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August 14, 2018
E-commerce (commerce conducted via the Internet) represents a paradigm shift in international trade. Technologies, processes, and ideas have always disrupted supply chains, logistics, marketing, and regulatory environments, however e-commerce, which emerged in the last few decades, is going further by transforming consumer behavior, blurring the laws behind economies of scale, and opening vast new markets (according to a Cisco report about 1.5 billion more people have access to mobile phones than clean water). Moreover, e-commerce is showing no signs of slowing.
This report offers Virginia companies an overview of the Chinese market for e-commerce and ways to access and leverage it. Companies will find:
- A summary of current trends (e-commerce business models, platforms, market segments, and market sizes)
- A list of key global e-commerce players that are present in the Chinese market
- Trends in cross-border e-commerce, mobile e-commerce, and mobile payment
- Information on local legislation and regulations
- Useful trade associations, trade events, and e-commerce service providers
June 30, 2018
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country surrounded by other NATO members (except for Austria) and entirely by European Union members. Defense spending is currently well below the Czech Republic’s commitment to the NATO. Between 2005 and 2015, spending fell from the required 2% of GDP to less than 1%. The share of the national budget allocated to defense has been insufficient in comparison to many other European countries that are NATO members.
However, the situation changed with the Ukraine crisis and the Crimea annexation by Russia. Suddenly a war was going on almost next door as only neighboring Slovakia separates the Czech Republic from Ukraine. It served as a wakeup call for all EU countries and created pressure on decision makers to start preparing better defense strategies, and on politicians to start treating national defense as a priority again.
Similarly, the migration crisis (i.e. migrants from Africa and the Middle East coming to the EU after the Arab Spring caused instabilities in many countries) had a similar effect on spending of the Ministry of Interior and the Police, even though the Czech Republic serves mostly as only a transit country for migrants trying to reach Germany or other West or North European countries as their destination.
The Ministry of Interior and especially the Ministry of Defense have begun to increase funding and spending in innovation and modernization of their forces. The MoD declared plans to spend over CZK 150 billion (~ USD 6.7 billion) on army modernization projects by 2026. This upward trend is expected to further continue in the years to come.
This report examines the Defense and Security market in the Czech Republic, providing overviews of the Czech Armed Forces, Homeland Security, market opportunities and the public procurement system.
June 30, 2018
In 1994, Romania became the first post-communist country to join the Partnership for Peace program; its individual program was signed in May 1995. In 1996, the Romanian Parliament appealed to Parliaments of NATO Member States requesting support for Romania’s aspirations to become a NATO member. Still, Romania was not granted membership for many more years.
In the next years, Romania continued to prove its commitment to support NATO activities; the military from Romania and the United States set up an air traffic monitoring center covering the Romanian territory and neighboring areas. In 2001, the Romanian Parliament decided by an overwhelming majority for Romania to participate, as a de facto NATO ally, in the war against international terrorism, through all means, including military ones, Romania being ready to grant access to its airspace, airports, land and sea facilities. At Prague NATO Summit in 2002, Romania was invited to start accession discussions and the country was finally granted NATO membership in 2004.
After accession, a number of legislative changes were made to harmonize national legislation with the NATO acquis, including the 2003 Revised Constitution. Thus, military service in peacetime was no longer compulsory and starting January 1, 2007, Romania needed to have a professional army. However in case of war, state of mobilization and state of siege, the military service would still become mandatory.
Having gone through a downsizing stage (2005-2007) and NATO and EU operational integration (2008- 2015), the Romanian military has recently been going through the last phase of its transformation, which is to be finalized in 2025 and translates into full integration into NATO and EU. The country would have to heavily rely on NATO support in case of a military attack.
This report examines the Defense and Security market in Romania, providing overviews of the Romanian Armed Forces, Homeland Security, market opportunities and the public procurement system.
Colombian Government and Military Procurement – International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)
June 1, 2018
Coca production remains one of Colombia’s major issues as 2016 was a record year for production of coca and the trend does not show signs of reversal. The U.S. Government has long pushed aggressive counter-narcotics strategies such as aerial spraying and forced eradication of coca.
The U.S. Administration’s focus for INL projects in Colombia will mainly be focused on eradicating coca crops. U.S. aid to Colombia will be $391.2 million in 2018 and $265.4 million in 2019. Main projects of INL’s assistance to Colombia include:
- Support to the aviation units of the Colombian National Police and Army
- Strengthening the capabilities of the Colombian National Police
- New technologies for eradication and interdiction
- Monitoring, verification and eradication of reseeding
This report details the U.S. INL funding for Colombia in the federal budget, specifically the project-by-project breakdown and priority projects within the budget