Business|Adults|Intermediate|20. Suitable location

Work together with your teacher


Teacher | Student

T: The population of Colombia is forty five million, nine hundred and twenty-five thousand, three hundred and ninety-seven.

S: So the population of Colombia is about forty-six million.

  1. The population of Colombia is 45,925,397.
  2. The GNP of Colombia last year was USD 243.8 billion.
  3. There are 2,981 Colombian pesos to the US dollar.
  4. The inflation over the last five years has been 5.2% per year on average.
  5. 38% of Colombia’s exports went to the US last year.
  6. There are 80.7 televisions per 100 households.
  7. There are 91.9 mobile phones per 100 people.

  1. about / million
  2. just under / billion
  3. just under / thousand
  4. just over / five
  5. just under / forty
  6. approximately / eighty-one
  7. roughly / ninety-two

Ask and answer questions to complete the table

Useful language

Saying large numbers

912,757,250 =

  • 912 = nine hundred and twelve million,
  • 757 = seven hundred and fifty-seven thousand,
  • 250 = two hundred and fifty
  • 252 = about/roughly/approximately two hundred and fifty
  • 2.044 = just over two thousand
  • 39% = just under 40 per cent


  • 5/7 = five-sevenths
  • ⅖ = two-fifths
  • ½ = a half
  • ¼ = a quarter

British and American English differences

  • 320 = three hundred and twenty (BrE); three hundred twenty (AmE)
  • 0 = nought / oh (BrE) / zero (AmE)


  • 1.25 = one point two five
  • 0.754 = nought point seven five four (BrE) / zero point seven five four (AmE) / point seven five four (BrE/AmE)


  • 65% = sixty-five per cent


  • £ 3,000,000 = three million pounds
  • € 16,000 = sixteen thousand euros


Student | Teacher

S: What’s the population of the USA?

T: It’s 319.0 million.

Read the information

Taka Shimizu Cycles

An expanding business wants to begin production outside Japan


Taka Shimizu Cycles (TSC) is based in Nagoya, Japan. Its brand is well known in Japan and in the United States. The company sells four models of bicycle:

  • road bicycles for the non-enthusiast, general user. Price: US $100-$300
  • touring bicycles for serious cyclists who travel long distances. Price: US $600-$3,000
  • racing bicycles for professional cyclists. Price US $1,000 upwards
  • mountain bicycles for energetic, adventurous, keep-fit cyclists. Price US $100-$250

Note: The company is about to launch a new bicycle for children, which has great sales potential.

In the next 10 years, TSC plans to expand to Europe and South-East Asia so that it becomes a global company. To do this, it has decided to build its own factory in an overseas country. The factory will have approximately 2,000 workers, who will produce the frames for the cycles locally. Other components such as saddles, gears, chains, tyres, etc., will be imported.

Workers will be recruited locally and trained, if necessary, at a special school set up for that purpose. The company is considering four countries as a location for the factory. They are code-named А, В, С and D.

Complete the chart

Look at the pie charts and analyse the information



Sales revenue оf cycle models as a percentage of turnover


Example: These pie charts show the sales revenue of cycle models as a percentage of turnover, comparing the following models: road bicycles, touring bicycles, racing bicycles, mountain bicycles. The most popular model of the last year is road bicycles, whose sales revenue is 41%. As it may be seen from the charts the revenue decreased by 14% in comparison with the previous year …

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each location

💡 GDP per capita — Gross Domestic Product per person (the value of goods produced per person)



Rank four countries in order of suitability as a location. Which is the most suitable for the new cycle factory?

Listening. Case study commentary

Watch the case study commentary

Lis Credé is an organization development consultant. She believes that the results of any organization can be improved by building the quality of the relationships within it, whether they are person-to-person, team-to-team, department to department, or organization to organization.

Interviewer | Lis CredCredé

Interviewer: Lis, what are the issues to consider when manufacturing abroad?
Lis CredCredé: I think there are three issues to consider. The first is the business environment that you will be working in. The second is the loсal conditions to be considered. And the third are the language and cultural differences that might be there. Within the business environment, it’s looking at the legal and financial systems that you’ll have to work within which might be very different to the ones you’re used to. With the local conditions it’s about wage levels and the availability of the local workforce. And with culture and language it’s how to deal with any language differences that might be and how to make sure that communications really work well.
Interviewer: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the possible locations?
Lis CredCredé: Well, for location A, I think the advantages are that there’s a low import tax for cycles, there’s a very good rail network, and the workforce will be readily available. The disadvantages are that there’s a poor road network, and I think the country is politically unstable. For location B, I think the major advantages are that it has a very good road and rail network and there’s a lot of flat land in the country which is good for the sale of children’s bikes. The disadvantages are that there’s high wage costs and low availability of the workforce, so it might be difficult to get people to work there. The big advantage for location C is that the economy is growing fastest than all the other locations, and this will be good for cycle sales. Also, the tax on profits is low. The main disadvantage is that the tax on imported cycle parts is relatively high. And, finally, location D. The government is encouraging for an investment and therefore they are offering a «tax holiday» for three years which means you pay no tax for that time. The disadvantage is that after that the tax rate you’ll pay is the highest of all the options.
Interviewer: Which location would you choose and why?
Lis CredCredé: It’s not an easy choice because each location has its advantages and disadvantages. But if I had to choose I’d choose location D for three reasons. The first is that it has a mixed landscape, so it should be good for sales of all types of cycles. Secondly, it has a good airport structure and there’s further investment planned for railroad. And thirdly, there’s average wage rates and high unemployment, so it should be relatively easy to recruit the workforce needed.

Read the article from the Financial Times

The gains from growing pains

Alicia Clegg

The best start-up ideas are often the simplest. But entrepreneurs often need to experiment with business models as their ventures grow. For young retail companies, one of the biggest challenges is getting the right mix of outlets as they perfect their products. Christian Rucker, founder of The White Company, which made pre-tax profits of £2.2m the year before last, is a classic example.

While working as an editor at fashion magazine Harper’s, Ms Rucker spotted a gap in the market for stylish white bed linen and accessories priced midway between designer labels and mass-market lines. After finding £20,000 from a local government grant and shares inherited from her grandmother, she launched her business in 1994, initially through mail order. Last year, The White Company made sales of £49.5m, up by almost £10m on the previous year.

«Offering choice is part of great customer service,» says Ms Rucker, whose company owns 14 shops, plus space in department stores and franchises in Dubai. «One channel feeds another. Someone might see something in a store then place an order online. Customers will spend more because you are making it easy for them.» Having survived the early days, the entrepreneur must find ways of sustaining growth in future, without sacrificing the individuality that attracted their customers in the first place.

Ms Rucker, who aims for sales of £110m by 2011, believes the solution is to improve quality. «There comes a point when it’s easy to drop the quality a little and take a higher profit margin. But, as the quantity goes up, you can actually afford to buy slightly better materials but keep the price (for customers) the same.»

Complete this summary with the correct figures from the article

Read the article again and decide if the sentences are True or False

Match the words from the article with their meanings

Read the task and prepare your 2-minute speech on the topic of «New Business»


Cover the points:

  1. Give examples of tax incentives in different countries.
  2. What is «a start-up»?
  3. What are the features that make any business successful?
  4. What sort of problems do new businesses face?
  5. Why is it critical to know your potential customer?

Allow your browser the access to the microphone, press the button «Record» and record the speech you have prepared

Read the information


As a member of the planning committee in the Case study, you had to choose the location for the new factory. You thought of the advantages and disadvantages of each location.


Write a short report briefly giving the reasons for choosing the country that you selected in the Case study. Also, say why you selected it rather than a location in one of the other possible countries. Use the words and phrases above


  1. Read the task and study the sample carefully.
  2. Plan what you are going to write about.
  3. Write according to your plan.
  4. Check your writing before sending it for evaluation.
  5. Learn the rules and see the sample here.
  6. Please use Grammarly to avoid spelling and some grammar mistakes.