Not from round here Sir Digby Jones is right to highlight markets such as China and India as potentially fertile areas for exporting British PFI expertise.

The example of Japan is an instructive one, but it should not blind UK companies to the potential risks of operating in overseas markets.

Cultural differences can present serious challenges to legal, effective and profitable business. What is accepted practice in some overseas markets can often conflict with the obligation of western companies to meet our own conventions and practices. It is essential that local knowledge is partnered with international expert capability, spanning the potential business issues, including the appropriate fraud risks. If businesses enter these markets with their eyes open there are great opportunities, but care should always be taken before targeting untapped markets.

Anthony Morgan, forensics partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers