Friday, May 29, 2009

Trust Starts Here

Six trusted colleagues weigh in to tell us why trust matters and how to get, keep and maintain it.

Read it here -> How To Build Trust -- over at the OPEN Forum by American Express Open.

Snap Out of It; Global Trade Isn't Going Away

One of my favorite classic scenes in the movie Moonstruck is when Loretta (Cher) says to Ronny (Nicolas Cage), "Snap out of it!" (view clip here -- it's toward the end -- nice diversion). Well that scene plays in my head when I say to all the folks who are reporting bad news about global trade:

"Snap out of it!" Global trade isn't going away any time soon.

In the meantime and if you are a glutton for punishment, read more downer news at the, "Trade and Hard Times."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kudos to International Trade Administration (ITA)


ITA has finally started a blog. Great to hear. The more the merrier and the far more productive we can be on the global frontiers.

Blog can be found here. Here's a good entry on Trade Stats Express. No RSS feed yet but I'm sure it's coming.

Just in direct from ITA (4/7/10) ...
Thank you for highlighting the ITA Blog but if you could please replace the old emblem (as shown at the very top) with the new one (seen here: that has been in use since 2007, we would very much appreciate your support.

Many thanks,

Office of Public Affairs
International Trade Administration

Japan: Why Some Companies Are Hot in a Down Market

Not all companies are performing poorly in Japan.

Take a look at these:

Toyo Suisan Kaisha -- Japanese site (profile snapshot)
Nitori (Japanese site) -- Reuters stock quote
Fast Retailing (parent of Uniqlo)
Ryohin Keikaku (parent of Muji -- pictured is a Muji house)

Find out why (value is a large part of it) a select few, such as those noted above, are doing better than others at The Economist, "Winner's In Japan's Recession: Gloom and boom."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Global Social Entrepreneurship

Global social entrepreneurs are empowered by a mission. Success is not driven by creating economic value, but a social value.

In this case, discover how Chinese leaders learn about corporate social responsibility from American companies such as Nike and Starbucks here.

Photo: Guo Xin dines with Wilson Wewa Jr. (on left), chief of the Confederated Tribe of Warm Springs, and Corkey Ambrose, chief of the Yakama Tribe, during a community powwow.

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Discovery: Global Trade Helps Economy

I wish I would have thought of that! Seriously, in case you didn't know, experts (myself included) say that global trade helps economy; and, that tearing down barriers to global trade is the answer, not the problem.

Read more here. Fabulous material. Great quote by Rick Wade, senior analyst and deputy chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Commerce:
"While the challenges we face are deep and real … and unrivaled in half a century, American companies are world leaders in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Exporting and importing are essential to creating jobs and growing the economy."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Less Risk Taking?

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) says the current crisis will stall globalization.

Excerpt from news:
The current crisis will have a significant impact on business environments. The global business landscape will be characterised by lower cross-border capital flows, tighter regulation and less risk-taking. As measured by the BER, the deterioration in the global business environment reflects worsening market opportunities, increased macroeconomic and political risk, and problems in financial systems.
As an entrepreneur and global small business owner, I find taking less calculated risks hard to swallow. What about for you?

Read more here, especially the key findings from report.

Download the full special report: Globalisation stalled [PDF 443KB]

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Punch Above Your Weight

Jim Stike, CEO of Materials Innovation Technologies spoke at a business luncheon and offered some interesting stats:
The U.S. ranks eighth in global innovation with Singapore ranking first, he said. Small businesses are innovative job creators with 70 percent of new jobs generated annually in the U.S. coming from small businesses, Stike added.

“India and China are transforming the playing field and competing on cost alone won’t cut it anymore,” he told a group of 50 business people. “A skilled, educated work force is a key element to an innovative work force.”
And the "punch above your weight" comes from a story Stike tells about a company he worked for at the time asked the British businessmen who were interested in buying them why they were so interested and they said, "‘Because you punch above your weight.'"

Read more here about what that means and also learn about Stike's three principles of entrepreneurs that all people should keep in mind.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Global Trade Can Be Peachy

We preach the global trade gospel all the time via this blog but learn what the folks in Atlanta, Georgia have to say about scaling your business globally.

Read more here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Show Me the Opportunities!

Although they (meaning us!) would appreciate more support from government, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may be the most optimistic group in America with regard to the economic recovery, according to a study released today at National Small Business Week. One out of four SMBs expects the turnaround to begin in late 2009.

The study, Understanding Growth Priorities of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Verio Inc., the leading provider in delivering online business solutions to SMBs worldwide.

More about the study:
In April 2009 the Economist Intelligence Unit (news release here) conducted an online survey of 328 executives from small and medium-sized businesses worldwide to understand how they are approaching business strategy during the global recession. Of the respondents to our survey, 45 percent held CEO, president or managing director titles; 66 percent of all respondents held c-level titles. About 27 percent were directors, department heads and other managers. Worldwide, 29 percent work at companies based in North America, 29 percent in Asia-Pacific, 19 percent in Western Europe, 10 percent in Eastern Europe, 9 percent in the Middle East and Africa, and 5 percent in Latin America. Forty eight percent work at firms with less than $5M in annual revenues; 31 percent have revenues between $5M and $50M; 21 percent have revenues between $50M and $50M. Respondents represented a range of industries.
To receive a complimentary copy of Understanding Growth Priorities of SMBs, visit here (immediate download of briefing paper => Understanding Growth Priorities of SMBs free of charge [PDF 548 KB]).

To learn more about the above news, go here or here.

A World Free of Corruption

Transparency International offers hope to victims and brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world.

Find out how to create change towards a world free of corruption => here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Don't Take It to the Mattress; Take It Global

Young at heart or age and interested in global issues and creating positive change? Then you might like this:


Thursday, May 14, 2009

How Much Will China Grow?

You can do a Google search asking the same question and come up with a zillion answers; however, we think this report is a good start and worth a read.
China, the world's largest surplus country and one of the world's most export-dependent economies, faces great uncertainty about its outlook amidst the current crisis. Over forty experts offer their predictions for China's 2009 GDP growth rate.
Download PDF file here: "How Much Will China Grow?"

Adding this too (it touches on China) ... A De-Globalized World?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The United States of Small Businesses

America's 5th Annual Small Business Summit is underway this week and already we learned that one of the breakout sessions focused on how to do business internationally. Interestingly enough, the moderator for that session, Leslie Schweitzer, is a friend and colleague of mine. She serves as one of our many talented contributors on Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG) which The Global Small Business Blog sponsors. Additionally, she was a panelist in Chicago a couple of years ago when I moderated a discussion on the very same subject of going global.

Great quote from Leslie:
One of the misconceptions of trade is that the only beneficiaries of trade are large companies, and that's not true. 97% of international traders are small businesses.
Read more about what went on during the international business session here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reap the Benefits of Global Trade

By the President of the United States of America ... a proclamation ...
When the world's consumers fly in a U.S.-manufactured airplane, eat a steak from America's heartland, watch a Hollywood movie, or visit the Grand Canyon, they are helping to create and maintain good jobs for Americans.

World Trade Week is an opportunity to reaffirm the benefits of trade and to emphasize America's commitment to a global marketplace that creates good jobs and lifts up American families. The United States and our trading partners stand to gain when trade is open, transparent, rules-based, and fair, showing respect for labor and environmental standards.

The United States is well-positioned to reap the benefits of trade. America is a leader in the global marketplace and ranks at the top of almost every measure of global competitiveness. Our businesses, workers, and farmers remain the most innovative, productive, and adaptable in the world. The United States is also the world's largest exporter.

Trade is a significant and increasingly important contributor to U.S. economic growth. Exports accounted for 13 percent of U.S. economic activity in 2008, and they support millions of jobs in the United States. In difficult economic times, it is even more important for American industry to take advantage of every opportunity for export-driven growth. That is why I will work to open more markets to U.S. exports, including in such important job growth industries as energy efficiency, clean energy, and health information technology.
Read more here. World Trade Week runs from May 17 through May 23, 2009.

Globalize Entrepreneurship Education

How important is teaching entrepreneurship within schools? Very important. There's a direct correlation between entrepreneurship education and success.

Read more here.

Download report (PDF file) “Educating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs.”

Monday, May 11, 2009

Global Hoteliers Look to China, India and The Middle East for Growth

As the recession bites, global hoteliers are looking to the east's underserved leisure markets. It will take time because of barriers to entry. For most, this target for now takes up only a small fraction of overall business.
China, the world's fastest-growing economy, is expected to expand 6.5 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. That's a slowdown from 9 percent growth last year but way ahead of the 2.8 percent contraction forecast for the United States in 2009.
Find out what U.S. based Marriott, Starwood, Intercontinental Hotels and France-based Accor are doing to go after a slice of the global pie -- here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

How to Dethron Your Competitor in a Global Marketplace

Due to the downturn, is growth slowing in your home market? Do you have any particular advantage over your competitors' businesses both online and offline -- locally and globally?

How would you define your business success thus far relative to those who compete in your space?

Read the article, "Metro Plots to Overtake Best Buy by Closing the Gap in China," for ideas on how the big guys duke it out to snatch a No. 1 position in the global marketplace.
"It's not a completely unrealistic claim," said Thomas Roeb, a retail professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Bonn Rhein-Sieg. "Best Buy's success is largely an American success, while Metro has successfully expanded abroad."

Friday, May 08, 2009

Western Hemisphere Will Recover Faster Than Advanced Economies Despite Global Turmoil

Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to emerge from the financial crisis earlier than the advanced economies, according to the latest Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Expect growth the second part of 2009. While growth in advanced economies may not turn positive until the middle of 2010.

Read more here.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Going Beyond Global Financial Facts and Figures

Just found out about this site:

Shibui Markets

Does anyone have knowledge about it? They claim:
ShibuiMarkets is a leading Global Financial Portal built on the spirit of Shibui, that is, going beyond simple facts and figures and into understanding financial information. It offers hard-to-find fundamental financial information about companies from all over the world as well as quotes for Foreign Currencies, Emerging Market Bonds and selected international Equities.
Test it out and let us know what you think. I did a search on General Electric using their Company Data Base Screener and the information seemed outdated.

Forbes at one time featured it as Best of the Web.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Detroit Assumed That Americans Would Never Buy Foreign Cars

They were wrong. Here's a story that BBC tells on its Global Business repeat (run two years ago and more relevant than ever now), with an insider's commentary on the story from the chairman of Toyota, Fujio Cho.

This story is of interest to people worldwide -- in any industry -- not just car buffs. It's particularly intriguing to anyone who questions whether their business model still works for our current times.

Have you asked yourself lately: Are we relevant? Answer honestly. If you are not, it's time to exit what you are doing or make massive improvements to your existing operation to get with the times.

After all, aren't we all out to change the world?

Read more here.

Added May 8, 2009:
What is an 'American' Car?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Globally Protect Your Property

The mission of the Global Intellectual Property Center, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is to champion intellectual property as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

Find out more here.

Check out the "Fight the Fakes" poster contest here.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Worst Global Online Oppressors

Here's a list of the 10 worst countries to be a blogger. Be thankful for your freedom of speech, that is, if you have it.

1. Burma
2. Iran
3. Syria
4. Cuba (e.g., Generacion Y, pictured)
5. Saudi Arabia
6. Vietnam
7. Tunisia
8. China
9. Turkmenistan
10. Egypt

Read more here about the dishonor roll of countries who oppress blogging worldwide.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Eliminate World Protectionist Impulses

Great quote:

"Global trade has sponsored two decades of dramatic growth and increased prosperity in countries everywhere," says UPS CEO Mr. D. Scott Davis. He goes on further to say, "Now is the time to back away from the progress that has been achieved in the mistaken belief that any one economy can regain strength independently of the rest of the world."

Read the entire article here.