With the National Export Initiative, the United States is seeking to double exports by the end of 2014. However, the typical United States manufacturing exporter sells to less than five buyers in overseas markets. Many people may assume that the responsibility of meeting the ambitious export goal lies in the hands of large businesses and corporations in America. While partially true, there are other businesses in the United States that are already stepping up to the challenge. These businesses are the small businesses all over the country that are being driven by entrepreneurship, creativity, and hard work.
globalEDGE Blog Archive January 2012
Two years after pulling its search engine from main land China, Google is once again pushing to expand in the enormous market. The original disagreement between Google and Chinese officials started after Google traced a cyberattack to Chinese hackers. The hackers attempted to not only steal proprietary computer code, but also attempted to spy on Chinese activists' Gmail accounts. Although officials denied any connection to the hackers, Google moved its search site to Hong Kong where censorship requirements are not as strict.
While cities and industries around the world have been displaying a great deal of resilience in tough economic times, small businesses also have the opportunity to accomplish this. Almost every day businesses overcome a variety of obstacles and setbacks in order to operate successfully. In fact, in a globalized world, small businesses may have greater access to foreign markets and the latest technology but that also means these businesses are connected to potential disruptions in the global economy. These small businesses also have the problem of facing increased competition from larger businesses. However, just as countries or industries can bounce back from economic hardships and natural setbacks, small businesses can do the same.
In a year plagued by economic uncertainty, natural disasters also made their mark on global markets in 2011. Shattering the previous record of $262 billion worth of economic costs in 2005, disasters of 2011 in Japan, Thailand, China, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S. cost the economy $378 billion. The deluge in Thailand alone, which cost the country $40 billion, J.P. Morgan estimates set back global industrial production by 2.5%. Looking towards the future, risks are continuing to rise as the world’s population and economic output continue to migrate towards global centers located in vulnerable areas, such as Shanghai or Kolkata.
The storm caused by the European Debt Crisis has loomed like a dark cloud over much of the world. But certain sectors of the economy, the transport manufacturing industry in particular, have weathered the turbulent markets. It is the rise in purchasing manager indexes for the United Kingdom, Switzerland, China, India, and Australia, coupled with the decrease in Germany's unemployment that make economists suggest a boom in the export of cars and machinery for the coming year.
Attention international business professionals – Kwintessential has recently released a free iPhone app designed to easily compare cultures. This app will assist you in your international travels by giving you tips and pointers about various cultures. Check out all the details here, and more on the Kwintessential website. Thanks!
While the recent global downturn has had a major impact on many national economies, the weakened economic setting has also negatively influenced many city centers throughout the world. It is important for these metropolitan areas to be resilient to changing economic times. One example of great economic resilience in tough times comes from the county of West Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
The global economy has certainly taken a hit recently. The global downturn has not been easy for countries or companies to deal with, but still there are inspiring success stories that encourage us to keep pushing on. In hard times, focusing on these successes can be a great way to spur growth. This week in our blog series we will share some of these encouraging stories.
This past year the United States passed free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. Both these countries represent key markets in Central and South America. In fact, Colombia is the third largest economy in South America while Panama is a major maritime and air transportation hub. There are many potential opportunities for international businesses in these countries. To find out more information on the business climate, market opportunities, and finance in both Colombia and Panama, there will be a webinar hosted in February by the U.S. Commercial Service. The webinar requires a paid registration and also provides details about the benefits of the United States free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.
When was the last time your employer told you to play a video game on the job? For many, the answer may be never, up until now. Recently, some top French companies, including Paribas, Orange, and Alcatel-Lucent, have been using role playing games to teach crucial management teamwork, and sales skills to their sales staff and managers; a very important skill to have in the competitive world marketplace.
The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Italy on January 13th and has caused, along with a devastating heartbreak, major waves in the cruise industry. The tragic crash of this ship has caused speculation about the competency of major cruise lines worldwide. It seems that there are not strict regulations on cruise lines as passengers may have assumed which has caused customers to question their safety and could affect the travel industry as a whole.
Globalization and the growth in emerging markets have driven significant changes in nearly every industry around the globe. This no different in philanthropy where the “old” standard of donations being led by wealthy Westerners is being turned upside down. Explosive growth has led to tremendous wealth creation in many developing countries and veteran donors are urging the new rich to donate to important causes. Philanthropy has also been repackaged into a businesses where consumers help donate products to needy causes.
The European Union has been one of the most devoted players in the attempts to combat global climate change and reduce carbon emissions. The long-term energy plans proposed by the European Union depend largely on high technology projects designed to capture carbon dioxide emissions and store them underground. This would help abate global warming while also allowing industries to continue to burn large amounts of fossil fuels. However, weak support for the experimental carbon capturing technology has held the European Union back from reaching its energy goals.
Last month, Hong Kong was reported to be the world’s most developed financial market by the World Economic Forum, an independent international organization. The responsive business environment and financial stability most industries found in this special administrative region of China, along with its efficiency, size of banking, and other financial services catapulted Hong Kong to the top, surpassing the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. The rise of Hong Kong has been attributed to non-banking services, like IPOs and insurance, which offer long-term yields rather than the shortsighted investments that Western financial markets tend to favor.
The German Federal Statistical Office has recently released estimates stating that the nation’s economy grew by approximately 3 percent last year. While this is a very impressive figure in today’s uncertain global economy, official data shows that the growth came mostly in the first half of 2011. Alarmingly, the office estimates that the German economy actually contracted by approximately .25% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Stress from the European Sovereign Debt Crisis and a slowdown in the global economy are weighing heavily on the nation.
Hop on that plane, business travel is back! After the global recession hit, many companies scaled back on corporate travel. More sophisticated technologies along with cost cutting initiatives around the global recession also led to a decline in business travel. To companies less travel meant lower costs, and more virtual meetings. While this may have helped some companies’ bottom lines, some saw business relationships and sales numbers suffer.
Doug Barry, an expert in small business exportation, recently teamed up with Jim Blasingame of “The Small Business Advocate Website” in three interviews regarding the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These interviews focus on exporting and doing business in these four countries and the many opportunities that are available in these countries in the business sector.
With large amounts of minerals and natural resources, the South American country of Brazil has received large amounts of attention as it economy continues to expand at a rather rapid pace. In 2010, the Brazil economy grew by a large 7.5 percent and has been named one of the key “BRIC” economies of the world along with Russia, India, and China. Brazil’s economic growth has far outpaced the United States and has also positioned Brazil as the world’s sixth-largest economy, just passing the United Kingdom’s economy this last year.
The European Commission has accused several airlines of not following a new European law that requires them to account for their greenhouse gas emissions. Non-compliance could eventually lead to these airlines being banned from European airports. While this is not seen as very probable, it could have dire effects on world travel, the European airline market, and the global economy.
There are about 30 million overseas Chinese in total, and most reside in neighboring Asian countries. Indonesia and Thailand have the biggest numbers, with about 7-9 million each, while Singapore has the highest concentration of around 3 million, or 75% of its population. One such country that is reaping the benefits of immigration is Malaysia, but is Malaysia returning the favor?
What is one to do when their country pushes austerity measures on citizens who are already being hurt by an economic recession? One way is to simply exchange your unused jewelry and gold at pawnshops and gold dealers for much needed cash. This simple business transaction becomes very popular as countries struggle through slow economic environments. One country that has seen a massive increase it these business outfits is Greece.
Solar power has been a hot topic all over the globe. Many countries have made commitments to use solar panels to clean up energy sources. Still, it does not seem that all of the hype has lead to much production. Many countries have begun these initiatives to "green up" their energy, and now it seems that a reduction in solar panel prices might begin to press the issue.