World Economies’ Ranking According to WB

Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Laos are economies with the lowest prices according to a review of economic data which seeks to measure spending power across countries and compensate for exchange rate effects

The United States, the world’s largest economy finds itself in the 25th place,which is relatively lower than most other high-income countries.

The countries with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita on a purchasing power parity basis, were Qatar, Macao, Luxembourg, Kuwait, and Brunei.

Eight countries, including Malawi, Mozambique and Liberia, had GDP per capita of less than $1,000.

In this review World bank used slightly different methodology and country mix compared to the previous exercise back in 2005, middle-income countries received a bigger share of the global economy, at the expense of both low- and high- income peers.

Source: Reuters/Chicago Tribune 7:11 p.m. CDTApril 29, 2014 (Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Jonathan Oatis).

Read the whole article here.

Why Not Show Your Face to the World?

With todays class period focusing on “Faith and Culture in the International Workplace,” it follows that the current event reported should highlight a key battle around the world: how should governments and businesses respond to the religious use of Islamic head coverings commonly known as burkas?

On September 22nd, voters of the Ticino Canton in Switzerland voiced their opinions. A “Canton” in Switzerland is the rough equivalent of a state here in the US. A resounding two thirds of voters backed a bill that stated: nobody in public streets or squares may veil or hide their face.” While the wording of the plan does not specifically mention Islamic practice, burkas or niqabs, the law is aimed predominately at Muslim women. Giorgio Ghiringhelli, the man responsible for initiating the bill, states that the ban “puts a stop to the inevitable spread of niqabs and burkas.” This xenophobia has played a major role on the international scale since 2011, when France outlawed the wearing of burqas in Public. While the bill was rejected upon reaching the Swiss parliament, it emphasizes growing tensions around the world that not only raise issues of human rights, but also lead us to question the impacts on international interactions.

At the time, the article rose questions of the laws effect on tourism. Surely no Muslim women would travel to Switzerland with this law in effect. But many people were not worried, believing that regardless of the law, not many people from Arab nations visit Switzerland anyway. But on the large scale, these types of laws could greatly influence international business practices because they limit the spread of businesses practices. Any company with origins in an Islamic country would most likely think twice about creating a branch of business in a country that considers outlawing its basic beliefs of female modesty. Thereby causing any country with a law outlawing burqas or other religious head covering to lose a significant amount of business.

This text was written and presented by Mr. Nima Malek, Student at the McDonough School of Business of Georgetown University in the course on International Business (STRT-261-01) on October 28th, 2013. You can contact the author here.

Private Label Products: Competition or a New Opportunity

Branded products are facing increasing competition worldwide from private label goods from intermediaries. Thanks to an increase in price sensitivity and a decrease in brand loyalty as consumers look to save money, private label products are enjoying significant penetration in many regions. A study of seven countries by the Private Label Manufacturers Association revealed that private label market share has exceeded 40 percent in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. Market share for retailer brands is at an all-time high in France and Spain, where one of every three products sold carries a private label.

While private brand success is known to be strongly affected by economic conditions and the self-interest of retailers who want to improve their bottom lines, other factors contributing to the growth include improved quality and the development of segmented private brand products. Some private label brands even have a premium category now. Emboldened by the success of private label brands, manufacturers have expanded this “privatization” to new product categories, hoping to expand the success.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Czinkota’s book Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead, co-authored by Dr. Ilkka Ronkainen.

Michael R Czinkota and Ilkka A Ronkainen, Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead (New York: Routledge, 2011), pg. 187.