Regional Economic Integration

Regional Economic Integration means agreements between groups of countries in a geographic region to reduce and ultimately remove tariff and non-tariff barriers for the free flow of goods, services and factors of production between each other. GATT and WTO are the biggest association of more than 140 member countries, which strive to reduce the barriers. However, more than regional, WTO has a global perspective. By entering into regional agreements, groups of countries aim to reduce trade barriers more rapidly than can be achieved under WTO. While there have been decreases in the global barriers to trade and investment, the greatest progress had been made on a regional basis. There are many examples in the current popular push on the European Union (EU) and the effects the EU have on a particular business or industry that illustrates this point. Perhaps the best example of the benefits of economic integration and politicalContinue reading

Drivers of Globalization

The key factors seem to underlie the trend towards the increasing globalization of markets and production are the decline of barriers to trade and investment and the role of technological changes. 1. Decline of Barriers to Trade and Investment Decline in Trade Barriers Many of the barriers to international trade took the form of high tariffs on imports of manufactured goods. However, this depressed world demand and contributed to the great depression of the 1930’s. After World War II, the industrialized countries of the West started a process of removing barriers to the free flow of goods, services, and capital between nations. Under GATT, over 140 nations negotiated even further to decrease tariffs and made significant progress on a number of non-tariff issues (e.g. intellectual property, trade in services). The most recent round of negotiations known as Uruguay round was competed in December 1993. The Uruguay round further reduced tradeContinue reading

Competition Based Market Structures

The competitive structure of a market is defined by the number of competing firms in some segment of an economy and the proportion of the market held by each competitor. Market structure influences pricing strategies and creates barriers to competitors wishing to enter a market. Types of Competition Based Market Structures There are four basic types of competition based market structures. They are pure competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly. Pure competition exists when there are no barriers to competition. The market consists of many small, competing firms and many buyers. This means that there is a steady supply of the product and a steady for demand for it. There fore, the price cannot be controlled by either the buyers or the sellers. The product itself is homogeneous – that is, one seller’s offering is identical to all others offerings. The markets for basic food commodities, such as rice andContinue reading

Types of Economic Systems

It has been already pointed out that the way in which the three basic economic questions are answered depends on the economic system which functions in a country. To understand how these answers differ among the economic systems, we should understand the different types of economic systems. Major Types of Economic Systems Economic systems may broadly be classified into three categories: Capitalism, Socialism and Mixed economy. A number of other types also emerged but all of them came close to any one of the above three types of economic systems. Let us now discuss the features, strengths and weaknesses of each one of these economic systems. 1. Capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the principle of free enterprise. Individual ownership of resources is an important feature. With control and command over resources, individuals can conduct any type of business. The object in such a system is to maximizeContinue reading

Definition and Meaning of Economic System

Economic system refers to the organizations and institutions created for the purpose of satisfying the wants of human beings. In a country, available resources have to be utilized to manufacture and distribute goods and services, which would meet the needs of the people so that they are satisfied. These institutions and organizations function with their own rules and regulations. The economic system has certain broad characteristics. The economic system always functions with scarcity of resources. How the system effectively and efficiently uses the resources will determine the extent to which the needs of the people are met. An economic system comprises people. That is, a society of human beings alone can constitute economic system. A set of institutions are created and used for the purpose of smooth functioning of an economic system. For example, banks, money, technology, government, price mechanism, planning etc., are all institutions through which the systemsContinue reading

External Environment Factors Causing Uncertainty in Organizations

Businesses are bound to encounter several forces whenever they are in operation. In some cases, these forces are over and above their control. In spite of this reality, there is no single business which can exist without going through the external environmental forces. It is therefore imperative for a business establishment to put into consideration all the possible external forces which may affect its operations either positively or negatively. In this regard, opportunities and threats are worth noting because they account for the external factors which would often affect a business environment. When the external factors are considered and concurrently compared with the internal factors, it will be possible for a business management to formulate the right policies of dealing with the inevitable external forces. Some of the factors which may cause uncertainty in the external business environment are inadequate needs of customers, technological changes, regulations and elimination of foreignContinue reading