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The damage the stronger yen is causing to Japan's export reliant economy has been large. The new government in Japan took an anti-interventionist policy, which has caused speculators to strengthen the yen even more. It made sense when the Japanese economy was healthy, but now with deflation and a decline in exports, an intervention is just what they need. While the cheaper imports are good for the consumer, Japanese Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii sees this steep increase as signs of trouble. His concern may weaken the yen, making it easier for companies to export. While trade protectionism between the U.S. and China is a concern, the yen will keep increasing unless an invervention occurs. This short video explains the situation a little better.

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India is becoming known today as an economic powerhouse for sectors ranging from manufacturing to outsourced business services.  The diversity of capabilities is unique and varies from one part of the country to another.  Today, the focus will be on Southern India, where industries include automotive components, textiles, IT, chemicals, and many more.

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The preferred way of travel for long distance travel among those in the business field has been by air. Flying takes less time and is more convenient than taking a four hour train trip to the desired destination. However, flying has its disadvantages as well - lost luggage, taking taxis to and from airports, etc.

In Spain however, taking the train from two main cities - Madrid and Barcelona has become very popular since the opening of Alta Velocidad Espanola high-speed service. This rail service provides the same luxuries as a plane - breakfast, newspaper, and comfort; however, it is a faster journey than flying. This improvement in high-speed rail has shifted most travel in Spain from air to rail. Even though Spain joined the high-speed rail industry later than other countries, it has become one of the top leaders in it - right after Japan and France. Furthermore, it has brought more tourists to Barcelona and Madrid which has been a boost to business there. Also, the success of this project has been noticed from other countries. For example, there is a proposition in Britain for a high-speed line between London and Glasgow. Moreover, in the U.S., there is a proposal to invest $8bn in high-speed rail.

In conclusion, high-speed rail in Spain has been a huge success, as it has enabled railways to take market share from airlines and has been promoting economic development. It also promotes competition in the travel industry and stimulates innovation in other countries as well. 

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We have a new compilation of resources here on globalEDGE! Produced by the member law firms of Lexwork International, this Compendium provides trade law summaries for over 30 jurisdictions prepared by law firms located there. These include the most significant U.S. trading partners. This is an excellent resource for companies intending to do business in foreign countries and some U.S. states, and I recommend checking it out.

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Poultry has been traded globally for years. Each individual country can not possibly produce everything it needs, making this trade a necessity. Of course, that does not mean that there hasn't been any problems. There are several past examples of poultry trade gone wrong, but as a result standards are higher, making trading less of a risk.

In 2004, China and the United States had a major rift in their chicken trades and there has been tension ever since. The initial problems were a result of the bird flu outbreaks. Following that, both countries temporarily banned the trade of poultry from one another. Soon after, China lifted their ban, but it was another two years before the U.S. followed suit. Around the same time, Thailand chicken exports were suffering because several countries refused to buy their chicken because of past outbreaks, even after the products have been inspected and deemed safe. It seems that there will always be tension over poultry trade.

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Many companies consider Africa as a dangerous place to do business. This is mainly because there is a lot of negative publicity that surrounds the place and people tend to hear and remember it better than all the positives in the region. Viewing Africa as an unworthy place to expand a company's market is a huge mistake.

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So this past week being sick with the flu, gave me an excellent idea. What should you do as a business as flu season approaches? There is a possibility of a widespread H1N1 outbreak, and employers around the world need to take important steps. Employees are a crucial resource at any business, and especially small businesses. There are steps you can take now, and during the flu season, to help protect the health of your employees.

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In light of the ballooning global cost of providing healthcare to patients, there has been much discussion as to how operations in the healthcare industry can be implemented in a smoother and more cost-efficient manner. One major solution could lie in the efforts of various supply-chain management firms and programs to help hospitals and health care systems reduce their supply chain costs. In addition to supply chain revamps, technological revisions of documentation in the health care industry should have a significant impact in cost-cutting and time-saving.

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Business and Africa are not always two words you hear in the same sentence. However, with globalization being such a huge component of today’s business, it is important for companies to always be on the lookout for new places to expand. More and more things are being exported and imported these days. It appears nearly impossible to do business without crossing a border into another country. One country that has recently come onto the international business radar is South Africa.

With a rapidly growing population and a rising middle class, South Africans are seeking out many of the same products and brands that other developed nations have become accustomed to. This means there is an opportunity for businesses to enter and prosper in this expanding market.

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With raw sugar prices soaring to a high of 24 cents per pound and the possibility of rising to 30 cents per pound, Brazil, the largest sugar-cane growing area in the world, has a few options. Brazilian factories can either continue producing ethanol, which is used for more than 90% of new cars in Brazil, or they can produce sugar, which can be sold 40% above cost.

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Gary Locke, now a prominent figure in the U.S. Government is charged with the responsibility of forming U.S. Commercial policy across the globe.  Gary is a recent appointee into the Obama administration and career politician.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Locke served two terms as the governor of Washington.  Given his new role, the obvious question becomes: How will Mr. Locke’s policies impact global trade?  Here are two points to consider:

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As the Trade North America Conference continues, it is important to understand the nuances of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which make the implementation of NAFTA’s goals possible. One of the largest barriers to getting the agreement passed, and which still creates issues today are the legal issues surrounding the agreement, as well as how it deals with the differing legal systems of each of the countries involved.

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Why should a small business enter the Canadian and Mexican market? There are a plethora of opportunities in both countries. From a United States perspective, they are the largest foreign investor in Canada and the most popular destination for Canadian investment. The U.S. exports to Canada exceed their exports to the entire European Union. Mexico isn't far behind with the second largest market in the world for U.S. exports. In 2007, U.S. and Mexico two-way trade exceeded one billion dollars a day. I will briefly discuss both the challenges, potential, and strategies for entering both the Canadian and the Mexican market.

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The Trade North America Conference, happening in Detroit this week, is a great opportunity for the Midwest regional business community to learn about today’s trade climate. Underscoring the importance of the event, Undersecretary of Commerce, Dennis Hightower and former Governor of Michigan, John Engler will be speaking. The focus of the conference is to equip businesspeople with information which will enhance their ability to successfully export products to Canada and Mexico.

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What do you do when your cell phone company changes its prices in the middle of your two year contract? If you terminate your contract, you will be charged and you cannot simply say "no" to the changes. Some companies promise fixed rates while the contract lasts; however, in many countries in the world, companies have a policy of "prices are subject to change". The reason why a cell phone company would decide to raise prices is in the hope to make a bigger profit - you either pay the high price or you pay the charge to cancel. However, this is where they go wrong.

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Culture has a very strong impact on how well someone is able to conduct good business in a foreign setting. Cultural intelligence can be a very important skill to attain. Cultural Intelligence, or CQ as it is commonly called, refers to an individual's capability to funtion effectively across cultures. There is a great way to find out about your own CQ.

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Innovation has always been an important factor in the success of a business. A perfect example is India's Tata Group since it has made innovation a performance criterion for its employees.