International business refers to the trade of goods, services, technology, capital and/or knowledge across national borders and at a global or transnational scale. It involves cross-border transactions of goods and services between two or more countries. Transactions of economic resources include capital, skills, and people for the purpose of the international production of physical goods and services such as finance, banking, insurance, and construction. International business is also known as globalization.
International business is also defined as the study of the internationalization process of multinational enterprises. A multinational enterprise (MNE) is a company that has a worldwide approach to markets, production and/or operations in several countries. Well-known MNEs include fast-food companies such as: McDonald’s (MCD), YUM (YUM), Starbucks Coffee Company (SBUX), Microsoft (MSFT), etc. Other industrial MNEs leaders include vehicle manufacturers such as: Ford Motor Company, and General Motors (GMC). Some consumer electronics producers such as Samsung, LG and Sony, and energy companies such as Exxon Mobil, and British Petroleum (BP) are also multinational enterprises.
To conduct business overseas, multinational companies need to bridge separate national markets into one global marketplace. There are two macro-scale factors that underline the trend of greater globalization. The first consists of eliminating barriers to make cross-border trade easier (e.g. free flow of goods and services, and capital, referred to as “free trade”). The second is technological change, particularly developments in communication, information processing, and transportation technologies.