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The Internet Economy – Regulatory Challenges and Practices

November 20, 2014 Comments off

The Internet Economy – Regulatory Challenges and Practices
Source: OECD

The Internet has become an integral part of the everyday life of households, firms and governments. Its proper functioning over the long run is therefore crucial for economic growth and people’s wellbeing more generally. The success of the Internet depends on its openness and the confidence of users. Designing policies that protect society while allowing for Internet’s great economic potential to be fulfilled, is a difficult task. This paper investigates this challenge and takes stock of existing regulations in OECD and selected non-OECD countries in specific areas related to the digital economy. It finds that despite the regulatory difficulties, the Internet is far from being a “regulation-free” space as there are various industry standards, co-regulatory agreements between industry and the government, and in some cases also state regulation. Most of them aim at protecting personal data and consumers more generally. In many cases generally applicable laws and regulations exist that address privacy, security and consumer protection issues both in the traditional and the digital economy.

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CRS — Contracting with Inverted Domestic Corporations: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (November 7, 2014)

November 18, 2014 Comments off

Contracting with Inverted Domestic Corporations: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Recent reports that certain entities continued to receive federal government contracts after reincorporating overseas have prompted questions about current and proposed restrictions on contracting with “inverted domestic corporations.” These questions are shaped, in part, by the broader debate over whether such corporations are to be seen as “deserters,” who change their corporate citizenship to avoid paying U.S. taxes, or as evidencing systemic problems in the U.S. tax code. However, they also reflect a long-standing debate over whether the federal procurement process should be used to promote particular socioeconomic goals which some assert are tangential to the primary purpose of the procurement process (i.e., acquiring the supplies and services that best meet the government’s needs at the lowest price).

Congress has sought to discourage corporate inversions by barring certain contracts with inverted domestic corporations ever since it enacted the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296, §835). As amended, this act prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from awarding a contract to an inverted domestic corporation, or a subsidiary thereof, unless the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that a waiver is necessary in the interest of national security. The act also establishes its own definition of inverted domestic corporation, which is different from that in the Internal Revenue Code. Subsequent legislation imposed similar prohibitions upon other agencies, although only as to funds appropriated or otherwise made available under specific acts of Congress. However, some commentators have argued that inverted domestic corporations have continued to receive federal contracts because of “loopholes” or “gaps” in these measures. Thus, some Members of the 113th Congress have proposed legislation—or requested executive action—to reduce or remove opportunities for inverted domestic corporations to receive government contracts.

This report provides the answers to 14 frequently asked questions regarding the current restrictions on contracting with inverted domestic corporations, proposed amendments thereto, and the relationship between prohibitions upon contracting with inverted domestic corporations and other provisions of law that restrict dealings with “foreign” contractors.

Think Tank 20 — Growth, Convergence, and Income Distribution: The Road From the Brisbane G-20 Summit

November 14, 2014 Comments off

Think Tank 20 — Growth, Convergence, and Income Distribution: The Road From the Brisbane G-20 Summit
Source: Brookings Institution

On November 15-16, world leaders will gather in Brisbane, Australia for the ninth G-20 summit. Leaders are aiming to increase world GDP and chart a pathway to sustainable, inclusive growth and resilience through both short and medium-term actions. In this report, experts from Brookings and around the world address interrelated debates about growth, convergence and income distribution, three key elements that are likely to shape policy debates beyond the Brisbane summit.

A pocket guide to doing business in China

November 7, 2014 Comments off

A pocket guide to doing business in China
Source: McKinsey & Company

China, a $10 trillion economy growing at 7 percent annually, is a never-before-seen force reshaping our global economy. Over the past 30 years, the Chinese government has at times opened the door wide for foreign companies to participate in its domestic economic growth. At other times, it has kept the door firmly closed. While some global leaders, such as automotive original-equipment manufacturers, have turned China into their single largest source of profits, others, especially in the service sectors, have been challenged to capture a meaningful share of revenue or profits.

This article summarizes some of the trends shaping the next phase of China’s economic growth, which industries might benefit the most, and what could potentially go wrong. It also lays out what I believe it takes to build a successful, large-scale, and profitable business in China today as a foreign company.

Global Connectedness Index 2014

November 5, 2014 Comments off

Global Connectedness Index 2014
Source: DHL

DHL released the third edition of its Global Connectedness Index (GCI), a detailed analysis of the state of globalization around the world. The latest report shows that global connectedness, measured by cross-border flows of trade, capital, information and people, has recovered most of its losses incurred during the financial crisis. Especially the depth of international interactions – the proportion of interactions that cross national borders – gained momentum in 2013 after its recovery had stalled in the previous year. Nonetheless, trade depth, as a distinct dimension of globalization, continues to stagnate and the overall level of global connectedness remains quite limited, implying that there could be gains of trillions of US dollars if boosted in future years.

Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges
Source: European Commission/OECD

To address the effects of population ageing, the EU will need to close the gender gap and increase the participation of young and older workers in the labour market, but mobility and migration also have a key role to play. This is the main finding of the joint Commission-OECD report on Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs published today.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented “This joint report with the OECD offers valuable guidance on the serious demographic challenges ahead. Ensuring fair labour mobility within the EU, improving training to close skills gaps, ensuring decent working conditions to workers and better integration of non-EU workers can be part of the solution to population ageing and future skill shortages in the European labour market”.

Technology an Underused Tool in Emerging Market Supply Chains, Finds New Accenture Study

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Technology an Underused Tool in Emerging Market Supply Chains, Finds New Accenture Study
Source: Accenture

Despite the vital role that technology plays in helping companies manage the complexity and volatility in global operations, only 48 percent of the more than 1,000 global companies surveyed for a new Accenture (NYSE: ACN) study use technology extensively in their emerging market supply chains.

Furthermore, 45 percent of the companies from 10 industry sectors sampled for the study, “Supply Chain Success Factors in Emerging Markets,” make only moderate use of technology, automating some essential activities but supporting them with manual processes. The Accenture research also identified ‘supply chain leaders’ from the sample and found that 73 percent of them use technology extensively in the supply chains that support their emerging market presence, versus only 31 percent of lower performers. In fact, nearly three-quarters of the leaders said they had made heavy investments in such automation tools as manufacturing systems, ERP and supply chain systems.

The commitment to technology by supply chain leaders is significant as the study revealed that companies with leading supply chains are more likely to generate stronger growth in emerging markets than those with average or low-performing supply chains. They are more than twice as likely as other respondents (58 percent versus 22 percent) to have achieved growth of 20 percent or more in their priority emerging markets in the past two years.

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