An article by BORIS PARAD, an American patent attorney with European and U.S. engineering background and U.S. business litigation experience, who is the founder of Parad Law Offices, P.C., assisting companies in cross-border litigation and financial transactions, and the Tekapult Firm acting as the U.S. state-of-the-art technology transfer, assimilation and monetization intermediary worldwide.
The Republic of Belarus and more than 20 other ex-Soviet coalition states1 desire to acquire state-of-the-art technologies for their industrial invigoration. The supply of high-quality goods and modern technology from many nearby Western European countries is withering, due to declines in their industrial bases and technological innovations, which are exacerbated by ongoing social upheavals, a diminishing work force, and diversion of resources for subsidizing massive inflows of state-dependent aliens.
Belarus may catapult industries (by using external financial resources) to the world-class level via acquisition, co-development and implementation of U.S. state-of-the-art technologies. Belarus would then become a supplier to other countries of water, renewable energy (solar, wind, industrial/ municipal waste, etc.) and transportation systems, etc. Such techboost matches American corporations’ constant goal to cost-efficiently monetize their products by moving into new markets and expanding their exports, promptly receiving balance due payments, obtaining low cost labor and raw/processed material, maximizing asset utilization, and capitalizing on the recipient country’s talent. Besides brand recognition and profit increase attendant to additional sales, spread of tech knowledge gains the U.S. companies’ goodwill in local markets.
Belarusian research and development (R&D) facilities may be established for scientific, engineering and technological issue-specific collaboration with U.S. private and government laboratories, universities, foundations, and business enterprises. Talented cross-border teams can adapt developed products for local markets, conduct clinical medical, equipment or bioengineered product testing/trials, and coauthor and patent joint product innovations and discoveries. Technical knowledge absorption routes include joint venture agreements, purchase or establishment of wholly owned or controlled subsidiaries and R&D centers, consulting expert arrangements, machinery and plant purchases, and patent licensing agreements. For instance, America has a dire need for machinists, lab technicians, tool and die makers and other craftsmen, who could be brought into the U.S. or employed in Belarusian facilities for long-term projects.
Any company in the world may manufacture its goods in the U.S. Foreign/ Free Trade Zones (FTZ), in order to amplify profitability and facilitate cost-effective and expeditious products’ inculcation into U.S. and foreign marketplaces. FTZ, physically located on U.S. soil, are legally deemed to be outside the U.S. commerce and customs territory. Manufacturers use FTZ to duty-free re-label, exhibit, mix, store, clean, repackage, examine, sample, repair, destroy rejects/waste, and produce their goods. Foreign and domestic goods, which are warehoused, manipulated, or processed in FTZ, may be infinitely kept in FTZ, bond free and duty-free. FTZs are mutually beneficial for the U.S. (fostering foreign investment and job creation) and Belarusian/ foreign manufacturers.
The U.S. government’s initiatives let foreign companies participate in R&D and commercialization of new materials, devices, and products in nano-science/ engineering/medicine, environmental cleanup, solar-to-electrical energy conversion/storage, etc. Industry-specific federal incentives span from manufacturer’s tax credits to EB-5 immigrant investor visas, as well as grants for employment/training, and renewable energy, etc. To attract investments, each American state offers incentives like loans, industrial property tax exemption, a new job tax credit, or pre-employment workforce upgrade training. Setting up a subsidiary company or entering into a joint venture with a U.S. company provides the FTZ-based foreign manufacturer with a local skilled workforce, an essentially non-corrupt judicial and administrative system, state-of-the-art electronic, manufacturing and banking appurtenances, reliable intrastate commercial transportation, low energy costs and other U.S. business attributes.
Each tech transfer contract may include arbitration clauses, in order to take advantage of The New York Arbitration Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, binding the U.S., Belarus and other ex-Soviet allied nations as treaty-participants. Such clauses may provide that all disputes shall be resolved by a neutral country’s arbitrators, per that country’s laws and rules; unconditional compliance with and immediate recognition and enforcement of the award by the courts of all countries without re-trials; and non-compliance penalties including business operation injunctions, the freezing of the losing party’s assets, etc. Self-interest in a venture’s success and contract-based internationally recognized protection would be more effective than proof of transgressions via state courts.
The Belarus government’s assistance may encompass expedited issuance of construction, environmental, transportation, export-import and other permits, regulations and executive orders; provision of real estate for manufacturing and research facilities; and promotion of projects via government-controlled media. Financial and administrative incentives might include facilitating tariff reduction, streamlining of visa-related procedures for intra-country and cross-border temporary migration of skilled personnel, and setting out a tax moratorium. Courts now extend an unprecedented judicial comity to U.S. laws and tribunals. The Belarus Economic Court’s recent recognition and enforcement (by state agencies) of an American state court’s judgment against a U.S. defendant/Belarus citizen2 may bode well for potential foreign investors.
There are many sources of funding for infrastructure-building projects with attendant technology assimilation. These public and private sources range from multinational companies, suppliers and charitable organizations to private placement programs for state-controlled companies and grants. Project coordinators and intermediaries can facilitate project funding through a network of contacts, in order to minimize use of or even increase the recipient enterprise funds. Tus, each country will educate and train its work force and construct new and modernize existing factories and research facilities, by exploiting sovereign wealth funds (via investment corporations) for global huge-return investments.
This techboost resembles the Marshall Plan money conveyance for the postwar resurgence of Japan’s and Germany’s economies, except that the subject technical osmosis is mutually beneficial for sci-tech transferors (exporters), who gain jobs/profits, and Belarusian enterprises, who receive proprietary know-how and knowledge-based innovations, in order to spur new product creation and for national economic development.