It’s not easy to start a business on a whim. It takes time, patience, learning about your wares and deciding on the right market for them. What if your ideal market lies over the ocean? There are several approaches to setting up a business in a foreign country, but the crux of the problem is getting it approved. Unlike street traders, setting up a certified business takes a lot of convincing and paperwork, depending on the country you have your sights on. Interestingly, not all countries approach setting up the same business the same way.
In fact, it takes only one day to finish your paper work and have a certified business up and running in New Zealand takes less than one day while it takes 230 days to get all the paperwork approved in Venezuela. The startling difference between the approach of the two countries to business explains why the World Bank itself has credited New Zealand as the easiest place in the world to set up a business and why Venezuela is 187th out of 190 on the list. New Zealand has managed to steal first place from Singapore, which held the title for the past ten years.
It isn’t just because Venenzuela has a bad economy that it ranks so low. The World Bank also took into account other aspects of starting a business such as property registration, credit approval and construction permits. It isn’t just about the size of the country either. The United States ranks a rather surprising 8 on the scale while Kazakhstan, Kenya and Brunei have seen the most improvement in their business environments after several recent reforms. Denmark, Norway and Sweden represented the EU in the top ten while Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea representing Asia. The worst rated of the 190 economies was Somalia, with the war-riddled country’s natives barely making enough to survive let alone to pay taxes.
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Feminism and ‘Girl power’ seem to be written on everything now. If a person is not a feminist they are automatically labeled as chauvinistic or, even worse, unprogressive. Women o have a lot to celebrate these days, with more and more of them entering every walk of life. Women entering into politics seem to be making up for all the time they lost. However, it bears keeping in mind that less than a quarter of all legislators around the world are women. Having women enter politics will mean drawing more attention to women-related issues, such as maternity leave and access to childcare and domestic violence.
Change takes far too long but the world needs woman in positions of power now more than ever. People are suggesting time-limited quotas to speed up progress and get the ball rolling. This is not limited to politics and could apply to corporate boards as well. To really make sure there is an equal ratio of gender representation, certain posts can be shortlisted to be female-only. Instead of thinking parliamentary, local government also need female reinforcers to combat problems closer to home or specific to a locality. By publishing the quotient of seats held by both men and women, candidate diversity would be easier to recognise, rectify and organise.
The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine this year as awarded to Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Yoshinori Ohsumi, a cell biologist at the Frontier Research Center, for his contribution to discovering autophagy in depth. Autophagy is the process where cells degrade themselves and recycle most cellular components. Ohsumi’s multiple discoveries in the file have led to a new level of understanding on cellular recycling. There is a fundamental importance in the study of autophagy in several physiological processes. This includes the body’s adaptation to starvation situations without shutting down vital processes and its response to infections before the action of secondary immune defenses.
In the late 1950s and the early 1960s, many researchers began to recognize that certain animal cells use undergo a process they termed ‘autophagy’ which the cells used to recycle proteins and other cellular components. They also came to know that this phenomenon was particularly active when the cells was placed under stressful conditions, such as disease, when the host organism was battling an infection or starvation, when essential nutrients would be in short supply. In the 60+ years of the discovery of this process, exactly how the process functioned and which cells could use it remained unclear.
Rare cases of autophagy mutations in certain genes do exist and can cause diseases, with several consequences. Additionally this process is also involved in conditions such as cancer and neurological disorders. Ohsumi’s research basically started with the investigation of another phenomenon in yeast, however one discovery led to another and they finally formed the crux of molecular medicine. Mutated yeast was used to pinpoint exactly which genes were used for autophagy.
Scientists in the field agree that not only is it well-deserved but he has also become a great example of someone who laid a strong foundation for basic research and discovered great things because of his thoroughness.