globalEDGE Blog

Is it possible that the newest form of renewable energy could come from volcanoes? If Iceland becomes more than just an example, but a leader in the energy industry, this new form of geothermal energy will no longer just be conversation. Currently, Iceland’s volcanic geography is contributing geothermal resources that account for nearly a quarter of the country’s electricity. While the world is currently dominated by hydrocarbon economies, taking a lesson from Iceland and tapping into volcanic geothermal sources could open access to a powerful renewable resource for the world.

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In part 3 of our global energy blog series, we discussed which countries could capitalize on the falling oil prices. For the fourth installment of the series, we turn our eyes to some of the environmental issues surrounding the energy industry, specifically the issue of carbon emissions. As climate change fears increase and become more urgent on a global scale, world leaders have been looking for solutions to reduce harmful emissions while avoiding the economic pitfalls that can be associated with taxes or regulation. One solution gaining popularity is carbon markets, which create carbon emission allowances that are given to businesses. These credits can be used or sold depending on the amount of emissions the business produces, giving companies an incentive to reduce their emissions.

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In yesterday’s blog post, we spoke of the how falling oil prices could lead to increased mergers and acquisitions in the private sector. This blog will focus on the public sector and which countries benefit the most from these low energy prices. Commodity pricing is as much an art as it is a science; the fundamentals of supply and demand clarify most of these fluctuations, however they do not properly explain the exaggerated influence prices. The saturated, oversupplied market is now creating volatility for producers, but opportunities exist for speculative nations looking to stabilize or expand their global economic footprint.

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The extremely low oil prices that have characterized the energy industry for the past few months are making waves all around the world. In some countries, low prices have been seen as a benefit; in others, not so much. A major consequence has arisen that will affect all nations regardless of economic status: oil corporation mergers and takeovers. Historically, it has generally been the case that when there are low prices in the energy industry, mergers and acquisitions occur between bigger and smaller firms. Several plants and companies that originally profited immensely off of high oil prices, will now either have to severely change business strategies or be forced to relinquish control to more powerful firms in the industry.

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In the retail industry, holidays are often a huge source of revenue. Throughout the world, certain holidays have become a time for consumers to spend more money and retailers to make it. These holidays vary from country to country, and the recognition of these differences is an important issue for international retail companies. For retail companies to be successful, they often must take advantage of these holidays, through the use of marketing campaigns and possible discounts or sales. The targeting of these days across world will help international retailers grow sales and increase profits.

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File under: Industries, Trade, New on gE

The New Year has brought change to globalEDGE! Our industry trade statistics pages have undergone a redesign and the new pages are now available on globalEDGE. These new pages highlight important trade figures and data for a variety of global industries, including agriculture, construction, energy, and technology. Specifically, each industry trade statistics page includes figures for total trade, top exporters, and top importers, as well as the most commonly imported and exported goods. Be sure to check out these new pages and expand your global business knowledge!

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In this month’s blog series, globalEDGE features the global energy industry. This series will discuss the industry outlook for 2015, the potential for mergers and takeovers, countries that benefit from falling oil prices, global carbon markets, and volcanoes as an energy source. Many analysts hold the belief that oil prices will continue to fall in the first half of 2015, before increasing in the second half of the year. The shale revolution in the United States, Saudi Arabia’s insistence on maintaining its market share, and a weak global economy have all contributed to the lowest oil price per barrel in five and a half years.

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The United States has pledged financial support of $2 billion to Ukraine to help them prevent a looming bankruptcy, and boost recovery efforts amidst the financial turmoil in Europe and Asia. Ukraine is trying to recover and stabilize its economy, but the waging conflict in Eastern Ukraine with Pro-Russia rebels is hurting the economy and driving down consumer spending.

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The global economy had its projections cut by the World Bank, saying that the United States will not be able to hold up the global economy alone.  The global economy is now projected to grow 3.0% this year, rather than the 3.5% that was formerly projected. However, the United States had its projection increased from 3.0% growth to 3.2% growth. The World Bank cited Europe, Japan, Russia, and parts of Latin America as the source of the struggles leading to the lower projections. While oil prices are low, developing economies who import oil will receive a boost. However, oil exporters will continue to struggle, especially Russia, due to the low price of oil.

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The Michigan State University International Business Center is pleased to introduce a new resource that is now available on globalEDGE – the 2015 Nationwide Benchmarking Report on International Business Education at Community Colleges. This resource can be found in the Community Colleges section of globalEDGE, which features resources related to Community College programs, syllabi, conferences, internationalization resources, and more. The 2015 Nationwide Benchmarking Report on International Business Education at Community Colleges delves into a variety of factors related to international business education in the United States and aims to reveal the prevalence of international education at the Community College level.

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