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The World Bank, an international lender to many developing nations, recently released its quarterly . In the report, that includes projections for the rest of 2016, the agency lowered its forecasts for most global commodities. The bank warns that an oversupply of commodities, which caused prices to fall in 2015, will continue into and throughout 2016.

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Over 68% of countries have serious issues with corruption, including half of the G20. More than 5.5 billion people live in a country with major levels of corruption. These are the findings of by Transparency International, in the for 2015, which was released this week. The data on globalEDGE has been updated to reflect the recent release, and is available to view in the country pages, along with our Database of International Business Statistics (DIBS). This year’s release featured 168 countries, highlighting countries which have the least and most corruption. The index specifically measures the perceived levels of public corruption, by utilizing and combining various data points into one score.

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Is work the same now, in 2016, as it was back in 2015? For the most part yes, but there are some . It is the freelance work world that is setting the trends for how work will continue to change during 2016. Some of the workplace trends that are expected to have the farthest-reaching effects in 2016 include: remote-first businesses, independent consultants, shift in media, work-life balance, leadership expectations, and consumer-grade design.

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Islamic finance presents an interesting contradiction between religion and modern economics. The world of finance is in large part built on the premise of interest. The debt market now dwarfs the equity (stock) market, and a majority of debt products inherently carry some form of interest. The world of Islam, however, strictly forbids usury, or the practice of charging interest. Islam is also the world’s second largest religion with over a billion adherents, which makes it impossible for its practitioners to not participate in the world of finance. This seemingly huge dilemma is solved by the practice of Islamic finance. Bridging the gap between religion and business, Islamic finance is quickly growing in both size and importance.

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Last year, , Compared to $111 billion in 2014, this situation has not occurred since the late 1980’s and could be bad news for emerging markets. With all of this capital flowing out of emerging markets, this means that the money is being used to buy assets elsewhere. Unfortunately, since emerging markets are still building up their roads, infrastructure, factories, and technology to improve their own economies, they are extremely reliant on investment from developed countries. With money being taken out of these countries to be invested elsewhere, emerging markets could face a tough year economically.

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It is no surprise that education is one of the biggest determining factors of an economy’s success and growth, which is why in fall of 2015, some . Since 2009, there has been an increase of over 4.9 million college attendees. However, education is not nearly as accessible in other parts of the world as it is in the United States, and it is restricting potential growth.

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A new study conducted by the found that many companies, despite current conditions, have remained optimistic. The survey, which was carried out among mining companies and financiers who are active in Mexico, Central and South America indicated that 66% of those interviewed are somewhat optimistic that there will be an increase in investment over the next 12 month. The mining industry is facing challenges with current economic conditions and rout in the commodity markets, but corporate social responsibility was not regarded to be that high of a concern. Corporate social responsibility is important because due to issues, projects worth billions of dollars have been stalled.

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China's recent economic activity has set the entire world on edge. , its lowest in a quarter century. This has been reflected in the state of the country's major industries, especially in automotives and mining. China is still one of the world's superior mining nations, but several problems have erupted as growth continues to slip. , top minerals and metals are experiencing production decline, and international projects are being abandoned. This has affected the industry on an global scale, considering many countries trading in metals are largely dependent on China. The country appears to hold on to its number one spot with further projects and investments, perhaps in the hopes the industry will give it a much-needed boost.

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The United Kingdom is slated to have a , however negotiations are underway by the Conservative government to see if a new agreement can be reached. The United Kingdom can risk facing major repercussions both domestically and internationally if they were to leave. Internally, it can raise the risk of political instability both within the Conservative party and the viability of the political union between England and Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and externally, the concern lies in the future relationship between the U.K. and the European Union as well as potential future trading agreements.

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Swiss financial affairs have long been a thing of mystery and wonder. Aside from the general disdain expressed by foreign governments toward Switzerland’s public and private banking institutions, the Swiss franc is not a coin that lends itself to be easily shortchanged. Swiss bank accounts have had in the past for stark confidentiality agreements as well as attractive investment management options which allowed for a growing number of Swiss bank accounts to be opened by the likes of white collar criminals. And that’s exactly where the misconception is - Swiss bank accounts aren’t popular because of anonymity, they’re in demand because of the unparalleled financial security. One of the biggest reasons these bank accounts are able to thrive so well in such an isolated economy is because the Swiss franc has been a fierce champion for growth and stability. These financial tenets are more easily boasted than achieved, but against all odds the Swiss currency has provided a fiscal anchor in the sea of global economic uncertainty.

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This quote by the Zambian Chamber of Mines President about their national mining industry can be extrapolated to more widely represent the economy of Africa. Many African nations are heavily reliant, if not entirely dependent, on the mining industry to drive economic growth. However, due to a multitude of causes, the once booming mining industry that once drove national annual growth rates into double digits is now faltering and bringing the rest of the economy down with it.

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It is no secret that the mining and metals industry is mired in a multi-year slump. Unfortunately, it looks as if this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. One major reason for this negative outlook is slowing economic growth in emerging markets, particularly in China. This issue has proven problematic for the industry, as it has caused investors and lenders to flee the sector, which has in turn created a shortage of financing. However, there is cause for optimism, as most industry experts ensure that the painful cycle will eventually come to an end.

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On Tuesday, The U.S. House of Representatives voted almost unanimously to pass legislation that would broaden sanctions on North Korea. This bill comes after North Korea announced last Wednesday that they had successfully completed a hydrogen bomb nuclear test. The bill proposes stronger sanctions that would deny North Korea the money that it needs for developing nuclear warheads, long-range missiles, and for paying its army and police forces. It will also use financial and economic pressure to keep North Korea away from maintaining the assets that they hold in foreign banks.

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Manila is a relatively short plane ride from Singapore, but a world apart. In Singapore, as I reported last week, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is the topic of the minute (even if some officials admit it’s “a lot of hope and not a whole lot of change, yet.”) In the Philippines, on the other hand, one high ranking government official estimated awareness of ASEAN at about seven percent in the general population and roughly 30 percent among businesses. He could not site any numbers for the AEC specifically.

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Throughout human history, natural resources have been the bedrock of human development and commerce. In ancient times, civilizations flourished based on vast amounts of precious minerals or other valuable resources. Is it possible, however, that in modern times an abundance of natural resources can be as much a curse as a blessing to a nation state? This is not a brand new thesis, in fact many have covered it from academia to national publications and everything in between.

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Global markets have faced a rough beginning in 2016, and Latin America has been no exception. The World Bank projected that Latin America would not be growing at all in 2016, and the . In the last five years, Latin America has faced declining growth, and 2016 brings concerns of political friction and subsequent economic changes.

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Are you interested in the global trade initiatives of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)? How about properly pricing a product or service in a new market or the trade opportunities for U.S. companies in Norway? If the answer is yes, be sure to check out the globalEDGE Business Beat乐动体育董事长 today. The globalEDGE Business Beat is a radio show hosted by Dr. Tomas Hult from the International Business Center at Michigan State University that features conversations with experts in the field of international trade. These podcast segments are rich with international business knowledge and are a great way to improve your international business acumen. 

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The World Bank has reduced its forecast for global growth for a third year in a row due to . Global markets hit a rough patch in the beginning of 2016 due to weak Chinese data, the fall of currencies in emerging-markets, decreased stock prices, and an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar. The World Bank’s forecast involved three optimistic assumptions for global growth, being that commodity prices will stabilize and that the Chinese government will able to manage the transition away from rapid and unsustainable growth. The other assumption that was made in the forecast was that the interest-rate hike by the United States Federal Reserve wouldn’t damage the U.S. economy or have a negative impact in the global financial market.

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China, the world’s second largest economy and a key market for many nations, , as the manufacturing industry contracted for the fifth month straight in December. This suggests that the government may have to implement new policies to prevent a potential slowdown. The services sector ended positively, but the economy as a whole is still on track to grow at its slowest pace in a quarter of a century.

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In a , Jane Porter discusses the psychology of the average workday, giving tips on how to get more out of each day. In today’s blog, we will look some of the suggestions given in the article, as well as take a broader look to see how a normal workday might differ in several countries. One of the main takeaways from the article is that workers should look at the workday as , instead of one single eight-hour period to accomplish their tasks. Splitting the day into sections takes advantage of what psychology tells us about our brains and behaviors, and may help workers accomplish more of the goals they set out for themselves.

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Infrastructure is the foundation of economic and social well-being anywhere in the world. Currently, all across the globe, there is a . It is estimated by , a multinational professional services firm, that to close this gap by 2030 it will require upwards of $50 trillion U.S. dollars. It is now more important than ever to get this infrastructure procurement right through project financing and public-private partnerships (PPPs).