What happens when you mix a close proximity to fast growing nations and an abundant supply of natural resources? An impressive economic boom, but a fear of being highly dependent on a few key nations. Australia is currently enjoying not only a very lucrative demand for its natural resources from China and India, but is also becoming a tourism hotspot for the people of China.
globalEDGE Blog Archive February 2012
With growing food and energy prices worldwide, it may be surprising to hear that some consumers are willing to pay more for certain food products. This is the case in the United Kingdom where sales of fairly traded products have beaten the trend of decline in the retail market and have grown by 12 percent this past year. Fairtrade products have higher prices than normal food products but in return consumers feel socially responsible as Fairtrade goods are marked with higher environmental standards. Perhaps more importantly, these fairly traded food products ensure that producers in developing countries are paid properly for their hard work while also promoting better trading conditions between global businesses.
The auto manufacturing industry in Australia has seen brighter days. The once supreme car industry used to flourish with seven major auto manufacturers. There are now only three (Ford, Toyota, and General Motors Holden), and their future in the nation is uncertain. The industry is propped up by government support and in need of a revival. Is the industry holding onto false hopes of prosperity? Or is it going to show its typical resilience and bounce back from another punishing year?
The Democratic Republic of Congo has faced years of harsh wars leaving the country deeply stricken by poverty, but now the country moves forward and has its eyes on recovery. A large scale plan to build a hydropower dam capable of producing enough electricity for the entire country has kept hopes high in Congo. If constructed the Inga Three dam in Congo would be Africa’s largest hydropower dam and would produce twice as much electricity as the major Three Gorges dam in China. The country’s multitude of rivers offer enormous potential for hydropower but Congo faces many difficulties if it wants to accomplish its energy goals.
Recently, Novozymes, a company that makes enzymes used to make goods such as household detergents and soft drinks, announced that it has developed an enzyme that will make it possible to derive cellulosic ethanol from waste material like household trash or corn husks. This company has discovered something that has been sought after by many clean energy producers- a way to inexpensively convert biowaste into fuel. Novozymes officially announced its new enzyme, Cellic CTec3, February 22, 2012, and already has deals in place to begin supplying it.
In many of the leading construction markets, the market for sustainable construction is expanding rapidly. This standard started in the mid 2000’s with the introduction of the LEED certification for buildings. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and was developed by the United States Green Building Council. This standard has started to transform the construction industry and is now taking off elsewhere in the world as well.
In today’s blog post for the Global Real Estate Series, we will be looking at the commercial market for real estate, including key aspects of the industry as well as future outlooks. The market for commercial real estate is comprised of office, industrial, and retail properties that are intended to generate a profit, either from capital gain or from rental income. Global commercial real estate markets have seen much improved growth recently, up from the lows of a few years ago.
Across the world, there are a wide variety of resources needed to successfully operate a business. Many people may be quick to name equipment, technology, wealth, and labor as key resources. However, a resource that is often overlooked is land. Land along with buildings located on the property make up real estate. The global real estate market holds great importance for businesses and people around the world involved in the buying and selling of property. This week the globalEDGE blog team will explore several aspects of the global real estate market including private real estate and green construction. This post will take a look inside the international housing market and the market characteristics of several different countries.
Many small businesses are achieving success by selling to customers within their domestic borders. While this is a solid strategy, opportunities exist around the world that will allow further business growth. These opportunities lie within expanding business into new markets abroad. Going global may seem difficult at first but for many small businesses it provides a proven growth strategy. Doug Barry of the United States Commercial Service states that profit margins for international sales tend to be higher and he also offers several tips for entering international markets. We will now take a look at these suggestions and see how easy international business can really be!
Latin America is on the rise. Not only has the region experienced a significant amount of economic growth in the last decade, it has begun to dominate large areas of trade worldwide. Latin America contains a large amount of land, along with a large population ready to drive its international success. While often Latin America is looked at as impoverished, author Raul Rivera points out that in fact Asia and Africa are much poorer regions. Latin America is filled with natural resources, and a population that is ready to explore more business ventures.
In an effort to develop closer trade ties with China, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Beijing last week. Canada’s goal is to continue to increase its trade with China in hopes of decreasing its reliance on trade with the United States. This goal especially relates to the oil industry and Canada’s effort to overcome the increasing environmental regulations being imposed by the United States. Canada sees China as a solid alternative for trade because of its vast market size and high demand for foreign oil.
For the past few weeks, Western states have not only imposed sanctions on Iran, but also convinced many Asian countries to do the same. These sanctions are an economically crippling bargaining technique to pressure Iranian officials into discontinuing their uranium enrichment program, which American and European officials claim to be a nuclear weapons program with malicious intent but Iranian officials claim to peaceful and a national right. Furthermore, many financial institutions that interact closely with Iran’s central bank have also been targeted. The assets of Iran’s central bank are currently frozen that are linked to Tehran.
All around the world technology remains a key component of business success and innovation. Places like India, China, and the United States are well known for their innovation and technological development. However, Latin America happens to be one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the world. With Brazil being one of the largest economies in Latin America, many people may assume Brazil is leading the way in technology. Yet, this is not the case. This past year Panama replaced Uruguay as Latin America’s technology leader.
Indonesia’s economy grew by 6.5% in 2011, marking the highest percentage in over a decade. This GDP growth, however, is not unprecedented because in seven of the last eight years Indonesia’s GDP has grown by more than 5%. In the last couple of years, corporations and investors have begun to compare Indonesia’s economic growth potential with the likes of India and China. Strong growth and political stability are two of the main reasons why corporations and investors share this confidence.
Natural gas is a relatively obscure energy source compared to its more popular companion oil. Most people rarely think about it - it heats their house and if there is a particularly cold winter, their heating bill tends to rise. Thought process done. However, natural gas has started to become more mainstream as pricing patterns around the globe and new technologies are awakening the industry.
The perfect leader is outspoken, bold, voices opinions, and is a people person right? Not necessarily. Whether we realize it or not, we often associate many extroverted traits with strong business leaders and assume that those who are introverted will not be as successful. This is not always true. There are several characteristics that introverts possess that businesses could benefit from that are probably being overlooked.
While many countries depend on each other for the trade of goods and services, few would think countries could depend on each other for one of the most important resources on Earth—energy. A proposed electricity supergrid spanning across several European countries could mean not only improved power sources but also cleaner energy. Advocates of this energy plan suggest that a transnational supergrid could connect power sources like wind farms in Scotland and solar arrays in Spain to the many population centers scattered throughout Europe. The need for an expanded and upgraded power network in Europe is clear. However, the political, regulatory, and economic obstacles are formidable and will be tough to overcome.
Entrepreneurship is risky. Entrepreneurship is for the naïve. Entrepreneurship rarely succeeds. All of these assumptions make entrepreneurship sound like a bleak place only for the most risk-averse; the de facto position from many people is that corporate life is the way to go. But this conventional position is far from true. Building new companies is far more sensible than one may think.
Starbucks Corporation recently announced that it will begin opening cafés in India and plans on opening its first café as early as August. Starbucks’ arrival in India is a result of a joint venture with Indian company Tata Global Beverages, which is currently the country’s largest conglomerate. Although India is traditionally a tea drinking country, consumer demand for coffee is increasing. In fact, domestic coffee consumption has increased by an astonishing 80 percent in the last decade.