When you think of economic globalization, you think of the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, and the spread of technology. But one very important one that isn't thought of too much is migration. In the past it was almost unthinkable to leave your homeland just for a job overseas, especially just to look for one. Now it is becoming commonplace, especially with the high unemployment rates seen in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Spain (the latter of which is a whopping 19.9 percent!). Meanwhile in other developing economies, especially in Asia, the rates area much more respectable. The unemployment rate in Hong Kong is 4.6 percent, in Australia 5.1, and in Singapore only 2.2 percent of the people are out of work.
globalEDGE Blog Archive July 2010
Hospitals today are fast-paced, frenzied places. The goal, of course, is to get health care to as many people as possible. Hospitals around the world suffer similar problems in that they often have too much health care to administer, and not enough adequate facilities with which to do so. Furthermore, the types of health care that need to be administered are evolving as well, leaving many places with outdated or ineffective facilities with which to handle them. However, the Compass system seeks to alleviate some of these problems.
The European Union has committed to the goal of increasing the use of biofuels to 20% throughout the region by 2020. To do this, they have decided to work with Brazil and Mozambique. This agreement will follow recent trends to increase renewable energy sources, and will greatly benefit both Brazil and the EU.
Seasonal rains and high global temperatures have caused many problems for the agricultural industry this year. Many countries rely on agricultural investments for income to meet global food production demands, making this a hard year for many regions. Food insecurity is an increasing problem throughout the world. Food production has been greatly affected by climate change as both heavy rains and dry fields have taken their toll on agriculture.
Recently Jim Glasingame of The Small Business Advocate talked with Doug Barry of the US Commercial Service about the US National Export Initiative. The United States has announced that they want to double the number of exports as well as increase jobs at home. The reality is that a lot of US companies do not export as well as they could, or to as many places as they could. Research shows that most companies that actually do participate in exporting only export to one country. There are so many opportunities all around the world that businesses are not taking advantage of.
Luckily, the US Commercial Service is willing to help businesses. They have offices in countries all over the world and are passionate about helping businesses expand internationally. Want more information? Go to export.gov or listen to this interview here!
We’ve heard a lot this week about how people worldwide are changing how and where they travel. It seems a fitting end to the series, then, to discuss what the future may hold for global tourism. One of the ways to do this is to examine sports tourism, one of the hottest new trends in the global tourism industry.
Ecotourism is considered the fastest growing market in the tourism industry. What is ecotourism? Defined by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), it is "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people."
Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. You must have a deep appreciation for local cultures around the globe, which is why I think it's so great. Along with this it provides direct financial benefits for conservation and the local economy and empowerment for local people. Can tourism really do this much?
Today’s traveler is different than it once was. People are interested in finding unique and adventurous destinations rather than the typical beach vacation. This is great news for smaller countries rich with cultural and historical attractions. People want to be taken off the beaten path, and local businesses around the world are profiting.
As many travelers still feel the pinch of the recession on their wallets, a new market begs for attention as it couples the price tag of a hostel, convenience of a hotel and the homey feel of a bed and breakfast. This new way of travel accommodations is basically a social networking bed and breakfast and has expanded in the past years in Europe. Half a dozen startup companies have emerged in this market in the past two years including the likes of Crashpadder.com, iStopOver.com, ArBnB.com, and Roomorama.com. With this new market opening up, international businesses are looking to reap the rewards of this new type of traveler and hoping it will increase business abroad.
After a rough year in 2009, global tourism has made a slight comeback this year. In 2010 there was small growth of .05%, and the future looks promising with expected growth of 4.5% in coming years. There was positive growth in all world regions in the first two months of 2010, with Asia and the Pacific in the lead with a growth rate of 10%. Both the United States and Europe had less development, as they were hit hardest by the recent recession.
Gender equality is certainly a worldwide issue. Gender discrimination has existed for centuries, and rigid gender roles have actually now begun to affect the success of businesses. It is becoming more and more apparent that businesses around the world need to train and educate women to reach their full potential.
Widespread use of the Internet has led to a decline in the prevalence of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, and this disparity will continue to shift as more people worldwide are provided with Internet access. Buying online is simply more convenient, and most of the time more affordable than traveling to a physical location and purchasing a good or service. Even more convenient, however, is the ability to conduct business and make purchases while on-the-go. With an increasing number of smartphones sprouting up all over the world, making purchases has never been easier. Mobile commerce is a trend we can expect to see entire business strategies built around.
One of the major issues in today's international business climate is sustainability. Countries are ever-seeking new ways to operate in an evnrionmentally-friendly way, while at the same time saving money in the long run by coming off of a dependence on fossil fuels. The fastest-growing country in terms of economic growth and trade in the world is China. Due to China's current prevalence in the international business world, and its future impact, it is valuable to see what steps China is taking to go green.
Many companies around the world find that nature loss is a challenge to growing their business. Nature loss is described as the disappearance of diverse natural resources such as plants and animal species. According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, more than half of CEO’s see biodiversity as a concerning issue for their company. In 2002 a target was set to control global biodiversity loss by 2010, which is far from accomplished today. This target would have decreased the rate of habitat loss and degradation, controlled the spread of invasive species, and protected animals from extinction due to foreign trade. Some global regions have made some progress, but overall there has been failure to meet the goals set back in 2002, making a number of species subject to extinction.
A nation's basic system of transportation, communication, building and maintaining road, bridge, sewage, and electrical systems provides millions of jobs nationwide. For developing countries, building an infrastructure is a first step in economic development. It is needed for a country to be efficient and productive. Without a good infrastructure in a country, an economy cannot thrive. Businesses cannot grow and be competitive with similar firms elsewhere.
KPMG recently released a report called "The Infrastructure 100," which displays the most exciting infrastructure projects from around the world, as selected by independent judging panels due to their scale, complexity, innovation and impact on society. This is a showcase of the most interesting infrastructure projects from around the world. There are different categories from water, power, renewable energy, rail, roads and education among others.
We all need vegetables in our diets, but many people also base their entire business off of these healthy foods. Research from the University of Massachusetts shows that the United States vegetable industry is beginning to be heavily influenced by other regions. This is good news for farmers all over the world. Supermarkets and restaurants are looking to expand their markets by offering more exotic options. Areas like Africa, Asia and Latin America produce several exotic vegetables that the United States has started to take interest in. This could help smaller countries who are heavily dependant on agriculture and are looking to increase their exports.
Japan has received good news. There are now more optimists among Japanese manufacturers for the first time since 2008. Japan has the world’s second largest economy, and things are starting to look up as the country has struggled in past years to overcome its financial slump. One of Japan’s key banks released a report which showed that business manufacturers are improving for the fifth straight quarter, as exports such as gadgets, cars, and other goods are on the rise. The number of businesses reporting that conditions are good is higher than those reporting unfavorable situations, allowing Japan to look forward to future growth.
A lot of activity has been taking place in Africa lately. The World Cup has been drawing constant attention to Africa, and recently five east African countries made history by forming a common market called The East African Community (EAC). Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki launched the EAC this week with Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda all agreeing to take part in the effort. This agreement will better allow people, products, and capital across borders, leading to improved trade and employment opportunities.
As of today (July 1st), Japan has significantly relaxed the visa restrictions for tourists allowing the single fastest-growing group of overseas travelers, the Chinese, to be able to travel to Japan. These new regulations will enable another 16 million households to be able to apply for a trip to Japan. This is 10 times the amount of tourist visas that were available before the new regulations. Up to now, Japan had strict regulations regarding visitors from their neighbor to the west; only allowing wealthy Chinese with high annual incomes to travel to Japan. The massive influx of Chinese travelers will hopefully result in a jump in income for many local shopping centers in Japan.