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.
Now that 2013 is wrapping up people are interested in predictions for 2014. Two important predictions to look at are the global economy and global business. These two factors usually go hand in hand; if the global economy is looking brighter it may be due to the fact that global business is increasing. Since a large plummet in 2011, global business and the global economy have slowly been increasing and there is more confidence on what the future holds.
Within the next two decades, Brazil is expected to triple oil production and move from the 12th top oil producer to the 6th according to the 2013 World Energy Outlook Report generated by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The predicted success of Brazil’s energy industry can be attributed to the auctioning of the Libra oil field which holds 8 to 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil. With a supply of oil this substantial, the world’s crude oil demand could be fulfilled for up to 9 weeks alone by Libra.
Ukraine’s economic future is contingent on a key decision that will be made by government leaders in the next couple of weeks. In short, the country’s leaders must decide whether or not to accept a free-trade and political-association agreement with the European Union. If Ukraine passes on this agreement, it is likely that the country will become a part of the Russian-led Customs Union, which also includes Belarus and Kazakhstan. This decision will undoubtedly shape Ukraine’s economic environment going forward, especially related to trade.
While most Americans view cities such as New York, Los Angeles, or Miami as truly global cities with a wide variety of different cultures, foreign businesses, and spoken languages, a recently released resource titled "Mapping the Nation" reveals that often over-looked cities and counties throughout the United States actually contain more global connections than one would expect. Presented by the Asia Society, Longview Foundation, and SAS Institution, this resources contains data from over 3,000 counties in all 50 states regarding how globally connected Americans are to the greater international system with regards to economic, demographic, and educational factors.
Recent financial figures have shown that several countries around the globe have experienced some of their lowest inflation rates in years. Normally this would be the goal of the nations' central banks, but in the economic states of these regions, this low inflation could be the source of several problems. Now the issue facing many of the world's richest nations is to avoid extremely low inflation and to try and raise prices. The proposed processes to achieve these goals have the potential to lead to some intense competition.
In terms of art, China is certainly in a buying mode. Meg Maggio, an American gallery owner with 20 years of experience in China, found that western firms are pouring into the Chinese art market nowadays. This year, China has officially surpassed the United States in becoming the world’s profitable art and auction market. The Chinese art market posted auction revenues of $8.9 billion in 2013. However, freedoms of foreign firms in the industry are strictly limited by Chinese authorities and competition has increased between local and foreign firms. This post will address the challenges that foreign auction houses are facing in the Chinese art and auction market.