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The globalEDGE team is pleased to announce new updates to our industry insight pages. In the introduction sections, we have added detailed visual breakdowns for each industry and have revised Primary Demand Drivers and Profitability Drivers with the most current information available. The related blog posts displayed at the bottom of the page now include include pictures for more visually-appealing previews. The corporations sections now more prominently display our special pie chart which shows which countries are the dominant players in each industry. Check out our updated industry pages today!

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Global interest rates are one of the several factors that can drive merger and acquisition activity in 2017.  The London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) is connected to the United States Federal Reserve Bank’s short-term rate, which plays a role in determining the debt financing rate. If the LIBOR rises, it would make it costly for companies to borrow money, leading to less being paid for acquisitions, however, a gradual rise would soften the material impact of rising rates.

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The rapid growth in the fintech industry is revolutionizing the financial industry, forcing traditional banks and new startups to become more technologically advanced. Customer behavior is an area that has a lot of potential for financial institutions to gain insights through data analytics. Data analytics would allow banks and other institutions to have agile systems that learn through experience, where they would automatically refine the algorithms to improve results.

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As the capabilities of artificial intelligence and technology continue to grow and become more versatile and sophisticated, there are more opportunities for continued growth, but these advances can have a wide range of impacts across many industries in the global economy. Artificial intelligence encompasses a wide spectrum of technological advances, such as robots, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, and algorithms.

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Last Friday, the United Nations announced that the world may be facing a major shortage of water supplies in about fifteen years. Available water for consumption and other uses may be reduced by 40% as a result of factors such as urbanization, high living standards, heavy industry usage, and booming population growth. The report calls for drastic measures to keep freshwater as a readily available resource for the future, as some regions of the world are already starting to run out of water and aquifers are becoming exploited beyond a sustainable level. This will mean cutting down on heavy water consumption and use, a move which will affect people and industries worldwide.

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The New Year has brought change to globalEDGE! Our industry trade statistics pages have undergone a redesign and the new pages are now available on globalEDGE. These new pages highlight important trade figures and data for a variety of global industries, including agriculture, construction, energy, and technology. Specifically, each industry trade statistics page includes figures for total trade, top exporters, and top importers, as well as the most commonly imported and exported goods. Be sure to check out these new pages and expand your global business knowledge!

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In an effort to quell the widespread problem of overproduction, China is encouraging mergers in nine key industries: steel, cement, shipbuilding, autos, aluminum, electronics, pharmaceuticals, industrialized agriculture, and rare earths.  Chinese officials are confident that these mergers will increase economies of scale and limit brutal price wars.  Government officials are also hopeful that consolidating companies in these main industries will result in larger companies that will emerge as titans of international trade.

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globalEDGE is very excited to announce that we have completed our latest feature: regulatory agencies! We have compiled a listing of over 600 regulatory agencies across all globalEDGE industries and most countries. The regulatory agency links appear in both the industry and country specific pages- allowing for easy use for globalEDGE users. Users of globalEDGE will find these useful in that they will now be able to easily be able to research the specific regulations of countries that they may want to do business in. Also, many of the Business Services Regulatory Agencies are involved with the import/export regulations of those countries.  No matter what industry one is involved in, I’m sure these resources will be useful to you! Go check them out on gloablEDGE!

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With the recent concerns in Japan over nuclear power hazards, many around the world are questioning the use of nuclear energy. Some ask if the benefits outweigh the costs while others just question the precautions necessary when using nuclear energy. Of the questions asked, Germany has an answer. Don't use nuclear energy at all.

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For just about as long as any living person can remember, Bollywood and Hollywood have both been producing movies and been dominating their respective countries and audiences.  As far as Bollywood goes, many people in the U.S. view this burgeoning industry as a distant neighbor (although Bollywood was created 11 years before Hollywood, in the 19th century no less) of our hallowed Hollywood. In some sad cases people think it is just a misspelling of Hollywood.  With both Hollywood and Bollywood having already survived over a century each and the massive trend towards globalization, most people would think the similarities between the two would be great.  In actuality, the difference is vast.

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The United States has long been known as a global powerhouse when it comes to innovation – especially when it comes to manufacturing. These innovations may not necessarily be products (although some certainly were) but, rather, just tweaks to the manufacturing process that greatly improved efficiency (think of interchangeable parts or the assembly line, both developed by Americans). However, in today’s global economy, the United States is losing jobs in the industrial manufacturing sector, despite still being on the forefront of innovation. Many claim that this is simply because of the lower wages required in other countries, but is that the only reason why?