The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) promoted by the European Union and China poses new challenges but opens the door to a different international economic relations approach.

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Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

The end of 2020 brought some unexpected news, as the European Union and China announced they reached an investment deal. With all the noise about covid, US election, and the usual slowdown during the season, it seems the agreement is going a bit more under the radar than one would expect according to its (apparent) importance. But is it just one more political move, or it will really move the needle in the international geopolitics and economic context?

At least for the European Union, this looks like a very relevant move promoted and published at the highest political level as a significant achievement. Europe said that “the EU has traditionally been much more open than China to foreign investment. This is true as regards foreign investment in general. China now commits to open up to the EU in a number of key sectors.” Is that true, of just the final bombshell that Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted to throw before the end of the German rotating presidency of the EU? As she’s also leaving the government at the end of 2021, this could have also been the cherry on the cake for more than fifteen years in power. …


Strategy is not dead, but more powerful and needed than ever to get your business into the successful path, at least, into the alive course. That’d be the motto.

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Photo by Matt Noble on Unsplash

I bet 2020 was such a weird year also for most of you. However, it was also time to put things in order, reflect, get ideas together, and that’s what I did, out loud, through my articles published here at Medium.

At the end of the year, it turned out I had gathered many thoughts about business strategy, about the lessons I learned from a few experiences through the latest twenty years. As most of them were evergreen, and I thought they could be useful for the businesses and professionals struggling to find a way out of the situation provoked by the pandemic, I decided to create a collection of these thoughts. …


It’s not only a matter of principles, values, or responsibility. It’s also because these sectors and activities could be among the ones with the highest growth potential in the next decade.

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Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

These days, many people are talking, with the arrival of the new year, of the beginning of another Roaring Twenties. This time, after another pandemic (like the Spanish flu that left between 20 and 50 million deaths), we can have a silver lining: the rise in the awareness of the dark side of globalization and how urgent it is to start taking serious action about the environment and climate change. On the other side, a foreseeable K-shaped economic recovery, and the impact of the crisis, hitting harder to most vulnerable groups, shows the risks of unbalanced economic development. Populists worldwide have shown that it’s not that difficult to take advantage of the large discontented layers of society for their own profit. …


The sad story about Tony Hsieh remembers that the founders’ isolation can be a problem that comes up too often

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The story is always very much the same. Much stress, a big deal of pressure, some old ghosts chasing you, and a sad ending. There’s always a person behind the persona, and that person is usually weaker, more contradictory. In short, a normal human being capable of the best and the worse, as we all are.

When you do big things, you carry an enormous burden, maybe too big for a single mind. The higher you climb, the harder you fall. …


Tip: you won’t find in them any sign of generosity.

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Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

Someone approached me last week. He was a Fake Entrepreneur, and he had a supposedly great idea for a new business. I listened, and I thought the concept could even have some potential if we could take care of every detail, doing it fast, thoroughly, and honestly.

In the beginning, it’s virtually impossible to identify a fake entrepreneur, but you could work your way with some quite simple steps. It’s difficult to know because they look active, creative, they have some kind of contagious energy. They have already done some smart work; they have taken some actions, making the whole project seem to be in the right direction. …


This is how I got here, and the challenges I’d like to develop ahead.

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Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

It’s no big deal for many, but I wrote these hundred thousand words in the last nine months, and for me, this is quite an accomplishment. So let me be a bit proud of them, and make some reflections about the journey.

I always liked to learn and write, and I think this comes naturally to me. But I have to admit I wouldn’t probably be writing this if it were not for the pandemic and the lockdown.

I’m not a professional writer, so publishing my thoughts and analysis has never been a priority. It’s always been there as a side project, as a way to organize ideas and make sense of them, or also as an excuse to find a way to keep reading, feeding my curiosity. …


Short answer: we tried, but unfortunately not. However, he defeated even himself, having eight million more votes than in 2016.

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

He got more votes (around 71 million) than any other candidate in history, except his rival Joe Biden (more than 75 million). That means two million more than Barack Obama in 2008 and five million more than when he was re-elected in 2012. Twenty-five million more votes than Ronald Reagan in 1980 or Bill Clinton in 1992. He even defeated himself, having the support of eight million more people than four years ago.

So Donald Trump is supported by millions, apparently a growing crowd. Why?
Maybe because he says things his voters think but don’t dare to say. …


BlackRock manages almost eight trillion dollars and is in most of the rooms where big decisions are made.

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Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Sometimes it is called the most influential company you have never heard of. At least, it is indeed the world’s largest asset manager. According to Wikipedia, BlackRock Inc. was launched in 1988 with funds coming from Blackstone Group. By January of 2020, assets under management past $7 trillion, and as of today, the amount can be around $7.8 trillion (according to Reuters). This makes BlackRock the world’s largest investment management firm. It runs more than 800 exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Those almost 8 trillion could be more than Germany and UK’s GDP combined. And the numbers did nothing but grow during this pandemic year. As they published last October, just in the last quarter, they had “7% annualized organic asset growth, 18% increase in revenue year-over-year, and 17% increase in operating income year-over-year”, just to name a few of the very positive results. …


Technology is turning workers into one more product. Are we going towards an Auction Economy?

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Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

I had this conversation with an Uber driver a few months ago. She was a smart, really nice middle-aged woman. We had an interesting conversation I enjoyed very much about many things (Trump among them…), on our way from San Francisco to Concord on a Friday evening. Would you want Uber to be forced by law to hire you as an employee, or you prefer to remain as an independent contractor? Look, she said, I prefer to work for Uber, for Lyft, and whoever else, and be on the street only when I want to be there. I want my time. I make good money on Fridays and Saturday evening, and that’s enough for me. …


The trend towards less tangible globalization was already present, but pandemic, as in many other aspects, is accelerating the transformation.

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Photo by Sushant Vohra on Unsplash

According to the latest events, “glocal” is a word that is catching up as one of the most appropriate to explain the world towards we are going. In a discussion, I heard someone was planning to move out of the city to a nice, large, quiet environment in the countryside and live out of “Amazon and Zoom.” As long as we’re engaging more and more in our closest community to try to help for a quick and healthy recovery, our life is moving at the same time to boundaries we didn’t think a year ago.

For the latest three or four decades, we have been surfing up the newest wave of “physical globalization,” and nothing seemed to put a stop to it. …

About

JM Piqué

Learner. Top writer in #Ideas, #Future, and #Government. I like living in the future. #Business is my main focus, but I can’t help to have many others.

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