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The Global Business Environment

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The Relocation Industry has plenty of acronyms and jargon to communicate commonly used phrases. Sometimes it may even seem like a complex code! When it comes to discussing the global business environment, these acronyms appear everywhere. It is, after all, much easier to refer to the “OIC” in conversation than it would be to describe the 57 member states that make up the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Even if your company is not doing business in a particular region, it is still important to know why certain economies are grouped together in order to understand the global business environment. Much can be determined by the dynamic of these focused groups, such as how much of a challenge currency exchange is at the moment or shipping among ports will be. In our globalized world, every business is connected in the complex web of cross cultural interaction.

Below, we provide a quick description of most major groupings that are used to describe regions, agreements, and economies.


Commonly referred to as the BRIC countries (without South Africa) or “the Big Four,” these economies are all around the same point in global economic development. Members of the BRICS group are: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. While the long-term outlook foresees great growth in these economies, today economic and political obstacles are stifling these nations.


It is anticipated that Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey will “experience faster than average growth over the coming decades” (WorldAtlas.com). According to economist Jim O’Neil, these economies have a “growth rate similar or higher than Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy” (Bankpedia.org).  Additionally, the geographic location of these countries is advantageous to global trade.

Image of international flags


The North American Free Trade Agreement is a trilateral agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. This agreement promotes exchange through establishing free trade zones. Discussions of a renegotiation are ongoing.


In the European Union, there are 28 member nations. This group, formed in 1993, shares a common currency which helps facilitate efficient trade across borders. Recently, the EU has been in the news because of the Brexit, or the United Kingdom’s exit from the union.

Asian Tigers

The four Asian tigers (also referred to as the Asian dragons) are Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. In the recent years, these economies have undergone rapid industrialization and significant development in areas to support business.

Next 11

The N-11 grouping include Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, and Mexico. In the 21st century, it is possible for these countries to have some of the world’s largest economies. While varied geographically, these countries share commonalities in education, trade and economic policy, and political stability.  Of the Next 11, the MIKT subset of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Turkey is especially attractive for western investors (Financial Times). The CIVETS (Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa) is a grouping with a similar outlook for the 21st century. 

Image of a map with various currencies


After the United Nations, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation is the second largest inter-governmental association (www.oicexchanges.org). The cooperation helps facilitate long-term programs for development among the member states. Priority goals include: peace and security, science and technology, culture and interfaith harmony, empowerment of women, and climate change and sustainability.


This notation is frequently used to refer to nations with commonalities. For example, the G7, or Group of Seven, countries are: Japan, Canada, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. There are other groups, such as the G5, G8, and G10, which all share common goals for their similar economies. The G20 Summit brings together representatives from the world’s largest and most advanced economies to work towards improving policy. According to g20.org, there are also major events held by other engagement groups from business (B20), civil society (C20), labor (L20), think tanks (T20), and youth (Y20).


When your international business is operating among different cultures, it is not always possible for global teammates to meet in person. This is where intercultural training can help. Global Workforce Development uses a hybrid approach to training in order to facilitate effective communication across cultures. 

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