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 free trade talks, 2014 economic predictions, and currencies are among the hot topics.


Happier New Year?

At the recent annual meeting of the Latin American Federation of Banks, bankers from 51 different countries took a look at economic prospects for 2014. The consensus forecast? Stronger global economic growth in the year ahead.


Or, If Not: Extraordinary Monetary Policies?

Still, the business environment isn’t without its headwinds. If a sustained recovery doesn’t materialize soon, The Observer’s Heather Stewart offers 5 radical steps policymakers could implement on both sides of the Atlantic.


You’re Not “Too Small” to Go Global

Just about anyone can become a global business today. In a blog post for the U.S. Small Business Administration, a SCORE executive shares reasons why small companies should consider expanding to global markets.


Seriously, You’re Not to Small

No business is immune to tough economic times — not even the Pope’s bell maker. One of the oldest family-owned businesses in Italy turned to global markets to make up for soft domestic sales. Exports now account for 20 percent of the firm’s business.


Your How-To Manual for the Coming Year

Need a crash course in international business? BloombergBusinessweek serves up 2014: A User’s Guide to the Global Economy.


WTO Free Trade Negotiations: No Deal

So close, yet so far: Recent negotiations among the World Trade Organization for a global free-trade pact fell apart, stymieing hopes for deal worth up to $1 trillion to the world economy. There remains some hope the WTO will salvage an agreement, though it’s far from a done deal.


Payment Pitfalls Overseas

Rare is the business that wants to suffer slow- or non-paying customers. Indeed, payments can be one of the challenges — albeit not surmountable — in doing business in international markets.


Speaking of Currencies…

Bitcoin has the Internet abuzz. The crypto-currency has traded at record levels lately, fueling the hype. The Guardian’s Alex Hern asks: Is Bitcoin About to Change the World?



November marked the 50-year anniversary of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. A Wake Forest University professor looks back at JFK’s televised funeral as a bellwether for the modern global era.


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