On a recent trip to Afghanistan, my wife took a daytrip through the Khyber Pass to see relatives in Pakistan. Though she travelled through one of the most remote places on earth, she saw constant reminders of home. She stopped at a Pepsi-emblazoned kiosk, purchased Lay's potato chips, and drank Nestle chocolate milk.
When she shared this experience with me, I couldn't have been happier. While this may smack of imperialism, I think this type of expansion is the only way American companies can escape the United States' current economic malaise. Going abroad is no longer optional, and in this second part of my series on international investing, I'll share with you the seven companies best-positioned to do so.
Global brand recognition
Consumer-products companies like Procter & Gamble
Can you buy it in the Khyber Pass?
While it hurts my heart to say this, North America is no longer the poster child of economic growth. With markets the size of China and India opening up to global commerce, it's not enough nowadays to dominate in the U.S. Fools should adopt this general rule going forward: Companies you hold for the long term must have either a presence in these markets, or a feasible and imminent strategy to establish one.
Feel free to leave questions or comments in the space below. And to keep track of these companies as they spread to every corner of the map, consider adding them to your Fool watchlist: