Multinational Enterprises and the Global Economy - Essay Example For instance, foreign direct investment is one such activity, which has influenced the overall relationship among various governments and international companies trying to enter the host nations. FDI will be studied as an extended example along with its pros and cons in various nations as well as host organizations. According to Peters and Pierre (2006), â€œglobalization refers to the worldwide phenomenon of technological, economic, political, and cultural exchanges among nations, organizations and private individuals.â€ As a direct result of these exchanges, nations are more dependent on each other than ever. This has also resulted in interconnectedness and innumerable opportunities, in terms of modern technology, larger markets, superior and modern goods and services as well as minimum barriers to capital and trade flows. This has also changed overall wants, tastes, demands and needs of consumers, who are increasingly converging towards being called as global customers. Apart from opportunities, globalization is also filled with numerous challenges. These challenges include fierce competition, decline in the number of local job opportunities, close-down of various local organizations and even some retail formats, market liberalization, economic volatility, new and more complicated security issues as well as increased non-tariff trade barriers. So, it can be said that globalization has brought both positive and negative influences on the overall world economy as well as relationship between the host government and MNEs. The overall influence of globalization can be described in terms of two critical developments. Firstly, the re-occurrence of regional and economic proximity that contributes to enhanced investigation about innovation. The second development is the growing inter-relationship between innovation and technology. It has been observed that majority of innovations, occurring across sectors, are direct or indirect results of advancements in
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Obesity and health clubs - Essay Example The reason for this could have been due to the rise in membership fees, which account for 75% to 85% of health club earnings. An alternative cause could be that health clubs are spending less than before, which accounts for a decrease in company expenditure. According to a report by Mintel (2011), the health and fitness club market has 5.33 million users, and as previously mentioned, this figure is predicted to increase with the upcoming Olympics. Market Trends The health club market has had some positive turns due to increasing awareness of obesity problems, and negative turns due to the economic crisis. Obesity In the UK, the high rate of obesity is a very serious problem that requires action to be taken. The following statistics by Keynote (2011) are obesity predictions for 2050: 60% of men, 50% of women, and 25% of children. This is a very large percentage of the population. In 2010 (confirm year), the government created a scheme in England called â€˜Change4Life,â€™ which aimed to change the lives of the population of England by altering diet and exercise habits. This public encouragement of exercise could have influenced the rise we now see in health club use. Public and Private Health Clubs However, due to the current economic crisis, it is becoming difficult for health club members to pay the annual fees. In addition, as people are looking to decrease spending, health clubs are likely to be considered unnecessary during hard times, despite member loyalty. With an increase in government spending on health and welfare, public health clubs have seen improvements and increases in available resources. However, this does not benefit private health clubs like Virgin, which rely on membership numbers to generate profit. Distribution Health clubs provide a service in exchange for payment of membership fees. Some clubs also charge a joining fee. Once fees are paid, members can utilise the facilities as they please within the timeframe they have purchased. Health clubs often have an additional system where consumers can pay less for access to fewer facilities. At health clubs, members can also purchase items like water bottles or food, and often health-related products such as protein shakes and powder. Virgin Active is a chain of health clubs with 194 locations throughout South Africa, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia, and the United Kingdom. As of April 2011, Virgin Active had 69 health clubs in the UK, with a total of 265,000 members; this averages at 3,841 members per club. The fee to join a Virgin Active health club ranges from a monthly fee of ?50 to ?90. Virgin Activeâ€™s Competitors According to Mintel (2011), the leading fitness and health clubs in the industry in 2011 were: David Lloyd with 450,000 adult members, Virgin Active with 419,000 adult members, Fitness First with 400,000 adult members, DW Sports Fitness with 250,000 adult members, LA Fitness with 215,000 adult members, Bannatyne Fitness 180,000 adult members, and Nuffield with 150,000 adult members. After Virgin Activeâ€™s purchase of the Esporta business, the company moved into second place;
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