globalEDGE Blog

Since the Nordic economies are relatively small and open, exporting constitutes an important part of the economic activities in the Nordic region. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have all had greater exports than imports every year since 1995. As the Nordic countries focus on exporting a few different products, each of them contributes to the growth of the regional Nordic economy and they together form a competitive market in the global economy.

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In this gE Blog Series, we feature the Nordic countries, which consist of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Together the Nordic countries make up a cultural and geographical region in Northern Europe and are integrated economically, historically, and linguistically. In the most recent Doing Business Economy Rankings by the World Bank Group, all five of the Nordic countries were ranked in the top 14 out of 189 countries. The rankings measure the ease of conducting business and reflect how conducive each country’s regulatory environment is to a business operation. In all, ten factors are used to rank the countries. A few of the most notable factors are ease of starting a business, paying taxes, trading across borders, and enforcing contracts.

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Scotland has voted “no” to independence from the United Kingdom. The voting finished with a final count of 55.3% to 44.7% in favor of remaining a part of the United Kingdom and continuing the 307-year-old union. David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, is now a little more comfortable in his position after helping lead the charge to keep the union together. He claims that the Scottish Referendum has settled the independence debate for a generation.

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In July, the Chinese company HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. Ltd. (HKND Group), released a finalized route for the canal they have been contracted to build across the Central American country of Nicaragua. The Hong Kong based investment group plans to break ground on this project in December, however there is still a great deal of speculation on whether or not this canal, which has been dubbed the biggest engineering project in human history, will ever come to fruition. If this ambitious project is in fact completed, it will have a major impact on both the global freight industry, and the economy in Central America, specifically in Nicaragua.

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File under: China, India, Economy, Exporting

China and India have been in an economic race for many years and although China is still ahead, the gap between the two countries is shrinking. While the public fears that China’s GDP growth will continue to decrease, India seems to be making a revolutionary growth story of its own, as the new Prime Minister Narenda Modi takes control. Many find that Modi’s economic revival strategy mirrors China's economic strategy in the early 2000s and India hopes to achieve a similar level of economic success and growth.

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In 2013, global meat production reached its highest level at 308.5 million tons, a 1.4% increase from the prior year. Due to a number of factors such as growing purchasing power, urbanization, and changing diets, the WorldWatch Report has determined that meat production has increased more than fourfold since 1961. The report was accompanied by a press release titled “Peak Meat Production Strains Land and Water Resources”, which additionally stated that meat production has increased 25-fold in the last two centuries. Although this has positive side effects for those working in the meat industry, the implications for the environment could be detrimental.

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File under: Economics, Energy, Oil, Environment

Much of the talk surrounding biofuels in the past has centered on corn, wheat, soybeans, and sugarcane, which are known as first generation biofuels. These food crops were seen by many as a way to become more energy independent, as they could be processed to create ethanol fuel that in turn could replace our dependence on oil. The excitement of this prospect led many countries, such as the United States, to implement mandates requiring specific amounts of ethanol to be mixed with gasoline. These countries hoped that ethanol could help by lessening the impact of oil prices on the economy and by saving the environment from the increasing use of oil.

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As companies grow and expand, some start to lose focus on their core business, as focus is called to other areas. If these expanding companies want to keep a competitive edge on competitors, they will need to find an option that will allow them to regain focus on the core business.  One of the requirements for this strategic growth of a company is intellectual outsourcing.

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By 2024, it is estimated that China will have the world’s largest economy – according to global information provider IHS Economics. Earlier this week in a blog post titled “China’s Impact on the Global Economy”, Nitish spoke of China’s rebalancing trend, which is signaled by an increase in consumer imports and a decrease in imports for investment purposes. Although rebalancing may limit other countries’ investment opportunities in China, it will spur growth in China’s economy, the Asia-Pacific regional economy, and possibly even the global economy. It is predicted that a drastic increase in consumer spending will propel China past the United States to become the world’s largest economy.

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As a summer filled with significant developments in the international system that have been highly influential over global business comes to an end, the world now turns its eyes to the British Isles as the vote on Scottish independence draws nearer. Although inherently a political subject, the vote that will take place on September 18th will also have important ripple effects for international business in Scotland and the United Kingdom should the movement pass. One of the primary economic concerns facing an independent Scotland includes the unresolved question regarding what currency the new state would adopt, which could have significant impacts on the business environment in Scotland.

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