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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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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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Venezuela is in the midst of a political and economic disaster and has faced hyperinflation, an increasingly worthless physical currency, and heightening food and medicine shortages. Recently, Venezuela has turned to blockchain, and the cryptocurrency boom as a potential method to fund its debt and develop a stable currency. The Petro and Petro Gold have the potential to replace the bolivar, which was the countries primary currency in the past.

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In the midst of an economic transformation that favors technology, the trucking industry is seeing one of its largest growth years in the past decade. In January, American trucking companies ordered the largest number of new 18-wheelers in about 12 years. This action took place following a tax overhaul that gave them more cash to invest. Trucking companies have also been incentivized to purchase new fuel-efficient trucks in a period of rising diesel costs. In a way, a digital economy has the potential to boost the growth of the trucking industry even further. Heightened packaging volumes have allowed suppliers to employ more truckers, which has boosted margins through their economies of scale. On top of this, more individuals are partaking in e-commerce, which has pressured the shipping industry to have the capability to access customers in rural areas as well as suburban and urban areas.

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We are almost a decade away from the 2008-09 financial crisis, and economies around the world are still expanding, almost in unison. In 2017, the world saw improvements in the labor market, positive trade growth, and rising stock markets. All of this positive data came in the midst of political turmoil across the globe including unrest in the South China sea - which is an important trade route.

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In October, the National Retail Federation announced that it expected holiday sales to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent in 2017. This would create a total spending of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year. After the primary holiday shopping season concluded on December 24th, the U.S. economy slashed these estimates, resulting in a 4.9 percent yearly increase in this time period.

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As the 2018 Winter Olympic Games transcends upon us, it is an interesting time to research the Olympics business model and gain an understanding of their past successes and cloudy future

When Budapest, a frontrunner to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games dropped out of the running, an unofficial signal was shown to the Olympic Committee that changes need to be made for the current Olympics business model. The reason being, “to avoid a loss of international prestige” as said by parliament leader, Lajos Kosa. On top of this, the 2022 Olympic Winter Games bids came down to two prospective bidders. Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, China.  This was due to a fair amount of potential cities failing to compete for an Olympic bid. Events like this make the rest of the world wonder, what is happening to the prestige of the Olympics?

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According to the World Economic Forum, at least $700 Billion should be invested yearly in order to monitor and maintain stable carbon levels. ‘Green financing’ is an innovative solution to this monetary issue that promotes the investment of private funds. Holistically, green financing is an idea that allows investors to profit off eco-friendly projects.

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This blog analyzes A.T. Kearney’s Global Trends 2016-2021 report, which focuses on Political, Technological, and Demographic Revolutions. Today, I will specifically go into the 2nd trend in the report, which talks about Latin America’s position to be a major economic player in the future.

There is a bright spot in a region historically filled with political and economic trauma. Neoliberal political parties with pro-business strategy have been winning elections across the region, creating hope for a future filled with economic prosperity. The region has deepened its ties with the rest of the world and is in the midst of reshaping its future identity.

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We are in the midst of the 10 year anniversary of the S&P 500’s its pre-recession high. On October 9th, 2007, this index peaked at 1,565. Since then indexed bottomed at 666 on May 6th, 2009 but has recovered. This index is currently trading around 2,550, the highest it has ever been. The United States is in the midst of the second longest economic expansion in its history. Economic prosperity has allowed the housing market to recover and the United States Federal Government has ended its policy of fiscal stimulus by normalizing interest rates. How does this compare to Europe and Asia in the same time period?

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Over the past decade, private equity firms have surged in popularity across the globe and have presented financiers with less regulated opportunities across international industries. Investment opportunities are typically less regulated because private firms aren’t required to register with governmental organizations who regulate the trading of shares.

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Recently, Hurricanes Irma and Harvey slammed into the coasts of the Caribbean and southern parts of the United States. These destructive tropical storms caused billions of dollars worth of damage combined and displaced millions of families. JP Morgan recently estimated that the insurance industry could lose $10 to 20 billion from Hurricane Harvey alone.