globalEDGE Blog

After eight years of negotiation, China and Australia finally drew a free trade deal on last Monday. This agreement signals a transformational change in the economic relations between China and Australia because trade tariffs in dairy, beef, and horticulture products will be completely eliminated within the next couple years. Without a doubt, it will greatly facilitate the trade between these two countries. On the other hand, Canada, one of Australia's main competitors, is now worried about its exports to China.

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On a meeting in Berlin on Thursday, thirty wealthy nations pledged to donate $9.3 billion towards the Green Climate Fund, a sum dedicated toward reducing emissions and helping to protect developing and poorer nations from the stark effects of climate change. This is a little short of the $10 billion goal that was supposed to be reached, but it is a big step forward in investing to prepare help prepare for the effects of climate change. Environmental officials everywhere have highly praised the fund, and more countries are to offer donations by the end of the year.

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After nearly two decades of deflation, Japan unexpectedly has fallen into a recession in the third quarter of this year. In a preliminary economic report released by the Cabinet Office on November 17, GDP was reported as falling at an annualized pace of 1.6% in the third quarter of 2014. In combination with the previous quarter’s 7.3% decline, this GDP decline has caused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to dissolve the parliament and call for snap elections two years before the next scheduled elections.

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This week’s blog series on the global e-commerce industry displayed the many benefits and trends within this rapidly growing industry. However, implementing a global e-commerce strategy can be a difficult and challenging task. These challenges can be overcome with resources right here on globalEDGE. To assist in the implementation of e-commerce on both a country-specific and global level, globalEDGE has a variety of useful tools and resources. Today we will a look at many of these resources.

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With an increase in the popularity of business-to-consumer (B2C) online retail, there has been a surge of fraud in e-commerce and online payments. Fraudulent activities including personal information breaches and untrusted online payments have been deterring consumers, all over the world, from partaking in B2C e-commerce.

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With an Internet penetration rate of 12.6%, investors looking to diversify their portfolio are currently appraising India’s e-commerce market for opportunities with exponential dividends. According to the technology research firm Gartner, India’s e-commerce industry is poised to grow 70% at the end of this year, with revenues crossing $6 billion. This will make it one of the fastest developing segments in Asia alone. Ranging from laptops to mobile phones to tablets, it is the pervasive use multi-platform technology for online retail that has catalyzed this boom.  Current estimates predict that within the next five years, the sector will quadruple in size to $43 billion. But how can sustainable, organic growth be cultivated in an ever-changing digital marketplace?

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Investment in Africa’s emerging markets is booming, and it is no different for the e-commerce industry. Online shopping is in its early stages in Africa, and the growth potential is immense. E-commerce growth will provide e-retailers, both local and foreign, the opportunity to develop retail sites to satisfy the demand in this market. Besides Africa, e-commerce growth is taking place in other emerging markets like Russia, China, and India. In all emerging markets, technology is transforming these economies and creating major investment opportunities for companies and individuals around the world.

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E-commerce has quickly become a major factor for businesses across the world, as consumers’ comfort with online shopping continues to increase. With more options, better prices, and the flexibility of shopping at home, e-commerce has opened a new avenue for companies to conduct business, with global sales expected to hit $1.5 trillion in 2014. This avenue has also allowed companies to expand their operations across the globe, tapping new, lucrative markets. With this global expansion has come several challenges that businesses have to meet, as they must tailor their marketing and operational strategies to account for differences in each diverse market.

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Earlier this week, the United States and India were able to reach a breakthrough in negotiations regarding food security issues, which international trade analysts have speculated could lead to an international trade deal worth $1 trillion USD for the global economy. Debates regarding India's food security programs, which the country views as vital for ensuring meals for its poorest citizens, had continued for months since proposals of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) were first made at a World Trade Organization summit in Bali, Indonesia. With the breakthrough achieved, global markets analysts speculate that the achievement not only greatly benefits the policy goals of India and the U.S., but also the WTO and international system as a whole.

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Global financial markets have suffered from selfish decisions made by central banks in various countries. There have been talks of currency wars coming from emerging markets trying to manipulate their currencies in order to get the best pricing for growth. Now, there has been currency competition within developed countries. The Fed recently decided to halt its quantitative easing operation which purchases bonds to lower long-term interest rates. When the government owns most of these bonds, the supply to the public is decreased which lowers yields and raises the prices of these bonds.

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