Northern Europe may have a cold climate, but for many women it is paradise nonetheless. In matters of gender equality, Nordic countries lead the way, according to the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report, issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
We all know that Europe faces a looming demographic crisis of existential proportions—not a single country on the European continent claims a fertility rate at or above replacement rate (2.1). As a result, aging populations and shrinking workforces will contribute to unsustainable social spending and stunted economic growth. Now more than ever, these countries need a solution to overcome the problems that accompany industrial modernization. Beyond implementing short-term economic fixes and relaxing immigration quotas, enacting policies that reduce the economic gender gap is a common-sense solution.
Businesses and governments around the world are beginning to come to terms with the new reality of the post-financial crisis era. There is a critical need to unleash growth, to leverage emerging trends in technology, market needs, and society to expand enterprise and economic opportunity. Success in breaking through to a new wave of growth and prosperity will depend increasingly on human capital and brain power.
Many immigrants dream of improved lives in their adopted country, but the reality is not quite as majestic. While life in wealthier countries may be better, particularly when one’s financial situation is improved, immigrants often discover that their new life has not made them happier.
The global economy is still reeling under the impact of the recent financial crisis. Advanced and developing economies alike are grappling with the fact that the global economic recovery has not only been a jobless recovery, but also a weakening one. Although each region has its unique challenges, a common threat, which the global economy at large is facing, is rising unemployment—particularly youth unemployment.
In late August 2013, the World Economic Forum released a report titled “Technology Pioneers 2014,” which identifies companies that are finding new and innovative solutions to current problems. The list is largely dominated by companies focusing on four different areas: medicine and healthcare, big data, education, and green technology. These, accordingly, are the current areas where the most progress from technology is expected.
“At the time this [Global Competitiveness] Report is being released, the world economy continues to emerge slowly from the serious economic crisis of the post-World War II period—one that has deeply transformed the global economy and highlighted the increasingly important role that emerging markets and developing economies play in the global economy.” The 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Report focuses on the short-term patterns for 184 states, ranking them for the current year and extending general policy suggestions for each state to improve their competitiveness in the future.
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.
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