Much has been said about the role of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in international trade, especially since its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. The rise of the PRC has been fostered by ever-increasing global production processes, now highly-fragmented and located in different regions of the planet. This development has enabled China to occupy a central role in the productive processes of multinational companies, so that most of manufactured goods on world markets now bear the “Made in China” label.
In November 2011, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote an op-ed piece for Foreign Policy magazine declaring that the future of politics will be decided in Asia, not the Middle East, thus declaring it imperative that the U.S. pivot its economic, political, diplomatic, and strategic resources and investments to the Asia-Pacific region. If this transformation of policy and perspective should come to fruition, then the negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)-essentially a free trade agreement-is not only fundamental, but virtually necessary if the U.S. were to succeed in cementing its presence not only in the East, but also the Pacific region.
There will be no currency wars. Or so the G7 tried to say in February. A week later the G20 released a similar statement claiming its nations will not target their exchange rates in search of a competitive edge. Yet the message was deemed too vague by financial markets and did little to ease concerns from emerging economies that their growth will be hampered by monetary policies of major developed nations.
Does manufacturing really matter these days? This was the big question of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) "Future of Manufacturing: Opportunities to Drive Economic Growth" report in April 2012. In summary the findings revealed that indeed manufacturing does still matter. In May 2013 the WEF, in collaboration with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, published a follow-up report, Manufacturing for Growth: Strategies for Driving Growth and Employment. Based on discussions with more than 70 chief executives and other senior executives, as well as workshops with industry, academic and policy leaders held over the course of 2012, the second report puts forth policy recommendations for the manufacturing sector in six countries: Germany, Japan, the United States, Brazil, China, and India. The key drivers behind a successful advanced manufacturing strategy, the report reveals, are a competitive tax system, free and fair trade, education and talent development, energy efficiency, and technology and innovation.
The American workforce, and the global economy as a whole, is going through a change. Baby Boomers, who have had an astronomical influence on the global economy, are beginning to leave the work force. The Millennial generation—those born within that last thirty years—has begun to exit college and enter the workforce en masse, and soon the world’s business leaders will comprise of this “tech native” group. However, the question has been raised time and time again: are Millennials up to the task? How much confidence do older generations have in this younger generation as the future? How do Millennials view themselves, and their current situation? What is the future of American business?
As I have often said, I have been fortunate throughout my career. When I started APCO nearly 30 years ago, I had little more than a vision and the courage to pursue it. Nothing quite like APCO had ever really existed before, and starting a business from scratch is especially challenging. Like any person starting down a new path, I needed guidance to help me address things I had never encountered. Fortunately, I have never been afraid to ask for help, and many senior professionals from the Greatest Generation were willing to help me and serve as mentors when I reached out. I learned a lot from being exposed to their thinking and their experience over the years.
We are living in a time when technology is changing the way we interact with each other and the ecosystem around us. Globally, access to mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, and a host of other affordable devices is bringing the power of computing to our palms in the comfort of our homes and offices. The world today has almost as many cell phone subscriptions as inhabitants. There are currently 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, which roughly equals 87 percent of the world’s population. Further, an estimated 2.3 billion people—which translates to one in every three of the world's 7 billion people—are internet users.
The global economy has had a number of difficult years, and the outlook for the near future does not look much better. Most observers agree that the current quagmire is not just a protracted but ultimately cyclical challenge. It is a sign that the growth recipes of the previous decade have either failed or lost their effectiveness.
What does it take for a company to create a good brand? For the majority of the 20th century it relied solely on meeting the expectations of the consumers. In a time commonly referred to as the “Push-Communications Era,” corporations were easily built by supplying the products consumers wanted, as well as creating a name that people came to recognize. Consumers trusted corporations; and when they spoke, the people listened. Many modern day corporations, such as Ford, got their start decades ago; and they are still around because consumers trusted them, even in difficult times.
This seven-day crowdsourced brainstorming exercise drew over 60 analysts from around the world to collaboratively explore the jobs of tomorrow in response to socioeconomic trends and technological advances. In the drill, analysts outlined brand-new jobs that can employ the next generation by identifying what sets the stage for these jobs, the demand for the job (and the ensuing regulatory environment affecting this emerging field), the job description, and finally the people who will hold these jobs (what skills they need and what their career path will look like).
The resulting 38 entries, bundled into four Master Narratives, capture the shifting job landscape by answering two primary questions:
Copyright 2006-2013 The Diplomatic Courier™. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.