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This is the fifth post in a five-part blog series focused on future trends in business.

Advertising has evolved from traditional print, television, and radio ads to today's multi-channel mobile and online media campaigns. With more data being collected and analyzed than ever before, many aspects of advertising have become integrated and therefore more apt at addressing consumer needs. The future of advertising lies in the connectivity of our devices and in the data derived from our activity. This post will explore the effect these advancements have on consumers and highlight opportunities for businesses.

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This is the fourth post in a five-part blog series focused on future trends in business.

Most people have heard about blockchain, either in the news, in a conversation or on social media. Many recognize the term but could not explain what it is. Blockchain was originally created for Bitcoin, a digital currency, but now is the backbone of a new internet. The technology allows digital information to be distributed and not copied which has led to blockchain to be called “digital gold” as well as factors such as its durability and robustness. It cannot be controlled by a single entity and has no single point of failure. This leads to an utter transparency of data and it being incorruptible. All these positive sides of blockchain have led it to become a large benefit to businesses in the future.

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This is the third post in a five-part blog series focused on future trends in business.

Technology is an ever-increasing field, especially in today’s world.  The advancements we are currently experiencing are greater than the entirety of society’s past.  By 2020, the amount of information available via digital gateways will grow from the current five zettabytes to 50 zettabytes (in perspective, one zettabyte is equal to 10^12th gigabytes, or over 15 billion flash drives).  Subsequently, for almost all global actions, there are digital footprints left behind—every Google search in China, use of a Nest home system in the United States, or activation of a trending smartphone app in South Africa leaves behind data and information.  Enter, big data.

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This is the second post in a five-part blog series focused on future trends in business. 

Huge corporations are working towards achieving a sustainable business environment. This is achieved when businesses are able to manage the triple bottom line. The triple bottom line is the process by which a business is able to meet the three sustainability pillars - financial, social, and environmental efforts.

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This is the first post in a five-part blog series focused on future trends in business. 

In this weeks blog series, we plan on outlining the future of international business by taking a look at the trends of automation, sustainability, marketing, big data, and blockchain. As the fourth industrial revolution transpires, we are to expect variation with how we interact with technological devices and with how these devices communicate with one another.

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about beer? For some people, the answer might be a brand from their country’s long list of fan favorites such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Corona Extra, Miller Light, Coors Light, Heineken, or Guinness. What do these best-selling brands have in common? They are owned by some of the world’s largest brewing companies, and more specifically the “Big Five” breweries of AB InBev/SAB Miller with headquarters in Belgium and the United Kingdom, Molson Coors (United States), Heineken International (Netherlands), Diageo (United Kingdom), and Carlsberg Group (Denmark). However, others may answer the same question with the name of a brand that was produced by one of over 10,000 craft breweries around the world. The competition between craft beer and big beer companies has been heating up for years, and the tension is not expected to simmer anytime soon.

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globalEDGE offers a number of indices on our country pages.  Topics of these indices range from the level of innovation performance of a country to an index that ranks countries based on the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac in different countries.

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The past couple of years have experienced tremendous growth in renewable energy, and this is expected to continue throughout 2018.  According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global renewable energy is expected to grow by 43%, to 920 GW by through 2022.  In 2016, about two thirds of the global net new power capacity came from renewable energy sources, and solar photovoltaic capacity grew by 50%. This is considerable growth because this allowed the growth of solar energy to exceed growth of all other fuel sources.  The world leader in renewable energy is China, which added approximately half of the growth seen in 2016.

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Located in Western African, Liberia is bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and the Atlantic Ocean. Liberia is Africa’s older republic who has a long history of civil wars and rebellions with their northwestern neighbor, Sierra Leone. The African country was founded by freed American and Caribbean slaves however the country is mostly inhabited by indigenous Africans in the present day. They are known for their high volume of corruption and poor economic standings.

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Companies often seek growth opportunities by acquiring a company or merging with one either within its borders or internationally. Successful M&As (mergers and acquisitions) have proven to be one of the most effective ways to increase a company’s sales and/or profitability. It is also a method to push competitors outside the picture and take a larger part of the pie. M&A’s face a long list of challenges when it comes to M&A, but one of the most significant obstacles companies face in the pre-deal stage is government intervention.

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Popularized by recent ride- and accommodation-sharing platforms, the sharing economy has experienced significant growth and demonstrated its potential for international scalability. The implications of this new economy are predicted to disrupt a variety of business models and industries, ultimately challenging the way we define consumption. Topics to consider include factors driving growth, potential industry risks, and future trends set to affect the way consumers capture value.

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Around the globe, playing your favorite music, making phone calls, and listening to lectures or podcasts has been made more convenient with the help of one of the world’s most popular products—headphones/earbuds.  Strolling through college campuses, it’s a common sight for students bustling to and from classes to don a pair of earbuds or headphones.  In global workplaces, many employees play music through headphones to increase their focus and achieve better results.  Taking private calls has been greatly aided with the use of earbuds that work much like Bluetooth earpieces but offer much better quality—the noise canceling functionality that many of these products feature to make it simple to tune out background information and allows calls to be made without having to step out of a room.  This coveted usefulness has people around the world buying into the headphone and earbud market.

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Canada appears to be taking the brunt of political and economic uncertainty occurring in North America. A potential renegotiation of NAFTA, US tax cuts, and a weakening oil and gas industry are leaving investors wary of future economic growth in Canada. This speculation appears to be a reality for Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who forecasted an average annual growth of 1.7% between now and until 2022. This is a rapid change of events for the country, who saw 3.7% economic growth in the past year and the jobless rate hitting a record low.

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"This is the final call for the flight to Havana. You should be in your seats with safety belts fastened."

Most Americans never thought they'd hear a message like this on an airplane in their lifetimes, but at one-point last year, dozens of such flights departed airports from across the nation. For example, Alaska Airlines won a route between the U.S. west coast and the Cuban capital.

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globalEDGE has added the 2018 Financial Secrecy Index to our growing list of indices in the global insights by country pages. Provided by the Tax Justice Network, the Financial Secrecy Index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and level of offshore financing activities. The index was developed in collaboration with the world’s largest banks, law practices, and accounting firms that are intimately familiar with the secretive offshore financial structures of some of their clients.

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International e-commerce are commercial transactions that happen over the internet which involve people or businesses located in different countries.  In the modern world, many consumers now shop online and there are a plethora of opportunities available to market to a potential online international customer.   

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The number of firearms produced and sold in the United States has continued to rise, and according to the Firearms Commerce in the US report produced by the Justice Department, the amount of firearms that are manufactured in the country have tripled since 1968. This may be alarming considering the fact that in the time it took the number of manufactured guns to triple, the US population has only grown by 35%. In 2015 alone, there were about 9,360,000 firearms manufactured in the US. Out of the 9,360,000 firearms that were manufactured in the US, only about 343,000 firearms were exported from the US in 2015, which is less than 4% of the total.

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Entrepreneurship is permeating business conversations as more people discover the lasting benefits that come with investing in start-ups. Entrepreneurs are responsible for driving the majority of social and economic innovation across the globe and continue to foster opportunities for growth in mature, emerging and frontier markets alike .