Welcome to the Global Connection, our monthly wrap-up of must-read headlines for organizations that do business around the world. You’re busy; let us do the grunt work. We’ll track the events and information from around the Web that global businesses need to know. This month, the WTO deal, the Internet of Things and a lack of exporting know-how are among the hot topics.


Let’s Make a ($1 Trillion) Deal

The World Trade Organization strikes a late-breaking pact worth as much in $1 trillion in global business. According to Politico, the agreement should “make it easier and cheaper to move goods around the world by cutting red tape and improving customs procedures.”


U.S. Trade Chief Optimistic

The Financial Times takes a look at the first six months on the job for Mike Froman, the top trade official in U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration. It’s not a position for the faint of heart: Shortly after the WTO deal in Bali, Froman was en route to Singapore for trade negotiations with 11 other nations.


Internet of (Next Big) Things: What It’s Missing

Some hail the Internet of Things — a global network of “smart” Internet-connected objects including not just computers and phones but stuff like toasters and cars — as the biggest of next-big-things since, well, the Internet itself. An Intel engineer tells Quartz’s Christopher Mims that the lack of an interoperability standard, or “universal glue,” that binds everything together — analogous to HTML and the Web — currently prevents the Internet of Things from realizing its potential.


Lack of Knowledge Top Exporting Roadblock

A survey of small businesses in northern England finds that the chief obstacle keeping those companies from going global isn’t logistical, language-related or financial. Rather, it’s simply a lack of knowledge of international trade rules. The Guardian, meanwhile, examines other reasons keeping British small businesses on the global sidelines.


World Business Expansion Choppy

The year ends on positive note for global manufacturing and business activity, Reuters reports, but economic recovery and growth remain uneven. Business is generally strong in Europe, for example, but a country-specific look finds Germany booming and France flagging.


Cool Stuff? Inside a Global Bitcoin Mining Operation

A behind-the-scenes look at a nascent Bitcoin mining startup includes its reasons for global expansion. Some may sound familiar: Multiple locations help safeguard against technology failures, unfavorable government regulations and other regional conditions. Our favorite? The firm’s facility in Iceland was chosen in part because it can take advantage of the natural — not to mention free — Arctic air to cool the energy-intensive computers used to mine the crypto-currency.

Were there other international business stories that caught your attention this past month? Share them in the comments section below.