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

The latest segments from the globalEDGE Business Beat take a look at a new business trade book, Second Shift: The Inside Story of the Keep GM Movement. Tomas Hult, along with David Hollister, Ray Tadgerson, and David Closs, wrote the book detailing how Lansing, Michigan was able to save its auto plant from closing. The six new segments from the Business Beat feature Tomas Hult discussing the book and accompanying film with each of the co-authors, examining how the Second Shift Model was...

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Refugee Impact on European Labor MarketOpen in a New Window

The world is facing its worst refugee crisis since World War II. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNCR), there are 21.3 million refugees across the globe. A vast majority of these refugees come from Africa and the Middle East, with Syrians accounting for nearly one-fourth of the total refugee population. Many of these refugees are flocking to the nation of Turkey, which is currently playing host to 2.5 million refugees, nearly one million more than any other nation. These...

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gE Blog Series: Innovation in Logistics Technology Part 5 - Using Big Data to Improve LogisticsOpen in a New Window

In the age of information, the mind-boggling amount of data available at our fingertips can seem daunting. Yet, handled in an efficient manner, it can also be immensely useful. Big Data—referring to the use of nontraditional analytics to examine vast amounts of data—has become an increasingly important part of the business landscape. Over the past few years, several prominent corporations have invested in Big Data analytics and are incorporating them into their business...

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gE Blog Series: Innovation in Logistics Technology Part 4 - Use of Robotics in WarehousesOpen in a New Window

E-commerce has become more and more popular, but some warehouses cannot keep up with the consumer expectation of instant gratification. Online shopping gives consumers the idea that if something is purchased over the internet, it should be delivered quickly and efficiently. Many facilities are still using the man-to-goods model, where the employee goes throughout the warehouse looking for the item(s) purchased by the consumer. Companies like inVia Robotics are changing that. Companies...

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gE Blog Series: Innovation in Logistics Technology Part 3 - Challenges of Using DronesOpen in a New Window

Research conducted by Goldman Sachs predicts that the global commercial drone market is expected to grow to $20.6 billion USD and the compound annual growth rate is supposed to grow by 41% from 2016-2021. In North America alone, the industry is forecast to have 1.4 million commercial drones in use by 2025.  Rick Rys of ARC recently conducted research on drones and its impact on supply chain and manufacturing applications. He found that some of the largest areas for drone use are in...

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gE Blog Series: Innovation in Logistics Technology Part 2 - Jets Use In LogisticsOpen in a New Window

With all the growth in the logistics industries, “several companies are racing to develop airships they hope will transform air travel.” Amazon, for example, has struggled keeping up with the high demand, especially with Prime members who get free two day shipping. Using airplanes to transport items will significantly increase the company’s shipping speed and help Amazon continue to grow. In efforts to increase its shipping efficiency, Amazon has started testing...

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gE Blog Series: Innovation in Logistics Technology Part 1 – IntroductionOpen in a New Window

Disruptions in supply chains are unwanted, but can sometimes be unavoidable. New technology introduced to logistics functions has helped to lessen these disruptions, increase efficiency and responsiveness, and also meet the ever-growing expectations of customers. Since the affordability of these technologies has also increased, they are becoming more and more available to companies wishing to improve their logistics functions. Experts anticipate that over the next few years, the Transportation...

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Influx of Interest in Nuclear Energy in the United KingdomOpen in a New Window

China has gained a valuable foothold in the nuclear energy industry as Britain’s new Prime Minister has given the green light for a power plant to be built in Hinkley, England. The project is worth a reported $24 billion and has many people worried about the economic ramifications of allowing China and France to fund this large scale project on English soil. “In response, the U.K. has set out new restrictions on the project's builders, saying the companies would not be able...

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The European Commission Ruling against Ireland & AppleOpen in a New Window

The European Union (EU) is working strenuously to stop giant American companies from avoiding taxes in its region. EU regulators have been studying tax arrangements between its member countries and US companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and McDonald’s. Just last week, the European Commission (EC) ruled that Apple owes Ireland €13 billion ($14.6 billion) in back taxes. From an economic point of view, the EC’s ruling makes sense because Apple, with the help of the Irish...

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The Investment Environment in VenezuelaOpen in a New Window

Venezuela has one of the largest oil supplies in the world, and oil serves as the primary source of income for Venezuela’s economy. The large drop in prices has severely hampered its ability to import products, and has prompted a rapid rise in inflation. The IMF is forecasting that inflation will hit 700% by year end 2016, compared to the Venezuelan government’s forecast of a 180% increase in inflation. Venezuela was offering around a 23% yield on benchmark dollar bonds, and when...

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Growth in International Trade Following Years of DeclineOpen in a New Window

International trade is an exceptionally important driving factor for corporate and economic growth. Following a two year decline in international trade figures, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) finally reported growth in the second quarter of 2016. Members of G20, an exclusive group of 19 countries and the European Union, showed an increase in combined exports and imports after a run of declines. The majority of...

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Brazil Faces a Corn ShortageOpen in a New Window

After suffering a drop in soybean yields due to a drought this past year, Brazil is now facing a large shortage in its corn harvest. While many farmers had planted the corn seeds during good weather conditions, more hot and dry weather hit Brazil causing the second harvest of crops that were in the process of forming to die out. Farmers are struggling to keep up with demand during the 60 day drought period. Since the damage has already caused the crops to die out, they cannot be revived...

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European Union Prolongs Sanctions Against RussiaOpen in a New Window

Since March 2014, the European Union has continuously levied various forms economic sanctions against Russia. Initial injunctions were imposed in response to Russia's forced annexation of Crimea and the consequential violence that ensued in Ukraine. These measures included asset freezes and travel restrictions on certain prominent officials, bans on imported goods, investment, and tourism services to and from Crimea, and restrictions on economic cooperation. Russia retaliated in August 2014...

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The Global Population CrisisOpen in a New Window

With the world population more than doubling from 3.035 billion people in 1960 to today’s global population of approximately 7.347 billion, and with UN projections estimating a global population of 9.7 billion by 2050, there has been much rhetoric and concern over the social, environmental, and economic impact of this growth. Many of the fastest growing nations in the world have gone as far as implementing government policies and programs aimed at stemming this rapid growth, the most...

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Benefits of Shorter Work WeeksOpen in a New Window

Last week Amazon announced a reduced work week plan where employees will only work 30 hours a week, in an effort to improve productivity, employee happiness, and recruitment. The plan follows a recent trend among some businesses to make working hours more flexible, or even reduce the amount of time spent in the office. The idea behind the trend is that reduced hours will not have a significant impact on productivity, as studies have shown that work performance decreases as the number of hours...

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Companies Doing Well Are the Ones Doing GoodOpen in a New Window

It is not a coincidence that there is a positive trend between companies that do good in their community and company success. With this generation of consumers and employees placing more importance on community consciousness than ever before, it makes sense that the companies that are giving back are the ones attracting the most business. Doing good isn't limited to community service hours, it extends to the company's business model—to the...

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Germans Disappointed After Small Growth in Exports to IranOpen in a New Window

After economic sanctions were lifted off of Iran, many countries quickly began trade talks and one of the first countries to jump on this was Germany. Large German companies, such as Siemens AG, have already announced plans for large industrial projects in Iran. German companies hoped that the removal of the embargo on Iran would reignite old trade deals that had reached $5bn in yearly exports. Although exports have jumped since January, the results have left Germans disappointed. Since...

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globalEDGE's Test Your Knowledge SectionOpen in a New Window

Want to see how much your know about international business? The globalEDGE Test Your Knowledge section offers two quizzes to test how well you know the world around you. The International Business Knowledge Quiz contains questions on a wide range of topics including demographics, trade agreements, business statistics, and geography. Our second quiz will test you on the capital cities of countries around the world. Click this link to check out our Test Your Knowledge section!

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Update on the UK's Economy Following BrexitOpen in a New Window

On June 23rd, the United Kingdom made a monumental decision to exit the European Union. However, the magnitude of impact which the Brexit will have on the British economy remains uncertain. Following the vote, significant increases were predicted in the UK’s economic welfare and consumer confidence, although future statistics may indicate otherwise. After a week of collecting official data, the numbers forecast that consumers are spending more, the value of the pound has...

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Upcoming Challenges for Federal Reserve PolicyOpen in a New Window

Central banks are responsible for determining the monetary policy by setting the interest rates to balance investments and savings, which helps to keep economies fully employed and inflation stable. The natural rate is the interest rate that helps to achieve the balance, and federal reserve policy makers believe that the rate is at 3%, down from 4.5% prior to the recession. The 1.5 percentage point decline in the natural interest rate provides less ability to counteract future economic...

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