Talking point
US and China reach climate protection agreement: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
At the APEC Summit the US and China reached an accord on long-term targets to combat climate change. The US plans to cut its CO2 emissions by 2025 by 26-28% compared with 2005 levels. In China CO2emissions are to peak by 2030 at the latest. Although many reservations will probably be expressed that this is too little to contain the negative consequences of climate change to a manageable degree, given the realities in international climate policy such a compromise is the bird in the hand that may be preferable to the two in the bush. [more]
Germany
New growth opportunities for Germany's engineering sector: Technology leadership and outward investment
German engineering firms must prepare to confront several trends over the medium term. The first of these is that a new, bipolar world of engineering markets is emerging. The United States and (once again) China are set to become especially promising centres of growth going forward. Further future trends are, secondly, the gradual shift in product focus towards customised system solutions; thirdly, the growing importance of not purely price-related competitive factors; and fourthly, the reconfiguration of the global division of labour in the engineering sector as the classic distinction between producer countries focusing on standard machinery and others focusing on speciality equipment becomes increasingly untenable. Provided that traditional suppliers to the manufacturing sector manage to spot the new mega-trends in good time, they will be able to build on these to develop promising strategies that enable them to adapt, survive and – ultimately – grow. [more]
Global financial markets
Fintech – The digital (r)evolution in the financial sector: Algorithm-based banking with the human touch
In sections of the financial industry there are many web- and data-based financial products and services that customers cannot obtain from either their bank or a similar provider. Non-bank, primarily technology-driven providers are increasingly entering the markets for less knowledge-intensive and easily standardisable financial services. Despite valuable comparative advantages that traditional banks have to offer they need to undergo a radical course of innovation therapy during the digital transformation process. To this end modern data analysis methods should be used just as routinely as a seamlessly integrated web of all distribution channels. Modern technologies and appropriate finance-specific internet services need to be implemented efficiently and above all in a timely manner. Strengthening one's own brand and identity as well as the obligation to handle client data confidentially will also help to deliver a sustained increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty. [more]
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