Can environmentally conscious consumers convince businesses to develop sustainable practices, or must government regulations force their hand? According to United Nations officials such as Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, governments cannot be responsive enough to quickly alter the negative impacts of human actions on the environment. As government, business, and academic leaders recently met at the CNN Earth’s Frontiers debate in Cancun, Mexico, many people are asking which organizations are best suited to lead the fight against global warming.
globalEDGE Blog Archive December 2010
Ahh Silicon Valley – a beautiful 50-mile strip located right on San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and San Jose. It's home to innumerous technology companies including global chip heavyweights Intel and AMD. Silicon Valley used to be the go to place to start a new chip company however startups are starting to attract less funding and much of the development can now be done in China.
There are many markets for U.S. goods in the Middle East and North Africa but the largest single market happens to be relatively new. Formed in the 1970s, the United Arab Emirates is the largest single market for U.S. goods in the region and the 19th largest market globally. The United Arab Emirates is a federation composed of seven states located on the Arabian peninsula. As new, large-scale infrastructure projects continue to develop, this market will remain a prominent source of opportunities for United States exporters.
London has always been well-known internationally for its historical and cultural importance. In recent years the city has also developed into a significant force in the technological sector. Innovative businesses were completely absent from London’s economy back in the year 2000, but the roughly 100 new high-tech businesses in east London have received international attention for their significant contributions to global business. While far from reaching the level of California’s Silicon Valley, the so-called “Silicon Roundabout” is joining cities such as Boston and Tel Aviv in the second-tier of global innovative centers.
If you wanted to start a business anywhere in the world where would you pick? According to a Wall Street Journal article, the best place would be Denmark. The article talks about a collection of surveys that show a glimpse of entrepreneurship around the world and the factors that might help your next business make it in the global marketplace.
A few weeks ago, President Obama discussed progress made on an important goal of the United States. Over the next five years, the American economy is looking to double its exports and support the creation of many new American jobs. The first step of this process began with the implementation of the new U.S. export control system in August of 2010. Now, President Obama’s Administration is deploying its Export Control Reform Initiative webpage at export.gov. This website has helped the United States make remarkable gains on its plan to double national exports.
Bridging the gap between your business aspirations and your company’s ability to meet those expectations can be a daunting task for any business leader. This is often referred to as the execution gap. A recent survey found that nearly 49% of business leaders perceive this gap in their company, and 64% lacked confidence in their ability to narrow it. Following these 6 simple rules from Mashable.com is essential to closing this execution gap and reaching your goals.
Today, business trips are common for many employees as modern transportation allows people to travel around the world quite easily. Hotels are a critical component in the business trip process and play a major role in accommodating business travelers. With this responsibility, hotels are looking to provide comfort to the many business travelers that are expected to keep up with their workloads on the road. Businesses in the hospitality and travel industry are changing their strategy to satisfy their hard working customers. You may have a guess to what this new strategy may be—remodeled lobbies and bars, more comfortable beds, or luxurious restaurants? Actually the answer is rather simple. Hotels are now accommodating business travelers with a redesigned workspace in hotel rooms.
The Flower Market has a budding future ahead of it. Though there may be slow growth in some places, changes are taking place worldwide as flower markets emerge and disappear every day. New markets like Russia emerge and disappear while others like Ecuador and Kenya emerge and find the competitive push back from India and China.
When most people think about rare earth mining, they think miners extract a chunk of lanthanum or cerium, send it to Apple, and they put it in their newest iGadget. However, few know that there are two different types of rare earths with wide ranging uses and prices. In addition, raw minerals must be processed using a complicated (and often dangerous) process to extract the individual elements.
A best-kept secret is that domestic trade shows are great places to meet and sell to international buyers. U.S. businesses that have discovered this relatively low-cost channel for drumming up new sales claim that exhibiting at the “right” shows can fill their order books for the entire year.
The international flower market seems to be growing faster than the plants themselves. Over $100 billion worth of flowers are traded internationally each year. It is easy to assume that most flowers are grown locally, but you would be surprised to know that most likely that the bouquet sitting on your table is not from your own country. In the United States, imports account for 68% of fresh cut flowers. These flowers mainly come from Colombia, Ecuador, The Netherlands, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Canada.
One of the fundamental rules of logistics is to avoid shipping air and water whenever possible. Packages and vehicles are optimized to reduce the amount of wasted space that could be used to ship additional products. The weight of water is so expensive to transport that many industries design an entire supply chain around reducing the distance that liquid goods must travel from the point of production to the point of sale. For the flower industry, in which the quality and lifespan of goods are often dependent on the presence of air and water, logistical challenges of doing business on a global scale are of high importance.
As we kick off our International Flower Market blog series at globalEDGE this week, I thought I should do a brief article talking about the history of flowers, specifically from an economic perspective. This is pretty intriguing because as a commodity flowers have no intrinsic, economic value. They just have value as decoration and whatever other cultural values are placed on them. That being said, the flower market is currently a $32.5 billion industry. Looks like flowers are much more than just a hobby for retirees.
Doing business abroad is a challenging skill for professionals to master. Each culture has a unique code of ethics that is often contrary to those across the globe. In order to successfully conduct business internationally, it would be ideal for businesspeople to take time consulting with coworkers about past experiences, brushing up on basic language skills, and even participating in detailed training courses.
In reality, there is often not enough time in the day to make all of the ideal preparations prior to a business trip. For business travelers lacking the optimal planning time, there are several applications available for mobile devices that can help them to avoid the most damaging cultural blunders without losing too much of their valuable work week.
Over the past ten years, Brazil has emerged as a major global power capable of wide scale competition in the international marketplace. Being the world’s fifth-largest land mass and the eighth-largest economy, Brazil has become one of the top global producers of market necessities including vegetables, minerals, water, and energy. Brazil’s economic growth correlates with the relative decline of United States influence in Latin America and the rise of new economic powers in Asia. Now, Brazil is looking to exert its force as a global heavyweight with an ambitious foreign policy.
Traditionally free trade agreements and their kin are the principle agents of more competitive, efficient, and economically viable countries. However, people often look at the overall effect of FTA’s in their questioning for whether or not FTA’s should be implemented. The smaller country is usually considered the major benefactor after an FTA is implemented, but what happens when the opposite happens? There is an obvious, glaring example that is often overlooked, I myself just stumbled upon it a few days ago. Looking at Europe currently, you have the PIIGS, the countries that seem to be on the fast track to nowhere, and the rest of the Union. The idea behind the Union was that the economies could build on each other and raise the smaller less developed countries to the same standard as the U.K., France and Germany. Did this actually happen though?
Cotton prices have recently reached record highs and have begun to cause some clothing retailers problems. Many European clothing stores import their cotton from various countries in Asia, so they are often at the mercy of their suppliers. China and India are two of the top producers of cotton in the world, and they have recently undergone some industry changes that may lead to lower profit margins for their European buyers.
How do restaurants keep customers coming back and attracting new ones? All of us become critics when we try something new. From the outside look of the restaurant to the choice of napkins, every little detail factors into the way customers rate it. The atmosphere and decorations are some of the main essentials; however, the most important factor that makes a dining experience memorable is the skill of the chef.
Wondering where to go next? The answer is easy, Korea. Approaching the top ten largest economies in the world, it is often overlooked because of its physical distance and the close proximity of its big brothers China and Japan. In fact, Korea has recently doubled its GDP and its imports from the United States. So while recent news may be bringing adverse attention to Korea, it is starting to bring to the spotlight an economy that is growing and is expected to soon become a major economic partner of the United States.
While just about everyone in the world knows that in aggregate the world has been going through a so-called “Great Recession,” not nearly as many people understand how it has impacted the different regions in the world. Now, thanks to a new study called the Global MetroMonitor produced by The Brookings Institute and the London School of Economics, they can.
Do you ever wonder why Facebook and websites always manage to have ads that seem very specific to you? Originally it was the cookie that tracked what you did, where you went, and how you used your internet. After that big scare many people started deleting their cookies every time they surfed the internet. Now? Facebook had the novel idea of the “like” button. Every time a person “likes” something, “magically” they will start seeing more ads geared towards that interest. The next step you ask? The digital fingerprint.
Continuous innovation is essential for companies to remain competitive in any industry. Businesses refusing to adapt to product and process improvements have quickly been left in the dust by competitors. Stability in business is based on the ability of management to consistently and effectively adapt to changes in the external business environment.
In collaborative partnerships, suppliers and customers work jointly to develop products that will be popular on the open market. A recent article published by Michael Schrage in the Harvard Business Review shed some light on how to develop partnerships that are conducive to effective collaboration.
Remember several years ago when microfinance was all the rage? People believed that by loaning small amounts of money to the poor in hard-to-reach rural areas they could potentially stimulate the economic development of those areas. globalEDGE even wrote a few blog posts about it here and there. It seems like microfinance would be a win-win for a financier who wants to give back to the world: they can help out the poor while making profits for themselves. However, looking at it retrospectively, is that how microfinance has worked out so far? It almost seems too good to be true…
On November 23rd North Korea fired artillery on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong as a response to South Korea performing military drills near disputed maritime border. Besides the obvious restrictions set on North Korea by global super powers, some businesses are also taking steps to protect their employees from the potential threat.