If you think the financial crisis is throwing a wrench into your business plan, try running a distillery in Nepal. This article by Forbes tells the story of the Himalayan Distillery Group Ltd., or HDL, and their struggle to run a profitable business in the face of corruption, power outages, and kidnappings.
globalEDGE Blog Archive April 2009
Solutions to this economic mess may seem to necessitate complex plans, but a deceptively simple old visa program is starting to garner growing attention as a means to lift especially troubled areas of the U.S. out of their economic woes.
It works like this: immigrants invest $500,000 in a new or struggling business via an approved regional center, get green cards for their families, don't have to manage day-to-day issues with the businesses, and get to pull their money out after 2 years if they pass an audit. Sounds good?
American universities are not cutting down on financial aid; instead, they are cutting down on students who need it. This year will be harder on students pursuing higher education if they need financial aid. According to a New York Times article, students who are “maybe-s” when it comes to acceptance are more likely to be denied if they need financial aid. Truly, there is more financial aid available for universities to award; however, there is also an increase in students who need it.
A recent story by BusinessWeek describes the value of a country focusing on the education of its female populace.
Some interesting statistics:
- When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later, on average, and has 2.2 fewer children.
- An extra year in primary school statistically boosts girls' future wages by 10% to 20%, and every additional year a girl spends in secondary school lifts her income by 15% to 25%. The size of a country's economy is in no small part determined by the educational attainment and skill sets of its girls.
- Young women have a 90% probability of investing their earned income back into their families, while the likelihood of men doing the same is only 30% to 40%.
- A girl's school attainment is linked to her own health and well-being, as well as reduced death rates: For every additional year of schooling, a mother's mortality is significantly reduced, and the infant mortality rate of her children declines by 5% to 10%.
A recent Businessweek Ranking listed Hong Kong as No. 9 of the "World’s Gloomiest Countries" with respect to economic outlook, with exports, profitability margins, investments, turnovers, and selling margins all expected to fall in a negative manner. Despite the hard hits that Hong Kong and the other Asian markets have taken in the financial crisis, Hong Kong can and will bounce back.
“Bailout” has become an all-too-familiar word as of late, but a Russian auto industry bailout brings an interesting (though not entirely positive) twist to the dreaded word. The goal of this particular bailout is aimed more at social stability than in creating a leaner and more competitive industry for the future. The Russian bailout will focused ensuring employment of autoworkers by avoiding layoffs - in spite of plummeting demand.
Portugal is a good market for U.S. exports and it's comparatively easy to do business with. Surprisingly, building relationships there can lead to sales in other parts of Europe and also in Brazil, a former colony and one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Listen to this podcast featuring U.S. Commercial Service Senior Commercial Officer Dillon Banerjee from the embassy in Lisbon.
For those of you not familiar with the concept of "heirloom sustainability," the basic idea is that producers should design quality, durable goods, that will last a long time and be passed down for generations. The approach is - in theory - a good way to reduce waste and eliminate the cheap products that end up in landfills.
For example, instead of buying hundreds of plastic pens, you could buy one quality pen and even be able to pass it down to your children. Of course, you'd have to make a big investment up front, but if you keep it for long enough, it would eventually - in theory - pay for itself.
Just as the housing and stock bubbles burst, it appears that wine’s bubble may be figuratively bursting as well. In Bordeaux, France, numerous wine tasters and connoisseurs gathered this week to sample and possibly purchase many of the vintage versions of 2008’s premiere wines. However, amidst a global recession, many of the big spenders who splurged on such delights have sobered up a bit. The result is an uncertain future for the wine market, as well as other aspects of the food and beverage industry.
The globalEDGE website (home of this blog) is a part of the Michigan State University's CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research) and is affiliated with MSU's Eli Broad College of Business. In recent years, Michigan State University has made global awareness and engagement of its students, faculty, staff, and other constituencies an institutional priority. MSU also has world renowned faculty involved in international research, teaching, and service in more than 170 countries.
"The era of a perfect Internet computer for $99 is coming this year,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive of Nvidia. The technology industry is facing a new revolution. The need for efficient, small, cheap computers has been growing and is finally reaching a peak. The way producers have responded to the latest consumer needs concerning laptops is the new netbook. The netbook is a light and cheap compact PC. Even though it has trouble running more demanding software such as games and photo-editing programs, it is something that you carry around all day since the battery lasts hours with only one charging and it is great for people who mainly need a PC to go online. The first of the new netbooks will be on the shelves in June probably provided by Acer and Asustek.