As we bundle up for the remainder of the winter season, we can give thanks to global trade for gifting us with some of today’s trendiest and coziest items – Sherpa wool coats, Mongolian lamb fur pillows and cashmere sweaters, Giza cotton sheets, and Turkish towels.
We long ago stopped having to make everything we need: forging tools, handcrafting shoes from hides and weaving textiles for clothing. The expansion of global trade is affording us the opportunity to rediscover and reinvent the art of “making” itself, which could in turn profoundly impact what we make and what we trade.
Many industry observers are sounding alarms about the looming impact of automation, robots and 3D printing, which they fear will destroy jobs, disrupt value chains and maybe even reduce the need for international trade. But data and evidence don’t support the hype.
Pomegranates figure prominently every Jewish New Year. Thanks to trade we can enjoy them nearly all year-round. But in order to continue enjoying a variety of foods – and sustain basic crop production – growers must have access to a variety of high-quality seeds.
80 percent of all global trade is transacted through third-party lenders and cargo insurers, but the process is complex, can be costly and many banks find it too risky to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Blockchain has the potential to increase transparency, speed and accuracy in assessing risk across the trade finance process, which in turn could expand the supply of credit available for SMEs.
Blockchain technologies will play an increasing role in international trade. Using blockchain to track the origins of raw materials and follow domestic and international supply chains can help meet the increasing demand for consumer information about globally produced goods, providing more transparency and accuracy about a product’s long journey to the store.
Cambridge is a major hub in Massachusetts’ life sciences ecosystem. What makes up the DNA of vibrant biopharma and medical device industries? Trade associations, overseas governments and investors, and U.S. government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels are all part of the prescription for economic growth.
Over 70 percent of water consumed globally is poured into crop and livestock production. But the water we need to drink, to grow food, and to produce industrial goods is under stress and becoming scarcer in parts of the world. What kinds of solutions offer better opportunities for managing scarce water resources to ensure we can continue growing enough food?
Cherry blossom, green tea, and red bean are popular flavors in Asia used in a wide variety of snack foods. The core ingredients of some of these snack foods were not native to Asia. But global trade spread access to non-native plants and ingredients, enabling other countries to put their own flavor spin on new products.
Tencent and Alibaba are names you need to know. They are leaders among China’s five Big Tech firms. They are growing fast and starting to rival American giants Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Facebook. Whoever among these giants acquires the most consumer information on habits, preferences, spending patterns, and financial behaviors stands to win in our growing global digital economy.