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Economic insights

Articles covering crucial aspects of the global economy.

Transatlantic data flows: data privacy and the global digital economy

16 January 2018
North America and Europe generate approximately 75 per cent of digital content for Internet users worldwide.  Amid weak GDP growth worldwide and flattening of traditional foreign trade and investment, international digital exchanges are rapidly growing.  The challenge is how governance structures can be formed that reconcile 'public welfare' and 'individual privacy'.

The Renegotiation of NAFTA

3 August 2017
The renegotiation of NAFTA promises to be a highly contentious affair, with the two smaller members poised to resist efforts by their larger neighbour to craft regional trade rules hewing to Trump’s “America First” project.

Big data and the middle market

13 December 2016
This article explores the use of Big Data by middle market businesses, whose adoption of these new technologies lags behind that of other sectors of the international business community. 

The challenges of China

28 October 2016
An article by David Bartlett, RSM's Economic Adviser. Foreign middle market businesses surveying the Chinese market in 2016 will encounter a more challenging environment than the one multinational corporations faced during the early years of China’s global economic opening.

The Internet of Things

16 August 2016
An article by David Bartlett, RSM's Economic Adviser. The Internet of Things offers great promise as a truly disruptive technology with strong international commercial potential. This article examines the global landscape of IoT, focusing on technology applications in key industries.

Global trends in renewable energy

11 May 2016
Historically, the incremental development and high costs of renewable energy discouraged the rapid expansion of that industry. But recent shifts in the commercial and technological landscape signal a transformative moment for renewable energy, which now presents a credible challenge to fossil fuels in the competition for global investment.

Global economic review 2015/16: a new mediocre?

4 January 2016
In October 2015, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its semi-annual World Economic Outlook. The IMF forecasts global economic output to grow by 3.6 percent in 2016, an improvement over world GDP growth rates in 2014 (3.4 percent) and 2015 (3.1 percent). 

Economic headwinds facing emerging markets

15 September 2015
By most measures, emerging markets have outperformed developed economies since the Great Recession. Between 2010-14, emerging/developing economies posted averaged annual real GDP growth of 5.8 percent versus 1.8 percent in the advanced industrialised countries.

The Transpacific Partnership

1 July 2015
In June 2015 the U.S. Congress granted fast track authority to President Barack Obama, clearing the way for final negotiations of the Transpacific Partnership (TPP). The completion of the 12-member TPP would create a mega-regional zone representing 40 percent of global GDP and 26 percent of world trade.

7 reasons why fund managers invest in Singapore

1 April 2015
Despite a turbulent 2014, fund managers and sector analysts have expressed confidence in the resilience of Singapore’s investment environment for the future. 

World Economic Outlook 2015

1 January 2015
Economic Growth Trends

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

1 November 2014
In February 2013, the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.) commenced negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The proposed pact would create the world’s biggest free trade area.

Cyber Crime: A Growing Threat to Global Companies

1 October 2014
Cyber security, once limited to the expertise of Information Technology specialists, has become a business-critical issue engaging senior corporate leaders worldwide.

An Introduction to Islamic Finance

1 March 2014
Islamic finance is an emergent series of financial products that have been developed to meet the requirements and constraints of people that would like to follow the Shari’ah law. Islamic finance is a term that reflects financial business that is not contradictory to the principles of Shari’ah.

The Mini-Bond Market in Italy

1 February 2014
The Italian economy was severely affected by the deepest recession since the Second World War. Amid a fiscal consolidation programme to reduce the country’s debt, Italy continues its quest to rekindle GDP growth.

Cross-Border Flows and Client Services

1 November 2013
This article examines the impact of cross-border flows on client demand for accounting, tax and consulting services. The findings of this study were presented at the RSM World Conference in Amsterdam in October 2013. Measuring Cross-Border Flows

International Tax Reform: The Drive to Close Tax Loopholes in the OECD

1 September 2013
In September 2013, the leaders of the G20 countries meeting in St. Petersburg endorsed the OECD’s Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS). The 15-point plan includes the following:

Africa: The Last Frontier of the World Economy

1 May 2013
Once dismissed as an economic backwater beset by political turmoil, Africa has become an attractive market for globally active companies seeking long-term profitable growth.

The Future of Renewable Energy

4 April 2013
The global development of renewable energy encounters a number of obstacles:

Productivity Growth in the Developed Economies

1 March 2013
RSM International’s “Prospects for the World Economy” (Talking Points, January 2013) offers a sober forecast for GDP growth in the advanced industrialized countries.

RSM Survey of International Business Confidence

1 February 2013
This report summarises the results of a survey of international business confidence conducted at the RSM Annual Conference in London in November 2012. The survey gauged the views of over 280 senior leaders from within RSM member firms 70 countries on the following issues:

Prospects for the World Economy 2013

1 January 2013
The previous edition of RSM Talking Points ‘Prospects for the World Economy’ in September 2011 noted the following trajectory of the global economy: Weak GDP growth in the advanced industrialised countries burdened by the overhang of public and private debt left by the global financial crisis; robust growth in emerging markets that came out of the global downturn w

Non-EEA Investment and Entrepreneurship in Ireland

1 November 2012
The Republic of Ireland is experiencing a slow recovery from the global credit crisis. Following a 10 percent GDP contraction in 2008-10, Ireland’s economy grew by 1.4 percent in 2011. Amid the global economic slowdown and the ongoing Euro crisis, the Irish economy is projected to grow by just 0.4 percent in 2012, rising to 1.1 percent in 2013.

Renewable Energy In Poland

1 October 2012
Poland is the European Union’s most coal-dependent economy. Coal represents over 80 percent of Poland’s national energy production and nearly 90 percent of its electricity generation. The outsized share of coal in Poland’s energy sector heightens pressure to develop renewable energy to meet the European Union’s 20-20-20 Directive.

Private Equity in the Post-Crisis Period

1 September 2012
Private equity acquired an unfavourable public reputation during the years preceding the 2008 financial crash. Critics indicted private equity houses for overleveraging distressed companies, stripping their assets and generating huge returns at the expense of company employees.

Value added by Internal Control

1 June 2012
Results of a European survey

Corporate culture: Creating strong guardrails for governance and ERM

1 March 2012
How do you define your organization’s corporate culture? Often, corporate culture is difficult to describe.

The Shale Gas Revolution

1 January 2012
Recent advances in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) are spurring development of shale gas reserves in the United States, Canada, Poland, Australia, and other countries. The shale gas boom has strengthened energy security in these countries by lowering dependence on imported fossil fuels.

The Brussels Agreement: Fiscal Adjustment and Economic Growth in Europe

1 December 2011
On December 9, the European Council met in Brussels to devise a resolution of the Euro crisis that imperils the still fragile recovery from the global financial crisis.

Fallout of the Euro Crisis

5 November 2011
On 27 October 2011, the 17 Euro countries agreed to new €100 billion bailout package for Greece, which included a 50 percent write down of Greek government bonds held by private European banks.

Communication Infrastructure and Broadband Growth in Africa

1 November 2011
As the growth of Africa’s ICT (Information and Communications Technology) infrastructure proceeds, industry players are placing greater emphasis on mobile data and other value added services such as mobile banking and funds transfer.

Clean Technology in Europe

1 September 2011
Amid rising concerns about global climate change and growing anxieties over regional energy security, the European Union has launched a range of initiatives to spur adoption of clean technologies:

India as the Global Technology Hub

1 June 2011
Over the past two decades, India has become the global leader in offshore IT (Information Technology) and BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing) services. India’s IT/BPO industry is poised to reach annual revenues of US$225 billion by 2020.

Small and Medium Enterprises in the Global Economy

1 March 2011
Small and medium enterprises, which played a crucial role in job creation and economic growth in the early and mid-2000s, incurred major setbacks during the Great Recession. In the European Union, SME employment fell by over three million jobs in 2009-10.

Corporate Sustainability

1 February 2011
“Corporate Sustainability” – broadly conceived as the formal integration of economic, environmental, and social factors in managerial decision making and corporate governance – is assuming a central role in global business.

Prospects for the World Economy 2011

1 December 2010
Three years after the onset of the global financial crisis, the contours of the global rebound have taken shape.

Renewable Energy in Europe 2010

1 November 2010
The development of renewable energy in Europe faces a host of environmental, economic and political hurdles. Imported fossil fuels represent more than half of European energy consumption. At projected growth rates, the share of imported hydrocarbons will rise to 70 percent of total energy consumption by 2020.

Economic Impact of the World Cup

1 August 2010
International sporting events offer significant potential benefits to host countries: modernization of infrastructure; upgrading of tourist facilities; increased foreign commerce; heightened global prestige and visibility.

German Exporters amid the Global Recovery

1 July 2010
On July 8, Germany’s Federal Statistics Office announced that German exports in May 2010 grew by 9.2 percent, their sharpest rise in 10 years. On seasonally adjusted balance, this result boosted German exports to €80.8 billion, just 5.4 percent below their pre-crisis peak.

Eurasia in the Global Economy

1 June 2010
Eurasia, the landmass bridging the traditional continents of Europe and Asia, has become a bulwark of the global economy.

Commercial Developments in MERCOSUR

1 May 2010
Since its creation in 1991, MERCOSUR (acronym in Spanish for Mercado Común del Sur or Common Market of the South) has been developing at an uneven pace.

International Tax Representation

1 April 2010
Companies planning to expand their international operations need to consider a wide variety of factors: Foreign demand for the company’s products and services;  transparency and cost efficiency of foreign subsidiaries; operating, investing, financing and non-cash expenses; and the impact of international expansion on the company’s aggregate tax burden.

The Smartphone and its Risks

1 March 2010
Having a few key safeguards in place can reduce the risk of smartphones becoming a matter of national security.

Creating Enterprise: Wide Risk Awareness Are Your Clients Building Prudent ‘Risk Cultures’?

1 January 2010
The collapse of Enron and other corporate scandals in the early 2000s demonstrated how imprudent company cultures can lead to unethical practices and outright fraud. The more recent implosion of Lehman Brothers showed how a culture of risk-taking pervaded financial institutions and precipitated the global financial meltdown.