globalEDGE Blog

A large number of new startup companies are appearing in Israel. What is making Israel such a sought after destination for these new enterprises? Part of it could be that the government is introducing new programs that encourage innovation in the country. The online edition of Entrepreneur magazine published a story highlighting the many reasons why Israel is a hotspot for current entrepreneurs.

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File under: Economics, Argentina, Finance

Argentina has been facing many economic and financial troubles these past few months. Future predictions are now showing a poor outlook for its economy, as the country is struggling with high inflation, a major decline in the value of the peso against the U.S. dollar, and more trouble involving disputes with hedge fund and holdout creditors. For a country that has had a history of economic troubles in this century, none of these things spell anything good for Argentina's future, and it only seems to be getting worse from here.

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A recent U.S. Commercial Service event in Los Angeles, California focused on the export and business opportunities available in Europe for U.S. companies. A video highlighting The Discover Global Markets: Europe conference discusses the many takeaways from the conference and provides an overview of specific trade opportunities in the European market. The video also discusses how the U.S. Commercial Service can assist companies in developing a strategy to start or expand a business in Europe.

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As a result of a three day summit in which Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India, both countries signed landmark deals that will open up vast commercial and trade channels for two of the most populous nations in the world. These events will help accelerate India’s economy and industry, as well as strengthen China's regional relations.

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As a direct result of Russia's increasing influence and perceived expansionism into Eastern Europe, Sweden and Finland have recently agreed to tighten their relations with NATO. The two Nordic countries have long held interest in joining NATO, especially since Sweden abolished compulsory military service in 2010, but the recent push towards membership has been fueled by growing tensions with Moscow, especially by the unauthorized entry of Russian planes into their airspace. Although it is clear that both countries are joining primarily for security purposes, joining a security alliance such as NATO also holds important economic implications for the newly admitted countries and the international system.

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In 2008, Iceland’s entire banking structure failed causing a devastating economic recession. This caused the economy to contract by 6.6% in 2009 and an additional 4.1% in 2010. At the time, many thought this situation was incurable and criticized Iceland’s tactics for recovery. However, those critics proved to be wrong. Last year, Iceland’s recovered economy grew faster than both the United States and European economies. Now the country is ranked high in terms of economic and political stability. How exactly did Iceland complete its remarkable economic recovery?

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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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