China’s e-commerce industry is growing at an extremely rapid pace; it is expected to become the world’s largest e-commerce market by 2015. With a population of 1.3 billion, there is a vast untapped market for online sales in China. However, growing competition has lowered the margins and fuelled price wars in the region. What does the future of e-commerce look like for the growing nation?
globalEDGE Blog Archive December 2011
The deals and sales offered during this year’s holiday season captured us all, but companies have been shopping as well. In fact, Japan’s multinational corporations seem to have gone on global shopping spree. This past year, Japanese companies spent a record $80 billion on approximately 620 foreign companies. These international investments could be seen as not only a sign of economic strength, but also as an indication of domestic weakness.
It is a fact that we live in a global world where country economies are closely intertwined. Total world trade is in the trillions, many of China's exports end up on Wal-Mart shelves, and a few months ago when the Japanese earthquake and tsunami struck the Asian country, supply chains were disrupted worldwide. Moreover, technology doesn't take a break and new innovations are presented to the market daily. Yet, the world is still in a financial crisis and the need for more world-class business leaders is growing. This in turn puts more pressure on universities to improve their business programs.
With many concerns and debates regarding climate change, countries around the world are looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions. These carbon emissions happen to be the leading cause of climate change and large coal-burning industries are mostly responsible. One way to reduce these harmful emissions involves a new technology that captures carbon dioxide from the air and pumps it directly underground for permanent storage. This project was operated in Germany, Scotland, and the United States with little success. However, the two largest consumers of carbon dioxide, China and the United States, are investigating a new way to reduce carbon output and are looking toward a surprising industry for this solution.
Sustainability is a huge topic in modern business, as corporations and environmental groups alike strive to create more sustainable methods of production. For Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, sustainability has been a sticking point. In the last three decades, plantations have expanded by over 2000 percent, and the total land area currently devoted to palm oil production is an estimated 7 million hectares. Some corporations around the world are realizing the negative environmental effects of palm oil production and are choosing to begin using only palm oil that is considered sustainable.
With the announcement of North Korea's Kim Jong II's death on Monday, many business and world leaders are trying to figure out what will happen with the historically volatile country. Although the US places strict restrictions on how US businesses can interact with North Korea, other countries are much more liberal and have created many opportunities for their businesses to profit from relations with North Korea.
We are all aware that online retailers monitor our every click, but you might be surprised that brick-and-mortar stores are beginning to use a similar approach to maximize sales. Some may think that being monitored while shopping is a little invasive, but big brother is definitely watching. E-retailers are able to monitor the pattern of clicks and place similar items on the same web pages to maximize purchases. Now, there are a few new methods that brick-and-mortar retailers are using to produce similar results.
Although the BRIC grouping of emerging economies does not include a single representative from the African continent, many economic experts and multinational corporations see enormous growth opportunities across the continent. While most businesses are now aware of opportunities in countries such as Brazil, India, and China, corporations truly utilizing global expansion as a growth opportunity are looking beyond these popular markets. More than 12 African nations have seen economic growth exceeding six percent for six consecutive years.
Japan's strong yen has increased companies' desire to grow internationally to the point where the nation is now ranked the third biggest cross border acquirer - a significant jump from being placed 10th last year. Japanese companies have taken advantage of the fact that many of their international competitors have been weakened by the European financial crisis and moved into the market with successful M&A transactions. Data shows that the value of mergers and acquisitions abroad by Japanese firms has more than doubled since last year.
In the business world, sports may be best recognized for the many benefits they offer to individual businesses such as sponsorships, brand building, venues for advertisement, and marketing opportunities. However, sports also have major impacts on economies all around the world. It’s no surprise that international sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics greatly affect the economies of host countries. These economic effects can be positive or negative and can have implications not only on a regional level but a global level as well.
Sponsorships are a huge part of both sports and business. Each depend on the other to gain the benefits sponsorships provide to each party. Businesses look forward to the increased publicity and sales, and athletes, teams, and sporting events count on sponsorships for funding. Still, for businesses, the monetary benefits of a sponsorship can be somewhat difficult to quantify. Yet, countless businesses still participate in sponsorship deals to increase publicity and get their name and logo out there as much as possible.
Most people view pirates as bandits dressed in funny outfits who sail around the world stealing treasure and stashing it on small, hidden islands. This may be a fun way to imagine the world, but modern day pirates are a real concern for shipping companies. Instead of stealing golden treasure, pirates commandeer ships with precious cargo and demand large ransoms from its owners.
The Olympic games are designed to be the final decider of the best athletes across the globe. Although hosting countries respect the competition, their main goal is completely different – provide as much stimulus as possible to their economy. London is in the midst of a massive advertising and building spree in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. In the process, Prime Minister David Cameron is busy promoting the tourism opportunities available in London and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is working to prepare local businesses for the expected influx of economic activity.
The world of sports is closely intertwined with the world of business. Sports franchises and leagues function to create an economically-viable product for profit. Businesses in many industries utilize sports entertainment for its unmatched marketing opportunities. Global athletic events bring tourism, trade, and international attention to host cities and countries. Businesses could not function without sports and sports could not function without business. This week, the globalEDGE blog will take a closer look at business and economic impacts of sports around the world.
While many countries look to drive their economies by increasing trade and consumer spending, South Korea is looking in another direction. Renewable energy sources and projects are being used to boost business and promote economic growth in South Korea. The term “Green Growth” has been coined by the country and has become a major national strategy. This strategy has given rise to a vast range of policies regarding waste-management and air-quality control. However, South Korea’s main focus lies within renewable energy technologies with the mission not only to lower greenhouse gas emissions but to also boost the economy.
Lately, global news has been dominated by the European debt crisis. This news has been predominately negative and I personally have been looking forward to hearing something positive for a change. Ireland has recently been experiencing moderate economic growth and the budget deficit has since been declining. Germany and France have commended Ireland for making economic strides, and believe that this nation is not far from being out of the crisis.
The United States-Colombia free trade agreement approved just a few months ago has helped business growth in Colombia and is expected to continue to help boost Colombia’s economy. The main benefit from the free trade agreement is often seen as attractive conditions for increased exports and imports. However, some companies in Colombia see the main benefit coming from the growth of demand that the free trade agreement will likely generate. Besides these major benefits, there are also many other positives for business in Colombia derived from the newly passed free trade agreement.
In response to decreasing domestic demand, small-to-midsize businesses in Europe are looking to export. However, many of these enterprises are finding it difficult to be globally competitive because of high labor, transport, and real estate costs. Many of these businesses produce equipment used in construction and high costs of production have led to unaffordable prices. To be successful, these companies need to find new export countries and increase their competitiveness.
With 4,000 active technology start-ups, Israel has more such firms than any country outside of the United States. With a population of nearly eight million people, Israel has higher levels of start-ups, engineers, and venture capital investment per capita than any other nation. High tech products make up almost half of Israel’s annual exports. While this may appear surprising at first, a variety of factors can be attributed to Israel’s maturation from an agricultural state to a technology hub in recent years.
Skiing in Barcelona probably sounds like an oxymoron to most people. With its warm climate and lack of snow, Barcelona is not normally on avid skiers’ top lists of destinations, but that all could soon change once an indoor skiing facility is built in Barcelona.
The concept of an indoor skiing facility may be foreign to some, but there are actually a lot of facilities like this that already exist. There are several in Europe – mostly in areas with cooler climates, some in Asia, and others scattered across the world. The indoor skiing facility in Dubai is the most relevant to Barcelona because it is also in a very warm climate. The facility has had to take extra care by making walls several feet deep and heavily insulated to keep the inside cold enough for ideal skiing conditions, exactly what the facility in Barcelona will need to emulate.
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) recently endorsed Burma to become the leader of the regional trade bloc beginning in 2014. This is a major milestone for the country, revitalized by a new civilian government that assumed power from a militaristic rule early in 2011. Economic growth in the nation has suffered in the past, due to inefficient government policies, corruption, and wide-spread poverty. However, since the new government came into power, there have been numerous reforms in order to promote economic growth within Burma.
With the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics both being held in Brazil, this large South American country is preparing for a major tourism boost to further advance its economy. Currently, Brazil’s tourism industry is not featured in the global top ten with only five million overseas visitors this past year. There are numerous reasons why Brazil remains a relatively untapped tourist destination but perhaps one of the biggest reasons is the perception of high crime levels. However, with the two major international events around the corner Brazil is looking correct to this problem in order to double the number of people visiting the country and expand its tourism industry.