The world’s 10 biggest polluters

December 11, 2009

1. China

China is the world’s worst polluter nation with the highest overall annual emission of greenhouse gases (6,018 million ton). However, in terms of per capita emissions it is ranked 44th in the world, emitting 4.5 ton (per person). China has pledged to cut its carbon intensity goal by 40-45 per cent by 2020.

2. United States

The United States is the second worst per capita carbon emitter with for 19.78 ton of emission per person. America is also ranked the world’s second highest polluter with 5,903 million tons of carbon dioxide emission. President Barack Obama plans to cut emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020.

 
3. Russia

Russia is ranked third with 1,704 million tons of carbon dioxide emission. Russia is ready to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 25 per cent, if other countries follow suit.

4. India

India is world’s fourth biggest polluter with 1,293 million ton of carbon dioxide emission. The average person in India emits just 1.16 ton per person annually. But with a rising population, the figures are likely to rise further. The government said it is ready to cut the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted per unit of economic output — by between 20 and 25 per cent by 2020 from the 2005 levels.

5. Japan

Japan comes next in the list with 1,247 million ton of carbon emission. However, the greenhouse gas pollution fell by 6.2 per cent in Japan in the last financial year. Japan plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020 if developed countries take significant initiatives.

6. Germany

Germany is the 6th biggest polluter in the world with 858 million ton of carbon dioxide emission. The United Nations says rich nations must cut greenhouse gas emissions steeply by 2020.

7. Canada

Canada which emits 18.81 ton of carbon per person is the world 7th worst polluter, with an absolute carbon emission of 614 million ton.Canada now plans to reduce emissions by 20 per cent compared with 2006 levels by 2020.

8. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom’s emission stands at 586 million tons of carbon dioxide emission. The European Union agreed to cut emissions by 20 per cent to 2020, compared with 1990 levels. According to the government records, emission has dropped in the UK.

9. South Korea

South Korea comes next in the worst polluters’ list with 514 million tons of carbon dioxide emission. South Korea said it would cut greenhouse emissions 4 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

10. Iran

Iran has 471 million tons of carbon dioxide emission. Iran is worst hit by air and water pollution. The Caspian Sea is highly polluted posing a grave threat to marine life and the ecology.

Meanwhile,Australia has the world’s highest per capita carbon dioxide emissions from energy use.According to the Maplecroft’s CO2 Energy Emissions Index, an average Australian emitted 20.58 ton of carbon dioxide a year.

Canada was third, followed by the Netherlandsand Saudi Arabia. The list of nations most vulnerable to the effects of climate change was topped by Somalia, followed by Haiti and Afghanistan.


World’s 10 best companies to work

February 9, 2009

Rank: 1 Company: NetApp

Business: Specializes in proprietary network storage and data management.

Reach: Has over 130 offices worldwide, including US, Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, Pacific and Australia.

Why: Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘The essence of what fuels the quality of the workplace at NetApp is the high trust culture. Leaders reach out to employees, sharing information, support and time in a variety of ways. This generosity of spirit is reciprocated many times over, creating within NetApp its own version of a fail-safe networked organization.’

Rank: 2 Company: Edward Jones

Business: Offers financial products at an individual investor level. Currently serves more than 7 million clients.

Reach: Over 10,800 offices in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom

Why: Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘Employees receive a whopping 149 hours of training on average a year, more than three times the 100 best averages of 45. But Edward Jones doesn’t just train people for the job they’re doing. The management’s philosophy is that employees who are passionate about their jobs will make the company a better place, so managers encourage people to develop skills even when they know the new skills will lead to a different job.’

Rank: 3 Company: Boston Consulting Group

Business: Global management consulting firm and a leading advisor on business strategy.

Reach: BCG is a private company with 66 offices in 38 countries, including the US. They also have offices in North America, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East

Why: BCG prides itself on its employee focused culture. Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘Training opportunities abound, even for senior partners. All employees are encouraged to continuously learn, accept responsibility and take on challenges. BCG is viewed as an apprenticeship and most training actually takes place within the project team. Associates who commit to returning to the company after receiving an MBA are fully reimbursed for tuition, given a promotion and a raise. Administrative staff may be reimbursed up to two job-related courses per semester.’

Rank: 4 Company: Google

Business: Focused on Internet search services. Also offers advertising, business solutions, online mapping, blogging, e-mail, social networking and video sharing. Last year, they launched their own browser, Google Chrome.

Reach: United States, Canada, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East

Why: The company slogan is ‘Don’t be evil.’ Google is famed for going all out to keep their employees happy. Professional development opportunities include classes on individual and team presentation skills, content development, business writing, executive speaking, delivering feedback and management/leadership. Google engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time (one day per week) on projects that interest them. Some of Google’s newer services, such as Gmail, Google News, Orkut, and AdSense originated from these independent endeavors’.

Rank: 5 Company: Wegmans Food Market

Business: Regional supermarket chain

Reach: Seventy-nine stores in the mid-Atlantic region including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Northern Virginia and Maryland in the United States.

Why: Wegmans believe that good people, working toward a common goal, can accomplish anything they set out to do. They also believe that they can achieve our goal only if they fulfill the needs of our own people. Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘Wegmans employs a web-based system known as the labor resource manager to ensure no employee is overburdened and that every employee has the support of colleagues at the busiest times. Having a resource dedicated to staffing enables employees the flexibility to care for sick family members, pursue degrees, or enjoy a summer off to pursue a passion.’

Rank: 6 Company: Cisco Systems

Business: Cisco hardware, software and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible — providing easy access to information anywhere, at any time.

Reach: US, Africa, North America, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe

Why: Cisco managers are trained to ensure employees have a successful work-life balance, by working flexi-time if needed. Its leadership development system is aimed at developing key capabilities, competencies and expectations for its employees. Cisco employees have access to assistance programmes that provide confidential support for various personal issues. It also provides short-term, emergency resources to help employees facing difficult personal situations. It has local onsite emergency response teams made up of trained employees and a global, cross-functional crisis communication team that helps evaluate crisis situations and communicate important information.

Rank: 7 Company: Genentech

Business: This leading biotechnology corporation is considered the founder of the biotech industry.

Reach: United States, Singapore

Why: Genentech fosters individual creativity and initiative among its researchers, encouraging scientists to pursue projects of interest in addition to working toward the company’s goals. Their scientists have consistently published important papers in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. They have also secured approximately 7,400 current, non-expired patents worldwide and have about 6,250 patent applications pending. Genentech also has a strong postdoctoral programme, with fellowships that last four years. The company believes providing employees with programmes, services and benefits allow them to bring the best to the business and to their personal lives.

Rank: 8 Company: Methodist Hospital System

Business: A leading US hospital, this acute care complex serves over 40,000 domestic and international patients every year. It is also a comprehensive teaching hospital, with leading specialists in every field of medicine.

Reach: United States. It also partners more than 25 hospitals in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

Why: Employees earn paid time off accruals biweekly beginning from the date of hire. They are offered subsidized transport options. Education assistance includes tuition reimbursement for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level courses that are job related. Employees can get additional financial assistance for certain certifications/ degrees and a college scholarship for children of employees enrolled in health care degree programmes. Employees who adopt children are provided financial assistance. All employees and dependents have access to resources to help with everyday challenges of work and life.

Rank: 9 Company: Goldman Sachs

Business: A bank holding company that engages in investment banking, securities services and investment management.

Reach: United States, South America, North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East,

Why: Sharing ideas, support collaboration and contributing to others’ project is encouraged, both through explicitly defined cultural expectations and through the actions of individual leaders, who are also expected to serve as role models. Some of the benefits offered include education, tuition reimbursement, preparatory courses and exams, scholarships and fellowships and loan and mortgage discounts. They can also avail of ongoing training and mentoring programmes.

Rank: 10 Company: Nugget Market, Inc

Business: Family owned, upscale supermarket chain

Reach: Owns and operates nine Nugget Markets and three Food 4 Less stores in the Northern California region, United States

Why: Nugget Market, which was founded in 1926, has never had a layoff. Since its launch, it has had a progressive, employee-friendly attitude, providing its associates with some of the top wage and benefit packages in the industry. Nugget also has excellent healthcare benefits, including long-term disability and sick pay. It encourages associates to balance their work and personal life through flexible schedules and five weeks of paid vacation.


World’s top 15 business schools

February 3, 2009

Rank-1: London Business School – UK

Amongst its other achievements London Business School — sharing the top spot with Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania — boasts of a community that includes 1,300 plus students each year from 121 countries, 150 plus teaching faculty from more than 30 countries and 27,800 alumni based in more than 120 countries. Situated in Regent’s Park, London, London Business School offers degree programmes like MBA, executive MBA, EMBA-global, Dubai-London executive MBA, Sloan Fellowship MSc, Masters in finance, and PhDs.

Rank-1: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania-USA

Established in 1881 in Philadelphia, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, is the world’s first collegiate business school has 84,000 plus alumni in 139 countries, 25 plus research centre’s and initiatives and 11 academic departments. The university offers executive education programmes in subjects like finance/wealth, management, healthcare, corporate governance, marketing/sales and technology and operations apart from a host of other courses.

Rank-3: Harvard Business School-USA

Offering management courses since 1908, Harvard Graduate School of Business started with a student population of 33 regular and 47 special students and a 15-member faculty. It reached one of its famous milestones in 1959 when the school admitted women graduates to the second year MBA programme. Harvard Business School moved up one position in 2009 to rank 3rd against its 2008 position.

Rank-4:Columbia Business School -USA

Columbia University Graduate School of Business was founded in 1916 by A Barton Hepburn, president of Chase Manhattan Bank then, with 11 faculty members and 61 students. Currently, the university offers full-time MBA programmes, executive MBAs and doctoral programmes with over 36,000 students. Warren Buffet, the legendary chairman of Berkshire Hathway did his MS in 1951 from Columbia Business School.

Rank-5: Insead: France/Singapore

With two campuses in France (Fontainebleau) and Asia (Singapore) Insead began offering executive MBA programmes in November 2003 from both the campuses. It signed a strategic alliance with Wharton Business School in 2001. Today, the university boasts of 138 standing and affiliate faculty from 32 countries, 887 MBA students across 76 nations, 9,500 executive MBA students from 100 countries spread across 2,000 companies. From number 6 in 2008 Insead too has moved up one position in 2009.

Rank-6: Stanford University GSB and IE Business School

These two, like London Business School and Wharton School, share the same position. However, in 2008, Stanford (USA) stood 4th and IE Business School (Spain) stood at the 8th position. So while Stanford moved two points down the ladder IE Business School moved two points up.

Rank-8: China European International Business School

This is what China and Chinese entrepreneurship is all about. Established on November 8, 1994, a recent entrant into the world of high finance, China European International Business School (Ciebs) — in just its 14 years of existence — has barged into the hallowed top 10 for the second time in a row. Ranked 10th in 2008 Ciebs has managed to move two positions up to the 8th position this year. Today Ciebs offers open programmes like multinational management, strategy, leadership, marketing and sales, finance and accounting and corporate governance amongst others.

Rank-9: MIT: Sloan, USA

Massachusetts, Cambridge-based, MIT Sloan School of Management has moved up from the 10th position in 2008 to 9th position this year. While MIT Sloan began its operations in 1914 in engineering administration, it began teaching management courses 11 years later. Today, MIT Sloan offers graduate and undergraduate programmes to more than 1,100 students across 60 countries. Amongst its illustrious alumni are included names like former Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan, former Hewlett-Packard president and CEO Carly Fiona, and former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rank-10: New York University: Stern, USA

Established at the onset of the 20th century New York University, Stern is located in Greenwich Village in the centre of New York City. This university today offers courses as varied as undergraduate BS programme, full-time MBA programme, Langone part-time MBA programme, executive MBA, and PhD programmes.

Rank-11: University of Chicago, Booth,USA

Part of the world-renowned University of Chicago, Booth School of Business has dropped two places from number 11 from number 9 in 2008. Established in 1895 University of Chicago Booth School of Business is the second-oldest school in the US. With faculty strength of 187 in 2008 the university offers programmes like full-time MBA, executive MBA, part-time MBA, and non-degree executive education.

Rank-12: Iese Business School, Spain

Ranked 13th in 2008, Iese Business School has improved its position to 12th in the 2009 survey. With over 30,000 successful alumni working in more than 100 countries Iese, established in 1957, offers full-time, part-time and modular MBA and PhD programmes. Founded in 1958 in Barcelona, Spain, Iese is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra.

Rank-13: Dartmouth College, Tuck USA

At number 13, Dartmouth College, Tuck, a 109-year-old institution, has dropped a position below its 2008 ranking. Interestingly, unlike other universities, Tuck offers only full-time MBAs apart from a plethora of executive education programmes as well as the Tuck Business Bridge programme for undergraduates.

Rank-14: MD – Switzerland

Located in the cool climes in Lausanne on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, IMD has maintained a status quo at number 14 vis-a-vis its ranking in 2008. With 20 open enrollment executive development programmes IMD, established in 1990, offers an 11-month MBA programme and distance learning programme in executive MBA. A typical class at IMD consists of students from 22 nationalities and in the age group of 34 to 50 years.

Rank-15: Indian School of Business, India

A meteoric rise from number 20 is how one can describe Indian School of Business jump to the 15th position in the Global MBA Rankings 2009 survey. With over 442 students enrolled for the class of 2009 for its one-year MBA programme the mean and median GMAT score of its student is 714 and 720 respectively. Established in 2001 by a group of Indian industrialists and academicians ISB is the only Indian management school to make its mark in this global survey.


The top 10 economies of the world and the recession

January 23, 2009

United States

The United Stated with a GDP of $13.8 trillion is the world’s No.1. The US economy grew in the first quarter by 1 per cent. However, the recession has battered the economy. By June 2008, the economy fell into a recession. In the third quarter of 2008, the GDP shrunk by 0.5 per cent, the biggest fall since 2001. The 6.4 per cent fall in spending during Q3 on non-durable goods, like clothing and food, was the largest since 1950. About 2.6 million Americans lost their jobs in 2008, the worst since the end of World War II.

Japan

Japan is the world’s second largest economy with a GDP of $43.7 trillion. With a huge fall in exports, Japan has moved deeper into recession in the fourth quarter. Japan’s GDP has fallen at an annual rate of 0.4 percent from July to September 2008, marking the second consecutive quarter of negative growth. Japan’s previous recession was in 2001, after the dot-com bust in the United States. Japanese exports plunged a record 35 percent in December as the recession led to a fall in electronics and automobiles. Bank of Japan said the economy will shrink by 1.8 per cent this financial year.

China

China has steered ahead of Germany as the world’s third largest economy after the United States and Japan. It saw a GDP growth rate of 13 per cent in 2007. China revised the growth rate of its gross domestic product (GDP) for 2007 to 13 per cent from 11.9 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. The pace was the fastest since 1994 when the GDP expanded by 13.1 per cent, according to the NBS data. Final verification showed the GDP totaled $3.76 trillion. However, the recession has taken a toll on the economy. The growth in manufacturing has fallen sharply in the fourth quarter. The GDP growth in the fourth dropped to 6.8 per cent, pulling down the full year growth down to 9 per cent from 13 per cent in 2007.

Germany

Germany has been pushed to the 4th position after being ranked third for many years. Its GDP stands at $32.9 trillion. Falling exports saw the German economy’s GDP fall by half a percent in July, August and September, which was the second straight quarter of decline. The European economy saw its first recession in 15 years. Europe is facing the worst financial crisis since the great depression. The GDP in the 15 euro nations contracted by 0.2 per cent during August, September and October 2008.

United Kingdom

The fifth largest economy, United Kingdom fell by 0.5 per cent July and September. The GDP of the fifth largest economy stood at $27.2 trillion. The Economist Intelligence Unit in its forecast said the UK economy will “stagnate” during 2009. It said UK GDP growth will fall from 3.1 per cent in 2007, to one per cent in 2008 and it will contract 0.8 per cent in 2009. The economy shrank in the third quarter for the first time since 1992.

France

France is the 6th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $25.6 trillion. The French economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the second quarter of the year. However, the gross domestic product grew by 0.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2008. The International Monetary Fund has forecast a 0.5 percent fall of the French economy in 2009. President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled a 26-billion-euro stimulus plan in December to fight the crisis.

Italy

Italy with a GDP of $21 trillion, is the 7th largest economy in the world. The Italian economy fell in the third quarter of 2008 for the second consecutive quarter. The GDP fell by 0.5 per cent on a quarter-ago basis, after a revised drop of 0.4 per cent in the second quarter.

Spain

The world’s 8th largest economy is Spain with a GDP of $14.2 trillion. Spain has been trapped under a recession for the first time in 15 years. Spain’s economy fell for the first time since 1993. Spain’s gross domestic product fell 0.2% in the third quarter from the second quarter, while it grew 0.9% from the third quarter a year earlier.

Canada

Canada is the 9th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $13.2 trillion. It is expected that Canada will see negative growth in the next two quarters. Canada’s unemployment rate is set to hit a high of 7.4 per cent in 2009. While the growth is 0.6 percent in 2008, there will be no growth this year, according to The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

Brazil

Brazil with a GDP of $13.1 trillion is the 10th largest economy in the world. Brazil’s economy has also been hit by the recession. Brazil’s industrial output fell by 6.2 per cent in November. This has been the fall since December 2001. Brazil’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in seven years.

India

India with a GDP of $1.17 trillion is the world’s 12th largest economy. The Indian economy grew at 7.9 per cent in the first quarter ended June 2008, the slowest growth rate in three years. The growth rate of 7.9 per cent in the first quarter ended June 2008 is much lower than 9.2 per cent recorded in corresponding quarter last year. The economic growth further fell to 7.6 percent for the second quarter of this fiscal. The manufacturing sector has been badly hit by the slowdown. The growth rate in the manufacturing sector was recorded only 5 percent during July-September, 2008. The manufacturing sector had registered a growth rate of 9.2 percent during the same period last year. According to the National Council for Applied Economics Research (NCAER), India’s industrial growth will deteriorate further by next year.


World’s top innovative nations

January 16, 2009

1. United States

The United States still rules the world when it comes to innovation. This is no surprise, as the US with a legacy of over 100 years in innovation, has been consistent in taking the leader’s slot. The US knows it must continue to innovate to stay ahead. It tops in three areas: human capacity, business markets and competitiveness. The five input pillars that are included in the GII are: Institutions and Policies, Human Capacity, General and ICT Infrastructure, Markets Sophistication and Business Sophistication. The input pillars define aspects of the conducive environment required to stimulate innovation within an economy. There are three output pillars which provide evidence of the results of innovation within the economy: Knowledge Creation, Competitiveness and Wealth Creation. The US scored high on both input (ranked 2nd) and output (ranked 1st) pillars.

2. Germany

Germany follows in second position, maintaining its position from last year. Germany scores relatively low on the input pillars (10th) and very high on the output pillars (2nd), leading to an overall second rank. It is important to note that that eight out of the top 10 countries in the list are from Europe. As global competition intensifies and innovation becomes more important, the business sector has been internationalizing knowledge-intensive corporate functions, including research and development, the study points out.

3. Sweden

Sweden rises to 3rd rank in 2008 year from 12th position in 2007. It’s important to provide a safety net to innovators, says the study. There must be a conducive environment for innovative companies. A ‘succeed or perish’ environment often kills innovative ideas in the nascent stages as people will be too intimidated to take creative risks that could fail.

4. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom fell from 3rd to 4th position in 2008. The study reflects that innovation is correlated with income levels in a country. For example, the innovation levels in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries are much more than non-OECD countries. The high income countries do significantly better by topping innovation rankings. The average innovation index falls with the income levels of the country.

5. Singapore

Singapore rose to 5th rank in 2008 from 7th. Singapore is also 2nd from the Asian region. Innovation is not just about generating new ideas, says the study. It is about translating these ideas into value-added products and services. This requires flexibility of attitude and a willingness to adapt and welcome unprecedented levels of change on the part of all stakeholders involved, says the study.

6. South Korea

South Korea made a giant leap by grabbing the 6th rank, up from 19th position in 2007. Over the last two decades, the Republic of Korea has undergone a great change, with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and innovation becoming the power engine for its high economic growth. After facing a big financial crisis in 1997, Korea emerged into a powerhouse of knowledge through the consolidation of knowledge industries with the ICT industry itself contributing to more than 30 per cent of its total exports, the study states.

7. Switzerland

One of the world most beautiful places has also made it to the top innovative nations’ list. Switzerland is ranked 7th in the global innovative index. Innovation is the key driver of any economy. It works best when like-minded individuals come together in small collectives, irrespective of political and cultural differences and work on projects that yield value for all parties involved.

8. Denmark

While Denmark features among the top nations with an overall score of 5.73 along the different input pillars, it ranks relatively low at position 21st along the output pillars. This pulls the overall GII rank of Denmark down to 8th and raises questions as to why despite creating a highly conducive environment for innovation, it is not able to capitalize on it. The remarkable leadership and phenomenal development of the three Nordic countries of Finland, Denmark and Sweden have consistently done well in the development of institutions and policies that nurture innovation. Denmark tops the ICT and infrastructure pillar. Denmark also comes at top position in the 2008 Networked Readiness Rankings of the World Economic Forum.

9. Japan

The world’s industrial powerhouse Japan moved down to 9th position in 2008. It was ranked fourth in 2007. Ranked relatively lower along the input pillars (16th), Japan comes in at an impressive 3rd position along the output pillars. Clearly, Germany and Japan are able to leverage their less favorable innovation environments into more effective innovation results. The Japanese society is currently undergoing deep structural changes. Japan enjoys a competitive edge in business sophistication, innovation and R&D (research and development) spending. But its macroeconomic weaknesses have led to one of the highest debt levels in the world. People are also questioning the values of the political, economic and social institutions, and alternatives are being explored. This includes the fields of education, research and innovation as well. The government and the private sector give high priority to R&D spending.

10. Netherlands

The Netherlands with a prosperous economy is ranked 10th in the list. It is also the 16th largest economy in the world. A country’s readiness is linked to its ability to garner the best from leading-edge technologies, expanded human capacities, better organizational and operational capabilities and improved institutional performance, according to the study.


Best nations to do business

October 7, 2008

1. Singapore – Singapore kept its top ranking for the third year in a row as the easiest place in the world to do business. The Asian city-state edged out New Zealand and the United States in the ‘Doing Business 2009’ ranking. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers. Singapore’s economy depends heavily on exports refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing. Thousands of foreign expatriates work here in multi-national corporations. The city-state employs thousands of blue-collared workers across the globe.

2. New Zealand- New Zealand has a developed economy with an estimated nominal GDP of $128.1 billion as on 2008. The country has a very high standard of living. New Zealand’s service sector is the largest sector in the economy, followed by manufacturing and construction and the farming/raw materials extraction. New Zealand is heavily dependent on free trade, particularly in agricultural products.

3. USA- The American economy is under terrible stress at the moment.  A series of events in United States, including the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bank of America agreeing to buy Merrill Lynch for $44 billion, has shaken up the global financial markets. There could be several more developments over the next few months that might make things more difficult. Thousands will lose their jobs in the global financial sector as many companies have witnessed the fastest drop in business levels, profitability and confidence in almost two decades.  Initial estimates say that the unprecedented crisis in the global financial services industry will lead to more than 250,000 jobs being lost globally. And economists say that this figure is ‘very conservative.’ The eventual number of jobs that will actually be lost could be much higher, they say. The fiscal hurricane that originated in the United States has soon spread panic and gloom across the world markets. European companies have already announced layoffs, while some Asian companies too have done the same. However, some relief came with the US Congress approving a revised $700 billion package to bail out the beleaguered financial sector of the country.

4. Hong Kong- Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading financial centers.  It is one of the four Asian tigers known for its high growth rate and rapid industrialization. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world, with a market capitalization of $2.97 trillion as on October 2007. It is an important centre for international finance and trade, with the greatest concentration of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region.

5. Denmark- Denmark has a GDP per capita higher than that of most European countries, and 15-20% higher than that of the United States. Denmark is one of the most competitive economies in the world according to World Economic Forum 2008 report, IMD, and The Economist. Denmark’s market economy features efficient markets, above average European living standards, and high amount of free trade. Denmark is home to many multinational companies. Among them: A P Moller-Maersk Group, Lego, Bang & Olufsen, Carlsberg, Vestas, Novozymes and the pharmaceutical companies Lundbeck and Novo Nordisk deserve special mention

6. Britain- The British economy is made up (in descending order of size) of the economies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In the 1980s, during Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s tenure, most state-owned enterprises were privatized. The British government now owns very few industries or businesses — Royal Mail is one of the very few examples. In the post World War II period, the British economy recorded chronic weak growth. However, in recent years Britain has seen the longest period of economic growth. It has grown in every quarter since 1992.  It is one of the strongest EU economies in terms of inflation, interest rates and unemployment, all of which remain relatively low. The country’s GDP as of 2007, stands at $2.772 trillion.

7. Ireland- The economy of the Republic of Ireland is modern and trade-dependent with growth averaging a 7% per annum in 1995-2007. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry, which accounts for 46% of GDP, about 80% of exports, and employs 29% of the labour force. Ireland has the second highest per capita income of any country in the EU next to Luxembourg, and fourth highest in the world based on measurements of gross domestic product per capita

8. Canada- Canada is one of the world’s wealthiest nations, and a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and Group of Eight. As with other developed nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. The country’s GDP as of 2007 stands at $1.274 trillion. Canada has a sizable manufacturing sector, centered in Central Canada, the automobile industry being especially important.

9. Austria- The economy of the Republic of Austria may be characterized as a social market economy similar in structure with that of Germany. In 2004 Austria was the fourth richest country within the European Union, having a GDP per capita of approximately Euro27’666, with Luxembourg, Ireland, and Netherlands leading the list. In the post World War II era, Austria has achieved sustained economic growth. In the crisis-ridden 1950s, the rebuilding efforts for Austria lead to an average annual growth rate of more than 5 per cent in real terms and averaged about four point five per cent through most of the 1960s.

10. Norway- The economy of Norway has shown robust growth since the start of the industrial era. Shipping has long been a support of Norway’s export sector, but much of Norway’s economic growth has been fueled by an abundance of natural resources, including petroleum exploration and production, hydroelectric power, and fisheries. Norway is among the most expensive countries in the world, as reflected in the Big Mac Index. Historically, transportation costs and barriers to free trade had caused the disparity, but in recent years, Norwegian policy with respect to labor relations, taxation, etc, have contributed significantly.


Pineapple – soothes your joint pain

September 23, 2008

That’s right. Pineapple – be it part of a cold, icy drink, a fruit salad, anything – contains an anti-inflammatory enzyme called bromelain. New research shows that bromelain soothes your cells by reducing the migration of white blood cells to sites of inflammation – like sunburned skin, injured muscles, and arthritic joints. So when you are in pain you know what to do. Go to the nearest store and grab a fresh, juicy pineapple, but first learn how to pick up a ripe one from your grandma!

If you’re not a pineapple fan, you can get bromelain straight from a supplement. It might even be the preferred method, since you don’t get tons of bromelain from fresh pineapple. Researchers recommend about 100 milligrams of bromelain a day for sore joints. Ask your doctor if this dose is safe for you.


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