During a recent roadshow in Latin America covering Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama, we encountered an interesting case study of collaboration between a LATAM firm and a China-based firm.

Cross-Border collaboration between a LATAM and a China-based firm

China–Latin America trade is showing no signs of languishing despite the dampening effect of COVID-19 on the global economy. Following a stellar trajectory that saw a 26-fold increase from USD 12 billion to USD 315 billion between 2000 and 2020, China –Latin America trade is anticipated to reach more than USD 700 billion by 2035.

The plethora of opportunities arising from dynamic and prosperous trade linkages has prompted SMEs on both sides to expand across borders and upscale their businesses. To help SMEs gain a foothold in both markets, Hong Kong-based Allinial Global member firm CW CPA has been at the very forefront of helping Latin American enterprises capture business opportunities in China since the launch of China–Latin America trade more than 16 years ago.

Its commitment took the form of establishing a pioneering specialist advisory unit dedicated to serving the needs of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking clients, which remains, to this day, unique in Hong Kong.

With more than 70% of its clientele coming from overseas, CW CPA has set up liaison offices in Belo Horizonte and São Paulo, Brazil, as well as Bogotá, Colombia, Barcelona, Spain, and London, UK. Today, the firm serves more than 100 active clients from Latin America. In Brazil, the firm is currently working with one of the binational chambers that deploy a handful of Brazilian advisors and business developers building a strong portfolio for its Brazil Desk. In Colombia, through its appointed representative, AsiaB Consulting, it is enlarging its presence not only within the country but also further afield in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico.

After joining Allinial Global, CW CPA sought partnership with the Colombia-based member firm Alfredo López y Cía, a professional firm providing a wide range of services from accounting, tax advisory, and business process outsourcing to IT auditing. Signed in June 2022, their cooperation agreement aims to give full play to the respective strengths of both firms by maximising synergies and the mutual exchange of knowledge and resources.

The new strategic partnership between the two member firms of Allinial Global will greatly help SMEs in making the practical leap abroad and reaping the benefits of joining global value chains. According to Alfredo López of Alfredo López y Cía, "This new alliance with CW CPA represents a great opportunity for us to encourage Colombian companies to expand their business operations to the Asian continent. It will also provide access to more and better tools and resources to help them become more competitive in the market – nationally and internationally."

Echoing the same sentiment, Thomas Wong of CW CPA remarked, "The business cooperation with Alfredo López y Cía seeks to develop joint strategies to advance the objectives of the two firms, taking advantage of shared resources, experience, and professionalism. We are committed to providing support to Colombian companies in their expansion to Mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as to Chinese companies interested in investing in Colombia." Given the host of practical difficulties encountered by SMEs on their journey of international expansion, more synergistic partnerships between Chinese and Latin American professional firms to facilitate their entry and operations would significantly boost their readiness in taking the first step. The partnership between CW CPA and Alfredo López y Cía is a perfect illustration of how the collegial and collaborative culture at Allinial Global fosters new commercial opportunities through strong, mutually beneficial relationships. Cross-border roadshows continue to open members' eyes to new possibilities, and we look forward to seeing similar partnerships developing across other regions going forward. As we say, "Allinial Global is your engine for commerce – be a part of it!"

Main image credit: The Good Brigade/ Getty Images