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Which countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are most supportive of women seeking to start and grow businesses?

July 30, 2013 Comments off

Which countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are most supportive of women seeking to start and grow businesses?
Source: Inter-American Development Bank Group and Economist Intelligence Unit
From press release (PDF):

Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay provide the best environments for female entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to The Women’s Entrepreneurial VentureScope (WEVentureScope), a new index released today by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, and developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

In its debut edition, the WEVentureScope analyzes the factors that promote or hinder the success of women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It is the first comprehensive and standardized assessment of the region’s enabling environment for women seeking to start and grow businesses.

The WEVentureScope examines and scores 20 countries in the five areas that most affect women’s entrepreneurship: business operating risks, including macroeconomic risks, security, and corruption; the entrepreneurial business environment, including costs and regulatory requirements associated with starting businesses; access to finance, including the availability and use of formal financial products by women; capacity and skills, including educational advancement by women and availability of business skills training; and social services, including the availability of family support programs such as childcare.

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Hot spots 2025: Benchmarking the future competitiveness of cities

June 14, 2013 Comments off

Hot spots 2025: Benchmarking the future competitiveness of cities (PDF)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

One hundred years ago only two out of ten of the world’s population were living in urban areas. By the middle of the 21st century, seven out of ten people will be living in cities. Already global business is beginning to plan strategy from a city, rather than a country, perspective. Understandably so: well over half of the world’s population lives in cities, generating more than 80% of global GDP. Standard population projections show that virtually all global growth over the next 30 years will be in urban areas. The number of people living in the world’s cities is growing by nearly 60m every year.

The key findings of the research are as follows.

North American and European cities are among the world’s most competitive today and are likely to retain their advantage until 2025, despite concerns over ageing populations and infrastructure, indebtedness and slow growth.

The combined GDP of China and India is projected to exceed that of the major seven (G7) OECD economies in 2025.

Asia’s economic rise is refl ected in the competitiveness of its cities in 2025.

The quality of institutions matters greatly for cities’ economic competitiveness.

Cities of all sizes can be competitive.

African cities lag most on competitiveness, while major cities in Latin America improve theirs.

Easy maritime access helps cities rapidly to ascend in the overall rankings.

The quality of a city’s physical capital is highly correlated with its overall competitiveness.

Worldwide cost of living index 2013

February 18, 2013 Comments off

Worldwide cost of living index 2013
Source: Economist

After currency swings pushed Zurich to the top of the ranking last year, Tokyo has resumed its place as the world’s most expensive city. This is a familiar position for the Japanese capital which has been the world’s most expensive city for all but a handful of the last 20 years. In fact, since 1992 Tokyo has been the ranking city in every year bar six. Only Zurich, Paris and Oslo were dubbed the world’s most expensive city during this time.

Free registration required.

Hot spots: Benchmarking global city competitiveness

April 2, 2012 Comments off

Hot spots: Benchmarking global city competitiveness (PDF)
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit (via Citibank)
From press release:

With more than half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, cities are more important than ever to the world’s societal and economic development. For most countries, economic success today hinges on the performance of their cities, as they together generate 80% of the world’s GDP; for most global businesses and therefore our clients, expansion strategies are increasingly shifting from a country perspective to a city perspective. And as mass urbanization continues across the world, particularly in growth economies, cities will wield greater and greater influence in the coming years.

This rapid rise of the city brings many new questions for our stakeholders, such as:

  • Where will the most competitive cities and new economic powerhouses emerge?
  • How will cities in the developing world differ from those in the developed world?
  • What changes in infrastructure will be needed to accommodate millions of new citizens?
  • How can businesses scale quickly to serve such immense populations?

To answer some of these questions, Citi commissioned the Economist’s sister organization, the Economist Intelligence Unit, to research and compile a comprehensive report that ranks the competitiveness of 120 of the world’s top cities.

The report, entitled Hot Spots, examines the many dimensions of cities as drivers of growth. It considers how newly emerging cities compete with more developed cities, reviews where the global centers of growth are likely to be found in coming years, and explores the link between talent and competitiveness. The report was released today in New York City with remarks by Citi CEO Vikram Pandit and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. New York City was voted the number 1 Hot Spot.

Worldwide Cost of Living 2012: Which city is the most expensive to live in? Which city is the cheapest?

March 14, 2012 Comments off

Worldwide Cost of Living 2012: Which city is the most expensive to live in? Which city is the cheapest?Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

For the first time in at least two decades of reporting the worldwide cost of living survey Zurich sits atop the ranking as the world’s most expensive city. An index swing of 34 percentage points pushed the Swiss city up 4 places compared to last year to overtake Tokyo which remains in 2nd place. Geneva, the other Swiss city surveyed saw a 30 percentage point rise in the cost of living to move up six places into joint third alongside Osaka. When you download this free WorldWide Cost of Living summary, you will discover which cities are currently considered the most expensive in which to live, and which are the cheapest.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey is a full service that enables human resources line managers and expatriate executives to compare the cost of living in 140 cities in 93 countries and calculate fair compensation policies for relocating employees.

Free registration required to download full document.

The Big Mac index: Currency comparisons, to go

August 1, 2011 Comments off

The Big Mac index: Currency comparisons, to go
Source: Economist

The Economist’s Big Mac index is a fun guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” level. It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalise the prices of a basket of goods and services around the world. At market exchange rates, a burger is 44% cheaper in China than in America. In other words, the raw Big Mac index suggests that the yuan is 44% undervalued against the dollar. But we have long warned that cheap burgers in China do not prove that the yuan is massively undervalued. Average prices should be lower in poor countries than in rich ones because labour costs are lower. The chart above shows a strong positive relationship between the dollar price of a Big Mac and GDP per person.

PPP signals where exchange rates should move in the long run. To estimate the current fair value of a currency we use the “line of best fit” between Big Mac prices and GDP per person. The difference between the price predicted for each country, given its average income, and its actual price offers a better guide to currency under- and overvaluation than the “raw” index. The beefed-up index suggests that the Brazilian real is the most overvalued currency in the world; the euro is also significantly overvalued. But the yuan now appears to be close to its fair value against the dollar—something for American politicians to chew over.

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