Independence Day: A Global View

I Hope that you had a wonderful Independence celebration, however you celebrated.

I took the liberty to discovery how hose in different countries celebrate this day and their independence. Certain parts of this research intriged me and I share them with you.

I  first began by looking at the United States and then later discussed two other countries and the significant of their " Independence Day". 

United States 

Every 4th of July in The United States of America there are Red, White and Blue celebrations of Independence Day. The celebrations consist of parties with food (lots of food), music, parades, fireworks and candy.  After all, this is the day the US celebrates the Birth of America's Declaration of Independence. "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL WITH HUMAN RIGHT given by GOD." (Women and other cultures not necessarily included). This year I joined a parade as a governmental official and waved at the crowd of people on the sides dressed in thier American Flag colors. I asked several people what the colors meant and they had no idea. They did say "Happy independence day!" as the participants threw candy to the children who quickly indulged. I wondered if they knew what they were there for. 

I could not help but intensely contrast the different nationalities and cultures represented. I wanted to get closer to them. I wanted to see what their faces conveyed about this celebration of independence. Did they feel free or was it just a day off from the norm? I wondered, if you are from a place where you still feel  oppressed can you celebrate fully or is this just "What you do because everyone else does it?"

In my conversations and from knowledge, I noted that several U.S. subcultures plainly do not participate in this 4th of July Independence celebration or if they do participate, they are not actually celebrating the same independence that others are lining up to celebrate. For instance, many African Americans do not celebrate the 4th of the "Lie" as it is sometimes described. The reason is that they feel as if they are not free and further, this independence celebration, when started, never included them and was not for their benefit. 

So what do they celebrate: some African Americans celebrate the date that they were actually freed from slavery.  Juneteenth is the name of the celebration and it happens on June 19th, every year. This day is also known as Freedom Day, and commemorates the date of June 19, 1865, in which there was an announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas. The emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern states was really something to celebrate and culturally people find it important to separate and remember that at the time of The Declaration of Independence they were not free.

So this made me think, huuuummmmm.  Do Native Americans celebrate the 4th of July? I have found, not surprisingly that some do and some do not. As I looked closer at this freedom issue for Native Americans it is extremely complex. There are some natives who wish to totally assimilate into the melting pot mentality of the US culture. I understand that, who wants to be an outsider, especially with fireworks and fun all around? Some Natives, however, use the day to celebrate their own achievements and achievements they have been.

For instance, one of the hardest ideas for me to grasp is that Native Americans  tried so hard to help America in its own way and maintain autonomy and were unable to because laws were put in place that said they have to become part of the culture. Native Americans, during the time of Independence were still subject to Religions Crime Codes. These were regulations which came from the United States Department of Interior, Office of Indian Affairs, which prohibited American Indians from practicing any sort of ceremonial life. Indian agents then had to end tribal dances and feasts. Their hair was cut; they were made to speak English and children taken from families that would not comply (sounds familiar). Their religions practices, education, religion and life were somewhat destroyed. To make sure that there could be no autonomy in the practice; sacred objects were confiscated and destroyed.  An interesting fact is that they could be imprisoned for the Sun Dance or Ghost Dance

Ghana

Africa, with the exception of one country was completely colonialized by the main Western Nations. There was a land grab with little concern for neither people nor history. Beastly. On March 6th, Ghana, like many African countries celebrates its independence with dancing and costumes of bright colors in red, yellow, and green accessories. Like other African nations which followed, Ghana was the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence from the British colonial a rule. The problems after the rape of the land have never subsided and the British and other Western nations have never allowed them to live it down. Still Africa, including Ghana, press to thrive. Now, Africa is being honed as the next economic place for 2020. The youth are gearing up and the city of Accra for its Independence is filled with beach parties, street parties and tons of dancing to the African drum.

India

India celebrates independence from British colonial rule on August 15th with the raising of the Indian flag in Delhi. The Indian flag and the eye of the tiger! Indians (not to be confused with Native Americans) fly Kites, which are a national symbol of freedom across the country. 

There are so many wonderfully interesting places that can be explored, but our need to recognize a day of freedom appears to be universal. Independence for may be celebrated even with those continuing abuses, but the thought that better day will arise on the horizon is the real song playing in their heads. "Freedom come and me wanna go home."

 

0b8eaca2-b9a9-4e08-a6a9-bfd9e4ffef5d.jpg

5 Legal Steps to Selling Your Business

Step 1. Determining the value/worth of the business

There are two approaches that will help you determine the value/worth of the business.  The first approach is to determine the value through the business assets. By assets we mean what does the business own? Is it computers, desks, phones, etc.  The second approach is to determine the value through the stream of cash it makes each year minus other accounting factors/reports

 

Step 2.  Cleaning up business financials

It is important that you make sure that all money and accounts are up to date. Meaning making sure all debts, lawsuits, insurance are all paid up. Looking up exact structures of the business and any other property owned books are key components of making sure that your business financials are in order.

 

Step 3. Equity vs. Asset

 The terms equity and asset are two important terms you need to know. Equity is the difference between the value of what your business is worth minus what you owe on it. Simply put, equity is how much is actually yours. Assets are resources with economic value that an individual or corporation owns or controls. Equity and assets are included in one equation. Equity equals the difference of assets and liabilities (debt owed by a company).

 

Step 4. Preparing the documents for the sell of the business

In order to sell the business you need several documents. Key documents that will help you sell your business include but not limited to financial documents such as balance sheet, tax returns, lease or deed, insurance policies, any agreements with third parties. All of these documents may help increase the value of your business, identify a selling strategy, and help with determining a fair asking price.

 

Step 5. Legal issues to consider

When selling a business, issues can occur without warning. The main legal issues in the matter of selling a business are outstanding debts, unpaid taxes or wages, transferring the business, maintaining all or previous business connections or contracts, dealing with sensitive information pertaining to employees, copyrighted information, and trade secrets.

 

As you can see purchasing or selling any business can be just as complicated as starting one. With the correct team to walk you through the process and with the right expectations this can be a very rewarding and satisfying process for you and the buyer.

 

What does an International Law Firm do?

cb57e313-1fcd-42b6-b459-c1041fc907a5.jpg

Recently I have encountered several people who have communicated with me regarding their definitions of what International Business is. In this article I discuss what international business is, from my perspective, how international business laws are applicable and what we at TEIL Firms do and how we help international businesses with those legal issues.

International Business can be many things to different people, but mainly it is businesses and or individuals engaging in commerce across country lines. Commerce can be and normally is products and serves, but the products are now more than any time in history crossing without specific and or know contractual agreements. For example, in the pass many international businesses communicated through fax and then email regarding agreements, now.

International Business Law then are the rules and regulations that govern these transactions. In this area we discuss not only treaties of the two or more nations and their connection with each other, but how the nations citizens will deal with each other. Many times that is contractual between the parties and sometimes it involves laws of the nation and immigration.

Here are some categories of cases that fall under international business law and whose cases may be handled by The TEIL Firms :

1. An international client or corporation that seeks to do business in the U.S.

2. A client or corporation in the U.S. seeking to expand business in another country.

3. Clients that are from and do business in other countries.

 

One of the  important parts of being an international firm is having employees who are international either by nationality , study or actually in the location where the firm does business.

At TEIL Firms we collectively speak French, Cantonese, Spanish, and Mandarin. Our of counsel lawyers handle an array of cases in different states and nation  that allow us to take the case under our umbrella and assist businesses  in the United States.

 

 

Modern Silk Road

122703126.jpg

In the Series One of Silk Road Initiative, we talked about the ancient silk road and the history. (You can review it here[link].)  In this article, we will talk about the modern silk road. We will discuss how it starts, what are the differences between the ancient one and the modern one, how it progresses so far.

 

In 2013, the concept of modern silk road was brought by Chinese President Xi Jingpin in two speeches. It was originally called One Belt One Road, which was better known, and was latter officially translated as the Belt and Road Initiative (“BRI”).  Yet, it is also known as The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.

 

Thought the concept of BRI was the revival of the ancient Silk Road, there are differences. First, the ancient Silk Road had mainly three routes while the BRI consists of six corridors at least.  Second, the goods traded in the past were silk, jewelry, fur, spices, etc. Nowadays, the BRI focused more on infrastructure investment, construction materials, railway and highway, automobile, real estate, power grid, iron, and steel[1]. Third, compared with the ancient Silk Road, the BRI has broad vision of its aim, according to a blueprint of the BRI released by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission. The BRI aims to promote the flow of economic factors, efficient allocation of recourses, deep integration of markets, and to strengthen China’s mutually beneficial cooperation with countries in Asia, Europe and Africa and the rest of the world. What’s more, the BRI has more financial supports. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (“AIIB”) was set up to lend money for infrastructure projects of the BRI.[2] Other than the banks, development fund was created to invest in businesses as well, rather than to lend money. The Karot Hydropower Project in Pakistan in 2016 was the first investment project of the Silk Road Fund.[3]

 

It is said that the BRI projects cover more than 68 countries, equivalent to 65% of the world's population and 40% of the global GDP as of 2017.[4] In addition to the economic cooperation, educational collaboration is built and developed. The University Alliance of the Silk Road was founded to support and promote training, cooperative education, research, policy, cross-cultural understanding and medical services[5].  There are 132 member universities, including Washington University in St. Louis of USA. The alliance extends to law schools as well. The law school alliance was formed with Chinese law schools and several foreign law schools, to promote legal education, research and exchanges of law, and to contribute to the enhancement of the rule of law[6].

 

A coin has two sides. There are opportunities but there are also challenges and risks. International trade can affect the labor market while benefiting consumers. Different trade policies and governance standards can affect the cooperation among the countries, with concerns of controls.

 

No matter whether you find the opportunities or the challenges in this modern silk road, always, have the capacity to adapt, be open-minded toward the differences, and embrace the diversity of the real world.

 

 

  1. [1] General Office of Leading Group of Advancing the Building of the Belt and Road Initiative (2016). "Belt and Road in Big Data 2016". Beijing: the Commercial Press.
  2. [2] More details about the AIIB, visit https://www.aiib.org/en/about-aiib/index.html
  3. [3] "Commentary: Silk Road Fund's 1st investment makes China's words into practice". english.gov.cn. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  4. [4] "What to Know About China's Belt and Road Initiative Summit". Time. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  5. [5] "XJTU Initiated the University Alliance of the New Silk Road (UANSR)". 22 May 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  6. [6] Ma, Lie (12 November 2015). "Chinese and foreign law schools launch New Silk Road alliance". China Daily. Retrieved 18 September 2016.