Topic Category: World

Latin America is experiencing strong economic growth and its social conditions are improving at a rapid pace. Incomes are rising, the middle class is expanding and consumer demand is increasing.

Topic: World
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The Russian Federation requested membership in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, now the World Trade Organization (WTO), in June 1993. At various points along the way, accession appeared imminent. In recent months it appeared that Russia — the largest economy not yet admitted — could be given the green light in 2008. But if current U.S.-Russian relations remain cool, and certain issues are not remedied, this could be well off the mark.

Topic: World
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If you’ve been considering expanding into a rapidly growing Asian market, you might investigate India, a country similar to and different from China in many ways.

Goldman Sachs projects that India will become the world's third largest economy in less than 30 years and that India’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate will average 5-6 percent through 2050, while China’s will slow and fall behind India’s.

Topic: World
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On March 15, 2007, the United States and Vietnam signed a shipping agreement that grants U.S. maritime shippers, carriers and port operators greater access to Vietnam's transportation market. And on March 16, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Susan Schwab and Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem announced the launch of negotiations on a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. These, however, are only two of the recently signed agreements.

After almost 12 years of negotiations and 880 pages of policy commitments, on January 11, 2007, Vietnam became the 150th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). What is the anticipated impact?

Topic: World
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Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001, it has significantly opened its market. This has been accomplished, in part, by reducing tariffs by nearly 40 percent, eliminating import licenses and quotas, and relaxing ownership restrictions.

In turn, China has become the world's third largest merchandise importer. On the other hand, due to its increasing capacity to produce goods at attractive prices, China has emerged as the world's third largest exporter. This has significantly contributed to the U.S. trade deficit and caused a backlash against China.

Topic: World
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In less than 40 years, the economies of the BRICs—Brazil, Russia, India and China—could generate more economic output than the G6 combined (the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy), according to Goldman Sachs' projections. What does this mean for your business?

Topic: World
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China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001 has advanced U.S. interests in many ways. For example, China certainly has had human rights problems. However, China’s free market reforms over the last two decades unquestionably have contributed to greater economic and political freedom for the Chinese people. Far from rewarding China for bad behavior, WTO accession has accelerated those reforms, and correspondingly, accelerated the liberalization of Chinese society.

Topic: World
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FAQ: Do U.S. manufacturers who establish facilities abroad typically seek cheap labor, provide poor working conditions and welcome lax environmental laws?

Talking Points:

Although U.S. manufacturers are anticipated to invest an increasing amount of capital in China over the next decade, overall, only a relatively small portion of U.S. FDI is invested in developing countries or countries with low-cost labor. Contrary to what many believe, in 2003 only 15 percent of U.S. manufacturing FDI was directed into developing countries, including China, according to the Deloitte research report, Growing the Global Corporation: Global Investment Trends of U.S. Manufacturers. This number is up from 7 percent in 2002, but down from 22 percent in 2001, 25 percent in 2000, and 32 percent in 1999.

Topic: World
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There are notable cultural differences among reporters in Manhattan, Silicon Valley and Houston. Consequently, effectively dealing with them requires a degree of cultural sensitivity. Now, add an international layer to the mix. For U.S. business people seeking favorable public opinion in markets outside the United States, it is essential to research and respect the culture of the foreign media, employees, investors and policymakers. In the end, how well you understand their culture and demonstrate your knowledge of what is and is not appropriate will have a major impact on your relationship and its ability to produce favorable results.

Topic: World
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After World War II and throughout the Cold War period, the United States was unquestionably the world leader in terms of political and economic policy. In fact, the Cold War provided much of the glue that held the American-Western European alliance together. Since the end of the Cold War, and in light of European Union (EU) expansion, as well as contentious trade disputes, it appears that the United States is no longer in a position of dominance. This will affect the United States’ ability to forge new political and economic policies that involve Europe and the rest of the world. This also will affect U.S. investment decisions.

Topic: World
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