The Economist Pocket World in Figures 2020 ranks countries based on the Quality of Life/Human Development Index1
The highest and lowest 12 countries are:
The differences between the countries on these lists are striking at every level.
Evaluate both countries independently based on the questions and parameters below.
Use the resources below. You can also use other sources.
• https://www.mylibrary.org/international-business-websites and
https://libguides.lcc.edu/c.php?g=167835&p=1102652 for a list of general
information international business websites
• http://www.csis.org/ for a globalization think tank
• https://globaledge.msu.edu/ for insights by country
%20Report/index. for global competitiveness report and business
• http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2005 for data
• http://www.doingbusiness.org/ for Doing Business Survey which provides cost
• https://worldin2019.economist.com/ for predictions from The Economist
• United Nations Development Report 2019 Statistical Update
• https://worldinfigures.com/ The Economist’s World in Figures.
• https://ourworldindata.org/ for research and interactive data visualizations to
understand the world’s largest problems.
Presentations are limited to ten minutes plus three minutes for questions. You will be graded on the content of the presentation.
Economic and Technological Factors
• How technologically advanced is the country? What technology are they lacking?
• Research and analyze their infrastructure (transportation, communication, and utility system).
• What are the country’s current inflation rate and exchange rate (against the USD)? Is the inflation rate high or low? How does it affect their trading relationships?
• What generation(s) of mobile network technology is/are used (1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G)? What percent of the population uses each of the available generations?
• Where does the country rank on The World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business Ranking” (https://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings)? Which countries are ranked two above and two below the country?
o What are the country’s top imported products?
o What are the country’s top exported products?
o What is the country’s current account balance?
o Are there any tariffs or other trade impediments?
o How did President Trump’s (America First, isolationist worldview, tariffs, China policy, etc.) and President Biden’s trade policies (“America is back!”, more global worldview, climate change, China policy, etc.) affect the country’s economy?
• How have COVID-19 and President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine affected the country?
• Where is the country located? (continent, bordering counties, oceans, etc.)
o Is the country landlocked or do they have any port(s)? If so, what is the biggest port?
• Describe the climate. Which of the four seasons do they experience?
• Which time zones are in the country?
• What percentage of the population lives in
o urban areas?
o rural areas?
• Identify the type of terrain the country has. Is it easily accessible? How much of the land is used for agriculture?
• List and describe the natural resources of the country. Identify how these natural resources are utilized.
Cultural and Social Factors
• What is the country’s educational structure?
o What is the country’s literacy rate? List percentages of people who are educated vs. uneducated.
o What is the highest level of education in the country?
▪ What percentage of the population has achieved this level?
• What are the population’s median age, gender breakdown, and birth rate?
• Describe the health care system. How does it compare to the US?
• What is the primary language spoken? Any secondary languages? If so, are there any conflicts between the people who speak these different languages?
Are they high or low-context languages?
• Describe the culture:
o high or low power distance?
o collective or individualistic?
• Treatment of time?
o When a meeting is scheduled for 10:30 AM, what time do people arrive?
o What is the typical work week (hours and days of operation)?
o What is the introduction etiquette for social and business gatherings?
o Does the country have a short-term or long-term time orientation?
• Is business conducted through relationships or transactions?
• What is the primary religion? Any secondary religions? If so, are there any conflicts between the people who follow these different religions?
• What are some local customs and traditions?
• What type of food is popular? Where do residents go for most of their food shopping (hunting, family farms, open markets, supermarkets, etc.)?
• What are some of their important holidays celebrated?
o When, why, and how are they celebrated?
Political and Legal Factors
• Describe the country’s government system (democracy, republic, dictatorship, autocratic, etc.).
• Is the country politically stable? Explain.
• Describe trade barriers that may exist.
• List business regulations a foreign company may have to deal with when doing business in this country.
• How are business and civil disputes resolved (courts, tribal councils, coin flips, etc.)?
• Which trade treaties has this country signed?
• Which trade organizations is this country a member of?
• List at least three things you learned that are important for doing business in and with the country.
• What did you learn about the country that surprised you?
• How easy would it be for both of your countries to trade with each other?
o Do the exports of one match the import needs of the other?
o Are there any treaties that help or prevent trade?
o Does either side impose any tariffs?
o Anything else that facilitates or impedes trade between them?
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