globalEDGE Blog

India has recently seen an explosion in startups, becoming the third largest country in terms of startup companies. These can be attributed to the rapid economic growth and the large amount of available capital in the country. Also, with all of the rapid growth the country has been undergoing, mergers and acquisitions activity has increased as well. The country added around 650 startups last year and more than 800 this year to reach 3,100 startups in total. India’s government has undergone many changes as of late, and once these changes are fully implemented and supportive of business owners, the startup scene is projected to grow even more.

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In the midst of an autumn season consisting of changing leaves, dropping temperatures, and new webpage releases from globalEDGE, the brand new country government pages have now officially been published! The intention of redesigning the former government pages was not only to provide key information and data in a user-friendly format, but to highlight the aspects of foreign governments that are the most important with regards to international business as well. With this in mind, the new pages include "Government Control of Economy" and "Political Risk" indicators, general tax information, and also information on foreign policy trends, regional trade bloc memberships, and security treaties that have been shown to affect a country's global commerce policies. Furthermore, the pages also include information on the main powers of foreign governments, election processes and cycles of a country's political branches, and information on a country's heads of state and government, constitution, and government type.

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File under: Agriculture, India, Labor

Recently, an Indian activist named Kailash Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to protect the rights of children in the global labor force. Satyarthi created a South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude which has battled child labor by raiding factories across India and liberating more than 40,000 bonded workers. He has also campaigned for increased legislature banning child labor and created a global campaign against the issue, made up of over 2,000 civil society organizations around the world. Despite Satyarthi’s efforts, child labor is still prevalent in many poor countries, and laws that directly ban the practice can do more bad than good.

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File under: Europe, Iran, Investment

Iran is the last, large, untapped emerging market in the world.”  These were the words of Ramin Rabii, a chief executive of the top foreign investment company in Iran, following The 1st Europe-Iran Forum.  At this forum hundreds of international investors met with Iranian business leaders, and also heard from speakers such as the United Kingdom’s former foreign secretary Jack Straw.

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Given the myriad of groundbreaking new biotechnology products coupled with accelerating costs of research, development, manufacturing, and regulatory mandates, the healthcare industry today finds itself at a crossroads. Consumers, hospitals, and governments are petitioning for fairly priced goods and services without compromising top-tier quality or extending risk exposure. However, the narrowing global economic environment is persuading market-leading manufactures to reevaluate not only their value chain processing, but also their premium pricing models. Under the aforementioned conditions, it is often in the best interest of suppliers, consumers, and shareholders to empower profit maximization by outsourcing core operational services for efficiency.

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What is something that we have we learned from medical epidemics? Globalization is a gift and a curse. As the world continues to unite and globalize goods, services, and cultures, there is one element that is still lagging behind - the globalization of healthcare. With globalization, traveling has never been easier as you can go from and to any part of the world in 24 hours. On top of that, growing cooperation between countries has decreased the alertness on country borders. Ultimately, this has become one of the causes of the global spread of diseases and infections, since they can spread at a rapid and dismantling pace. Attempts at addressing this problem and increasing globalization have been demonstrated through medical tourism, which has made progress but also suffered some setbacks.

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International trade has allowed business to grow all around the world and has created an interconnected marketplace for goods and services. However, despite these major benefits, risks have also emerged. Experts estimate that 10 percent of medicinal goods around the world are counterfeit and the sale of counterfeit medicine has risen 90% in the last five years. This phenomenon has been attributed to the increasing amount of merchandise crossing borders and the growing sophistication of counterfeit methods. How has counterfeit medicine affected the global healthcare industry?

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While Liberia was trying to become the next economic superstar in Africa, Ebola came and brought a sharp break in economic growth. The decline in growth is not just happening in Liberia. Across Africa, The Ebola outbreak has brought a series of pessimistic consequences: construction has halted, people have lost jobs, and foreign investors have left. Above all, Ebola has ravaged the health sector and the agriculture industry.

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In the global healthcare industry, glocalization is an emerging trend. Glocalization, a term derived from combining the words globalization and localization, describes the adaptation of global products and services to meet the needs of people in a specific geographic location. Many healthcare industry challenges are shared around the world; however, the effects of these challenges are generally influenced by local issues. A surge in global healthcare spending, along with glocalization, is presenting pharmaceutical companies with both great challenges and opportunities.

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File under: Economics, Gas Prices, Oil

The global price of oil has fallen sharply since June, when oil prices hit $115 a barrel. Now, only four months later, the price for a barrel of oil has dropped to $85, and it could keep dropping. Global supply of oil has increased in recent years, especially in countries outside OPEC, which is one reason for the drop in prices. A more concerning reason that could be adding to the lower prices is a global drop in demand, due to slowing economies, which could signal another global economic downturn. Whatever the reasons, the suddenly low oil prices could have huge impacts around the globe, positively or negatively affecting economies that rely on the production or use of oil.

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