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Cash Transactions Becoming More ObscureOpen in a New Window

As technology continues to grow and change throughout the world, the way consumers pay for their products is also changing. Consumers are using credit and debit cards at an increasing rate compared to cash, even with small purchases less than $5. According to a survey, one third of American consumers said that they usually pay for purchases under $5 with a card rather than cash. Even more surprising, 51% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 reported that they prefer to use a card when dealing...

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Thailand’s Unusual Growing BusinessOpen in a New Window

In some of Thailand’s poor villages, there is a new business arrangement that is becoming ever so popular. People from all over Asia are headed to Thailand to seek out surrogate mothers. These families pay Thai women between $10,000 and $20,000 for successful pregnancies, which equates to a monthly allowance hovering around $450, along with free housing in Bangkok. Thailand has publicized itself as a medical tourist destination, providing cheaper options for people all over the world....

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Widespread Use of Drones Could Be Seen in Near FutureOpen in a New Window

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones, are being used more and more in U.S. and U.K. military operations, where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult. Drones are making their way into everyday use as technology gets more sophisticated and regulators loosen restrictions on the usage of these unmanned aircraft vehicles. In the last month, over ten incidents have occurred where drones have interfered with a commercial flight in airspace. The Federal Aviation Administration has attempted...

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The Economic Impact of the Ebola CrisisOpen in a New Window

Over the past months the Ebola virus has claimed more than 1,300 deaths in West Africa. This health crisis is continuing to devastate people in West Africa, and is also having a shattering impact on the economies of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Early estimates have shown that the economy of these countries have been deflated by 30 percent due to the Ebola virus. The mining and agriculture industries have been hardest hit by the virus outbreak. Domestic economic concerns are certainly not...

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Eurozone's Recovery StallsOpen in a New Window

It's no secret that the Eurozone is an economically struggling region of the world, and although it has been recovering from the blow caused by its economic crisis, it has been doing so very feebly. Now, the recovery has suddenly stopped; in the second quarter of the year, the Eurozone was recorded as growing 0%. While economists say that the overall Eurozone economy should not sink into a recession yet again, it does not seem like the recovery will pick up its pace anytime soon. The future...

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Thailand's New Guidelines for Trade and Investment ActivitiesOpen in a New Window

Regulations and guidelines involving international business have recently changed in Thailand. The Thai Department of Employment issued new guidelines for trade and investment related activities which streamline business activities in the region. These changes will make it easier for business travel to happen within the country and potentially increase the amount of international business that takes place with companies located in Thailand. Secretarial burdens on Thai companies will be...

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Russian Embargo Affecting European FarmersOpen in a New Window

As harvest time approaches across Europe, many farmers are worried about how much revenue they will make this fall because of trade restrictions with Russia. These trade restrictions, a result of the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine, have had a large impact on European growers, who ship an estimated 5.2 billion euros worth of produce to Russian markets. With Russia’s embargo on European goods, farmers across the European Union are scrambling to find new markets to sell their goods, or risk...

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Japan's Sales Tax Hike: AftermathOpen in a New Window

Earlier this year, Japan implemented a sales tax increase from 5 to 8 percent. Bloomberg experts had predicted a median 7 percent decline, however, the economy declined by only 6.8%. And although an economic decline is never ideal, the contraction that has occurred in this quarter is much less impactful than in 1997, the last time the sales tax was hiked. The benchmark Nikkei stock index did not change greatly in Tokyo and the yen was also considerably stable. For Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,...

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Germany: The Renewable Energy GiantOpen in a New Window

In the first half of 2014, Germany derived 31% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. Compared to the first half of 2013, Germany's production of solar power increased by 28% and its production of wind power increased by 19%. Germany’s use of natural gas fell by 25%, which signals an effort to become less dependent on Russian natural gas.  Over the past few years, Germany has elevated itself to the status of one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy...

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Mexico Approves Oil Sector ReformOpen in a New Window

Within the past week, the Congress of Mexico has approved new legislation that will allow the country's energy industry to award contracts to private oil companies. As a result of these new reforms, not only will the state-owned oil giant Pemex lose its monopoly over the country's oil sector that it's held since 1938, but foreign oil firms will also be able to enter the lucrative Mexican oil market. Aside from the economic benefits that coincide with increased competition, several...

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New globalEDGE Country Trade StatisticsOpen in a New Window

At globalEDGE we are dedicated to providing important international business information to our users all around the world. For this reason, we have developed enhanced trade statistics for each country on our site. The country trade statistics pages on globalEDGE have just been updated to provide a visually appealing interface with easy-to-use features. On these new pages, you can view a country’s rank in terms of exports, imports, or trade balance. Additionally, top ten trade partners...

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Growing Business within AfricaOpen in a New Window

Businesses around the world are starting to realize the potential Africa has for global business growth. With more than half of its population being under the age of 35 and its middle class on the rise every day, companies especially in the US are funneling money into the continent in hopes to rope in some of the business opportunity. As we posted earlier this week, President Obama is hosting the first ever US-Africa Leaders Summit, whose attendees include business people, political leaders,...

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India Rejects WTO AgreementOpen in a New Window

Just last week, the World Trade Organization seemed like it was going to pass the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) when India decided not to sign the deal, citing concerns over food security. The TFA was the WTO's first landmark trade agreement, designed to ease and liberalize trade between its over 160 member countries by changing tariff and duty systems, as well as cutting down on red tape. These trade revolutions, it claimed, would have created over 20 million jobs and added $1...

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International Trade Show: Food Show PLUS!Open in a New Window

There are many widely known benefits to exhibiting at a tradeshow. You are able to market your product, network and, ideally, generate new business for your company. Unfortunately, however, tradeshows are notorious for being costly. As Forbes contributor, Brent Gleeson, put it, “planning and goal setting is critical to generating a positive ROI from your tradeshow investment." Food Export – Midwest’s Food Show PLUS! program helps companies to do just that. Through its...

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United States Hosts African Trade SummitOpen in a New Window

Leaders from almost 50 African countries and the United States met in Washington DC on Monday, kicking off a three day conference that hopes to boost trade between the US and the largely untapped African continent. The summit highlights the realization by many US officials that greater attention needs to be paid to African countries who hold great economic potential. Leaders at the summit expect many trade and business deals to be signed during the three day conference, with some estimating...

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Reconstructing Gaza: Possible ImplicationsOpen in a New Window

News coverage shows the chaos currently engulfing the Gaza Strip. The Israeli bombardment has so far destroyed 50 factories that previously produced food, textiles, and other goods according to the Vice President of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, Ali Al-Hayek. In addition to the poor economic effects of these attacks, citizen’s homes have also been destroyed. During July’s fighting alone, at least 2,655 homes have been extremely or entirely damaged. Inevitably, Gaza will...

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The Costs and Benefits of Sanctioning RussiaOpen in a New Window

Within the last weeks, few news headlines have been as heart-wrenching as the loss of 298 lives on the Malaysian Airlines commercial flight that has been suspected of being destroyed by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. Stemming from the Russian government's support of this group, many countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, have proposed increasing sanctions on Vladimir Putin's government. These sanctions would include banning...

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Sub-Saharan Africa: A Place for InnovationOpen in a New Window

On July 18, the seventh annual Global Innovation Index (GII) was released at the B20 Australia Summit in Sydney. This year, the report's theme dealt with the Human Factor in Innovation, referring to the role that people play in the overall innovative success of different countries. While Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Sweden topped the list, a significant change was seen: nations in the region of Sub-Saharan Africa showed the most overall improvement on the list. Seventeen African...

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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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