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Sales Tax Increases in JapanOpen in a New Window

Japanese consumers rushed to local retailers on March 31 to purchase large numbers of goods. Even online retailers, such as “Aksul”, had their systems overloaded by the high volumes of transactions of basic goods such as toilet paper and instant rice. Why were the Japanese people in such a hurry to purchase these products? This is due to the sales tax hike from 5 to 8 percent, which was implemented the day after, April 1. Government leaders believe that the sales tax increases...

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SBA: Why Export?Open in a New Window

Exporting has become a major source of growth for businesses of all sizes, but especially for small businesses.  In the United States, a large percentage of the labor force is made up of small business employees.  Export growth can enable these companies to grow in size, which creates a need for more workers.  Exporting also allows businesses to diversify their customer bases, which can protect companies in times of regional or country-specific economic contraction....

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High Demand for Greece's Return to Bond MarketOpen in a New Window

On Thursday, Greece held its first bond sale since 2010, raising $4.2 billion as investors flocked to secure bonds from the hard hit country. Greece, which stopped issuing bonds in 2010 amid their country’s economic crisis, has hailed this bond sale as a sign that the country is recovering and heading in the right direction. Investors seemed to agree with this outlook, as their high demand reduced the return rates on the bonds to 4.95%, lower than the Greek government had first...

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Nigeria’s GDP Revision Highlights Rapid Economic GrowthOpen in a New Window

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $354 billion last year, making it the second largest African economy behind South Africa. This past Sunday, for the first time in a decade, Nigeria’s statistician-general announced a revision in its GDP from 42.4 trillion naira to 80.2 trillion naira.  How could an economy grow so much in just one night? The reference year for Nigeria's economy’s real growth rate was...

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Organic Products in International TradeOpen in a New Window

Organic food is increasingly becoming an active topic in international trade due to the increase in people’s living standards worldwide, improved transportation, and urbanization. In developing countries, we see that people consume more organic food now as a result of higher income, and this increases the national demand of meat products, which leads to a large inflow of live-stock feed to developing countries. However, in developed countries, organic food is not necessarily associated...

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Investors Moving Money from Emerging Markets to Frontier MarketsOpen in a New Window

Recent tremors in emerging markets have investors worried about whether or not their money is in the right place. There is a riskier alternative for investors, that being investment in frontier markets. Frontier markets are markets that are neither developed nor emerging, and with this definition, frontier markets include twenty-three of the twenty-five fastest-growing economies over the last ten years. However, most of these countries do not have stock markets nor are they listed in the MSCI...

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Global Economic Impacts from Sanctions on RussiaOpen in a New Window

As Russia prepares to make Crimea part of Russia, other countries have watched from afar and have developed plans to impose economic sanctions on Russia. Government officials from the United States have already signed an order enabling economic sanctions against sectors of the Russian economy. Leaders from the European Union are also considering their options as they meet in Brussels to discuss economic sanctions against Russia. With economic sanctions on Russia looming, the impact on Russia...

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Geo-location Directing Business GrowthOpen in a New Window

In an increasingly competitive business world, continuous technological advancements are providing businesses with more opportunities to get ahead of the curve. Specifically, geo-location is starting to become a big asset in helping businesses grow by giving them greater market reach. Successful businesses can only grow if they strategize to meet consumer demands that require services to be fast, reliable and relevant. Geo-location is able to fulfill this criterion because of the wide use of...

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Global High Frequency TradingOpen in a New Window

Technology has shaped our world in almost every way possible. Interaction with it is not only common on a day to day basis, but it is also required to get things accomplished. This simple fact has led to amazing feats and incredible efficiency, but there are also externalities. Technology can be good or bad depending on how it is used and how it is viewed. This is what lies at the core of high frequency trading. High frequency trading is a relatively new development. Essentially, it is a...

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Cuba Opening Up to Receiving Foreign InvestmentOpen in a New Window

On Saturday, Cuban legislators approved a new measure to help attract foreign investment into the country. The law makes initial investment in Cuba free of taxation and increases lawful protection over these finances. This new piece of legislation comes after a year of disappointing economic growth, which caused Raul Castro and Cuba's government to put forth a series of reforms to fix and modernize Cuba's economy. While many agree that increased foreign capital in Cuba would be highly...

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Trouble in the DesignOpen in a New Window

When out shopping and buying clothes and other apparel merchandise, a lot of people forget how far a product has come.  The supply chains of the apparel and textile industry have been under a lot of scrutiny and are in need of change.  Whether this change is for the rights and conditions of workers or to accommodate the ever changing online market, current conditions will not last much longer. While the main heat for human rights scandals in supply chains may be taken by the...

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Transportation: Combating Traffic in Major CitiesOpen in a New Window

For those of us who drive, we are well aware of how unavoidable major traffic can be. While en route to work or on a road trip, it can be a nuisance to have your estimated time of arrival continually pushed back. But can you imagine consistently attempting to travel somewhere, while living in a city with congested roadways? In Dubai, this is a daily reality. As an affluent city in the United Arab Emirates, the number of cars has grown so much that traffic is a rising issue for the country....

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Chinese Export Quotas Violate Global Trade LawOpen in a New Window

Last week, a panel from the World Trade Organization announced that China had broken international trade law by restricting its exports of rare earth metals and other metals critical to the global manufacturing industry. The panel discovered that the export taxes, quotas, and bureaucratic delays in Beijing artificially raised the prices of exports and created shortages for foreign buying nations. The panel also determined that these export quotas, which the Chinese argued were intended for...

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The Impact of Smart Devices on Global BusinessOpen in a New Window

“Ten to 20 years from now, we may look back on the present as the dawn of the Smart Era: a time when rapid and continuous innovation changed almost everything about the way we live.”  This quote, spoken by Ernst & Young’s Global Technology Sector Leader Patrick Hyek, exhibits how quickly smart devices have inundated the business world.  The expansion of smart technology in the business world has created new opportunities for industries and companies around the...

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Chinese Company is First Ever to Default on Debt PaymentsOpen in a New Window

For the first time in China’s history, a Chinese company defaulted on its bond payments, signaling a change in the country’s economic policy.  Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science and Technology, a company that produces solar panels, could not make its interest payments on a one billion yuan bond, and defaulted after the Chinese government refused to bail the firm out. This is a stark change from previous actions by China, which has always bailed out onshore companies that were...

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Book Review: Exporters! The Wit and Wisdom of Small Businesspeople Who Sell GloballyOpen in a New Window

Out of the millions of U.S. businesses, only about 300,000 individual companies made an international sale in 2012. Although the U.S. is the world’s number one exporter, there is potential to grow exports by small and medium sized businesses. In its book Exporters!, the U.S. Commercial Service interviews 28 of its current clients that are small businesses, which export their goods or services. Each company covered in the book is unique and has a different story of how they first began...

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Business Integrity in International BusinessOpen in a New Window

Economist Milton Friedman once said, "responsibility... generally will be to make as much money as possible while conforming to their basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom". Business ethics reflect the fundamental purposes of a company and are extremely important for multinational corporations, especially when trying to expand their brands into new countries and cultures. As globalization further expands, multinational...

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gE Blog Series: Global Trade Agreements Part 4 – The Effects of NAFTAOpen in a New Window

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect January 1, 1994, creating the foundation for economic growth and strengthening trade relations between Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Now in 2014, it has been over 20 years since NAFTA has been in place. To better understand the economic impacts of NAFTA, we have prepared a table showing trade statistics before and after NAFTA.   Before NAFTA (1993-1994) After NAFTA (2011-...

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gE Blog Series: Global Trade Agreements Part 3 - US Trade Issues with Canada and MexicoOpen in a New Window

On February 19th, President Barack Obama flew to Mexico to meet with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, approximately twenty years after the three nations had signed NAFTA. The goal of the Toluca summit was to attempt to reduce trade frictions and come to agreement on trade conflicts between these countries. Issues discussed included Obama's trade executive order, the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, the "trusted...

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gE Blog Series: Global Trade Agreements Part 2 – Trade Agreements Around the WorldOpen in a New Window

Few things are more for the global economy than world trade. Ever since Adam Smith laid out the economics of comparative advantage in his magnum opus, The Wealth of Nations, countries have understood the importance of specialization and trade. The importance of trade remains the same today - if not more important. It appears as if there is no better time to discuss the impact of global trade than now. The unrest in the Ukraine was influenced by its leaders to retain the trade...

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