Global Business

“International reserves, in this table, refer to total reserves minus gold. According to the IMF definition, “total reserves minus gold” consist of the sum of the country’s foreign exchange, its reserve position in the IMF and the U.S. dollar value of SDR holdings by its monetary authorities. (SDR – special drawing rights)”The UNCTAD handbook states that the following list of nations had the corresponding international reserves in the year 2004, in U.S. dollars by millions:

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Costa Rica 1,921.8

Indonesia 34,952.5

Lebanon 11,734.6

Nigeria 16,955.6

South Africa 19,972.8

According to the reported statistics Indonesia had the highest estimated level of international reserves while Costa Rica had the lowest. (UNCTAD Handbook online, (

It is clear that these statistics represent a significant indicator of the level of protection that each economy has in light of economic turbulence, yet it is also clear that these numbers are insignificant in comparison to more developed nations. In short this statistic is only a small part of the picture that might support a nation in the event of economic instability. The single statistic might not reflect other safeguards held by the nation or the level to which the nation is supported by external supports, such as loans from other nations or precious metal reserves. It might also not reflect private and private business reserves.

2. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy in combination with demographic statistics from the UN world population database the U.S. is the highest per capita consumer of energy, in all its forms. The U.S. uses nearly a quarter of all energy used in the world and far outweighs the amounts used by other developed and developing nations. (BP SRWE ( World Population Prospects (

Consumption in general follows a pattern of GDP growth. As GDP growth increases the amount of energy used by the nation also increases, with the exception of the U.S. And a few other developed and developing nations, as developing nations are frequently in transition while the U.S. seems to be anomalous in energy use, as a result in part of attempts to reduce energy cost, making it plentiful and relatively cheap for an extended period of time, as well as the emphasis of the U.S., since the industrial revolution on products and services which utilize large amounts of fuel, personal automobiles being one of the largest consumers of energy.

As world populations grows, especially in industrialized nations and in emerging industrialized nations energy consumption will also grow, as has been seen in the past with population growth. Population growth in a strong or growing economy increases energy consumption while population growth in a more traditional economy seems to have only limited effect on energy consumption.

3. Argentina is a significant nation for the development of a private boat market, such as what would be needed to satisfy the criterion of the management of the pontoon company. Argentina contains 11 of the 61 important wetlands that occur in South America as a whole, a greater number than any other South American nation. (EarthTrends Country Profile Argentina ( in addition Argentina boasts a growing ecotourism infrastructure, as well as a relatively stable political environment that allows tourists as well as natives to travel with limited fear and therefore utilize the resources available. Pontoons are specifically suited for exploration of wetlands areas with limited effect on the ecosystem and a greater speed than traditional unaided crafts. The private boating industry in Argentina is also relatively strong and growing.

Argentina also has a significant number of known species of fish and bird wildlife that draw tourism and boating craft. (EarthTrends Country Profile Argentina ( Additionally, Argentina has had a significantly difficult last few years economically and is constantly seeking international investment, to increase and maintain the economy and provide more stable employment for its many out of work residents. A pontoon manufacturer would likely be well suited for such a task as it would provide both skilled and unskilled jobs as well as support a tourism industry, which again brings stable income to the nation with lower cost to the infrastructure.

4. Gender participation in labor varies by country as a result of many mitigating factors, associated with demographics, labor needs, available infrastructure for family support and to some degree the need of both women and men to work. Many people both expert and otherwise deem the statistic of women and men working as essential to development of an economy. According to the U.S. department of labor in 2006 the following countries had the corresponding percentages of men and women working in the labor force.

Blue equals percentage of men

Yellow equals percentage of women



A blue equals 73.5% yellow equals 59.4%

Japan blue equals 73.0% yellow equals 47.9%

France blue equals 62.4% yellow equals 50.9%

Germany blue equals 65.7% yellow equals 51.2%

Sweden blue equals 69.3% yellow equals 60.8%

According to this data the country with the least disparity among these five nations is Sweden has the lowest disparity between male and female workers at an 8.5% disparity and Japan has the highest at a 25.1% disparity. Sweden therefore ranks #1, France #2 (11.5%) the U.S. ranks #3 (14.1%), Germany ranks #4 (14.5), and Japan ranks #5.

US Department of Labor (

5. According to the text for this class immigration policy is a significant factor for the examination of labor mobility. Immigration or migration rates are a tell tale sign of this information. For the most part Europe has a relatively moderate migration rate, while some nations within it seem to have a relatively high migration rate. The following lists, first represent the EU nations, i.e. members of the European Union followed by their net migration rate from the CIA world Factbook. The remaining list is non-members of the EU still in Europe and a few candidate members to the EU.

EU States followed by net migration rates for 2008

Austria 1.88 per 1000, Belgium 1.22, Bulgaria -3.41, Cyprus 0.42, Czech Republic 0.97, Denmark 2.49, Estonia -3.24, Finland 0.73, France 1.48, Germany 2.19, Greece 2.33, Hungary 0.86, Ireland 4.76, Italy 2.06, Latvia -2.29, Lithuania -0.72, Luxembourg 8.54, Malta 2.03, Netherlands 2.55, Poland -0.46, Portugal 3.23, Romania -0.13, Slovakia 0.3, Slovenia 0.64, Spain 0.99, Sweden 1.66, UK 2.17

Non-EU States (or EU Candidates in Europe) followed by net migration rate

Albania -4.41, Bosnia/Herzegovina 6.38, Croatia 1.58, Macedonia -0.57, Moldova -1.13, Norway 1.71, Serbia (unknown), Switzerland 2.21,

According to the CIA world Factbook the five nations in Europe with the highest net migration rates (2008) are as follows:

Luxembourg 8.54, Bosnia/Herzegovina 6.38, Ireland 4.76, Portugal 3.23 and Denmark 2.49 per 1000 people in the population. (CIA World Factbook

According to the collaborative top 100 brand ranking system (sponsored by Business Week and Interbrand and collected from information provided by Interbrand, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and BusinessWeek) brands first must pass an initial screening to be considered,”…to qualify for the list, each brand must derive at least a third of its earnings outside its home country, be recognizable outside of its base of customers, and have publicly available marketing and financial data.” The collaboration then stresses that certain brands remain exempt from consideration if they are privately traded or if their circumstances are limited or difficult to track.

Those criteria eliminate heavyweights like Visa, which is privately-held, and Wal-Mart, which sometimes operates under different brand names internationally. Interbrand only ranks the strength of individual brand names, not portfolios of brands, which is why Procter & Gamble doesn’t show up. Airlines are not ranked because it’s too hard to separate their brands’ impact on sales from factors such as routes and schedules. And this year, Interbrand removed pharmaceutical brands from the ranking because consumers typically relate to the product rather than the corporate brand. Insurance companies were added because they have begun to differentiate themselves and create household names.” (Business Week, Aug, 2007 (

According to Business week the affinity to Interbrand’s ranking system has to do with the fact that the organization evaluates brands in the same manner that other corporate assets are valued, or by how much future earning potential an asset has.

Interbrand uses a combination of analysts’ projections, company financial documents, and its own qualitative and quantitative analysis to arrive at a net present value of those earnings. step one is calculating how much of a company’s total sales fall under a particular brand. In some cases the brand encompasses nearly all sales, as with McDonald’s. In others it is tied to only one set of products: Marlboro within Altria Group. Using reports from analysts at JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, Interbrand projects five years of sales and earnings tied to each brand’s products and services. step TWO is calculating how much of those earnings result from the power of the brand itself. To do this, Interbrand strips out operating costs, taxes, and charges for the capital employed to arrive at the earnings attributable to intangible assets. The brand’s role is then estimated within those earnings vs. other intangible assets such as patents and management strength. Finally, those future earnings are discounted to arrive at a net present value. Interbrand discounts against current interest rates and also against the brand’s overall risk profile to factor in brand strength. Considerations include market leadership, stability, and global reach — or the ability to cross both geographic and cultural borders. The final result values the brand as a financial asset. BusinessWeek and Interbrand believe this figure comes closest to representing a brand’s true economic worth. (Business Week, Aug, 2007 (

Among the top 100 brands the U.S. has the largest representation with a full 52 brands on the list. This is comparable to no other nation. The U.S. also boast the highest rankings in high tech brands, producing electronic support systems, like software and PCs and/or support functions for them, as well as food and beverage provider brands, while Japan and Germany have a greater representation among auto brands than other nations.

7. According to the Mercer Cost of Living Survey the top 10 cities in the cost of living index are as follows:

Rank March 2008 Rank March 2007 City Country Cost of living Index March 2008 Cost of living Index March 2007 1-1 Moscow Russia 142.4 134.4-2-4 Tokyo Japan 127.0 122.1-3-2 London UK 125.0 126.3-4-10 Oslo Norway 118.3 105.8-5-3 Seoul South Korea 117.7 122.4-6-5 Hong Kong China 117.6 119.4-7-6 Copenhagen Denmark 117.2 110.2-8-7 Geneva Switzerland 115.8 109.8-9-9 Zurich Switzerland 112.7 107.6-10-11 Milan Italy 111.3 104.4

Cost of living is an important factor in indicating the price that should be set in any given market for a product or service. The cost of living indicates the nature of the value of certain items, both essential and non-essential and then stresses the importance of the market on setting prices strategically and wisely, when entering or maintaining a product in any given market. In areas where cost of living is high and wages are low moderate or stagnant setting prices for superlative items or services or support services, for those needing to work long hours to maintain their home and lifestyle is essential. In areas where cost of living is low, it is not uncommon for wages to remain low but for prices to be set accordingly. Each aspect of the cost of living of a city or region is essential to the development of a strategic pricing analysis for any international market. To engender price competitiveness one must identify similar products and create a competitive pricing strategy, including initial findings on cost of living, which can include broad categories including some types of products or services, such as what is compiled by Mercer on a year by year basis. (Mercer’s 2008 Cost of Living rankings (

8. According to Mercer HR consulting the quality of living of any given city is determined by several factors, and is based upon the quality of living for an immigrant i.e. expatriate of another nation from the outside looking in; the political and social environment (e.g. stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.), the economic environment (e.g. currency exchange regulations, banking services), socio-cultural environment (e.g. censorship, limitations on personal freedom), health and sanitation (e.g. medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution), schools and education (e.g. standard and availability of international schools), public services and transportation (e.g. electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion), recreation (e.g. restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure) consumer goods (e.g. availability of food/daily consumption items, cars), housing (e.g. housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services), and finally the natural environment (e.g. climate, record of natural disasters). The total number of factors, only some listed above include 39 key factors which are grouped according to the above categories and compared based on a baseline.

50 cities: Quality of living

Base City: New York, U.S. (=100)

Rank 2008 Rank 2007 City Country Index 2008 Index 2007 1-1 Zurich Switzerland 108-108.1-2-3 Vienna Austria 107.9 107.7-2-2 Geneva Switzerland 107.9 108.0-4-3 Vancouver Canada 107.6 107.7-5-5 Auckland New Zealand 107.3 107.3-6-5 Dusseldorf Germany 107.2 107.3-7-8 Munich Germany 107-106.9-7-7 Frankfurt Germany 107-107.1-9-9 Bern Switzerland 106.5 106.5-10 9 Sydney Australia 106.3 106.5-11-11 Copenhagen Denmark 106.2 106.2-12-12 Wellington New Zealand 105.8 105.8-13-13 Amsterdam the Netherlands 105.7 105.7-14-14 Brussels Belgium 105.4 105.6-15-15 Toronto Canada 105.3 105.4-16-16 Berlin Germany 105-105.2-17-17 Melbourne Australia 104.8 105.0-17-18 Luxembourg 104.8 104.8-19-18 Ottawa Canada 104.7 104.8-20-20 Stockholm Sweden 104.5 104.7-21-21 Perth Australia 104.3 104.5-22-22 Montreal Canada 104.2 104.3-23-23 Nurnberg Germany 104.1 104.2-24-26 Oslo Norway 103.7 103.5-25-27 Dublin Ireland 103.5 103.3-25-24 Calgary Canada 103.5 103.6-27-24 Hamburg Germany 103.4 103.6-28-27 Honolulu, HI United States 103.1 103.3-29-29 San Francisco, CA United States 103-103.2-29-30 Helsinki Finland 103-103.1-29-30 Adelaide Australia 103-103.1-32-34 Singapore 102.9 102.5-32-33 Paris France 102.9 102.7-34-32 Brisbane Australia 102.4 102.8-35-35 Tokyo Japan 102.2 102.3-36-36 Lyon France 101.9 101.9-37-36 Boston, MA United States 101.8 101.9-38-38 Yokohama Japan 101.6 101.7-38-39 London United Kingdom 101.6 101.2-40-40 Kobe Japan 100.9 101.0-41-49 Milan Italy 100.8-99.9-42-41 Barcelona Spain 100.6 100.6-43-42 Madrid Spain 100.5 100.5-44-44 Washington, DC United States 100.3 100.4-44-42 Osaka Japan 100.3 100.5-44-47 Lisbon Portugal 100.3 100.1-44-44 Chicago, IL United States 100.3 100.4-48-46 Portland, or United States 100.2 100.3-49-48 New York City, NY United States 100-100.0-50-49 Seattle, WA United States 99.8-99.9

Mercer Quality of Living Ranking 2008, (

Table 1 Indexes of Living Costs Abroad, January 2008 – Continued

Washington, D.C. = 100)

Country and City


Exchange Rate1







Per U.S.$






New Sol

Table 2. Quarters Allowances, January 2008

Exchange Rate

Annual Allowance by family status and salary range

Country and City






Less Than 51,739 to 81,093 and Unit

Per U.S.$



Australia: Melbourne





US Department of State Indexes Living Costs Abroad Quarters January 2008, (


BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2008, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

Business Week, Aug, 2007, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

CIA World Factbook, 2008, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

EarthTrends Country Profile Argentina 2007, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

Mercer’s 2008 Cost of Living rankings, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

Mercer Quality of Living Ranking 2008, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

UN World Population Prospects, 2006, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

UNCTAD Handbook online, 2008, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

US Department of Labor, 2008, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

US Department of State Indexes Living Costs Abroad Quarters, January 2008, retrieved 8, 15, 2008:

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