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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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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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