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globalEDGE International Business Blog
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United States is Not America!Open in a New Window

Having lived in the United States since 1987, off and on, and then becoming a U.S citizen in 2004 after Sweden allowed dual citizenship starting in 2001, I’ve become entrenched in the “American” culture and way of live. I’m happy to live in the United States; it’s a great country with great opportunities, but it is not America! America consists of 55 countries and territories, including of course the United States of America. The U.S.A. is the largest of the 55...

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Top Athletes as Global Business Leaders!Open in a New Window

As someone who played tennis at a high-level from kindergarten into my 20s (plus engaged competitively in other sports), I have always believed my drive to do well vis-à-vis the competition (versus others and versus my own past accomplishments), in anything I set out to do, is rooted in a values-structure tracing to my competitive tennis days. Some even argue that tennis players make the best employees! Now, this is not about tennis; it’s about former athletes being global...

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The Economic Impact of Low Bond YieldsOpen in a New Window

From 2012 and 2015, it was estimated that budget deficits for governments in the Eurozone were reduced by 40% because of lower borrowing costs. The reduction in the cost of borrowing can be attributed to central banks policies. Low bond yields allow for governments to reduce their deficits and possibly lighten their current austerity measures, and lately, many yields have fallen into negative territory. Spain recently sold a 3 year bond with negative yields, and Japanese, German and...

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Are Good Dictators Better Than Bad Elected Presidents?Open in a New Window

Somewhat provocatively, let's pose the question: Are good dictators better for a country (and the world) than bad elected presidents? Traveling the world, mainly for business-related reasons, has gotten me thinking about country governments, infrastructure-building, and the world community. The United Nations has 193 members, which means almost all countries in the world are UN members (54 countries or territories, recognized as such, are not, including notable exceptions such as Taiwan,...

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China Pushes for Increased Integration of RoboticsOpen in a New Window

China has set a deadline to significantly increase its robotic presence in its manufacturing industry by 2020. Currently, there are 36 robotics per 10,000 industrial workers; the 2020 goal is 150 per 10,000 workers. The driving forces of this shift include labor shortages due to an aging population, as well as the rising of wages due to decreased interest for low-level jobs.  China is ranked 28th as far as the world's most automated nation. Considering China is the second largest...

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U.S. Confirms Mishandling of 1MDB FundsOpen in a New Window

The United States Justice Department has concluded that the Malaysian prime minister is linked to the billions of dollars embezzled from the 1MDB. This news comes a year after investigative journalists first uncovered the possible connection. 1MDB stands for 1Malaysia Development Berhad. It is a sovereign wealth fund, a state-owned investment company that can back a variety of securities. It was supposed to be used for investments whose profits would in turn be used...

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The Brazilian Economic CrisisOpen in a New Window

In 2009, Brazil won the 2016 Summer Olympics bid. Their economy was healthy, the sixth largest in the world by 2011, and the Olympics were expected to be exceptionally profitable. Despite this, with less than one month until the start of the Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil may be experiencing one of their worst economic crises since the 1930's. Brazil has been declared a state of financial disaster, and has remained entrapped in a...

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The Future of Oil Prices Remains a MysteryOpen in a New Window

U.S. crude oil prices have been falling for the past two years and some claim that prices may not change until 2019, when oil production will reach its peak. Ever since the global oil-price collapse, oil has become a lot more affordable for consumers, hitting a two-month low on Wednesday, July 20th. As a result of excess oil productions, many suspect that oil prices may go back to $20 per barrel while others predict prices to reach $80 a barrel because the excess is overestimated. Due to...

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globalEDGE Comparator ToolOpen in a New Window

Want a quick way to compare data across multiple countries? The globalEDGE Comparator Tool offers an easy way to find labor, health, economic, and trade data for various countries, using data from the World Bank. Data fields include population, total tax rate, adult literacy, foreign direct investment, and more. The tools allows users to compare up to five data fields and twenty countries at once, in an easy to read format. Check out the Comparator Tool, a great way to gain more international...

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Collaboration Needed to Advance Global SustainabilityOpen in a New Window

This blog was written using a wealth of materials promoted by the United Nations, UNCTAD, and various UN Forums, such as the World Investment Forum, but with my take on the implications and where to go from here. This inclusion of official, publicly available UN materials sets the tone for the debate about UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2030 Agenda, funding and bold leadership required, and the worldwide collaboration needed by the UN’s 193 member states. My take is...

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Are We Facing a Chocolate Crisis?Open in a New Window

Ok, so normally my globalEDGE blogs are a bit more topical, serious, and germane to my international business and trade interests. But I’m finding myself up early, from jetlag, in my hotel room in Nairobi, Kenya where I am attending the joint meeting of UNCTAD and the World Investment Forum, and it strikes me that cocoa beans have been in the news lately. And the world may not have noticed! Let’s connect the dots. Kenya is of course in Africa, and Africa accounts for 73...

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Investing Based on UN’s Sustainable Development GoalsOpen in a New Window

Nairobi, Kenya is the scene for the 2016 World Investment Forum and also the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The parallel, and in some cases joint, meetings attract a plethora of intellectual power, decision-making authorities, and other invited and influential parties. A key agenda item across the meetings is investment opportunities based on the newly established Sustainable Development Goals. As a background, UNCTAD is a ministerial meeting involving 194 member...

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Big Data in BusinessOpen in a New Window

Big data has long been a buzz word in the business world, with the seemingly endless benefits more data can bring. Companies use data to spot trends and find consumer preferences, allowing for things like personal advertising and targeted pricing. While big data can be very helpful, some businesses find trouble transforming the vast amount of information into useful insights. A recent article in DataInformed looks at five ways for business leaders to get the most out their data. Their first...

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Second Shift: The Inside Story of the Keep GM MovementOpen in a New Window

This blog is about Second Shift: The Inside Story of the Keep GM Movement, a business trade book coauthored by Tomas Hult, Director of Michigan State University’s International Business Center, which is the developer of globalEDGE. The book was coauthored with David Hollister, Ray Tadgerson, and David Closs, and published by McGraw Hill Professsional in 2016. The Second Shift Model discussed in the book was “the dynamic, collaborative management model that saved a U.S....

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Canada and Ukraine Sign Free Trade AgreementOpen in a New Window

On July 11, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman together signed the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA). The agreement, signed in Kiev, is meant to further improve market access between the two countries, settle trade conditions, create jobs, and cement their status as allies. The Canadian government has been a fervent supporter of Ukraine ever since the nation's...

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Theresa May vs. Angela MerkelOpen in a New Window

Theresa May became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on July 13, 2016, after David Cameron stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party following UK’s June 23, 2016 referendum on European Union membership. The UK population voted for BREXIT, and the formal UK exit from the EU will start when Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union is triggered by the UK. The United Kingdom is predicted to file paperwork to trigger Article 50 within six to nine months from the...

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Demographics and the Global Economy: Germany's Demographic ChallengesOpen in a New Window

By 2050, the world’s population will have grown by 32%, but the working age population (ages 15-64) will have only expanded by 26%. Amongst the more advanced economies, by 2050, the working age population will have shrunk 26% in South Korea, 23% in both Germany and Italy, and 28% in Japan. India’s population is expected to grow by 33%, however Russia and China’s working population will contract by 21%. Despite the recent surge of immigrants and asylum seekers,...

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Project in Kazakhstan Expected to Grow Oil ProductionOpen in a New Window

Chevron and partners in the Tengiz oil field in Kazakhstan will help to increase crude oil production in the field by about 260,000 barrels per day with the development of its Future Growth and Wellhead Pressure Management Project. This expansion is estimated to cost $36.8 billion but will increase the field’s total daily production to about 1 million barrels. Multiple companies own portions of this oil field: Tengizchevroil is 50% owned by Chevron and owns and operates the Tengiz field....

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U.S. Sees Drop in Foreign Real-Estate InvestmentOpen in a New Window

Foreign interests in the American real estate market have dropped recently. A report released this week by the National Association of Realtors indicated that foreigners are buying U.S. residential real estate at the lowest levels since 2013. High-end markets such as Miami, San Francisco, and New York have relied on wealthy off-shore buyers to sell the increasing number of luxury condos and homes on the market. Not only are fewer foreigners buying real estate, but they are also spending less...

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Leverage Your Supply ChainsOpen in a New Window

Companies’ supply chains should be strategic, analytical, total value systems that are focused on bottom-line profit. The days when supply chains were an operational activity to get a truck from point A to point B are long gone. The leverage that supply chains need to give companies and, by extension, customers is telling. Nowadays, depending on where you live, some 70 to 90 percent of what we buy for regular consumption and use are not made in our local area. And supply chains are...

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