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This is the fifth post in a five-part blog series focused on the energy industry.

The future of energy is often discussed in the news.  Many publications will say that the energy market’s future rests in one form or another but the future of the energy industry whole is difficult to predict because much of the future of energy is rooted in the policies of politicians. However, the Earth is not yet close to running out of these nonrenewable fuels so while there will be a need to fully replace the use of fossil fuels in our world at some point; running out of fossil fuels is not really the most pressing need at this time. 

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This is the first post in a five-part blog series focused on the energy industry. 

This week’s blog series will be about the Energy industry with posts about Geothermal and Hydroelectric Power; Solar, Wind, and Nuclear Energy; Oil, and Natural Gas; concluding with an outlook on the future of Energy. By the end of the week, these articles will give you an in-depth break down on the current state of the Energy industry in the United States and abroad.

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This is part five of a five-part blog series on the evolution of the textile industry over time.

Traditionally, manufacturing and resource processing has been done in a factory setting with labor needs relying on human capital. Labor trends tend to coincide with factors like wages, working conditions, and more recently, technology. So far, this series has looked at the evolution of the industry in an international context, starting with its role in the formation of the first international commercial highway. Textile production continued as an international industry into the 18th century. The Industrial revolution brought technological advances like the spinning jenny and cotton gin, marking the first instances of machines making their way into production. Next, we looked at labor conditions throughout the industry—specifically the working conditions in developed and developing countries. As we look toward the future of labor, advancements in the textile industry will continue to have international ramifications.

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This is part four of a five-part blog series on the evolution of the textile industry over time.

The textile industry is one of the largest economic markets in the world, generating $450 billion and employing over 25 million people across the globe.   It’s estimated that over 120 billion pounds of textiles are made each year, a number that is ever-increasing because of constant high consumer demand.  Specifically, cotton consumption rates feature all-time highs, with an annual demand of over 120 million tons.

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This is part three of a five-part blog series on the evolution of the textile industry over time.

The Industrial Revolution started in England in the 1700’s.  At this time, England was a colonial power, and used its colonies in the Americas and Asia to provide resources such as silk, tobacco, sugar, gold, and cotton, and provided its colonies with finished products such as textiles and metalware. As the population in Britain and its colonies increased, Britain had to find new ways to keep up with the demand for its products. The value for trade motivated Britain to produce more ships and goods, and Britain’s ports, population, and supply of water and coal made it the perfect place to industrialize.  At this time, Britain largely controlled international trade, and most global trade was conducted within Europe, but by the late 1790s 57 percent of British exports went to North America and the West Indies, and 32 percent of British imports were provided by these regions.

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This is part two of a five-part blog series on the evolution of the textile industry over time.

The textile industry has been shaping international business and cultural trends for thousands of years. In fact, ancient Chinese silk was one of the catalysts for the formation of the world’s first international commercial highway. The Silk Road, or Silk Route, was an ancient network of trade routes spanning from China through India and Central Asia. Ultimately, these routes connected two of the greatest and powerful ancient empires, the Chinese and the Romans.

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This is part one of a five-part blog series on the evolution of the textile industry over time.

The textile and apparel industry is one of the most popular in the world.  Like most other industries the textile industry has evolved over time.  The evolution of the textile industry is one of the most interesting industries to examine.  One can trace the origins of the textile industry back to prehistoric times.  It is estimated by anthropologists that humans began wearing clothes somewhere between 500,000 and 100,000 years ago. Since this time the textile industry has been evolving.  The earliest trade hubs of textiles can be found in ancient China, Turkey, and India.  All of these regions can be found along the Silk Road; for more information on textile trade along the Silk Road be sure to read tomorrow’s blog.

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In the last part of this week's series on cash crops, we explore the top two African cash crops.

Africa has long been rich in natural resources, consistently providing other nations with opportunities to obtain its plentiful supply of cotton and cocoa—two of the world’s most important cash crops.  According to Merriam-Webster, a cash crop is “a readily salable crop (such as cotton or tobacco) produced or gathered primarily for market.”  These crops aim to provide a sustainable way of life for farmers across the continent and are a major reason much of the world’s nations were and still are interested in exploring and investing in Africa.

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This is part four of this week's five-part blog series on cash crops.

South America was colonized by the Spanish and the Portuguese.  These colonies were extremely profitable for Spain and Portugal because they could plant crops there that they could not plant in Europe.  This lead to the production of cash crops in South America, such as coffee and sugarcane, to be traded and sold in Europe.  These cash crops played a large role in establishing the colonies in South America, and still play an important role in their economy today. 

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In part three of this week's five-part blog series on cash crops blog, we look at the economic effects of illicit cash crops. 

With this month’s blog series focusing on cash crops, globalEDGE has decided to look at the role illicit cash crops play in the global economy. Illicit cash crops are plants that are used in the production of illegal narcotics. With a multibillion-dollar global market, it is unquestionable that illicit cash crops play a significant role in economies across the globe.

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Part two of this week's five-part series on cash crops and the impact they have around the world. 

Cash crops are a major economic factor in almost every region of the world. In North America, there is a wide variety of cash crops that are grown and sold. The biggest cash crops in modern day America currently are corn and soybeans; which bring in about 50 billion dollars each. However, these fields have been ever-changing for the last two centuries. The first cash crop which helped America’s economy grow is tobacco. Tobacco grew very well in the early Thirteen British-American Colonies,  this crop was especially prevalent in Virginia, people would immigrate to come work in the tobacco fields. With the population growing and money coming back into the economy, the colonies began to grow rapidly. Cash crops were one of the main reasons the United States is where it is today. Production of tobacco was one of the major reasons the early British-American Colonies grew as large as they did due to the influx of money into their economy. By the year 1630, the amount of tobacco sent from the Colonies to Great Britain totaled about 1.5 million pounds a year.

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In the last blog of the leisure industry series, we take a look at the changing music industry.

In previous blog posts, we have analyzed the state of the global music industry, noting the dominance of streaming services as the default method for popular music consumption. As rates from digital and physical music sales remain in decline, revenues from streaming services have risen sharply: worldwide streaming revenues hit a new high of $5.4 billion in 2016. Major services based in various countries—Spotify from Sweden, TIDAL from the Norwegian company Aspiro, Apple Music from the United States, Deezer from France—have seen massive increases in their paid subscriptions, with further growth projected for the next few years. Countries with large music markets, like China, India, and Mexico, have provided large markets of subscribers and listeners. The effects of streaming have played a substantial role in the development of the global music industry—by the end of last year, the industry had accrued revenues of $16.1 billion, reaching its highest rate of growth (5.9%) in 15 years. 

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Part four of this week's blog series explores current events in the sports sector of the leisure industry. 

A few trends are expected to drive the sports industry in 2017 such as the rapid change in the sports media landscape of content creation and distribution rights due to consumers shifting from cable to digital media. Other trends expected are innovation for game days by enhancing the fan experience outside of the sports venue and the use of augmented and virtual reality to enable teams to become more personalized and integrated with sports fans’ daily lives. In addition, it is expected that data and analytics will continue to drive the more business focused side of the industry.

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Part three of our transport manufacturing blog series examines recent trends in the global film industry. 

In recent years, the global film industry has undergone major changes due to increased globalization and the overall growth of the middle class. In the past, two-thirds of box office revenue was generated by the United States alone, but this is no longer the case. Today, 70% of this revenue is generated outside of the U.S., and this is leading to major changes in the way that films are produced and distributed around the world.

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In part two of this week's leisure industry blog series, we look at current trends in the global recreation and tourism sector.

Recreation and tourism have become a fundamental fraction of economies worldwide. The outdoor industry has become a massive economic force, and it is happening in countries all around the world. According to a 2014 study, in the United States alone, an estimated of 29.7 billion dollars in economic activity and nearly 277,000 jobs came from the pockets of visitors at the national parks. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, stated in an article released in 2015 that "our national parks often serve as economic engines for local communities, drawing tourists from around the world who pump money into area stores, restaurants, hotels and more". Jewell also emphasized the importance of investing in the national parks across the country, stating that it not only preserves and supports communities, but it also promotes economic growth.

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This week, the globalEDGE blog is taking a look at the leisure industry. Each day, our blog series will explore different areas of the global leisure industry, which includes recreation, entertainment, sports, and tourism. Globally, the industry encompasses a wide variety of businesses and companies, from major hotel and resort companies with locations around the world to small mom and pop shops. With the many sectors and businesses, the industry has a major impact on many economies across the world.

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In the last blog of this week's series, we take a look at the airplane manufacturing industry.

2017 has proved to be a successful year for airplane manufacturing so far. The industry experienced a surge in aircraft orders in February, putting it on track for a record year of directories. In the United Kingdom, in particular, the number of commercial aircraft ordered by airlines jumped to 43 last month from just 4 in February of the previous year, according to the Aerospace, Defence, Security & Space Group. These figures are based on orders from Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier (Canada), Comac (China), and Irkut (Russia).

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Part four of our transport manufacturing blog series examines the role emerging markets play in the industry.

Emerging markets are proving to be key areas for future growth in the transport manufacturing industry. The 2017 Emerging Markets Index from Agility and Transport Intelligence shows continued strength in logistics, infrastructure, and investment potential for large emerging markets, including the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. According to the index, countries such as India and Kazakhstan significantly strengthened their business capacity over the past year, warranting further attention from international logistics executives. In addition, China, India, and Brazil have become a hotspot for automotive and aircraft sales. Despite frequently cited concerns in dealing with emerging markets—government corruption, tax laws, and customs—more corporations within the transport manufacturing industry are hoping to expand their business in these countries.

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In part three of our transport manufacturing blog series, we look at high speed trains.

In 2013, the Japanese government set the goal of tripling its infrastructure exports, such as nuclear plants and bullet trains, to a nearly $262 billion valuation in hopes of continuing to bolster its economic growth. Pros for the Shinkansen bullet train include a sound safety record, low emissions, and punctuality, but despite its technological advancements, foreign buyers remain unconvinced of the feasibility of the bullet trains.

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In part two of this week's transport manufacturing blog series, we look at current issues affecting international trade in the auto industry.

Implemented in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) consists of a trilateral compromise signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The initial goal of NAFTA was to eliminate barriers to trade and investment between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Prior to NAFTA, American cars sold in the United States were made almost exclusively in the U.S., and most vehicles were sold in the market in which they were made. When NAFTA came into effect, U.S. automakers began diffusing their production across the trade zones, particularly taking advantage of the cheaper labor and lower production costs in Mexico. But, according to various economists, it is unclear if scrapping NAFTA would shift plants and jobs back to the United States.

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This week, the globalEDGE blog is diving into the transport manufacturing industry. Over the next four days, we will take a look at automotive, airplane, and train manufacturing, along with a blog on the impact of emerging markets on the global industry.

The transportation manufacturing industry is comprised of businesses that manufacture vehicles, vehicle parts, and the infrastructure that supports them. Sectors in the industry include passenger cars, semi-trailer trucks, container ships, airplanes, and trains. Although most picture major companies such as Ford, Toyota, Boeing, or Airbus when thinking of the industry, smaller businesses that supply the parts and electronics are equally important.

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In part four of this week's trade bloc series, we explore ECOWAS.

As of February 25, 2017, Morocco has become the latest African country to request to officially join the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS). ECOWAS was created in 1975 to increase economic and political stability among its members. If accepted, Morocco will become the 16th member of the West African bloc. According to sources, the decision was made by the need for Morocco to crown the strong political, human, historical, religious and economic ties at all levels with ECOWAS member countries. Although not formally a member, Morocco has maintained close relations with the ECOWAS for several years.

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In part three of this week's trade bloc series, we are taking a look at CEFTA.

Historically, the Visegrad Group, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, were at the cross roads of trade in Central Europe. The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) was initially established in December 1992 as a free trade agreement by the Visegrad group, with the goal of eventually further integrating into political, economic, legal, and security of institutions in Western Europe. Currently, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Kosovo are parties to the CEFTA agreement. Due to changes of the agreement in 2006, memberships are ended once member states of CEFTA are accepted into the European Union, and Balkan states are now covered by CEFTA.

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In part two of this week's trade blocs series, we are taking a look at the Gulf Corporation Council.

Morocco is turning to the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) as its trade relationship with the European Union takes an unexpected turn. The relations between the European Union (EU) and Morocco began to deteriorate when the European Court ruled that a farm trade accord did not apply to Morocco’s Western Sahara territory. Soon after, Morocco began to make ties with the GCC in order to diversify its markets away from the EU, its main trading partner.

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This week, the globalEDGE blog will be taking a look at various trade blocs around the world, focusing on smaller blocs you might not have heard of. Following the end of World War II, trade agreements became common throughout much of the world. European states began to look for ways to increase trade between themselves, states in South-East Asia saw cooperation as a way to increase economic growth among all members, and Arab nations looked to unify to better market their natural resources. Trade agreements can help smaller countries have more of a say in the global economy, and help encourage exporting for local businesses.

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Agriculture has been, and always will be, a crucial part of our existence. This industry is continually evolving; in the past, improvements consisted of machinery becoming more effective, or incorporating animals into the seeding and harvesting process. Today, technology is playing the biggest part in how we grow our food. In 1900, around 41% of America's labor force was employed through the agriculture industry alone. Today, due to countless technological advances, the proportion is now below 2%.

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Over the past few decades, the global agriculture industry has been forced to adjust to sweeping societal changes, including booming population growth, increasing urbanization, decreasing rural populations, and a steep decline in the number of farmers. The industry has been able to shift in certain ways in order to face these challenges—technological incorporation, increased production efficiency, and a focus on mass industrial output. However, the escalating symptoms of climate change are impacting agriculture on a much more devastating scale. Crop harvesting, fertilization, irrigation, and food production are all hit by the effects of climate change, affecting the living standards of populations the world over.

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There are a wide variety of successes and shortcomings currently taking place within the Latin American agriculture industry. President Michel Temer of Brazil and President Mauricio Macri of Argentina met last week to discuss the status of sugar in the Mercosur trade bloc. Mercosur includes countries such as Uruguay, Paraguay, and Venezuela, and currently, sugar is not included on the list of goods that are subject to free trade in the trade bloc. Farmers in Argentina fear that if current levies are withdrawn, there will be a downpour of cheaper Brazilian sugar into the country. Brazil is the world’s largest producer and exporter of sugar due to its favorable conditions for cane cultivation, which gives Argentina a good reason to be concerned. However, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi stated that Brazil would try to include sugar in the negotiations between Mercosur and the European Union. Read more about current events in Latin America’s agriculture giants below.

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After a long period of droughts in Zimbabwe, persistent rains in the region renewed hope for farmers across South Africa that food shortages might finally let up. A lengthy drought seemed to be the worst of the agricultural industry's problem, but a new pest has taken over those fears and multiplied them. An outbreak of armyworms in countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi threaten the crop yield for the coming year.

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This week, the globalEDGE blog will be taking a look at the global agriculture industry and its relevance to the international business world. In the following four days, we will look at current stories pertaining to the industry, including a look at Latin America and South Africa, along with how climate change is impacting farmers. On Friday, we will look toward the future, at how new techniques and technologies might improve the economic environment of the industry.

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Many companies all over the world are concerned with the challenges of the hospitality industry including the threat of Airbnb, as well as social responsibility and liability complications. Airbnb is seen as an increasing threat to the hospitality industry and researchers predict that the company will eventually become a replacement for extended stay hotels, bed and breakfasts, rental sites, and corporate apartments. As Airbnb is continuing to grow, hotels are having a hard time maintaining their nightly and occupancy rates that they had the year before. Not only are companies like Airbnb a threat to the hospitality industry, but other challenges include liability alleviation and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

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As global business practices become increasingly digitized, industry sectors are forced to constantly adjust to their transforming infrastructures. This is especially felt within the hospitality industry, where technological mainstays are driving business on both a domestic and an international scale. Technology has allowed for further integration and optimization of industry practices, accelerating overall efficiency. Outreach efforts have also expanded, attracting more consumers to the industry and continually changing their personal engagements with procedures for lodging and travel. Here is a closer look at the various ways technology is shaping the future of hospitality.

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Destination cities in South America, like Bogota and Columbia, have registered double-digit tourism growth in the past year. A positive impact of the currency devaluations is that the exchange rates across the South American region have allowed an affordable opportunity for foreign travelers to go to South America. Investments in infrastructure are also helping to propel the hospitality industry because the improvements help increase access to various markets and boost travel in the region.

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This week, the globalEDGE blog will be taking an in depth look at the global hospitality industry, looking at the present trends in various sectors of the industry, as well as looking toward the future. For our purposes, we will consider the hospitality industry to be the collection of companies and businesses that cater to the needs of travelers. Major sectors include hotels, restaurants, and recreational businesses, such as casinos, sports and tourist attractions.