•  
  •  
 

Document Type

Symposium

Abstract

In 1996, for an international widget company focused on selling to the Japanese tourist and looking to expand its business, Korea was the Promised Land. Korea had a widget business well in excess of (U.S.) $500 million, and was the second most popular Japanese tourist destination. No foreign companies were in the market, and my client BWC (a world-renowned widget company), sought to change that. They did, for a while. This paper analyzes select aspects of the twelve months of Round One negotiations that led to the triumphant signing of a Joint Venture Agreement with SY, a leading Korean widget retailer. Space constraints permit only the briefest recap of Round Two of the negotiations, which was the not-so-triumphant dissolving of that joint venture ("JV") eighteen months later-a victim of the intervening Asian financial crisis. We found that in this Promised Land the milk was not so fresh and the honey not so sweet. We also found that a carefully crafted agreement that plans for the worst-case scenario is essential to surviving the expected and unexpected risks of doing business in the often-volatile international business arena.