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European Competitiveness in World Trade

Nelson, Ian (2000) European Competitiveness in World Trade. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Having chosen this topic, and attempted to fulfill my original proposal, I sometimes wonder if I should have discarded this idea and chosen something else to examine There are two main reasons, however, why I did choose this particular topic, which essentially analyses Germany's position in World Trade competitiveness. One stems from a general interest in employment law and international trade, both of which I have studied as third-level subjects in Ireland and Germany. The second reason is derived from an interest in the country of Germany itself. I have studied there for one year, and have spent countless months there, both working and trying to improve my language skills. I have become curious about the integration of East and West Germany, and would like to observe the implications this unification has on the renowned strong German economy. So, hoping soon to enter into the Worldwide business circuit myself, I feel it is important to understand the events which are happening, and how increasing legislation in the EU is affecting competitiveness in World Trade.

After my initial statement, the reader may believe that I have not enjoyed the making of this thesis. This, however, is not the case. Many interesting issues and topics were drawn to my attention as I examined labour costs in Germany,
Japan and the USA, and I think perhaps this was the problem. What I discovered, was that within the area of international competitiveness, there are countless avenues of exploration, from wage costs and union negotiations, to economic factors and productivity measures. So, perhaps half-way through this report, I suddenly realised exactly how enormous the scope of this particular topic is, and with the limit of 10,000 words, it would not be possible to effectively address all the pertinent issues in World Trade competitiveness. today. So instead of trying to prove that high labour costs alone are leading to Germany's uncompetitiveness in World Trade, I am looking at the possibility that these costs contribute to the problem.

I also encountered other difficulties during the writing of this thesis. Because of my research sample, viz. Germany, Japan and America, it was difficult to find relevant information, which I could compare between the three countries.
However, the Internet helped enormously - (without it I think I would have had to discard this topic!)

For the primary research, i.e. the questionnaires and telephone interviews, I also met difficulty in the form of language barriers. I felt it necessary to translate my questionnaires into German for the German sample, but unfortunately I could not do this for the Japanese sample. Thus, there was some confusion regarding some of the questions and issues which I raised. However, thanks to the wonder of the e-mail, these difficulties were eventually by-passed, and I got most of the information I needed.

I hope you enjoy reading this thesis, and that I have included enough information for it to be objective, interesting and a somewhat fresh view of the current World Trade situation regarding labour costs.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Export Industries
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in European Business and Languages
Depositing User: SINEAD CORCORAN
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2010 16:16
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2015 08:32
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/247

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