All Articles Tagged "globalization"
Have you ever been in this situation? You go to work on your very first day, eager and mentally ready to finally conquer Excel. You get signed in by security and enter the elevator, maybe meeting a smiling face or two. You walk through the doors of your new job, greet the receptionist, get ushered in and quickly notice that mostly everyone around you is of the same racial or ethnic makeup.
It can be disheartening to work in a corporation that offers amazing benefits, but very little of diversity within. But we shouldn’t be too hard on HR; some businesses just may not understand the various ways in which diversity would truly benefit them beyond gaining Multicultural Excellence Awards for their advertising campaigns. Here are the top nine ways that diversity benefits businesses:
(Wall Street Journal) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. threatened Monday to walk away from a proposed $2.4 billion merger with South African retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd. if procurement conditions are imposed after recommendations by the country’s competition commission. The latest obstacle comes after the commission listened to evidence from the independent Competition Tribunal of South Africa and concluded that recent job losses at Massmart were linked to the merger and recommended that if it gets approved, Wal-Mart must rehire the 503 workers that were laid off. It also recommended that Wal-Mart be forced to honor union agreements for three years and sign on to conditions for its purchasing pacts. The commission previously had said it would give its unconditional approval to the merger, which would see Wal-Mart get a 51% stake in the South African company. ”We cannot accept procurement conditions,” the legal team representing the companies said on the final day of the tribunal hearing Monday. “It will force the merging parties to appeal the conditions or walk away from the deal if imposed.”
(Inc.) — We’re not nearly as globalized as we think we are, says Pankaj Ghemawat, a professor of global strategy at Spain’s IESE Business School and author of the new book World 3.0 (Harvard Business Review Press). In fact, says Ghemawat, who was a professor at Harvard Business School for 25 years, cross-border trade accounts for only a quarter of worldwide economic activity. And that number appears to be shrinking: In the wake of the recent economic crisis, many countries are retrenching and attempting to isolate themselves from foreign economic problems. That’s not to say there aren’t opportunities abroad. By recognizing that borders still matter, says Ghemawat, companies can better calibrate which markets and trading partners offer the best chance for truly global gains. Inc. contributor Ryan Underwood spoke with Ghemawat about how businesses should approach a global strategy.
By Steven Barboza
While Washington is preoccupied with war in Afghanistan and Arab liberation movements, Beijing is feeding its insatiable “Made in China” machine by cranking out mega-deals to develop Africa’s infrastructure in return for rights to grab resources, such as minerals and oil.
Some African leaders compare these resource-for-infrastructure swaps to Marshall Plans — deals big enough to jumpstart economies. But critics in the West say the swaps amount to a “Great Chinese Takeout” or a series of sweetheart deals for the Asian colossus.
China’s biggest bet on the continent is a $6 billion accord with Congo, a country buried in debt but rich in virtually every known mineral, from gold and diamonds to coltan, a key element in cell phones, computer chips, nuclear reactors, and PlayStations. Congo has 80% of the world’s coltan reserves.
In return for rights to extract more than 11 million tons of copper and 620,000 tons of cobalt from Congo mines over 25 years, China has agreed to build 2,000 miles of roads and 1,800 miles of railway tracks, hundreds of schools and health clinics, and two airports.
Though the U.S. already operates huge mining projects in the Congo, Westerners gripe about the so-called “bonanza” from which China stands to profit $42 billion on its initial investment.
“I don’t see the Congress of the United States allocating money for building the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Faida Mitifu, Congo’s ambassador to the U.S., told the Atlanta Post. “So the Congolese have decided for the first time to rightfully trade their mineral resources in exchange for developing infrastructure in different areas. I don’t see anything negative about a country wanting to improve its infrastructure.”
By global business standards, this deal may not be the biggest. Still, it is roughly the equivalent of Congo’s annual national budget: a mere $5.69 billion for one of Africa’s most populous countries, with 68 million people.
Joseph Kabila, Congo’s president, said his ministers identified several infrastructure needs, then he shopped around for help. Now Chinese-led crews are filling potholes, laying asphalt over dirt roads and generally helping to bring the nation one step closer to the 21st century so Congolese farmers and merchants can deliver their goods to market.
“We are still at the very beginning, but it’s opening jobs for Congolese. We hope [the deal] will open up greater opportunities in terms of jobs and infrastructure. That will eventually change greatly the lives of the Congolese,” said Mitifu. “Little by little we are eliminating our dependency on imported food.”
She estimated that 70% of workers in new projects will be Congolese, and 30% will be Chinese.
(Money Control) — Walmart, the world’s largest retailer by sales, has offered USD 2.4bn for a majority stake in the South African company Massmart, as it looks to enter the fast-growing African consumer market. Massmart is the third-biggest retailer in South Africa, with 288 stores including outlets in 13 other African countries. Walmart revealed its intention to pursue a full takeover of the company in September, but was forced to scale back the bid after leading shareholders insisted on retaining exposure to Massmart.