Until now, China has never shown much interest in Middle Eastern investment. If it is able to establish a relationship with the Middle East, it can take advantage of arguably one of the most volatile areas in the world. In an area where westerners have long feared to go, China seems very interested in the diplomacy, economics, soft power and security. Upon helping in the war in the Middle East, China has begun to fully immerse themselves in the Middle East in an effort to increase their involvement in the area.
globalEDGE Blog - By Author: Jeff Nemesi
This year the spring slowdown in manufacturing may slow down more than anticipated. Following disappointing results in the manufacturing activity and industrial production worldwide, analysts are saying that with the already weak economies in China, Germany, and the United States, the slowdown could impact more than just spring. Germany has had a trend in weaker manufacturing activity, and the U.S. has been introduced to sequestration due to its weak trend in the industry. If China, Germany and the United States can’t find a way to power their manufacturing activity this slowdown could have global effects.
The Easter holiday has passed, and as always, with its passing comes a lot of chocolate. The holidays are a great time for candy products to increase sales by offering limited edition holiday goodies. Most candy companies incorporate Easter into their products around this time of year, with the most prevalent being the bunny. What if a company could take the idea of the chocolate bunny and restrict other companies from selling it to increase their sales? For over twelve years, Swiss premium chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli has been trying to trademark these gold-wrapped chocolate bunnies with many court cases involving different European Union members.
The European Union gave a €10 billion rescue to Cyprus, a small island country in the European Union. It is the fourth of seventeen Eurozone states to receive a bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. In order to gain more time to convince parliament to back a new tax on deposits, Cyprus said that they would not open up their banks until Thursday the 21st of March. This controversial tax is on bank deposits and in order for it to come into effect they must have the support of parliament. Investors reacted poorly to the news as shares fell, and there was a run on cash machines over the past couple days.
After last year’s scare in China with the manufacturing industry taking a step backwards with a year of contraction, it has rebounded and returned to positive growth for four straight months. However, February was China’s lowest month of positive growth since November after posting record growth in January. February’s growth was 50.4, while in January it was 52.3. On the scale, readings above 50 indicate expansion, while below 50 indicates contraction.
In the annual employment report by the International Labour Organization, analysts said that the number of unemployed people globally rose by four million last year and is expected to rise by over five million people this year to reach 203 million. This is primarily blamed on the slow labor market for youth, and as the number of jobseekers is growing, so will the number of unemployed.
In recent years, the Chinese and Latin American business relationship has done very well, especially in the South American countries. China is now the main market for most of the exports for Latin American countries, along with being a big source of imports as well. There has been much greater investment in Latin America by Chinese companies such as mining in Argentina, Brazil and Peru, manufacturing in Brazil and Uruguay, and tourism in the Bahamas. With all of these influences from China taking place, there have been some major imbalances of different kinds.
Iceland’s application to join the European Union is being threatened by new quotas involving Iceland’s largest industry, the fishing industry. The new fish that is booming the industry in Iceland is the mackerel, and Ireland, Norway, and other European members are debating over how much mackerel Iceland should be able to fish. Scientists believe that mackerel are migrating to Icelandic waters in greater numbers, and since fishing accounts for forty percent of Iceland’s exports, the mackerel are now a vital part of Iceland’s economy. These fish led to the rebound from the crisis Iceland was going through, and if the stock allowed is increased, they will be able to lift the economy further.
For the most part, Africa struggles to develop large amounts of energy, and Ghana is striving to change this. Apart from the northern and southern parts of the continent, Africa has no major energy sources and no efforts have really been made to fix the problem. Blue Energy, a British renewable energy investment firm officially verified plans to build Africa’s largest solar panel installation. It will be a one hundred fifty five megawatt photovoltaic plant, and construction will be located in Aiwaiso, Ghana. Officials are hoping that this is the start of a revolution for renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa, and it will show whether or not governments can unlock the large potential that Africa holds for solar energy.
The European Union is pushing back the implementation of the global banking reforms, which were supposed to take place on January 1st. It has been delayed at least six months, with talks that it may get pushed back even further. Basel III is the name of the reform plan, and it is a global response to the financial crisis from 2007-2009. Basel III is a critical step to protect large institutions against future financial shocks. Until the European Union can agree on the plan, the delay holds a risk of throwing off the recovery process. However, if the regulations in Basel III are too harsh, it could risk cutting economic growth and an increase in unemployment.
On November 9th at the Business College Complex at Michigan State University, Eli Broad spoke to students of The Eli Broad College of Business about his views on business, philanthropy, and the future of education. Eli Broad funded the The School of Business at Michigan State University, and has continued to support his alma mater throughout his life. Through his many different careers he gained a vast amount of knowledge in many aspects of business, helping to facilitate his long and successful run in the business world.
Our globalEDGE Country Comparator is now up! The Country Comparator allows our users to compare up to twenty countries across a variety of economic indicators (up to five at once) including GDP, inflation, and exports. It can be accessed by pulling up any country’s page and clicking on the Country Comparator, or by following this link: http://globaledge.msu.edu/Comparator. Please check out this new interactive tool and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!
With people finally returning to North Africa and increasing destination trips to Eastern Europe, international tourism worldwide grew four percent in the first half of the year. Over 705 million tourists traveled abroad in this period, and if accomplished it will be the first time that over one billion people have traveled internationally. Areas such as Central and Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Central America had the highest growth in tourism. Egypt had a large increase after the social problems were solved, and Japan also did after the nuclear contamination concerns were solved. Interestingly enough, countries such as Sweden, South Africa, and South Korea had increases on a smaller scale, but saw the income from tourism increase by over twenty-five percent.
Without government involvement, Indonesia is experiencing good times with one of the highest economic growth rates in the world. Needless to say, things could have been even better if the government provided assistance to help the economy and take Southeast Asia’s largest economy to a whole new level. It has been estimated that if Indonesia made certain changes to its economy, each citizen would be more than forty percent wealthier by 2030. Also by this time, if it has the right reforms and remains on this path, it would be the world’s sixth largest economy. The main areas of renovation would be the outdated infrastructure along with the increase in bureaucrats.
European stocks have been struggling as Spain does not seem close to requesting a bailout soon. Spain’s debt and interest carrying costs are increasing at a rate much faster than the GDP, and it seems as though this trend will not slow down. Greece is in the same situation. Greece has incurred a lot of debt and is struggling to pay it back. Due to this, the country is in the process of securing a bailout. Both countries’ unemployment rates have risen above twenty percent, and the Eurozone in general has a combined unemployment rate of 11.4%. Talks that France is going to be next have many people worried and these worries can only lead to more problems.
After releasing its high IPO on March 18th, 2012, Facebook has fallen over 50% and does not seem to be headed in the right direction anytime soon. The costly mistake in the first day of trade of a computer malfunction placed millions of dollars in the wrong location, and there was no recovery after that. With social media on the rise worldwide, it was believed that this would be a hot stock early on. The overly-optimistic buyers were waiting for an early 50%-60% increase, and little did they know it was about to be a failure. Was the IPO too high, or is Facebook just losing its popularity it once had?