As the world becomes increasingly globalized, workers from around the world are experiencing increased opportunities to work abroad. This is exactly what is occurring in Canada. As the province of Alberta continues to boom economically, Canadian companies are in need of a labor supply. With too few Canadians to fill the extra jobs needed, Canadian firms have begun recruiting internationally. The international recruiting strategy has been very successful as Canadian companies were able to find an abundant supply of workers from the United Kingdom and Ireland. This development in Canada is a testament to the many benefits of international business.
Latin America has taken big steps in the last 15 years in terms of financial stability. Since 1998, the average frequency of crises in Latin America has fallen from 0.7 crises per year to 0.29 crises per year. Economists attribute this to better fiscal management, with gross domestic product becoming less reliant of government spending and outside help. The economies are starting to run with less assistance, generating a more stable financial situation with fewer crises. Latin American economies are on an upward trend nowadays, but there is still one major setback: Crime.
With one third of the world’s poor population located in India, the emerging country of India has been striving to help its people achieve a better standard of living. Thanks to the programs that are provided by the government to alleviate poverty, India’s economy has grown steadily over the years. When the government noticed that the world’s most extreme poverty rates fall in rural Orissa and Bihar, it began to focus on farm subsidy programs, with hopes of lifting the economic level of these rural regions. However, its farm subsidies are challenging the World Trade Organization's (WTO) ability to keep an important international trade deal on table.
Last week the 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index was released. The Corruption Perceptions Index, or CPI, is an index of 177 countries in the world and their corruption levels. The rankings are based on perceptions of the country and how much illegal activity or scandals in the public sector exist as well as many other factors. Countries are scored in two ways. The first is on a scale from 0-100. A country that has a score of zero is considered to be extremely corrupt and a country with a score of one hundred is perceived as being very clean or not corrupt.
In a world with a clearly-defined gap between developed, larger countries and small countries categorized by political turmoil and radical militant groups, it is difficult to recognize the growth of peace and stability. United States based companies often view currently developing countries as risks due to economic instability. Nevertheless, these low-to-middle income countries are increasingly becoming more stable and present the potential to be beneficial business associates.
International relations are extremely important for developing countries. Without support from abroad, funding infrastructure projects and economic development would be nearly impossible. This is exactly the case in Zimbabwe where government officials have turned to China for help. Recently, China has lent Zimbabwe $319 million to ease electricity shortages by expanding its Kariba hydropower station. Although this project will take an estimated four years to complete, it can have dramatic effects on the development of Zimbabwe and international relations in Africa.
The small Caribbean nation of Grenada lies around one hundred twenty-five miles north of Venezuela, between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It has always had an economy built off of its island paradise lifestyle with its beautiful blue water, beaches, and landscape. This style of economy for such a small nation can only carry it so far, but Grenada now has other plans to help it make an international presence.
Recently, Standard & Poor downgraded Netherlands' sovereign debt from a coveted AAA rating to a AA+ rating. The downgrade came as S&P sees a weak growth outlook, even though the Netherlands is seen as part of Europe’s healthy economic core. Also, S&P raised its outlook on Spain from negative to stable, showing that some of the struggling southern European countries may be recovering. As many southern countries continue to improve economically, some of the northern countries are suffering from poor growth prospects.
Standard Chartered, a British bank with more than 1,700 branches in over 70 countries, has officially opened its first branch in Iraq. This branch will be located in Baghdad. The British bank plans to open another branch this year in Erbil, Iraq and another next year in Basra, Iraq. These Iraq-based branches are being established to meet the needs of Standard Chartered’s global clients working in the oil, telecommunication, and infrastructure industries. Standard Charter also intends for these branches and their personnel to aid the Iraqi Government, its ministries, and the Iraqi Central Bank in an advisory role.
One thing companies are always concerned with is productivity. How can managers increase their productivity? How can they increase their employees productivity? Companies along with scientists have spent huge sums of money trying to figure out the key to not only productivity but success—both on an individual and company wide level.
It is no secret that happy employees are more productive and overall better employees. Employees that identify as low well-being are seven times more likely to be absent from work and seven times more likely to be looking for a new job. This leads to an overall lack of productivity from what is known as presenteeism. Presenteeism is when employees physically show up to work but lack productivity because they may be having any multitude of personal problems.