A few months ago, Zheng wrote a blog post about a possible Trans-Atlantic trade agreement. Recently, talks have been heating up between the United States and the European Union with negotiations on a trade deal likely to begin by the end of June. The free trade agreement, if passed, would remove tariffs and reduce other barriers to trade, spurring economic growth, exports and job creation for both parties. Given the stagnant state of the global economy, there is much excitement over a potential deal and optimism is high that an accord will be reached.
globalEDGE Blog - By Author: Kyle Brown
The World Trade Organization is investigating an Indian governmental program that requires solar energy producers to use Indian manufactured solar cells instead of imported products. Several U.S. environmental groups are pressing the WTO to not pursue action against India, saying that ending the program would threaten the ability of India to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The irony is that India’s green energy industry would be harmed if no action were to be taken, a blow to the environmentalists goal of increasing alternative energy use throughout the globe.
Is it wrong to pay children for getting good grades? Should there be a market for jumping the queue and cutting in line? Is it ethical to buy and sell human organs? It is quite apparent that in today’s society there are markets for many goods and services that have not historically been for sale, such as the right to pollute the atmosphere, auctioning citizenship and many other topics. Michael Sandel attempts to answer one of the biggest ethical questions of our time in What Money Can’t Buy: is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale?
One of the major events taking place right now in the Western Hemisphere is the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and the subsequent transition to a new leader. The leader died March 5th due to complications from cancer that he had been battling the past few years. His death left behind a bitterly divided nation on the brink of a political crisis, with doubts of the economic future of his socialist revolution.
There is currently an ongoing investigation into a food scandal in Europe involving horsemeat found in beef products. Because of the bond that horses have shared with humans as companions throughout history, eating horsemeat is considered taboo in many cultures. The issue came to light when meat that was listed as beef in supermarkets in Ireland and the U.K. was found to contain horsemeat. This scandal poses a threat to international supply chains and brings up a very important topic: how safe is the global food supply chain?
A recent report by the Consumer Electronics Association has projected that global gadget spending on electronics will surpass $1.1 trillion in 2013. This study comes days before the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the world’s largest technology-related trade shows. What new innovations will the CES 2013 reveal and how will it impact the global economy?
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is meeting December 3-14 in Dubai for the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 (WCIT) in what is being dubbed by some as the “conference to claim control of the internet” due a new internet privacy standard that has been approved. While this claim may be a little extreme, the ITU has adopted controversial changes in the restrictions that would allow internet service providers to examine internet users’ traffic.
A major trend in international education is the increase in students studying abroad and enrolling in universities outside of their home countries. Each year billions of dollars are invested in educating bright minds and building relationships by sending students abroad for a well-rounded educational experience. Not only does this movement have profound impact on the future landscape of education, but the exchange of students is giving host countries an economic boost. A recent report by the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors found that international students contributed nearly $22 billion to the United States economy in the school year 2011-2012.
One of the major events affecting the world right now is the tropical cyclone in North America known as Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy was the largest ever Atlantic hurricane by diameter and affected many parts of the Caribbean and Mid-Atlantic including the countries of Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the United States. Early estimates vary significantly, but most suggest total economic damages attributable to the storm to be over $50 billion, which would make Sandy one of the most destructive hurricanes on record. As of the publication of this post, over 150 fatalities have been confirmed as a result of the storm. The majority of damage from the disaster occurred on the United States east coast, where Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey and New York City. The impact on the economy from this disaster can be enormous, as natural disasters have been proven to drop GDP and economic growth significantly. The impacts due to this devastation in the world’s largest economy will have a profound impact on international business.
Back in 1965, Fred Smith wrote a paper for his Yale undergraduate economics class that proposed an overnight package delivery service in which one carrier would be responsible for a piece of cargo from pick-up to delivery. This idea was unorthodox in the delivery of packaged materials at the time, as cargo shipment in the supply chain was handled by a multitude of companies. Smith received a grade of “C” on the assignment, because the professor told him that the idea was “not feasible”. Fast forward nearly 50 years, and Fred Smith is the founder/CEO of FedEx, a $28 billion company that transformed the way packages are delivered. His idea would revolutionize the package transportation industry, but this was not an overnight success story; at one point the company was kept alive by Smith turning the company’s last $5,000 into $27,000 with a gambling trip to Las Vegas. The packaging industry as a whole has changed a lot in the past few decades, thanks in part to massive innovation brought on by people like Fred Smith.
With the global economy in a slump, there are many industries that are suffering. You do not have to look very far to find news about spending cuts, job loss, and shrinking sales within many sectors. One industry that has managed to escape the blunt of these issues is the automotive industry. A recent report found that auto sales in the United States were the highest in four years, many other countries around the world are experiencing success. Many experts are beginning to ask: is this the beginning of the next big boom for the global auto industry?
China is currently in an economic slowdown, the causes of which are a great debate in Asia’s largest economy. China, the world’s second largest economy behind the United States, expanded 7.6 % in the second quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace since 2009. While a growth rate above 7% might seem thriving at first glance, you must first consider that China has had an average annual growth rate of nearly 15% since 2000. Many economists believe that their growth will slow further to a rate of around 7.0% for 2012. Is the economy of the most populous nation in the world in trouble?
The economy in Thailand has rebounded following the destructive floods of 2011. One of the worst monsoon seasons in decades killed hundreds of people, caused billions of dollars in property damage, and shut down much of the nation’s manufacturing capabilities. The floods were very harmful to the economy, however, the nation has recovered dramatically and is in a very good position for continued growth.
U.S. billionaire investor Sheldon Adelson has plans to open a £17 billion hotel and casino resort in Spain. The resort, being called “EuroVegas", would contain 12 hotels, six casinos, a concert hall, several theaters, and golf courses. It would be about half the size of the Las Vegas Strip in the United States. If plans for the resort follow through, it would be a huge stimulus to the Spanish economy.
As discussed in yesterday’s introduction post, different cultures have very unique ways of doing business; from business dress, to conducting meetings, to even the customs surrounding deal-making. Each nation takes a unique approach to how many holidays they observe; this is a reflection of their distinctive culture and can affect their economy and business environment. In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing work environment, each day off means less output which in turn reflects potentially lost money. Days off are important for worker’s mental and physical health, but there needs to be a balance between productivity and a conducive work environment. The amount of bank holidays that a nation celebrates could be impacting the economy more than you think.
It seems as if every recent news article and business discussion has some tie to social media. From stories going instantaneously viral due to the power of social media, to businesses using it as a marketing tool, to talks of social media companies going public; social media can be seen everywhere. What’s all the buzz about? That is what we are going to be investigating in this week’s Social Media Blog Series! The globalEDGE blog team will be exploring the impact that social media has on international business. Today’s post will provide an introduction into the world of social media and how we here at globalEDGE use social media in our new interactive site.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
In the spirit of Global Entrepreneurship Week, today we will look at one of the most innovative concepts of entrepreneurship in recent years: the emergence of microfinance. Microfinance empowers poor individuals, mostly from developing countries, by lending them the capital needed to start their own small business. Access to capital for most individuals would not be available without the institutions that support microfinance. It is seen by many experts as a long-term solution to alleviating poverty, by promoting economic development and fostering international entrepreneurship.
Last month’s blog series introduced readers to cloud computing, as well as digging deeper into numerous characteristics of the cloud. A particularly interesting aspect of cloud computing is the risks and benefits to the global environment. With the explosive growth of cloud computing in recent years, this is quickly becoming a very heated debate.
In 2011, the globalEDGE team embarked on a full site redesign to increase the interactivity and usability of the entire website. We wanted to add to the user-friendliness that our users have come to count on. In addition to the statistics, resources, and trade information in our sections, the new globalEDGE now includes additional maps, interactive rankings, and easier-to-use resource pages. The purpose of today’s blog is to highlight these new features of the next generation of globalEDGE.
The economic growth outlook for developed countries has gotten much worse in the past few months. With the amount of globalization in the business world today, economic concerns abroad can have profound impacts at home. A lot of experts in the field are beginning to wonder: will these events lead to another global recession?
Germany is one of the world leaders in renewable energy. They currently receive 17% of their energy from alternative sources and have vowed to increase these levels to 35% in 2020 and 80% by 2050. Deutsche Bahn, the country’s major railroad company and largest energy user has just released plans to be completely carbon-free by 2050.
While airlines in North America and Europe are struggling to stay afloat due to poor economic conditions and high oil prices abroad, airline carriers in Asia are flourishing. Increased individual liberties, the rise of the affluent middle class, and booming economic growth in China and Japan are leading to a rapid growth of airline projects in the Far East.
There have been massive efforts recently to improve the quality of China’s polluted air by blending low-polluting imported coal with dirtier-burning domestic coal. Experts argue that while this will positively effect the air quality in the near-term, it might contribute to faster global warming in the long-term.
A new report by KPMG is claiming that the clean technology sector is a strong force in the economy of several Canadian provinces, including British Columbia. The report says that clean tech firms will directly generate over $2.5 billion for the economy in 2011, not including other economic benefits created by these companies. This is a 57% increase from 2008. The growth is not expected to slow either; KPMG has stated that the sector will grow 16.5% to 8,400 employees in 2011.
Forbes recently came out with a list of the 25 largest companies in the world. These are all large, multinational corporations that have an extreme impact on the global economy. Each and every one of these companies can affect many different economies and markets. Below is a brief summary of each of the top 10 companies:
The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s largest tin producer and accounts for 5-7% of the world output. However, recent campaigns from rights groups and governments claiming that conflict minerals are being traded have adversely affected sales in the region. The Congolese government has dealt with this by withdrawing their military from the Bisie mine, the nation’s largest tin mine. Removing military units allows the North Kivu provincial mining department to take control of the mine in order to increase the amount of conflict-free minerals.
Since the Euro was introduced by the European Central Bank in 1999, Germany has gained competitiveness against not only other developed countries around the globe, but also against all other members of the Eurozone. In this time, they have also managed to transform a slight budget deficit into a strong surplus. A lot of people are starting to wonder what caused this rapid transformation?
When you think of a major international business hub, densely populated metropolitan areas such as London, Tokyo, and New York City come to mind. They are home to many multinational corporations’ headquarters and countless commercial offices; business never seems to cease in these cities. The relentless rise of electricity prices and a growing demand for high-quality power could drastically change the geography of these international business hubs in the next decade.
I recently came across a very interesting article in the New York Times about the misunderstandings of starting a small business. There are many fears to venturing out and starting a small business of your own. Hopefully after reading over this list, you will have a better idea of what is true and what is false when it comes to opening a business.
There has been much hype recently about rising inflation rates around the globe. The euro zone had an inflation rate of 2.2% in 2010, while China's rose 5.1% from November 2009 to November 2010. Many people fear that a surge in inflation could have an adverse effect on the recovery efforts of many economies. But what exactly is inflation and how does it affect an economy?
Bridging the gap between your business aspirations and your company’s ability to meet those expectations can be a daunting task for any business leader. This is often referred to as the execution gap. A recent survey found that nearly 49% of business leaders perceive this gap in their company, and 64% lacked confidence in their ability to narrow it. Following these 6 simple rules from Mashable.com is essential to closing this execution gap and reaching your goals.
A new study by NEWSWEEK ranked the top 100 largest publicly traded companies in the world based on their green performance. Each company was given a rating for three different components: environmental impact, green policies, and a reputation survey. International Business Machines (IBM) came out as top dog, Hewlett-Packard was ranked second, and Johnson & Johnson took home the bronze medal.
A new study by Aon Consulting determined that Toronto is the most desirable city in the world for corporations to recruit and hire employees. The research included 90 cities world-wide, and compared cities based on demographics, education, government regulations, and employment practices.
Africa is the second largest continent in the world by both size and population. The land in Africa is lush with many natural resources and the labor pool is massive. Yet, the economies and governments of most African countries are underdeveloped compared to the rest of the world. How is it that a continent so large and rich in resources is the least industrialized continent on Earth?