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Are Shorter Work Weeks the Future for Employees?Open in a New Window

The second richest man in the world, Carlos Slim, made a proposal this week that might excite employees around the globe. Slim, the Mexican telecom magnate, told those at a business conference that he thinks employers should move to shorter work weeks that promote increased leisure time for employees without losing productivity. His proposal had employees reporting to work only three days a week, giving workers four day weekends year-round. He believes that the shorter weeks would help to boost...

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Germany's Long-Term Economy Threatened by Weak LeadershipOpen in a New Window

Angela Merkel, the current chancellor of Germany, has been reigning over the country for 8 years. Her approval rating of 71% seems expected when you consider the 2014 estimated GDP growth in Germany. Compared to the Eurozone average of 0.25% Germany’s domestic demand and increase in construction have been great assets to the country’s economy. Despite her success as chancellor, some believe that she is not taking actions that will positively impact the long-term economy. The...

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New globalEDGE Country Economy PagesOpen in a New Window

The economy pages for each country on globalEDGE have been redesigned to provide additional economic information covering the entire spectrum of a country’s economy. The new pages have an interactive interface, where you can find the major economic indicators of a country alongside time series graphs of these selected indicators. The page showcases reliable economic information from various globally known organizations. There are six different sections on the new page including economic...

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Russia Aims for Latin American Defense MarketsOpen in a New Window

The Russian defense industry, despite its recorded 28% growth rate over the past decade, has shifted its sights towards Latin America due to the crisis in Syria and changing economic and ideological ties towards the European Union throughout former Soviet satellite states. Latin America, and especially Venezuela, has experienced a 61% growth rate of its military expenditures since 2004, which is great news for a needy Russian defense industry that has seen the disappearance of its...

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Amazon's Feud with PublishersOpen in a New Window

For more than three months now, the online retailing giant Amazon has been locked in a feud with the publishing company Hachette, which is part of the French media group Lagardère. At first, the feud seemed to start as a pricing dispute over e-books distributed by Hachette. Soon, the disagreements began to multiply and cover even more issues, leading to drastic courses of action by both companies. Booksellers everywhere are nervously anticipating this battle, for whatever decision the...

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Plans Laid for Nicaraguan CanalOpen in a New Window

In what would be a great engineering feat, plans for a canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in Nicaragua have been finalized. The idea of a Nicaraguan canal goes back to the 19th century, when officials in the United States looked into the feasibility of a canal project. Nicaragua ended up being passed over when Panama was chosen as the site for a trans-oceanic canal by Congress in 1902. After the Panama Canal’s construction, talks of a Nicaraguan canal died down until the...

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Brazilian Market Holds Potential for Michigan Food and Agriculture CompaniesOpen in a New Window

As South America’s largest market, Brazil is becoming a global player with increasing consumer expenditure. Between 2007 and 2012, Brazilian consumer spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 71.4% due to an expanding middle class, according to Euromonitor. American food and agriculture exporters have the potential to tap into this growing market. In Brazil, produce products are a crucial component of consumer expenditure due to a growing trend to eat healthy and organic...

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Investors Await Alibaba IPOOpen in a New Window

Alibaba is a Chinese corporation that operates as a bank, marketplace and a search engine. The company is the largest online retailer in the world, handling 80% of all online retail sales in China. The company handled more money in transactions last year than Amazon and eBay put together. It’s made up of three major websites that have millions of users all over the world. The three main sites are, Taobao, and Tmall.  Taobao is a shopping website that...

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Catfish War Prevents Trade Bloc CreationOpen in a New Window

Over the years, Vietnam has been consistently at battle with the United States over the trade of catfish. The country’s ability to export catfish for a lesser price has made them a top exporter and caused the domestic industry to contract by 60% in the last decade. With local catfish farmers losing money, a so called war was waged starting in 2008 with the introduction of a catfish inspection program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And although the program has yet to go into...

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Economic Woes of Spain Change Workforce DemographicsOpen in a New Window

Spain's economic depression has changed many aspects of the country, one of them arguably including the abdication of its king, but recent reports have shown that the demographics of Spain's workforce have experienced a dramatic shift. Due to the lack of economic opportunities for Spain's youth, the cost of living, and high unemployment rate, many Spaniards have left the country. Spain experienced it's first population decline since 1971 in 2012, with statistics now stating that...

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New globalEDGE History TimelinesOpen in a New Window

A new update has come to globalEDGE's country insights pages! The team has worked to change the History pages, originally long paragraphs about the country's histories, into accessible timelines. These timelines detail  significant economic, political, and social events that happened to each country throughout their histories and arranges them chronologically. Each country's history page has been updated accordingly and in a manner that is accessible to all readers. Check out...

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Albania Begins Process to Join EUOpen in a New Window

Recognizing Albania’s recent governmental reforms, the European Union officially named Albania a candidate for membership, the first step for the country to join the EU. The move came after Britain and France agreed to drop their opposition to Albania’s candidacy, citing new leadership in Albania that has promised to reform the country. Led by Prime Minister Edi Rama, the government has begun to fight against corruption and crime which has ravaged the country for many years. Police...

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A New Age for Education: Corporate Tuition Reimbursement ProgramOpen in a New Window

Yesterday, our latest blog post examined the business effects of the new tuition reimbursement plan of Starbucks at a macro-level. Today, we will cover the plan in more detail to learn how it could affect workers on an individual level. In attempts to decrease employee turnover, many large companies are seeking new retention strategies. Starbucks is using an education incentive to achieve this goal. Its new “Starbucks College Achievement Plan” will help qualified workers pay their...

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The Business of EducationOpen in a New Window

This past week marked an announcement that was truly groundbreaking. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, informed the nation that all employees of his company would be eligible to attend college on the dime of Starbucks itself. Companies in the past have paid for schooling of certain members of their organizations but this is the first time that a company is willing to send any employee of the company to college. The deal was struck with Arizona State University, where the Starbucks...

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The Rise of Shadow EconomiesOpen in a New Window

An important economic issue that is affecting several countries is the rising number of shadow businesses: businesses unregistered with their country's government. These businesses exchange goods and services, both legal and illegal, without paying taxes to their government. Typical examples of these include small taxicab services, roadside food stalls, and drug dealing. These businesses are causing concern because of their increasing prevalence in developing countries, which many worry is...

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International Monetary Funds's Role in Financial CrisisOpen in a New Window

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, world trade declined sharply and employment and living standards plummeted in many countries. In order to avoid a repetition of the same economic disaster, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established after World War II to oversee the international monetary system and to encourage its member countries to trade with each other. The IMF was created to assist the worldwide economic recovery and it continues to work on its mission until today. At...

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World Bank and IFC launch Global Consumption DatabaseOpen in a New Window

The World Bank's Development Data Group and the IFC have recently released the new Global Consumption Database, which now stands as the most comprehensive dataset on consumer spending patterns in developing countries. The database's sources include government surveys of more than one million households in 92 countries, and provides thorough information on 4.5 billion potential consumers for global companies. The initiative is aimed at assisting international firms...

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Abdication of Spain's King Incites New Economic ProposalsOpen in a New Window

This past week here in Spain, news outlets were dominated by the announcement of the abdication of King Juan Carlos, who has ruled the country since 1975. While the king's rule has been generally supported by the Spanish public, due to his implementation of a democratic system following the oppression of the fascist Franco regime, Spain's support of the king has dwindled rapidly in pace with the country's economic deterioration over the past 6 years. Although the king...

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Cyber Attacks and Their Impact on BusinessOpen in a New Window

As the world continues to embrace technology and its many advantages, business also has begun to rely more and more on technology, storing large amounts of sensitive data electronically. The ease at which computers can store and access information is a major reason for the shift toward electronic storage. With the efficiencies computers bring to the market, a new area of risk has been inadvertently created. The storage of sensitive information on computers opens business up to cyber attacks,...

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Electricity Theft in IndiaOpen in a New Window

In India, electricity is not a commodity that is taken for granted by consumers. Power is so valuable to Indian citizens that inspectors from electricity companies have been brutally attacked so that they would not have to pay power bills. In addition to these attacks, some have even tampered with meters to lower readings just to dodge payments. The problem is so prevalent in India that Bloomberg estimates an annual loss of $17 billion in revenue due to electricity theft alone. In 2009,...

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