What is International Business? Definition and Examples

Any company or individual that sells goods to other countries or buys them from abroad is involved in international business. It includes any type of trade of goods, services, knowledge, or capital across international borders.

International Business Definition - Globalization
Pixabay.com image adapted by Market Business News.

Since the second half of the twentieth century, international business, which is also known as globalization, has increased significantly.

International business – a feature of every country

Every country in the world today imports and exports goods, services, intellectual property, employees, and capital.

International business requires more skills than those used in domestic business. It may involve traveling to another country, and in some cases, living there for quite some time.

If you are involved in international business, you need to understand diverse cultures and customs, economies, business practices, and laws.

Examples of international business

If we hear the term international business, most of us think of the importation and exportation of oil, natural gas, cars, etc.

However, there are hundreds of different types of international business companies and transactions. If I order something from Amazon in the United States and have it delivered to my home in Canada, I am an active participant in the world of international business.

Customer Service Outsourced Abroad
Image created by Market Business News.

Another example is a company that outsources some of its activities abroad because of lower costs. Many companies today outsource their customer service, accounting, or manufacturing activities.

Pearson Pathways says the following about the term:

“International business focuses on any commercial activity or transaction between companies, organizations, individuals, or government entities that crosses borders into different countries and regions.”

“These global transactions are not limited to a specific currency, interest, or asset. International commerce comprises anything of value exchanged between the engaged parties, such as goods and services, technology, capital, employees, and intellectual property.”

Multinational companies

All multinational companies are involved in international business. The world’s largest businesses are multinational companies, also known as multinational corporations or transnational corporations.

A multinational company is one that has business, production facilities, offices, staff, and other activities or assets in more than one country.

The world’s 100 largest multinational corporations control approximately forty percent of global trade. Initially, nearly all multinationals were North American (Coca-Cola, Ford, Procter & Gamble), European (Nestle, BO, Volkswagen), or Japanese (Sony, Mitsubishi, Toyota).

Over the last two or three decades, multinationals have emerged in other regions, including South Korea (Hyundai, Samsung), China (Lenovo, Huawei), Mexico (Cemex, Grupo Bimbo), and India (Reliance, Tata).

International business vs. just domestic business

The global marketplace is much more competitive that the domestic market. However, you will have a much greater chance of growing more quickly and becoming a major player if you do venture abroad.

The global economy, i.e., global GDP, is nearly four times the size of the US economy. Even if your market share is small, you can still grow. A small percentage of the global market is much larger than double that percentage of your home market.

The Internet has changed everything

Since the advent of the Internet, how we work, study, shop, spend our free time, communicate, and do business has changed dramatically.

Individual people can now compete in the global market; this is something only companies of a certain size could do in the past.

Teacher involved in International Business
Image created by Market Business News.

Even an English language teacher, for example, who teaches students in other countries via Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet, is involved in international business. Their students or customers pay them via PayPal, Venmo, or Square.

Compound phrases

We can make many compound phrases with term “International Business.” Let’s have a look at 15 of them:

  • International Business Machines

Often refers to IBM, the multinational technology company.

  • International Business Strategy

A comprehensive plan for how a company will operate in the global market.

  • International Business Law

Legal rules, regulations, and practices that govern international business transactions.

  • International Business Environment

The combined economic, political, legal, social, and cultural conditions that affect business operations across borders.

  • International Business Management

The process of managing business operations in more than one country.

  • International Business Development

Expansion of a company’s products or services into new international markets.

  • International Business Ethics

Moral guidelines for the conduct of business internationally.

  • International Business Operations

The day-to-day activities of a company conducting business across national borders.

  • International Business Negotiations

The process of bargaining agreements in international business dealings.

  • International Business Transactions

Trades, deals, or other business activities conducted between parties from different countries.

  • International Business Culture

The different cultures and social behaviors that affect how business is conducted internationally.

  • International Business District

A designated area in a city focused on international commerce.

  • International Business Hub

A central point where international business activities are concentrated.

  • International Business Consulting

Advisory services offered to businesses to help them succeed in global markets.

  • International Business Education

Academic programs and courses focused on teaching the principles of international trade and commerce.

Other languages

Here is the term ‘International Business’ in various different languages:

  • Spanish: Negocios Internacionales
  • Hindi: अंतर्राष्ट्रीय व्यापार (Antarraashtreey Vyaapaar)
  • French: Affaires Internationales
  • Arabic: الأعمال الدولية (Al-A’maal Al-Dawliya)
  • Bengali: আন্তর্জাতিক ব্যবসা (Antôrjatik byabôsâ)
  • Russian: Международный бизнес (Mezhdunarodnyy biznes)
  • Portuguese: Negócios Internacionais
  • Indonesian: Bisnis Internasional
  • Urdu: بین الاقوامی کاروبار (Bayn-ul-Aqwami Karobar)
  • German: Internationales Geschäft
  • Japanese: 国際ビジネス (Kokusai bijinesu)
  • Swahili: Biashara ya Kimataifa
  • Marathi: आंतरराष्ट्रीय व्यवसाय (Aantararaashtreey Vyavasaay)
  • Telugu: అంతర్జాతీయ వ్యాపారం (Antarjaatheeya Vyaapaaram)
  • Turkish: Uluslararası İş
  • Korean: 국제 비즈니스 (Gukje bijeuniseu)
  • Tamil: சர்வதேச வணிகம் (Sarvadesa Vaṇigam)
  • Vietnamese: Kinh doanh Quốc tế
  • Italian: Affari Internazionali
  • Gujarati: આંતરરાષ્ટ્રીય વ્યાપાર (Aantararashtriya Vyapar)
  • Farsi: تجارت بین‌المللی (Tejarat Beyn-al-Melali)
  • Bhojpuri: अंतरराष्ट्रीय व्यापार (Antarrashtreey Vyapar)
  • Hakka: 国际商业 (Kok-chè sang-yè)
  • Mandarin Chinese: 国际商务 (Guójì shāngwù)
  • Cantonese Chinese: 國際商務 (Gwokjai seungmou)
  • Jin Chinese: 国际商务 (Guójì shāngwù)
  • Southern Min: 國際商業 (Kok-chè sang-o̍h)
  • Kannada: ಅಂತಾರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ವ್ಯಾಪಾರ (Antārāṣṭrīya Vyāpāra)

Video – What is International Business?

This video, from our sister channel in YouTube – Marketing Business Network, explains what ‘International Business’ is using simple and easy-to-understand language and examples.