globalEDGE Blog

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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President Obama began his week-long trip abroad this Monday in Beijing, where he was attending the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. While at the conference, President Obama unveiled a new visa agreement with the Chinese government. The new agreement extends tourist and business visas from one year to ten years, the longest allowed under US law. Student visas are also extended from one year to five years. The visa reforms went into effect Wednesday, November 14th.

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Southeast Asia has been lauded for its robust connectivity and commerce within sectors ranging from manufacturing to tourism to technology for the past few decades. And, in light of recent events, Burma (also known as Myanmar) seems to be following the same trend. Last month, more than 22 companies announced they will move manufacturing facilities into Burma’s Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The initiative is one of the first steps President Thein Sein took to reintegrate Burma in the global economy. When fully-functioning, Thilawa will be able to employ 70,000 workers and manufacture goods, consumer products, and construction materials for the domestic market, while also supporting export-oriented goods such as apparel, textiles, and automotive parts.

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File under: United States, Texas, Oil, Exporting

Amidst the overshadowing election events, a Texas company defied the norm and exported domestic oil to a foreign customer, despite the government ban on exporting crude oil. This ban has been in effect since the 1970’s Arab Oil Embargo crisis. The company, BHP Billiton, struck a deal to sell $50 million worth of a lightweight-oil called condensate to foreign purchasers without government approval. This is the first instance where a company has exported US crude oil without the consent of the government. Since the 1970 ban, the US has kept all crude oil within the country and as a result created a huge surplus in storage. With all of this extra oil build up, companies have been longing to sell it and remove the ban. However, this could have big implications for US consumers of oil.

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