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Artificial intelligence is starting to have a great impact on the transportation sector worldwide. Self-balancing electric flying vehicles are pushing the future means of transportation to a whole new level. The first certified multicopter was tested in Bruchsal, Germany last year. Since then, different countries and companies around the world have shown interest in this new technology.

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Initial Coin Offerings, or ICO’s, are a new and quickly growing way for startups to raise capital. Despite being a relatively new phenomenon the total value of ICO’s has been proliferating with nearly $1.5 billion dollars being raised since the start of the year. That value seems outlandish when compared to the mere $256 million of funding that was raised in the entirety of 2016.

While the value of ICO’s has grown nearly six-fold in the past year, many people are still in the dark regarding the new trend that is sweeping investors and startups across the globe. Essentially, ICO’s are a cross between more traditional IPO’s and crowdfunding. During and ICO a company issues “coins”, or digital tokens, similar to the popular cryptocurrencies bitcoin and Ethereum. Investors can then purchase these coins and conceivably can use them to purchase a good or service from the company at some point in the future. The value of these coins will theoretically increase in value, as long as others continue to invest. An important distinction between IPO’s and ICO’s is that investors in an ICO do not receive equity in the company and don’t really have anything tangible behind their investment besides a promise for the ability to be able to purchase a good or service from the company in the future. A second differentiator between traditional methods of raising capital and ICO’s is the amount of regulation. Given that the concept of an ICO is so new, the space is largely unregulated allowing companies to prepare for and launch in ICO in a matter of weeks as compared to the months it takes for companies to clear regulatory approval for IPO’s.

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On the brink of recession, the small, trade-dependent country of Singapore is on track to log its slowest growth rate since 2009. Government analysts expect this year’s growth rate to be between 1 and 2 percent. This grinding halt in economic growth caused the shutdown of an estimated 42,000 businesses in the first six months of 2016. In comparison, 2015 saw the shutdown of only 49,000 businesses.

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A stated goal of Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry is to increase trade relations with the countries in Africa, which currently make up only 1.5% of the country’s total international trade. The continent’s economic potential and recent investments by other Asian nations has led Singapore to explore an expansion of trade, with an initial focus on free trade agreements. Singapore currently has very few agreements with any African nations, but in August, the country was able to work out small agreements with Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Mozambique.

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Somali-based piracy cost the international community over $6 billion in 2012, but the decrease over the past few years has been due to increased reliance on maritime security. The decrease in piracy around the Eastern coasts of Africa can be seen as a success; however, piracy is increasing off the coast of Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. The piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is likely due to the lack of prevalent law enforcement, the easy access to illegal markets, and a target rich environment.

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With a population of 5.4 million people crammed into 274.1 square miles, the country of Singapore could be considered a slightly smaller version of New York City. The country is a center for business offices, commercial buildings, retail stores, and residential apartments. However, a mounting need for space is becoming imminent as experts project Singapore’s population to grow to 6.9 million people in the next 15 years—a 1.5 million increase. Presently, the struggle for land has caused military camps and old residences to close down in order to make room for residential and industrial real estate development.

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For the second year in a row, Singapore sits atop Mercer’s rankings for cities with the best infrastructure.  The rankings are a result of a survey conducted in 221 cities around the world.  In this survey, quality of infrastructure is measured by electricity supply, traffic congestion, availability of flights from local airports, quality of public transportation, telephone and mail service, and availability of water.  As businesses continue to expand beyond domestic borders, it is vital for cities that wish to be relevant in international business to have a solid infrastructure.

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Over the past five years, Singapore has revamped its central business district.  Marina Bay, located in Southern Singapore, is now home to a unique blend of entertainment and business.  As regional headquarter buildings for companies like Google and Citigroup were being built, so too was a $5 billion Sands casino-resort that seemed a bit out of the ordinary for the typically conservative country. Nonetheless, the casino and revamped business district are attracting both domestic and foreign investment and so far “Singapore’s new skyline” has experienced huge success.

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When globalEDGE released its Market Potential Index (MPI) for 2011, it’s no surprise that Asian countries dominated the top of the rankings. For several years now, countries in Asia have been considered the leading emerging markets in today’s economic climate. This year, Singapore found itself as the highest rated emerging market in the MPI rankings. Looking at Singapore, there are several factors that contributed to its success in this year’s rankings.

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As globalization becomes an increasingly important trend in the business world, finding the right country to conduct business in may seem like a difficult task. However, it could be easier than you think. The International Finance Corporation, an organization under the World Bank, develops an index to rank 183 countries based on their ease of doing business. The country rankings depend on nine different percentile categories including: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and closing a business.

Here is the list of the top ten countries:

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Singapore's economy grew 38% in the first three months of this year. That is the strongest quarterly growth ever recorded in Singapore's history. The key to this recovery and of the Singapore economy as a whole is the manufacturing industry. Healthcare and electronics are the two biggest sectors for this industry in Singapore. Many companies that produce high-tech medical devices are looking to expand into China. China is a huge potential market as they grow and are looking for these high-tech equipments with their increased buying power.

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Are you hedging your bets in this economy?  Singapore is!  A recent blog post triggered some curiousity about how the country is expanding.  The country has permitted the development of a casino which has been designed to attract tourists from around the world.  With an eye for expanding its economic base, the country is proceeding cautiously into relatively uncharted territory.  This new development demonstrates an effort to bring in new money to the country, while attempting to maintain the clean and safe image Singapore has worked hard to build.

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Singapore has grown tremendously in the last few decades. They have one of the highest population densities of any country in the world. The Singapore government has devoted large amounts of time and money to urban planning to make this a possibility. They have used urban planning to make them globally competitive and increase their economic potential. Not only this, but they have also built an extremely environmentally friendly city. This makes their expertise in urban planning even more appealing. Now, they are looking to share that expertise with other cities around the world.

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A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group which measures the government policies and corporate performance most encouraging to innovation has Singapore as the number one global leader of innovation, followed by South Korea at number two. Former innovation leaders from the west such as the United States and Germany dropped to numbers eight and nineteen, respectively. What exactly has contributed to this?