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Second Generation Biofuels Could be Key to FutureOpen in a New Window

Much of the talk surrounding biofuels in the past has centered on corn, wheat, soybeans, and sugarcane, which are known as first generation biofuels. These food crops were seen by many as a way to become more energy independent, as they could be processed to create ethanol fuel that in turn could replace our dependence on oil. The excitement of this prospect led many countries, such as the United States, to implement mandates requiring specific amounts of ethanol to be mixed with gasoline....

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A Need for Intellectual OutsourcingOpen in a New Window

As companies grow and expand, some start to lose focus on their core business, as focus is called to other areas. If these expanding companies want to keep a competitive edge on competitors, they will need to find an option that will allow them to regain focus on the core business.  One of the requirements for this strategic growth of a company is intellectual outsourcing. Companies have been outsourcing for a while now, but the next step in outsourcing is knowledge process outsourcing...

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China Forecasted to be World's Largest Economy by 2024Open in a New Window

By 2024, it is estimated that China will have the world’s largest economy – according to global information provider IHS Economics. Earlier this week in a blog post titled “China’s Impact on the Global Economy”, Nitish spoke of China’s rebalancing trend, which is signaled by an increase in consumer imports and a decrease in imports for investment purposes. Although rebalancing may limit other countries’ investment opportunities in China, it will spur...

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Scotland Facing Currency PredicamentOpen in a New Window

As a summer filled with significant developments in the international system that have been highly influential over global business comes to an end, the world now turns its eyes to the British Isles as the vote on Scottish independence draws nearer. Although inherently a political subject, the vote that will take place on September 18th will also have important ripple effects for international business in Scotland and the United Kingdom should the movement pass. One of the primary economic...

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On the Rise: Entrepreneurship in PortugalOpen in a New Window

In 2011, Portugal was hit by a severe economic crisis and the government needed an international bailout of $103 billion for austerity measures. The effects of this crisis are still relevant to this day as the unemployment rate in Portugal just rose to 14.1%. Simply put, this has been the worst recession for the Portuguese economy in more than 40 years. Now an important question remains unanswered—as a nation and a workforce, how do you recover from this economic hardship? In general,...

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China's Impact on the Global EconomyOpen in a New Window

As the world's second biggest economy, China is a mainstay for several countries who depend on it for their international services. Most of these tend to be neighboring countries on the same continent, but China's influence is not limited to Asia alone. With major business also being done in Australia and North America, China has proved that its reach is global. As a result, the impact of its attempt to rebalance its markets and economy will not stay within its borders, and will most...

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South Africa Dodges Recession but Trouble RemainsOpen in a New Window

A recession is typically defined as a decline in GDP in two consecutive quarters. In the first quarter of 2014, South Africa’s economy contracted by 0.6% and only grew by 0.6% in the second quarter – narrowly avoiding a recession. Many worry that South Africa, Africa’s most advanced economy, still faces a significant risk of slipping back into a recession. South Africa’s staggering 25.5% unemployment rate is a major factor that is contributing to this risk and it must be...

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The Increasing Troubles for Foreign Businesses in ChinaOpen in a New Window

Nearly a decade ago, many foreign companies began or significantly increased their presence in China. The country had many attractive business advantages including relaxed regulations, cheap manufacturing costs, and low labor wages, among others. China was providing companies with every reason to invest in its country. Now foreign companies from the US, Europe and Japan are beginning to get the ‘cold-shoulder’ and feel unwelcome in China. According to a survey conducted by...

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Luxembourg: Reasons Behind Financial Industry's SuccessOpen in a New Window

Over the last forty years, Luxembourg has become the financial hub in Europe and has served private and corporate clients all over the world, thanks to its extremely open market policy. The country’s financial sector is well-known globally for its expertise and sophistication. Even when most countries were suffering from the financial crisis, the banks in Luxembourg continued to earn substantial profits. According to a KPMG banking report, Luxembourg's bank profits grew by 42% in...

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Discover Global Markets: Free Trade Agreement Countries (September 9-10)Open in a New Window

A free trade agreement (FTA) is a treaty between two or more countries that reduces trade barriers and encourages transparent trading and investing among member countries. Consistently, free trade agreements have benefited United States exporters by making foreign markets more accessible and by creating a more stable and transparent trade environment. In 2012, nearly half of US goods exports went to FTA partner countries and the US manufacturing sector alone realized a $59.7 billion trade...

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Malaysia Airlines' Revival PlanOpen in a New Window

With recent disasters such as the March disappearance of flight MH370 and the July crash of flight MH17, the world is eager to see how Malaysia Airlines will recover. As an inevitable result of the disasters, the company has lost a substantial number of customers and money. Nonetheless, the airline as a whole had been losing money long before these disasters struck. Between 2011 and 2013, Malaysia Airlines lost 4.13 ringgit, the equivalent of $1.31 billion. With a fourth consecutive quarter...

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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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