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Just last week, Russia's currency, the ruble, . This drastic event sent Russia's central banks into chaos as they consistently increased interest rates to try to rebalance the ruble. On Thursday, Putin declared that the ruble has reached its highest value in three weeks and is stable again. Unfortunately, economists warn that the fall and subsequent recovery of the ruble is not going to pass without adverse effects, both for Russia and for the global economy. Russia, which has already had a rough year economically, now is forced to withstand the threat of an impending recession. Other regions of the world will also have to be wary of the impact of the ruble dilemma.

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On December 17, President Obama announced that the United States would normalize relations with Cuba. Before relations are entirely healed, the US Treasury and other related agencies are required to complete certain business-related tasks. The Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control, for example, will enact its treasury specific changes in the form of amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. The Department of Congress will additionally need to enact changes through amendments to Export Administration Regulations. However, these changes will improve the Cuban private sector as a whole and make it much less difficult for its citizens to access inexpensive goods while becoming more independent from Cuba.

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Earlier this week construction began on a canal that will link Venado on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast to Puerto Brito on the country's Pacific side. The secretive project has an estimated , and the government claims it would create at least 50,000 jobs for construction and 200,000 more upon completion. A rival to the Panama Canal, this channel hopes to fuel growth within the agricultural, industrial, and manufacturing industries by facilitating heavy freight transportation.

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Within the past few weeks, news of the has demonstrated once again the undeniable influence that individuals can hold over a major corporation due to the empowerment of the globalization of modern technology. Unlike any other time in human history, the rise of the which has led largely to positive global effects like easing barriers to trade, efficiency in communication or sharing ideas, and enhancing the private citizen's ability to raise awareness for social progress, has also enabled criminal activity to pose serious threats to not only fellow individuals, but massive corporations and governments as well. For this reason, the White House has called the attacks on Sony a "serious national security matter" due to the effects that cybercrime can inflict not only on a nation's informational security, but also on the global economy.

Publish Date: 乐动体育董事长

The Jasmine Revolution of Tunisia was the first in a series of democratic uprisings that extended to a number of North African and Middle Eastern countries, in what became known collectively as the Arab Spring. Earlier this month, Tunisia’s new unicameral parliament held its inaugural session at the nation’s capital. Although the landmark transition towards a new republic has been fraught, a novel, egalitarian constitution was adopted, while a majority of the other participating nations deteriorated into extremism.

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Found under the social responsibility section of globalEDGE’s Global Resource Directory, the report offers in-depth information on charitable contributions made by the United Kingdom’s largest companies. The report is provided by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and contains data related to corporate philanthropy, as well as emphasizes the importance of transparent social responsibility. This resource also aims to bridge the gap between what United Kingdom businesses are actually doing in terms of corporate giving and the public’s perception of these corporations’ charitable actions.

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Africa is currently a point of interest for many companies. This continent offers opportunities for rapid growth for both newly formed companies and already mature businesses that are looking to expand. However, starting operations in Africa comes with its share of risks. With an unproven economy, one needs to do research to make sure all facts are collected before breaking ground. Part of series is an interview with self-made African billionaire Mike Mlombwa. In the interview, Mlombwa provides tips for .

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Several new economic developments have occurred in the United States during this last quarter. The recent drop in gas prices, credited to the drop in global oil prices led by , is one of these noteworthy developments. This has led to increased spending in the U.S, especially in the retail and automotive industries. There have also been significant increases in employment, as well as a strengthening in the value of the dollar. While these all seem like boons to the United States, some of these factors have the potential to not only hurt the U.S. economy, but economies around the world as well. As a result, economists are warning the U.S. to take caution, especially with its fragile economy now leaving the period of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve.

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As Africa becomes more integrated into global value chains, existing trade agreements are not enough to fulfill the increasing foreign investments because they are complex and obscure. With the hope of creating easier access to global market for local businesses, the three largest trade groups in Africa came up with the idea of the “African Free Trade Zone,” which aims to create a single trade union in Africa. The idea has been evaluated  since 2008 and .

Publish Date: 乐动体育董事长

In a world where overpopulation and high unemployment are serious problems for many nations, Germany faces an entirely different set of challenges. Germany currently has record low unemployment rates that are leading to a deficit of workers, especially those with high levels of education. To further magnify this issue, the current workforce is aging rapidly, and with the lowest birthrates in Europe, the size of the German workforce will decrease substantially in the coming decades. The most recent projections show that , and that the entire population could decrease as much as 19%, to about .

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Last year on the eve of Cyber Monday, Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the company’s plan to develop drones that would deliver packages to a customer’s doorstep. News of these drones spread quickly, and as a result Amazon broke its Cyber Monday record with a figure of about 426 items ordered per second. By utilizing the advertisement practice of embargoing, or holding the news about these drones until the ideal moment, Amazon was able to maximize its profit and increase sales just in time for the holiday shopping season.

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Many people have heard about or remember the great “” between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1955 to 1972. Both countries fought for supremacy in spaceflight capability for national security measures and as a sign of ideological superiority. New technology resulted from this space exploration age including satellites, micro-technology, and other products that were later sold and commercialized to be used in everyday life. Education in mathematics, engineering, and science rapidly expanded during this period. Times are rather different now as many governments, such as the United States, are in light of economic hardships. The Economist has even claimed that the current state of the world marks “.”

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The OECD has found a link between a . This decline has been seen in countries including the US, who has lost almost seven points, and the UK, who has lost around 9 points of GDP Growth percentage. This is a shocking point which shows countries that if they want to promote strong and sustained growth, addressing inequality needs to be a central focus.

Publish Date: 乐动体育董事长

Now that a year has passed since former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign Ukraine's EU Association Agreement, which began the protests in Maidan Square in Ukraine, the dust from the conflict is beginning to settle allowing . Now that current President Petro Poroshenko has signed the agreement, many economists are pointing towards rapid growth in the country's tech sector as a sign that clear skies are ahead for the European-aligned new Ukraine. In spite of this, crippling corruption and a brain drain are also casting doubts over Ukraine's foreseeable future.

Publish Date: 乐动体育董事长

Hosted by Dr. Tomas Hult from Michigan State University’s , the globalEDGE Business Beat (gBB) is your source for global business knowledge on the airways. The gBB offers discussions with global leaders in business, government, and academe and is available on the globalEDGE website and the Michigan Business Network.

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As discussed in an earlier blog post, oil prices are continuing to fall as global demand weakens, affecting economies around the globe, such as the United States, Norway, and Saudi Arabia. One of the countries most affected is Russia, which heavily depends on the oil industry, so much so that it makes up of the country’s exports. The Russian government began the year expecting oil prices to be near $96 a barrel, and with current oil prices well below this number, there is reason to worry about Russia’s economy.

Publish Date: 乐动体育董事长

Oil prices fell 6.7% per barrel on November 27th after OPEC decided . Currencies linked to oil such as the Canadian dollar and the Norwegian krone took a hit, as prices this low will cause many fracking companies to become unprofitable. Low cost producers in countries like Saudi Arabia will be able to sustain small profits at such low prices, but U.S. fracking companies are not profitable at a price under $70 per barrel. Falling oil prices are a worldwide, since it acts like a tax cut for consumers. The current price weakness can be somewhat attributed to weak demand globally, but the rise of fracking worldwide leads us to believe that there might be an oversupply.

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There is a world of opportunity for those seeking to export their food and agriculture products, considering that . By tapping into these new markets before your domestic competitors, you will reap the benefits of having little to no competition, while possibly offsetting slow growth in your home market with the new increase in your company’s sales and profitability. Additionally, an enlarged customer base, as the result of expanding into foreign markets, can lead to your business hiring more employees and create economies of scale in production. Furthermore, diversifying the markets you sell to will help to mitigate the risk that often comes with expansion. For example, if your product sales tend to fluctuate seasonally, exporting can help to counterbalance drops in demand. Fortunately for companies seeking to export, the United States’ reputation for sound business practices and high quality goods appeals to foreign markets.

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Turkmenistan is a small nation with only about , yet it could be the solution to energy problems affecting hundreds of millions of people. Despite the fact that the Central Asian nation has the world’s , Turkmenistan ranks twelfth in the world in natural gas production. Turkmenistan plans to fill this gap between reserves and production with multiple plans to export its natural gas abroad.

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Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan recently returned from a week long business investment trip to China. In an effort to promote international trade, Snyder continued his mission of increasing trade between Michigan and Asian countries. Snyder first embarked on this mission in 2011 and has made trips every year since. He has visited China, Japan and South Korea with a concentration on the automotive industry. He wishes to .