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It's something that's been the lore of science fiction novels and movies-- a wild, futuristic dream... the flying car. It's been deemed so difficult to pull off, that not many have tried to make one. If a flying car were made at a relatively affordable price, the demand for it would be huge. A flying car being the stuff of dreams is no more: the Terrafugia Transition is here!

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The auto industry has certainly gone through hard times these past few years, and now it is trying to rebuild itself. Part of the comeback is restructuring the companies, and finding ways to cut costs. This is often done by offshoring the manufacturing portion to countries that demand lower wages. Mexico is one of the countries that will see the benefits of this move in the next few years.

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The Financial Times ranks the top Global MBA schools each year based on a number of factors. These include alumni salaries and career development; the diversity and international reach of the business school and its MBA programme; and the research capabilities of each school. There are interesting subsets such as the percentage of international students and the international mobility rank, which tells you whether alumni are working abroad or not. Check out the top ten below, and the complete listing here!

 

 

 

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Did you just say human hair? Usually you only think of growth with hair while it's on your head, but now this industry is starting to boom. So what exactly can you do with this hair? Well, fashion designers are creating clothes from it that go for up to 30,000 U.S. dollars. Hairdressers will charge up to $3,500 for extensions, which normally will go for around $1,000 dollars a pop. The amino acids in hair can be used as a food additive. Hair is actually very useful for mopping up crude oil.

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We all know that China is a place full of innovation, business growth, and a giant work force. However, they have not been known as an extremely ‘green nation’. But now, they are attempting to make the future of business more environmentally friendly. The China Greentech Initiative was started about two years ago and was designed to encourage innovation in the green technology sector in China. Both the U.S. and Chinese governments have made climate change commitments and are both striving to be more sustainable.

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The first round of the World Cup has definitely been cut throat so far! But the action on the field has not been the only competition centered around the world cup. In our blog series last week we talked about how sponsoring the world cup and advertising during it is not only extremely expensive, but very competitive as well. Any international sporting event brings the opportunity to bring global attention to your brand, product, or even country. The 32 countries that have a team representing them in the tournament have an advantage for international exposure, but other countries aren’t out of the game yet.

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We all know that countries like India and China are becoming global giants. In order for India to keep up with countries like the United States and China, it must improve its railroad system.  Railroad routes are often severely backed up due to overbooked trains and the fact that railroad travel is the only affordable option for many people in India. In order for India to compete with China for major global economic growth, Indian transportation needs to be improved significantly. The Prime Minister of India recently set a goal of an annual growth rate of 10%, but without a major renovation of India’s transportation system this goal will be unattainable.  It looks like India has a lot of work to do to continue to compete globally. 

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“Feeding the world” has gotten more difficult as world population has risen, but the countries contributing the most to this population growth are also doing their part in making food for it as well. A recent joint study put forth by the United Nations-OECD says that agricultural output in the BRIC countries over the next decade will grow three times as fast as in the major developed countries. The report says a lot about changing diets production, and what and where one can expect to see their food coming from.

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With 32 different countries represented, and almost the whole world watching, the World Cup is a hot spot for advertisers across the globe. While FIFA is exclusive with who is officially sponsoring the tournament, other companies are still trying to get a piece of the action. The six main sponsors of the World Cup are Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates Airlines, Hyundai Cars, Sony, and Visa. There are also several other sponsors that are not as prominently featured at the tournament. 

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The World Cup, currently taking place in South Africa, is well underway. Tomorrow in this blog series, we'll discuss the prevalence of large sponsorship deals that many businesses have with FIFA, the international governing body of football. FIFA takes its role of protecting World Cup sponsors very seriously, and the warnings it has issued towards many businesses are ones that should be heeded.

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With the excitement of the World Cup evident in South Africa, there is also great pride and unity among locals.  The energy of the World Cup has spread all over the country, and has even hit the poorest areas.  This energy has provided harmony among citizens and although many areas in South Africa are still suffering, right now everything is about football.  Problems such as poverty stricken homes and jobless citizens still exist, but they are being put on hold for a very important event for South Africa.  During the game between Mexico and South Africa, over 3,000 locals gathered in a park to enthusiastically watch the game. The World Cup has greatly improved the moral of South African citizens. 

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Very recently, all 27 member nations of the European Union (EU) approved the entry of Estonia into the eurozone, meaning that Estonia would adopt the euro as its primary form of currency. At first glance, it seems that tying itself to a widely-used, strongly-supported currency would be a no-brainer for Estonia. However, with Europe’s recent economic woes, the situation becomes a bit more complicated.

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As the 2010 World Cup kicks off, there are a lot of interesting stories not only on the pitch, but on the business side of things as well. They include fake goods and counterfeit products, local food vendors being pushed out, extra investments, 'green' jerseys and huge sponsorship deals. This week we will be writing about the impact that the World Cup has on South Africa, sponsorships, copyrights and the economics of running an event such as a World Cup. We hope that you'll join us this week!

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South African President Jacob Zuma has recently visited India in a bid to strengthen bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. Both are developing nations and are very interested in attracting investment from each other. India and South Africa are thirsting for more business from companies in both countries. India is specifically looking towards bigger investments in infrastructure and a chance to tap into South Africa's rich natural resources.

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Indonesia and Vietnam have decided to team up to boost their local tourism. The two countries already have put effort into increasing the trade between them.  Indonesian companies have invested in over 20 different projects in Vietnam. Now, they want to continue into the tourism industry.

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Senegal is one of the world's poorest countries (17th to be exact), where the average annual income is $980 according to the World Bank's latest figures. This is increasingly concerning as their major industry, fishing, is declining due to over-fishing and intense competition from Asia. But there is a booming industry which is primed for growth and provides investment opportunities in Senegal, and I would say most people wouldn't be able to guess what it is. That industry is wrestling, and it is starting to grow much more popular than football (soccer) in the country. It used to be a pastime of the farmers in the region, who could only work on farming during the rainy season. When they came to the cities to work, they found there was quite an audience ready to watch them wrestle, a traditional African sport which has transformed to take on elements of martial arts and boxing. Now, a winner of a big Lutte (as the Senegalese call it) match can make up to 100 million West African CFA francs ($205,000)! Some bigger names will even make a lot just by participating.

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Many African nations have grown in the international business world through the many natural resources they have been blessed with. Anything from oil, to farm land, to diamonds, Africa has an abundance of opportunities for growth through these resources.

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It's a problem many of us deal with, especially those running small businesses. In today's world, email stands out as one of the domninant forms of communication. When on vacation, or away on business with no access to your email, the load tends to pile up rather quickly. In the following video, Gina Trapani of Fast Company offers some tips on how one can work smarter and develop a system for dealing with such mountains of email:

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After panic spread last year as the price of Sugar rose due to poor weather conditions in Brazil and India, things look hopeful as prices become more stable.  Sugar production is seasonal and is heavily affected by weather conditions.  Last year India struggled to produce sugar due to a long drought after the Asian Monsoon.  While India was waiting for water, Brazil struggled to keep the water away as it had heavy rains which created waterlogged crops. 

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The Africa-France Summit held this week has brought up some wonderful opportunities for international business professionals. Many countries around the world have been looking to Africa for new business opportunities. The continent has vast natural resources and a lot of potential for growth in infrastructure that makes it appealing to foreign investors. Many African countries are now attempting to encourage France to invest in these growing areas.

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It might be surprising to learn that the majority of companies that export have less than 100 employees, and even more have less than 5! There seems to be a misconception going around that a company needs lots of employees and lots of capital in order to engage in international trade. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With the following helpful advice, you could be expanding your business globally and possibly enhancing it.