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EU Proposes to Create a Unified Energy MarketOpen in a New Window

On Wednesday, the European Union Commission approved plans to combine the energy markets of its twenty-eight member countries into a unified energy market. The Commission stated that the EU Energy Union would provide many benefits to the countries of the EU, lessening their dependence on energy supplies from foreign countries and boosting their economic power significantly. The ambitious plan is facing some criticism, and has yet to be approved by the European Parliament as well as the EU's...

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Increased Life Longevity Hurts Companies that Have Pension PlansOpen in a New Window

As people in developed countries live longer lives, companies with pension plans are facing growing pension shortfalls. The Society of Actuaries estimates that the average 65 year old man today will live two years longer than it estimated 15 years ago. This has led to large differences in the amount budgeted for pension plans and the amount actually being spent. The increased longevity of these employees’ lives has caused many major companies’ balance sheets to be changed...

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Netflix Expands into CubaOpen in a New Window

Netflix Inc., an American provider of on-demand Internet media streaming, recently opened their online video streaming service to Cuba. This move made Netflix one of the pioneer American companies to expand in to Cuba, following the loosening of regulations early in 2015. This expansion is much more significant symbolically than it is strictly from a business viewpoint. Realistically, this expansion will not have a major impact on Netflix’s bottom line, considering the cost of the...

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The Greek Bailout: Its Effect on the EurozoneOpen in a New Window

On February 19, the German government rejected Greece’s request for a 6 month extension to its Eurozone program. Germany had hoped that Greece would renew its existing deal that contains harsh austerity conditions, and a German Finance Ministry spokesman claimed that the proposed assistance package was “not a substantial proposal for a solution”. The Finance Minister himself, Wolfgang Schaeuble, stressed that no new payment of funds would be given to Greece until a new deal...

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Global Energy Powerhouses Debate over Arctic OilOpen in a New Window

This past week, the Obama Administration cleared a plan to override federal regulations on oil drilling off of Alaska's coast in the Arctic Ocean. The proposal is intended to establish drilling standards for the Chuckchi and Beaufort Seas, both of which are believed to be abundant in fossil fuels, and follows a growing emphasis in the international system on the Arctic's natural resources. Last January, 1,400 participants from several countries gathered in Tromsø, Norway to stake...

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New on globalEDGE: Revamped Country Statistics PagesOpen in a New Window

Are you curious about what the population growth rate is in Nigeria? How about the oil exports from Saudi Arabia or the renewable energy generation in Germany? These questions are all answered in the redesigned country statistics pages on globalEDGE. These pages contain statistics that are broken down into four categories: people, energy, technology and infrastructure, and geography and environment. Learn more about a country you are interested in by checking out the new country statistics...

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gE Blog Series: Impacts of International Tourism Part 5 - The Effects of International Conventions on Global TourismOpen in a New Window

In part 4 of our international tourism blog series, we discussed the importance of cultural sensitivity as tourism increases in developing countries. In this blog, we will focus on how hosting international conferences can stimulate a country’s hospitality and tourism sector. Organizing global conventions requires an extensive amount of planning, data gathering, and business acumen. One of the most important decisions made is location. Attendees, reporters, and small enterprises will...

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gE Blog Series: Impacts of International Tourism Part 4 - Too Much of a Good Thing?Open in a New Window

Globalization is occurring and the world is growing more interconnected and accessible, and as a result it is now easier to travel to other countries. Cultural awareness is increasing, and as a result, tourism is too as people want to experience the culture of other countries. The tourism industry accounted for 9.5% of the world’s GDP in 2013 (U.S. $7 trillion) and currently employs 266 million people worldwide. In perspective, the global tourism industry employs 1 in 11 people on this...

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gE Blog Series: Impacts of International Tourism Part 3- Tourism in Sub-Saharan AfricaOpen in a New Window

In part 2 of our international tourism blog series, we looked at currency exchange rates and their effect on tourism. In today’s post, we turn to the tourism industry in Sub-Saharan Africa, and its future outlook. For many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, tourism presents a great opportunity for economic growth. Since 1990, the number of tourists arriving in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased by over 300%, and the tourism industry now accounts for almost 3% of the region’s GDP. As...

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gE Blog Series: Impacts of International Tourism Part 2 - Currency Exchange Rates and the Purchasing Power of MoneyOpen in a New Window

Exchange rates for currencies across the world are akin to a seesaw - they need a balance. As a result, the simplest differences in the exchange rates can have drastic ripple effects on economies due to the economic purchasing power principle. If your domestic currency is trading strongly (weakly) against a foreign currency, you have increased (decreased) your purchasing power and can purchase more (less) just from currency swapping. The effects of currency exchange on purchasing power can be...

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A Look at gE's Site StatisticsOpen in a New Window

In today’s blog post, we look at globalEDGE’s site traffic numbers, to give our users some interesting information about our site and its visitors. The traffic analysis, prepared by several of our team members with help from Google Analytics, looked at data from September 2013 to September 2014. The report found that globalEDGE was visited 1,531,166 times during this period, with over 73% of these visits from unique users. The average visitor viewed approximately 2.7 pages per...

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gE Blog Series: Impacts of International Tourism Part 1 - IntroductionOpen in a New Window

In 2014, international tourism grew by 4.7%, and strong growth is expected for 2015 as well. In fact, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) anticipates that global tourism will grow by 3-4% in 2015, further aiding in the global economic recovery. 2014 marks the fifth consecutive year with above average industry growth, as the international tourism industry has shown strong resilience following the 2009 economic crisis. In recent years, tourism has been a major contributor to...

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Foreign Companies Disconcerted with Operations in ChinaOpen in a New Window

It is no secret that China is the largest and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Its enormous population and low labor rates are the reason thousands of American and European businesses have expanded operations or moved production to China. However, recent reports show that foreign companies in China are experiencing some speed bumps. The Chinese government is now requiring tech companies to give them access to secret “source codes.” A source code is a set of...

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The OECD's Recommendations on Tackling Inequality within G20 NationsOpen in a New Window

At a recent G20 finance ministers’ meeting, the main topic of conversation was economic growth and policies to implement. The OECD was in attendance, and expressed the need for countries to focus on policies that won’t just establish economic growth, but that will foster global recovery. The desire for economic growth needs to be coupled with a focus on combating growing inequality around the world. Currently, the wealth distribution gap is widening in developed nations, with...

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Vietnam: The Effects of Technology Regulations on Its Technology IndustryOpen in a New Window

As foreign investors realize China is becoming more expensive for manufacturing, they are turning their eyes to countries in Southeast Asia. Vietnam, for example, saw its foreign direct investment (FDI) grow 60% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2014. A large proportion of the FDI has gone to the high-tech industry. While people are expecting the technology boom to continue into the future, Vietnam is preparing a series of regulations for the technology industry, which may slow down the...

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The Evolution of Japan's Corporate CultureOpen in a New Window

The aphorism “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” is now being internalized by the financial world. In a league of their own, activist investors are taking great measures to rebrand themselves as “engagement” funds. Typically, this designation is reserved for an individual or group that purchases a significant stake of a publicly traded company and tries to implement major changes within said company’s business model. In Japan, aggressive...

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The Rise of Global DebtOpen in a New Window

McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm, has released a report containing information on the debt of over 47 different countries. The numbers show that total global debt has increased by $57 trillion since the 2007 financial crisis, making current global debt a record high of $199 trillion. Debt is now 286 percent of global economic output, a 17 percent increase from what it was during the financial crisis. These figures expose weaknesses and trends present in all markets and...

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Illicit Financial Flows from Africa Hinder Economic DevelopmentOpen in a New Window

A new report estimates that Africa is losing $60 billion each year from illegal outflows of capital. The Illicit Financial Flows report was released by a panel run by the United Nations and the African Union, and it delves into the sources of the fraudulent activity and offers solutions to remedy this ongoing problem. Because of these illegal outflows, Africa is missing out on valuable tax revenue as well as development opportunities. The panel, which was led by former South African...

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The Standoff between Greece's New Government and its DebtholdersOpen in a New Window

Ask and you shall receive. The Greek population decided it was time for a change in government and just last week, Greece elected and swore in its new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras. The prime minister represents a leftist party and reflects the desire of the Greek people for reform just years after a major bailout. Tsipras ran his campaign based on the issue of renegotiating the ensuing debt that citizens have blamed for large increases in unemployment and a recession. Tsipras pledged to...

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Investors Move into Emerging MarketsOpen in a New Window

January was the first time in 6 months that the MSCI Emerging Markets Index outpaced the S&P 500 as it gained 0.6%. Investors sent $18 billion into emerging market stocks and bonds, after an outflow of $11 billion in December. Analysts note that low commodity prices allow for quick growth in these emerging economies. As emerging markets go through reforms in order to stabilize their currencies or stimulate growth in their economies, investors see this as an opportunity to obtain higher...

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