Even though world merchandise trade growth is expected to rise just one percent through the end of this year, U.S. businesses are optimistic about trade over the next six months, buoyed by the prospect of changes to government trade regulations, and momentum in the current U.S. domestic economy, according to the latest findings from the U.S. HSBC Global Connections Trade Forecast.
A battle for leadership is erupting in a variety of industries across Africa, with Africa-focused companies and multinationals vying for market share and each group counting on its unique strengths to gain an advantage, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Dueling with Lions: Playing the New Game of Business Success in Africa.
If there had been any doubt as to how quickly the global economic landscape - and the market perceptions of it - can change, it would have been erased by events during August and September 2015. Concerns about the Chinese economy and fretting over the next move by the U.S. Federal Reserve triggered massive global market volatility in stocks, commodity prices, and exchange rates. And that turmoil underscored a critical imperative: leaders of companies operating around the world need to move beyond old views and conventional wisdom as they set global strategies.
You feel the energy soon after disembarking at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. All of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, seems to throb with bustling masses of people. Bridges, expressway overpasses, and major new neighborhoods are continually under construction. Evidence of the country's rising disposable income is on display at crowded shopping malls such as Jamuna Future Park, the largest in South Asia, and new billboards, which seem to cover every available space, advertise products as varied as packaged foods and smartphones.
Despite a concerted push to expand their overseas presence in recent decades, few companies are ready to build and run truly global organizations and operations, according to a survey of executives conducted jointly by The Boston Consulting Group and IMD business school.
Success in the global economy requires a shift in strategic vision of the Asia-Pacific region's role in supply chains. While it is no secret that an end to low-cost production in Asia is in sight, smart companies are studying the complexity of APAC region and gaining insight into the roles each country plays in the quickly evolving economic horizon. But visibility into where APAC is today isn't enough; forecasting where it will be next year, five years from now, and further into the future are key to positioning supply chains now for ongoing optimization.
Analyst Insight: With stories of Ebola and Boko Haram dominating the news, it would be easy to dismiss Africa from a supply chain perspective. Risk is clearly high and traditional reasons to engage supply chain - either for low-cost sourcing or new market entry - may seem absent. The truth, however, is that many supply chain leaders should start thinking now about how to engage this vital emerging market. - Kevin O’Marah, Chief Content Officer, SCM World
The evidence of strengthening in African manufacturing is increasingly persuasive. Between 2000 and 2010, the share of the African population living on less than $1.25 per day fell from 58 percent to 48 percent. In no small part, the falling rate of extreme poverty is driven by much-improved output performance.