Which Country?

Hi all, My partner and I have had a jewellery retail and
manufacturing business in Botswana and Zimbabwe for ten years. We
had four retail shops, various consignment outlets and
casting/design workshops in the two countries. All of these were
positioned in up- market hotels,lodges and shops. We made gold and
silver art and animal theme jewellery, whilst living in one of the
finest wildlife areas in the world. However, due to the political
situation now it is no longer possible to maintain our operations in
Zimbabwe. This has, however, opened a new door for us, namely, to
apply the knowledge we have gained over the last ten years in another
country. That is: we design and build our own workshops, we design
and manufacture our own jewellery ( www. meevis.com ) and we design
and build our own retail outlets for that jewellery, mainly selling
to American, German and Japanese tourists. We are experienced in
training local people for selling and artisans for making jewellery.
We have enough stock to fill a shop immediately and we have no debt
and no children ie. house,car paid for etc. We are fluent in four
languages. Now comes my question to Orchid. If you were us , in which
country would you invest? Cheers, Hans Meevis


Sam Patania, Tucson

My two cents:

Your question to Orchid regarding which country to relocate your
operations to is a complicated one at best. Each country has pros
and cons and this question can’t be answered from a purely business
perspective. The environment in which you and your partner now
thrive (i.e., wilderness) would seem to rule out most cosmopolitan
locations (Paris, New York, London) yet, those are prime
international tourist locations, none of which are severely limited
by seasonal concerns. Given the global political/religious unrest
which seems to be escalating, I would be hesitant about
re-establishing myself in a spot where unrest may loom on the
horizon. However, because we are becoming more global in mindset,
I don’t see the need to physically reside where you may or may not
be at risk. Nor do I see the need to establish a business where
unrest may take it from you.

Truthfully, were I in your shoes, I would approach this from a
slightly different perspective. Given your history, I would
approach upscale resorts/hotels; creating an exclusive line(s)
specifically for them and have them sell your items so that the
motif hits home with the tourists at those locations. What may end
up happening is that a tourist who goes to ABC Resort in X country
purchases a piece from that location. Meanwhile, a year later, they
go to ABC Resort in Y country and purchase another unique piece
created for the second location. People love to collect and jewelry
purchased on trips should reflect something about the trip thereby
bringing back fond memories. There is a cache developed from
personally collecting pieces which can only be purchased at certain
locations. Your four languages will come in handy when creating the
brochures/marketing at the various locals.

Meanwhile, on a personal note, you and your partner need to make a
list of what environment will mirror the best aspects of where you
are now so that you can live where you feel the most “at home”.

I happen to reside in the USA and would cast my vote for this
country because no matter how insane we get, we always stay between
the lines. My uncle happens to adore Bangkok; my father;
Belize, my sister, Key West; my mother, Arizona - - places which
touch a person’s soul have to be found by that person and, even
within one family, can be extremely diverse in ambiance.

However, having said all this, post a list of things you are looking
for in a location and perhaps we can all chime in about places we
know which may match.



Excellent question! One in which I will be asking in a couple of
years. Where do we go if we love our job but want to be safe?


Oh Hans, Mate! Australia. Fair dinkum, there’s hardly any question
about it. Australia must be the best kept secret in the world.

Good standards of living, lots of opportunity, and it’s safe - you
won’t need to live in a barbed wire compound or behind a walled
enclave with electronic surveillance. Australians are, on the whole,
egalitarian and easy going. We’ve maintained the human values and
humanitarian attitudes that a large chunk of the Western world seems
to have lost in its obsession with the almighty dollar and economic

Sure, globalisation has forced some of this crap on us, but we
aren’t dominated by it. We can still stop to smell the roses without
compromising our standards of living.

Hans, you’ve really started something with this thread. Kind
regards, Rex Steele Merten

Dear Hans, Being very familiar with Africa AND being very close to a
traveling segment of the public ( I have a retail store in a very
affluent community in California)

my take is that you should not expand at this time. My clients are ,
for the most part, holding back on travel abroad, except for those
destinations that are realitively safe and easily accessed. Most of
my clients are traveling to Mexico this year and others are seeking
European destinations. Many are opting to not travel at all because
of the hassles involved. I have spent considerable time in Kenya,
Ghana, South Africa, Zambia and Botswana. It is my perception that
South Africa is the most stable destination on the African continent
and I think that many of my traveling clients feel the same way. I
would rank Bostwana as a close second. I might rank it first were it
not for the fact that it is a one industry economy and, if that
industry were to collapse for gawd knows what reason, there would
probably be anarchy. I appreciate the fact that you are a vertically
integrated company, but you might, perhaps, think along the lines of
wholesaleing your product through American and European outlets. If
the customers won’t come to you, take it to them ! USAID would
probably be happy to work with you. They have regularly paved the
way for African producers to market in America. Hakuna matata !

Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

  If you were us , in which country would you invest? Cheers, Hans

Hi Hans, Today, the whole of western Europa is in a big economical
breakdown, so I wouldn’t suggest Europe (except for Spain, where
Cataluna (Barcelona) seems fairly well). Just think about Morrocco:
wages are low, and there are some tax free areas (Marrakech, for
instance). Have a look to Asia, too, but I have no more info. Best
regards, Yann www.webcarats.com

Hans, Come on over to Namibia. You would be close enough to Zim to
visit your friends, yet you would be safe. You would still be able
to use your animal theme jewelry, dealing with the lodges and upscale
Hotels…and you would be close to the tourmaline triangle.
karen johnston

For the sake of lokal patriotism I perhaps should suggest Denmark,
but I don’t think that your setup would be great here, and if I were
in your situation today, I would absolutely try to get to Australia.
Nice, helpful, and friendly people. Nice environment. Nice
climate(s). Good healthcare, just to mention a few positive sides.

A couple of years ago we went around in the outback of Queensland,
and I never felt safer. The only things holding us from going there
for good are A couple of years ago we went around in the outback of
Queensland, and I never felt safer. The only things holding us from
going there for good are our nearby daughters - although one just
went to London - and indeed our grandson :slight_smile:

Kind regards
Niels L=F8vschal, Rutsker, Denmark