globalEDGE Blog

While Liberia was trying to become the next economic superstar in Africa, Ebola came and brought a sharp break in economic growth. The decline in growth is not just happening in Liberia. Across Africa, The Ebola outbreak has brought a series of pessimistic consequences: construction has halted, people have lost jobs, and foreign investors have left. Above all, Ebola has ravaged the health sector and the agriculture industry.

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In the global healthcare industry, glocalization is an emerging trend. Glocalization, a term derived from combining the words globalization and localization, describes the adaptation of global products and services to meet the needs of people in a specific geographic location. Many healthcare industry challenges are shared around the world; however, the effects of these challenges are generally influenced by local issues. A surge in global healthcare spending, along with glocalization, is presenting pharmaceutical companies with both great challenges and opportunities.

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File under: Economics, Gas Prices, Oil

The global price of oil has fallen sharply since June, when oil prices hit $115 a barrel. Now, only four months later, the price for a barrel of oil has dropped to $85, and it could keep dropping. Global supply of oil has increased in recent years, especially in countries outside OPEC, which is one reason for the drop in prices. A more concerning reason that could be adding to the lower prices is a global drop in demand, due to slowing economies, which could signal another global economic downturn. Whatever the reasons, the suddenly low oil prices could have huge impacts around the globe, positively or negatively affecting economies that rely on the production or use of oil.

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The latest segment of the How to Sell in the Americas: Trade Wind Conferences took place in Bogotá, Colombia. This segment focused on the numerous export opportunities available in Latin America and how the Trade Winds program can assist US exporters in reaching new markets. The embedded video below specifically addresses the market opportunities in Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Brazil, and Peru. Additionally, the video discusses the benefits that NAFTA, CAFTA-DR, and other free trade agreements can have on doing business abroad.

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Ireland has in the works plans to change some of its tax laws. These changes could have radical effects on global companies, who as of right now, are taking advantage of Ireland's “Double Irish” tax loophole. Global companies have been looking for ways to decrease their tax liabilities and have done so by registering their companies in Ireland and moving profits to offshore tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. The exact amount of money being sent through this process is not known but is estimated to be around tens of billions of dollars.

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A new collection of resources has come to globalEDGE: the Global Best Buying Practices Video Library. This is a collection of videos, set in several different countries, that showcases case studies in the world of international retail and global buying practices. The videos are divided into four different categories: assortment planning, pricing, product promotion, and sourcing. Check out the library today!

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The slogan, “Time is Money, Efficiency is Life”, has driven China to become the world’s largest manufacturing power over the last decade. But the era of cheap China seems to be drawing to an end now. A similar issue is happening in another part of the world. Australia, the old auto-manufacturing giant, is seeing an increasing number of auto-production lines drawing out of the country and moving to lower-cost destinations around the world. The global manufacturing industry is currently undergoing dramatic changes.

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Under the umbrella of the financial services industry rests private equity. These organizations, which make strategic long-term investments through capital-intensive buyouts, have been at the epicenter of many economic debates in the past year. In 2005, the private equity industry saw large consolidations of size and power after the bubble burst. Rationalizing that many returns had been realized within a mature market, large private equity firms seeded many investments abroad with their higher amalgamated capital. The European and Asian markets saw the most attention given the sheer economic size and amount of restructuring opportunities. According to the Financial Times, partners of the three largest private equity firms made almost $22 billion of principal investments abroad this year.

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Due to a stagnant "eurozone" economy between April and June, the United Kingdom is bracing itself for a period of economic decline, as well as contemplating the steps necessary for avoiding another lengthy recession. The slight decline of the reliable German economy, which has diminished by 0.2% in GDP growth this year, has signaled that harder times are most likely in the eurozone's future and have already affected the U.K.'s manufacturing industry and exports to mainland Europe. Five of the UK's top six major export partners reside within the eurozone (Germany, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, and Belgium), and this has prompted the nation's economists and political leaders to call for new economic policies to protect Great Britain's market interests.

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In today’s globalized world where businesses are operating in countries scattered around the world, understanding different languages can be extremely advantageous. Many professionals assume that speaking a common language with other cultures is enough for success. While in fact, spoken language is only 30% of communication. Cultural differences are inevitable in global business environments. Therefore, in today’s business world it is simply not enough to share a common language. To be successful, one must develop a diverse cultural perspective.

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