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Each country has different ways of doing business. Sometimes it may be confusing for foreigners visiting the country for the first time. What follows is tips on doing business successfully in some of the most advanced countries in Europe:

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It’s hard to deny that the business climate for women is changing. Fifteen Fortune 500 companies are currently run by women, up from twelve last year.  Twenty-eight companies have women doing the top job in the Fortune 1000. Yet challenges still exist for women, namely in the international business world. Recently, Mrs. Evelyn Mungai of Nairobi, Kenya, an international business entrepreneur, visited Indianapolis to speak to the National Association of Women Business Owners about these challenges and how to overcome them. She is currently the owner of Evelyn’s School of Design, an internationally-acclaimed business that has been going strong for 33 years.

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Researchers from the IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland ranked the competitiveness of 57 of the leading economies in the world based on 329 criteria. These criteria come from 2/3 hard statistical data and 1/3 from surveys that are put into four factor categories: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency, and infrastructure. Here are the top ten:

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Jamal Qureshi never imagined the success he would have when he immigrated to the United States a few years ago from his native city of Bhopal, India. Now he is doing business in the same city he grew up in, just from the opposite end of the world. Qureshi is the CEO of JQ American in Hayward, California, an exporter of products and services in the energy, medical, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. The unique part of JQ American is that they sell to a whopping 16 countries, while most small and medium sized U.S. firms only export to one international market. So how was all this possible?

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It is known everywhere that Europeans do not work as much as Americans or other workers worldwide. Many see it as a problem with the European work ethic, and those who are used to spending 9-10 hours in the office give Europeans disapproving looks.
 
The United States is still looked at as the most competitive nation worldwide, but other data such as GDP per hours worked reveals that many countries in the EU are just as productive as the U.S. and they have the benefit of more days off per year. Furthermore, countries in the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) are 27% more efficient than the U.S. and France is only 2% less efficient.
 
You may be surprised by such data; however, the explanation is simple. A rested mind operates much better and in a much more efficient way than an exhausted one. Statistics show that while Europeans are on vacation they hardly worry about the state of the economy or other work issues; Americans on the other hand spend too much time preoccupied and dwelling on issues instead of relaxing. Moreover, Americans are more likely to visit Facebook or other social websites due to the fact they have less time to enjoy with friends.
 
In conclusion, on one side there is France and Luxemburg with highly competitive economies and many vacation days; and on the other there is the U.S. - competitive but at the price of exhausted workers...I think it's obvious who has the better deal. So, should something be done about increasing vacation for employees in the States or would it be of no help?
 
 

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It isn’t a secret that many aspects of developing countries are unappealing to the global businessperson. Decrepit urban and rural areas, lawlessness, and violence often cause companies to avoid these areas either out of fear for employee safety, logistics, or simply because they can’t find a way to make doing business there profitable. However, the fact still stands that these areas have hundreds of millions of potential customers lacking many goods and services. Additionally, there have been numerous pioneering companies which have had to modify their business strategies in order to adapt to the economic climate of these regions, and have subsequently thrived there. Here are a few of the issues that have arisen in these areas, and tips from successful companies on how they’ve handled them:

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PowerPoint presentations have been used in the Western world for the past 25 years and all of us have seen a plethora of them. Now, many developing countries are starting to rely more and more on PowerPoint to present information as well. As the world becomes more and more technology and service based it is only natural that we will see an increase in the use of PowerPoint. However, not many of the presentations are enthusiastic. Chances are that the majority you've seen were boring. Good PowerPoint presentations can be the key to bringing improvements in a company. This is because they are easy to create and provide a convenient way to present information. Furthermore, they can be used to educate employees, to present ideas, to point out errors, or map out new ways to achieve goals. These are important things to companies. However, for the presentation to be successful, one should beware of a few things.

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As mobile technology improves, many of the cell phones people are using are becoming outdated at an increasingly-faster rate. This is especially the case in Japan, where the latest cell phone can be usurped by another within a few weeks. In fact, the Japanese are so far advanced in cell phone technology that they've had a difficult time taking their cell phones global. So, what does one do with a bunch of outdated phones that nobody wants? Recycle them for their precious metals!

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The internet is becoming a bigger part of marketing and advertising strategies for many companies. However, engaging customers online can be challenging. The following video gives advice and examples of how to achieve this.

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The names we use to refer to places in the world can be a touchy subject. The island off the coast of mainland China that many know as Formosa became the Republic of China after World War II. Many today refer to it as Taiwan, but international recognition of the island as an independent nation-state is not universal.

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A recent ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) has those in the U.S. entertainment industry rejoicing. The ruling would force China to open the channels of distribution to free enterprise. This means that those from the U.S. in the entertainment business will be have their work distributed in a manner which should yield more profits. The ruling will play a major role in the complex relationship between China and the U.S. entertainment industry.

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Many managers are feeling under pressure at work due to the current state of the economy. In their desire to boost up morale at work, many of them actually tend to reward bad behavior in the office which can be costly to the company. The following are some well-intentioned practices that tend to backfire and ways to fix them:

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Last week Rupert Murdoch signaled the end of free news online, or so he hopes. He plans to start charging for his content within the next 12 months, and when he does, he suspects others will too. Murdoch's newspaper holdings span the globe, from the Australian to the Wall Street Journal and to his News International stable in London. The plans for a micropayment system are in the works, where users would be charged a very little fee for accessing one article. And he may get some people interested in specific content to do just that. He stated to the BBC "I believe that if we are successful, we will be followed by other media."

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While more developed countries have been faced with huge financial problems and equities have advanced just under 50% this year, markets in developing countries such as China and India are trading at 52-week highs. Furthermore, emerging markets account for about 50% of world GDP. It seems likely that they will be the source of global growth over the next few years, seeing that developed countries are spending resources in reducing debt and rebuilding banking systems.

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In the month of June, Chile saw a 22 percent jump in wine exports. This could be due to a rebounding economy. It could also have to do with the fact that Chile is producing more wine than ever, and at a better quality than it ever has. Given the positive direction that Chile’s wine industry is heading, what implications does this have for the economy and other businesses in Chile?

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Learn valuable skills for growing your business by selling to international buyers. Based on the popular Department of Commerce Book "A Basic Guide to Exporting," register now for one or all seven interactive and authoritative sessions. Register for two or more webinars and get a complimentary copy of the book!

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What was once an ancient risk now has a modern face, and is a growing concern for shipping companies. Following the release of the Maersk Alabama, the media has paid much less attention to the infamous Somali pirates. These pirates are still very much active. The number of piracy incidents has risen drastically since 2008. Back then, most of the acitivity conducted by pirates consisted of simply plundering the ship and fleeing. Now, the pirates are not only plundering the ships, but are also taking the ships and crews hostage for ransom.  What changes could the piracy resurgence bring to the shipping industry?

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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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Check out this ranking of the top MBA programs outside the US, from BusinessWeek. Just in case you're curious, here are the contenders:

  1. Queen's University, in Canada
  2. IE Business School, in Spain
  3. INSEAD, in France
  4. University of Western Ontario, in Canada
  5. London Business School, in the UK
  6. ESADE, in Spain
  7. IMD, in Switzerland
  8. University of Toronto, in Canada
  9. IESE, in Spain
  10. Oxford University, in the UK

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The current recession has impacted almost every sector of the economy, and hamburgers are no exception. In an environment where top quality matched with most appealing prices is the key to success, many restaurants are re-thinking their menus by including and re-imagining what the burger should be. Therefore, top chefs around the world are viewing the burger as the latest test of their culinary skills and ingenuity. Also, in some restaurants, the quality of their burger is what decides the ultimate fate of the restaurant, especially in these uncertain times.

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Anyone who has engaged in cross-cultural business knows that spending a little bit of time to understand the other culture will go a long way towards producing business success.

This is especially true in China, where business relationships usually require some form of personal relationship. In this country, business partners typically go through a long process of “courtship,” which will likely entail banquets and other events aimed at getting to know each other on a personal level, as well as a string of meetings where business progresses at a snails pace. This process is vital from the Chinese perspective, as the nation’s cultural values emphasize long-term relationships and prosperity over quick, impersonal deals.

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Need to know how to complete a NAFTA Certificate of Origin or comply with customs regulations for outbound shipments? How about finding your Harmonized Code or Schedule B number? Head on over to the U.S. Census Bureau site and watch short, entertaining videos which provide step-by-step instructions. Save yourself time, money, and headaches by learning how to get your goods to the buyer.

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Recently, social networking giant Twitter posted it's Twitter 101 for Business Guide, which is designed to enlighten both consumers and businesses to ways they can use Twitter's micro-blogging service. The guide offers advice on how businesses can use Twitter to market products and boost sales, and will also help consumers who are curious about the site but don't know how to use it or where to even begin.

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China has three main goals it weighs when considering where to invest its vast sums of money. Those goals are “safety, liquidity, and profitability - in that order.” For many years, the result of this strategy has been to invest heavily in U.S. Treasury notes. As the Middle Kingdom’s coffers began to fill with dollar-denominated debt, the financial well-being of the entire nation began to be increasingly tied to the strength of the U.S. dollar. So it should not come as a surprise that declines in dollar value that have occurred in recent years have been met with consternation by the Chinese.