Have you visited the globalEDGE Business Beat lately? The latest segments feature a variety of interesting topics related to international business and trade. Specifically, the latest segments cover the evolving relationship between Cuba and the United States, the UK referendum on EU membership, the status of the United States’ relationship with Israel, Turkey’s involvement in the refugee crisis, and more. Be sure to visit the globalEDGE Business Beat page today to get an in-depth look at the aforementioned current topics in international business.
For a while now, Europe has been going through a wide variety of issues. Whether it’s the refugee crisis, risk of Britain voting to leave the European Union, or Greece’s economic disaster, Europe has been set back recently. Despite these issues, European leaders cannot afford to lose sight of their long-term economic goal, “Growth.” Europeans need to act now due to the continent's aging population that creates a significant barrier for economic growth. Statistics show that by 2050, the EU labor force could shrink by 42 million, or 12%, making growth almost impossible to achieve.
This Monday, Puerto Rico defaulted on a $422 Million dollar debt payment, a significant development as the island faces an impending economic crisis. As stated by Heather Long in CNN Money, “Puerto Rico, a tropical paradise in economic purgatory, faces a $70 billion debt bill it knows it cannot pay, a staggering 45% poverty rate and a shrinking population as citizens flee to the mainland.” This quote shows what kind of state the island is currently in and its outlook for the future does not look any better. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla says that they are facing a “humanitarian crisis”, and he claims that he is prioritizing the basic needs of his people over what the territory owes to banks.
A major alliance between two ascending regions of the world has been bubbling under the surface of public awareness for years. This alliance is of the economic variety, and has the potential to reshape the socioeconomic and political future of our world. The size of China’s investment in Africa is truly massive; or is it? As many may not know, China has been in the news for its lending and investing activities in Africa over the recent years. According to new research and investigation, however, the scope and hype of the Chinese activity in Africa may be over-exaggerated.
In a legally-binding agreement reached in last years' COP21 conference, over 195 nations pledged to reduce carbon emissions from 2020 onward. The ultimate goal of the conference was to adapt measures that would keep global temperatures from rising 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. The passing of this agreement--the first of its kind--appears indicative of the current worldview of climate change. Most world leaders are now unified in the idea that climate change is an increasingly urgent global concern. As a result, the pressure to utilize renewable energy sources has never been higher. Such resources, including hyrdo-electric power, wind turbines, and solar cells, are growing in both popularity and efficiency. Now, the goal is to deviate totally from fossil fuels, both in daily energy use and in international business.
Warehouses are becoming increasingly more complex according to a report by Zebra Technologies, a company which sells bar code scanners and other technologies. These products allow companies to track and manage their business operations in an efficient manner. In its most simple terms, warehousing is the process of storing materials and filling orders from one end of the supply chain to the other. In response to the growing needs of e-commerce, major changes in labor and technology will be occurring within these warehouses. According to the report, in 2015, it took 60.4 hours to train new staff to “full productivity”, up 26% from 2013. This figure just further demonstrates that companies are already adjusting their supply chains to meet demand for faster delivery by consumers.
The Aussie real-estate market is an increasingly mercurial frontier for investors and home-owners alike. Housing markets are no stranger to high rates of default and bad debt, but Australia’s uniquely volatile real estate business has been steadily oscillating toward bubble status since 2001. The whole world was crippled when America’s housing bubble, launched to dangerous heights by massive collateralized debt obligations and junk bonds, eventually exploded in a manner that shook the global economy. Australian default rates are nothing short of shocking and have narrowly avoided causing American 2008-esque crashes in the past several years. The uncertainty from this part of Australia’s economy adds fuel to its fire, but other times it serves to strengthen its own currency and outperform other sectors of the global economy. But everything has a cost, and though Australia might not be facing the immediate risk of a bubble, a slow and painful demise is usually in store for those who mistake healthy credit margins for insurmountable housing debt.
Recent pushes for an increase in environmental consciousness have resulted in increased demand for renewable energy. Along with the increased awareness, the Paris Climate Conference highlighted the importance and urgency behind the situation. All of the recent talk surrounding green energy is expected to significantly increase investment and production in the industry, but multiple factors are currently holding back it's success.
Cap and trade programs are being implemented in many countries and regions all over the world. A cap and trade program is a system that sets a “cap” limiting the amount of pollution a company, institution, or household can emit. The trade aspect of the program refers to a market where companies buy and sell allowances depending on if they will be over or under the cap. In essence, it’s a polluter-pays principle. Cap and trade allows the market to decide where emissions can be condensed with the lowest cost, while cutting down on the pollution that is causing climate change.
A Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) is an investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Essentially, when using an SRI framework, an investor not only considers a company’s financial information but also the way in which the company operates. A major trend in recent years with SRI is the sustainability and environmental impact of a company. The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment’s (US SIF) Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States found that as of 2013, approximately one out of every six dollars under professional management in the U.S. was invested according to SRI strategies. This number is staggering, especially when put in the context that the United States lags behind many other nations in Socially Responsible Investment.