globalEDGE Blog - By Tag: asia

Over the years, Vietnam has been consistently at battle with the United States over the trade of catfish. The country’s ability to export catfish for a lesser price has made them a top exporter and caused the domestic industry to contract by 60% in the last decade. With local catfish farmers losing money, a so called war was waged starting in 2008 with the introduction of a catfish inspection program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And although the program has yet to go into effect, numerous Pacific exporters are already protesting its introduction.

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As the violent protests and riots in Vietnam affect the country’s social harmony, the business climate is also being seriously impacted. Anti-Chinese riots erupted in Vietnam on Tuesday after the Chinese government placed an oil rig in disputed waters between the two countries, and by Thursday the riots had claimed at least 21 lives. Following mass demonstrations, some Vietnamese protestors began to loot and destroy Chinese businesses, and as the rioting intensified, the protestors started to target all foreign owned businesses. Along with Chinese establishments, Taiwanese, South Korean, Japanese, and Malaysian companies have all reported damages from the riots, which threatens to continue as emotions are still running high throughout Vietnam.

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Over the past decade South Asia has experienced rapid economic growth, but its infrastructure growth has not kept pace. The World Bank recently came out with a report, “Reducing Poverty by Closing South Asia’s Infrastructure Gap,” which found that countries in South Asia need to invest up to $2.5 trillion in order to bridge the infrastructure gap in the next ten years. An infrastructure gap is the difference between a country’s development goals and its actual capability to obtain those goals.

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In a meeting last week, the leaders of the United States, Mexico, and Canada got together and discussed various issues surrounding their own countries, including forming new trade agreements to open up more trade across the globe. These three countries entered into their own agreement 20 years ago when they signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was a significant step for regional trade in the Western Hemisphere. Now, these three countries hope that they can use NAFTA as a springboard to form new agreements with other countries in an attempt to find new markets and diversify their own economies.

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Singapore opened its first “green” factory two months ago setting up a milestone for Singapore’s green industry. The news brought great attention to a broader area—Asia, and people soon realized that most manufacturers in Asia have begun to turn “green” in recent years. This is becoming a trend in Asia that cannot be held back.

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As the rupiah reached a five-year low on Dec. 23, 2013, the Indonesian government began to worry about the nation’s economy. It soon announced increased levels of foreign investment in the country's power plants, advertising, and pharmaceutical industries in order to boost the slowing economy. However, some people are concerned that this move will bring many challenges to the nation .

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The British bank HSBC recently came out with a study that looked at the best countries for expatriates, people residing in another country, to live in based on economic opportunities and quality of life. The study came out with some surprising results. Amongst the best countries for expats to live in include small rich countries, and amongst the worst are Western European countries. Although some of the countries have better qualities of life, many of these countries are not welcoming to foreigners.

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Ernst & Young, a Big Four accounting firm, conducted a fraud survey across the Asia-Pacific region, finding that there is a large disconnect between company policies, enforcement, and execution that is obstructing efforts to diminish fraud. The survey consisted of 600 senior level executives from companies in countries including, Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.

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File under: Currency, India, Trade, Asia, Inflation

Starting in 2008, the financial crisis affected most of the countries in the world. Recently, a light of global economic recovery was shed on many of these countries. However, a new challenge aroused in the Asian currency price market. In India, people hope that the government can change a record-low currency trading situation, accelerating inflation. Furthermore, they hope India’s economy can find its way back to the normal path.

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No matter where you are in the world, the sustainability of almost every economy depends on one critical idea. Young and highly educated workers must be able to fill the void created by an aging population leaving the workforce. In the competitive global economic landscape of today, even highly developed countries cannot afford to slide into downward educational trends. One can obtain great foresight into the future outlook of the global economy by simply comparing international education across industrialized economies. This analysis leads to the discovery of many surprising revelations about the future setting of the global economy.

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File under: Retail, China, Japan, Asia, Fashion

As political season in China begins between the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, there have been concerns with the consumption of luxury goods. China has gone to extremes measures to prevent the issue of inequality by banning politicians to speak publicly about spending on luxury goods. With increases in social media, people have been able to show how wealthy they are by posting to websites such as Tumbler, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Recently, there was an online argument between a Chinese socialite and a member of a sports car club over who has more money. As Asian countries begin to crack down on the over the top display of wealth, could luxury goods retailers be affected?

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As globalization affects international business in almost every way possible, it also affects education to great extents. International education is on the rise as the demands of a globalized world bring the need for students to understand broader issues around the world. Students, the future business leaders of tomorrow, have become more mobile than ever in search for global experiences and job opportunities overseas. In past years, many students moved abroad to study in developed economies such as the United States and United Kingdom. However, that trend is starting to shift as many people believe the booming economies in the East offer more job opportunities than the West.

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The changing global climate has become increasingly more difficult to ignore due to climbing air and water temperatures, rising sea levels, and melting of polar snow and ice. Recent reports have stated that the area of ice in the arctic has never been smaller, which has recently caught the attention of Asian economists. The opening of the Arctic north promises new trade routes, untapped reserves of oil, and an abundance of minerals to discover.

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While the rest of the world scrambles to overcome the current global recession, the Philippines has been experiencing record levels of economic growth. The island country has benefited greatly from increases in government efficiency, as well as a crack down on political corruption. The gross domestic product of the Philippines has grown 6.4 percent in the first quarter, which surpasses the performances of all other neighboring economies except China, and its currency, the peso, has reached record heights in the past four years when compared to the dollar. As a sign of the country's unprecedented economic progression, the Philippines has pledged $1 billion (USD) of its $70 billion in reserves to the International Monetary Fund to aid the European Union, which is the same fund that rescued the country in the 1980s.

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File under: Indonesia, India, Asia, BRICS, Investment

This past week, ratings agency Standards & Poor’s warned India that it risks a sovereign debt downgrade which would result in the country falling off the list of an investment grade country. Currently, India is rated at the lowest investment grade rating – BBB. Falling below this level would mean that India bonds would be considered junk bonds. Much of the blame is assigned to the Prime Minister, notes S&P, pointing out specific problems with the political system “that has more gridlock than the United States,” coupled with high inflation and a falling currency and GDP.

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As the world population continues to grow and urbanization increases, enormous amounts of energy will be consumed meaning expensive energy costs and waste management will remain major problems. Sustainable development is a solution to this problem. However, one particular region is experiencing urban population growth at an unprecedented rate and faces exceptional challenges in terms of sustainability. This region is Asia and its urban area population has already tripled over the last fifty years. Although Asia faces many tough challenges to sustainable development, these challenges also provide opportunities for global businesses.

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When globalEDGE released its Market Potential Index (MPI) for 2011, it’s no surprise that Asian countries dominated the top of the rankings. For several years now, countries in Asia have been considered the leading emerging markets in today’s economic climate. This year, Singapore found itself as the highest rated emerging market in the MPI rankings. Looking at Singapore, there are several factors that contributed to its success in this year’s rankings.

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With the projection of a $150.1 billion cloud computing world market by 2013, what are emerging markets doing to get a piece of this pie? Cloud computing is finally growing in developed nations. Many companies are gradually moving more applications to cloud data centers where they can take advantage of pooling of computing resources, more efficient use of data processing power and increased flexibility. Cloud computing could have a huge impact on societies and economies in developing countries as well.

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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.

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File under: India, Asia, Economy, Manufacturing

Most people think of China or Japan as the most prominent auto manufactures in Asia. That has certainly been the case for the past years but now the country of India is becoming a major manufacturing hub for the continent. Nissan’s Indian factory is less than a year old and covers 600 acres making it one of the company’s largest plants worldwide. Nissan is just one of the many major Asian auto companies that have set up manufacturing hubs in India.

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When speaking with U.S. business leaders about global leadership and cultural intelligence, I’m often asked, “Is anyone talking to people in China and India about their need for this? After all, shouldn’t this be a two-way street?”

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China is growing. India is growing. In fact, the whole of Asia is expanding rapidly - in population, economy, and technology. The latest area Asia is looking to improve upon is education. Countries like China and India are in the process of trying to establish themselves as leaders in the world of business education. They’re doing this by offering Western-trained business professors opportunities they wouldn’t be able to get normally.

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Unfortunately, the global economic crisis was not biased when it struck industries across the world.  Driven by high-rolling, high-ego aficionados, the art industry was impacted more than one would have expected.  With artworks ranging from just $500,000 to well into the millions of dollars, buyers who take interest in these unique items also felt the burn from the instability of the world markets and significant decrease in personal wealth.  As a matter of fact, in 2007 the art market was valued at $65 billion, down from $113 billion just five years before.  Today it is estimated to be as low as $50 billion.

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File under: Asia, Sports

Many sporting events have seen a decline in fan attendance or have had to lower admission prices as more people are losing their jobs and consider attending sporting events a luxury. Furthermore, major companies have cut their sponsorship budgets. However, more and more sports are finding a solution to finance problems by advertising and investing in Asia.

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File under: Asia, Consumption

Here's how it could be possible:

Asian economies have recovered much better from the current economic downturn than many countries. Their industrial production has reached previous levels not seen since the global crisis hit. Less and less it seems to have been because of net exports and more because domestic demand fell. When a surge in food and energy prices occured, a tighter monetary policy curbed inflation but further squeezed the demand. The recovery has come from the ending of destocking by manufacturers and the large fiscal stimulus that most governments put forth.

However these are only temporary solutions. With exports forecasted to still be low in the near future, consumer consumption should become a forefront for the Asian economies.

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