Highlights of APEC 2015

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum of 21 Pacific Rim member countries that promotes free trade in the region. They are linked by their boundary with the Pacific Ocean. As such, India which has asked to join has not been allowed to do so.

Established in 1989, its aim is to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific economies. The member countries include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, United States, and Vietnam. The total GDP of all the APEC countries is $44 trillion as of 2014. US and China account for over 60% of the total, more than all the other members combined.

Apec GDP

APEC ensures that goods, services, investment and people move easily across borders. Members facilitate this trade through faster customs procedures at borders; more favorable business climates behind the border; and aligning regulations and standards across the region. APEC operates as a cooperative, multilateral economic and trade forum. Member economies participate on the basis of open dialogue and respect for views of all participants.

The theme of this year’s APEC Summit held in the Philippines is “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.”

Some of the highlights from the summit include the following commitments:

  1. To support comprehensive and ambitious structural reforms; achieve positive economic, social, and environmental outcomes; and promote good governance. We recognize that corruption impedes economic sustainability and development and agree to combat the harmful effects of the illegal economy and to promote cultures of integrity across borders, markets, and supply chains.
  1. To foster an enabling trading environment that is responsive to new ways in which goods and services are produced and delivered and that promotes inclusiveness, especially for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. We need to develop policies that take full advantage of global value chains (GVC) and encourage greater participation and added value. We will promote competition, entrepreneurship, and innovation through effective and comprehensive measures, including balanced intellectual property (IP) systems and capacity-building.
  1. To build sustainable and disaster-resilient economies. We welcome and adopt the APEC Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Framework to facilitate collective work in building adaptive and disaster-resilient economies supporting inclusive and sustainable development in the face of the “new normal.”
  1. To make urbanization work for growth. We remain committed to a new type of urbanization featuring green, energy-efficient, low-carbon, and people-oriented development.
  1. To redouble our efforts to empower our people with the tools to benefit from and participate in economic growth. In the current environment characterized by the rapid and ubiquitous use of technology, our people, in particular women and youth, need to be equipped not only with technical skills in science, technology, and innovation but must also be adaptable and resilient.

Occurring shortly after the Paris attacks, the summit also made a statement about terrorism and its impact to the global economy.

“We will not allow terrorism to threaten the fundamental values that underpin our free and open economies. Economic growth, prosperity, and opportunity are among the most powerful tools to address the root causes of terrorism and radicalization. We stress the urgent need for increased international cooperation and solidarity in the fight against terrorism. “

Read the full 2015 APEC declaration here: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/132206/full-text-2015-apec-economic-leaders-declaration-in-manila

Sources:

The 2015 World Robot Conference in Beijing

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 10.42.35 AMThe World Robot Conference will be held in Beijing this year from Nov. 23 to 25, focusing on the building of an intelligent society and collaborative innovation. The number of industrial robots sold in China reached 57,000 last year, which marked an increase of 55 percent on a year-on-year basis and one-quarter of global sales.

The government is drafting a plan to boost China’s robot research, development and application in key manufacturing fields, and to improve the country’s inadequate capacity to produce high-end robots independently.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 10.42.50 AMThe event will comprise a forum, an exhibition and an international robot competition for teenagers. More than 40,000 participants are expected.Speakers from China, Germany, the United States and Japan will deliver reports on such topics as robot research and technology development. An exhibit will be held featuring the latest products, while research findings will also be showcased during the three-day event. There are 130 teams aged 8-15 from around the world attending the World Adolescent Robot Contest (WARC 2015), where children will compete using Lego robots with each other.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 10.42.43 AMI believe that robots will be the next revolution in technology just like PCs, cell phones or tablets. The robots will be part of our daily life, and one day, we wouldn’t be able to imagine our life without one. Robots become so simple that even children are able to build them for international competitions. The next revolution consists of robots, and is already in front of the door or has already entered without us noticing… maybe later on we can tell our grandchildren that we discovered the new Steve or Stephanie Jobs at the conference.

contact warc@czinkota.de

Sarah Czinkota, a 12-year-old student at the Bischof-Neumann-Schule in Königstein/Taunus, is a member of robot team “plasma”, which represents Germany in the junior age group at WARC 2015 in Beijing.

 

2015 Global Markets Trends & Forecasts

Global GDP2

2014 gave us a few unexpected turns in the global economy. There was the concern over the long-lasting effects of Ebola, the ISIS, and Ukraine. Aggressive policies regarding climate change have yet to take effect. The economic recovery of Western Europe and Japan are faltering. Brazil, Russia, and China’s growth have come to a halt and are slowing down. The United States, however, has continued its positive recovery and there seems to be a lot of changes in store for international business this coming year. Let’s get ready for 2015.

  • Slow but steady growth in the global economy

The global economy is taking longer than anticipated to recover from the debt bubble. The IMF projected that the world economy would be at 4.8 percent by 2015. However, 2014 ended with only a 3 percent growth overall. While the United States has pretty much met its growth targets, the disappointments came from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies, Western Europe, and Japan. Forecasts have been adjusted for the coming year with an estimated growth of 3.4 percent for 2015.

  • Emerging markets dominate

Emerging markets rather than developed economies will fuel much of the growth. The United States will still be a major player in the overall growth of the global economies. However, Western Europe and Japan will grow only an estimated 1 percent and China’s 7 percent will be its lowest in 15 years. Much of the growth will come from Asia and Africa. Specifically, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey will be on the watchlist for booming economies.

  • Oil prices will continue to fall

The demand for oil will decline due to alternative sources and supply in other areas of the world. This will lead to the continued fall of oil prices affecting countries such as Iran, Nigeria, and Russia.

  • Climate change will still be a threat

Record-high temperatures continue to be seen with Antartica experiencing its coldest winter so far. Coal is still highly used and international policies to curb this practice are weak. This may lead to drastic effects such as shortages in water and the supply of world’s food system and inevitably contributing to world hunger.

  • Innovation, new technologies and hacks will continue to affect us

While spending is somewhat low and demand is weak, businesses are in a better position for recovery by investing in new technologies to get ahead of competition and for future savings. The search for more fuel-efficient machines by Boeing and Airbus is an example of this trend. Another example, is with the United States, who has contributed to innovations in oil drilling thus resulting in an oil boom and affecting world prices.

The global outlook for 2015 should be better than 2014. It may not be much, but it’s way better than negative.

How will these trends affect you and your company? Tell us what you think.

Sources:

  1. http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/outlook/2015/index.html#infographic
  2. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-11-06/2015-global-economic-outlook-better-than-2014-but-not-by-much
  3. http://www.businessinsider.com/business-insider-global-20-2014-2014-1?op=1