globalEDGE Blog Archive May 2010
Are you ever worried about the costs associated with expanding your business abroad? It can be very important across many industries to meet with potential business partners and buyers in person. Traveling expenses can be quite costly, and will take up much needed time, especially for small businesses. Check out this great video by the U.S. Commercial Service and learn about the advantages that video conferences and other trade resources can give your business. In the video you can watch and learn from a real live video conference. Technology is what makes virtual wine tasting possible!
The United Nations recently forecasted a 3 percent growth in the world economy. Much of this growth is expected to come from developing nations. The majority of this contribution by developing countries comes from growing global powerhouses China and India. A further role they play is in generating a “spill-over” effect to other developing countries, which helps to generate the growth of infrastructure, industry, and trade. One such case which can be examined is that of India and Africa.
The BRICs markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – have survived the global economic crisis quite well, emerging even stronger than before. These counties have large surpluses in international trade as well as reserves in foreign currency, which really helped in the last downturn. They are on pace to equal the G7 in size by 2032, seven years earlier than originally predicted.
This week is National Small Business Week in the United States! This yearly tradition began in 1963 and has continued ever since. Its objective is to recognize how small businesses contribute to the growth of America. This year’s Small Business Week conference began Sunday and just finished up today. Some of the topics discussed at this year’s conference were ‘turning innovation into jobs’, ‘taking your business global’, and ‘social media and small businesses’.
Two developing countries are taking a turn to produce more oil and gain a bigger stake in the oil industry. Both Columbia and Venezuela hope to double oil production in upcoming years. Columbia hopes to reach 1.2 million barrels a day by the end of 2012 and Venezuela plans to increase oil production from the current 3 million barrels per day to 6 million barrels by 2016. If these numbers hold true it looks like both countries will become imperative to the oil industry.
This week we will be taking a look into how developing countries around the world are competing in international markets. Many developing countries have expansive natural resources but have not yet reached their full exporting potential. We will discuss how these countries trade and what industries are expanding into these new markets. While some of these countries may be small, they still have huge opportunities for growth.
Singapore's economy grew 38% in the first three months of this year. That is the strongest quarterly growth ever recorded in Singapore's history. The key to this recovery and of the Singapore economy as a whole is the manufacturing industry. Healthcare and electronics are the two biggest sectors for this industry in Singapore. Many companies that produce high-tech medical devices are looking to expand into China. China is a huge potential market as they grow and are looking for these high-tech equipments with their increased buying power.
After the devastating earthquake in Haiti this January, a global effort has been made to rebuild the country. The hospitality that was shown to the hurting country has been inspiring. Haiti is certainly still working to rebuild its country, but luckily people around the world are seeking to help create a better economy for this small country.
Trends in the Aerospace and Defense Industry have been shifting lately; what was once a primarily domestic industry has started to become global in nature. As highly populated nations such as China and India become more open to global markets, international suppliers will seek to fill their demands. What are some of the things we can expect to see from the global Aerospace and Defense market in the near future?
Yesterday the Euro hit a four-year low against the dollar. The euro fell to $1.2237 in early trading on Monday and actually fell slightly below $1.22 today. Investors fear that the austerity measures being put in place in many of the eurozone countries will hinder growth. Low growth would also mean low interest rates, so holding the currency would bring about poor returns. A lot of these measures stem from Europe's debt problems, and specifically Greece's recent troubles. This is very ironic because of the fact that their troubles may actually stem from the euro.
Founded in 2003 by Andrew Rugasira, Good African is a coffee manufacturer which has begun to penetrate the global business scene. Good African began its foray into international markets via Waitrose, a British supermarket chain, has expanded to other rival chains, and is now being sold in supermarkets across Britain. The company is also planning on expanding to the United States as well. What lessons might someone seeking to take their business global bring away from Mr. Rugasira and Good African?
Recent research performed by Harvard business professors demonstrates that bribery can actually make businesses more efficient. When the red tape is removed, it is amazing how much can be accomplished in a short amount of time. Although there is an element of efficiency introduced by bribery, it is important to understand the implications it has on you and your business. Meet Gagan Sign, a young Indian businessman. When he started his first business at the age of 22, he discovered the hard way that bribery was part of his success, and hated it.
Recently Doug Barry conducted an interview with Sharon Doherty. She is a grandma, entrepreneur and potential poster child for the National Export Initiative. Years ago Sharon was a show dog hobbyist before she saw a need for a line of high-quality grooming products for pets. Since 1993 she has been selling to buyers worldwide and now exports to more countries that she has employee. She is in 34 countries now with four more on tap. How’d she do it?
Are you hedging your bets in this economy? Singapore is! A recent blog post triggered some curiousity about how the country is expanding. The country has permitted the development of a casino which has been designed to attract tourists from around the world. With an eye for expanding its economic base, the country is proceeding cautiously into relatively uncharted territory. This new development demonstrates an effort to bring in new money to the country, while attempting to maintain the clean and safe image Singapore has worked hard to build.
A Copenhagen hotel is trying to be more environmentally friendly in a very interesting way. If you bike in the hotel enough to generate 10 watts of electricity, you earn a free meal! The goal of this project is to increase environmental awareness in the city. Also, it promotes exercise by combining an aspect of Copenhagen's culture (biking) with the incentive of a delicious meal. A BBC video gives more details on the hotel's creative strategy.
The Middle East is looking for new places to expand in the agriculture industry. After an Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) meeting, they are searching for the best places to invest in foreign farmland. In recent years, buying foreign farmland has been especially appealing to Middle Eastern energy companies who have a lot of capital but not a lot of land.
Brought to you by the U.S. Commercial Service, there are still eleven more webinars from the excellent Basic Guide to Exporting Webinar Series. There is still time to register, but don't delay. In particular there is a webinar on June 15, titled "Improving Your Cultural Intelligence." Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is described as the capability to function effectively in a variety of national, ethnic and organization cultures. You can learn how to do the following:
- Identify the cultural implications of your marketing and negotiating decisions.
- More effectively function in culturally diverse settings.
- Enhance and build your Cultural Intelligence.
You will have your questions answered by David Livermore. Listen and learn from questions asked by companies participating in the Webinar. Dr. Livermore has written many award-winning books on this subject. He will also be speaking at the CIBER Short-Term Study Abroad(STSA) Conference in Kansas City from June 4-5, 2010. Short-term study abroad is one of the fastest-growing formats of study abroad, and it appeals to students and presents unique challenges in curriculum, financing, and program management. Interested? Learn more about the conference and come listen to some great speakers!
Everyday, business professionals all over the globe buy into myths about how to market and build their brand. Here are some of the most common.
Myth 1: Offering a consistent and great product will produce a successful business.
Unfortunately, a great product doesn’t equal success. However, you can improve your chances of success by launching a beta test for your service or product on a social networking site. Create a survey for readers to give feedback on, and then use this information to shape the product/service in the best way to succeed.