Emerging market countries' regulations, taxes and business environments vary widely, requiring multinationals to study up on each country's business accessibility and potential before entering. As recent events have shown, companies must also be prepared to handle the massive upheavals and abrupt changes likely to follow.

Disruptions occur in even the most stable economies, as Japan's tsunami clearly illustrated. But emerging market countries' less developed infrastructures and unpredictable politics tend to result in more frequent ones.

The late January uprising in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, brought that risk into focus for Juniper Networks, the $4.1 billion Sunnyvale, Calif., company that sells its networking software and services around the world. Catherine Portman, Juniper's global head of treasury, says the risk of disruptions is an unavoidable part of doing business in emerging markets.

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