A personal introduction in advance will make your visit all the more enjoyable. Both Japanese and Chinese cultures view it as a sign of respect to extend themselves on behalf of a mutual friend, and you may find that they go to significant personal inconvenience and expense to make you feel welcome.
Pessimism is a hallmark of the post-crisis period, and it was with us for so long, we almost didn't notice. Confidence -- its polar opposite -- is one of those necessities that we take for granted. That is, until they are taken away. Without confidence, at best we cower in the shadows, coming out to carry on basic activities, and scurrying back for shelter. At worst, it causes the collapse of financial systems and the distribution of goods and services -- in a word, chaos. But this year, we regained something: hope.
Canada's overall numbers are not as impressive, but they reflect the growth rotation that will see exports and business investment grab the baton from the consumer and housing sectors. Conditions already favour export growth: a weakening loonie, a surge in leading sectors, a key export market that is leading the way, and strong demand for resources.
During recessions, American sentiment is typically volatile. One of the most remarkable recent developments in the world economy is the change in U.S. sentiment. After three failed attempts, the Conference Board Index of Consumer Confidence has finally and convincingly popped back into the "normal" zone.
For centuries, bees have been a steady part of agriculture. However, in the last decade, due to a rather pesky germ and modern day crop management, this stability has been threatened. What's worse is that the impact could lead to less choice at the grocery store and inevitably higher prices. This past week, scientists definitively found the source of the bee population downturn. Unfortunately, it may be a case of too little, too late.
These flows provide us with access to key resources, fast-growing markets and allow for production systems that are better aligned to country or regional economic attributes owing to the efficiencies of global supply chains. As such, it is essential to keep a close eye on global investment movements. What can we say about recent activity?
There's a sour seasonality that has become entrenched in recent global economics. In the past few years, summer has become a disarmingly punctual momentum-killer of global production. Perhaps the most critical question in EDC's Summer 2013 Global Export Forecast is whether we are in for yet another summer drubbing, or whether this is the year we break with that sorry tradition.
At a recent seminar in Tokyo designed to generate investment in Canada's natural resource sector, the interest among Japanese investors was evident. But it was equally clear that Canada faces stiff competition to woo investors. Simply repeating that "Canada is open for business" and expecting the investment dollars to roll in won't work.
We would wager citizens of every country think health care could be improved. However, we would also bet a plane ticket to someone's favourite summer getaway that Canadians will find countries with universal health care, such as Australia, Japan, or favourite tourist destinations in Europe, have far better health care than we do. That's because their citizens and their governments have no hang-ups about the three boogeymen of upfront fees, "private" insurance, and private delivery. They are also nations with progressive, sensible health care practices that could help improve Canada's health care system.
When Japan's government purchased some of the Diaoyu Islands from their private Japanese owners in September, Beijing sent surveillance ships to challenge the move, igniting old tensions in a long simmering dispute. The tensions that exist between the two nations are not contained to diplomats and politicians, they reverberate among people in both countries and across a 40 million-strong diaspora. Here in Canada, many Chinese-Canadians are polite and speak only among themselves about such issues.
If a real friend is the person who tells you when you have bad breath, then what I'm about to tell you will make me your best friend; whenever you eat sushi, you are embarrassing yourself. That's right, the abominations you commit to your California Roll bring shame upon your whole family. Are you one of those people who rub their chopsticks together? Do you proudly explain to your rube aunt from Kelowna that this is how you get rid of the splinters? Dude, look around you. This isn't Quest for Fire. You are not Survivorman Les Stroud, trying to get some kindling to smoke. You are in a sushi-ya on Broadway.
Senator Chuck Schumer wants the U.S. government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to intervene to block the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) -- a state-owned firm -- from purchasing Nexen, a Canadian energy company active in the oil sands of Alberta. At first glance, it seems awfully presumptuous of the United States government to intervene at all.
Japan's Parliamentary Nuclear Accident Investigation Commission, the first of its kind in the history of Japan's constitutional government, independent and having subpoena power, delivered a stinging indictment of the nuclear plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), regulators and the government. At the same time, the Commission's recommendations lay the solid ground for building accountability, transparency and independence that are the sure building blocks for ensuring public safety.