Unit 35 European Business


Assignment Brief

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Assignment front sheet

Qualification
Unit number and title
Pearson, BTEC, HND
Unit 35, Unit Code: F/601/1089
Student name
Assessor name

Vincent Adon, Anthony Owusu, Alex Addo, Joseph Tawiah
Date issued
Completion date
Submitted on
03/11/14
19/01/2015



Assignment title
European Business

Learning Outcome

Learning Outcome
Assessment Criteria
In this assessment you will have the opportunity to present evidence that shows you are able to:
Task no.

Evidence
(Page no)
LO1
Understand the significance of international trade and the balance of payments to
open economies such as the UK
AC1.1
Explain the importance of international trade to an open economy such as the UK

1

AC1.2
Assess the significance of comparative
advantage, absolute advantage, the terms of trade and exchange rates

1

AC1.3
Describe the structure of the balance of
payments

1

AC1.4
Explain the terms ‘surplus’ and ‘deficit’ and the significance of long-term deficits to open economies
1







LO2





Understand the economic rationale underpinning the European Union (EU).
AC 2.1
Explain the role played by exchange rates in
international trade
2

AC 2.2
Analyse the advantages attributed to the
adoption of a single European currency
2

AC 2.3
Explain the difference between free trade and protectionism and the role played by tariffs, quotas and deregulation within the EU
2

Ac 2.4
Evaluate the importance of geographic and
occupational mobility in wealth creation
2

LO3
Understand the role of the major EU institutions.
AC3.1
Explain the role of the main EU institutions in determining and legitimising policy
3

AC3.2
Assess the role played by EU directives
3

AC3.3
Evaluate the structure and purpose of the
main EU funding streams such as the ERDF and the ESF
3

LO4
Be able to develop an action
plan for a specific UK
company wishing to trade
within the EU
AC 4.1

Produce a profile of the EU as a trading bloc
4

AC 4.2
Evaluate the significance of linguistic, cultural, logistical and environmental barriers to EU operations
4

AC 4.3
Carry out an audit of possible EU funding stream
streams that may be available and relevant directives

4

AC 4.4
Produce an action plan which lists the actions necessary to begin such a venture
4



Learner declaration
I certify that the work submitted for this assignment is my own and research sources are fully acknowledged.


Student signature:                                                             Date:


This assignment gives you the opportunity to submit evidence in order to achieve the following MERIT and DISTINCTION grades

Grade Descriptor

Indicative characteristic/s

Contextualisation
M1 Identify and apply strategies to find appropriate solutions
Effective judgments have been made.
An effective approach to study and research has been applied.
To achieve M1, you will make effective judgments and use relevant tools to explain the terms ‘surplus’ and ‘deficit’ and the significance of long-term deficits to open economies. An effective approach to study should be used to explain the role played by exchange rates in
international trade (LO1 1.4 & LO2 2.1)
M2 Select / design and apply appropriate methods / techniques
Appropriate learning methods/techniques have been applied.
To achieve M2, you will have used suitable techniques to present the difference between free trade and protectionism and the role played by tariffs, quotas and deregulation within the EU. You will also apply the same techniques in assessing the role played by EU directives. (LO2 2.3 & LO3 3.2)
M3 Present and communicate appropriate findings
Communication is appropriate for familiar and unfamiliar audiences and appropriate media have been used.
To achieve M3 the work you present will be presented in suitable business formats and will use business terminology accurately. You also need to use a correct Harvard referencing style using a wide range of resources and finally use critical reflection to evaluate own work and justify valid conclusions. (LO1, LO2, LO3 & LO4)
D1 Use critical reflection to evaluate own work and justify valid conclusions
Conclusions have been arrived at through synthesis of ideas and have been justified.
Realistic improvements have been proposed against defined characteristics for success.
To achieve D1 you would have made valid conclusions by analysing the advantages attributed to the adoption of a single European currency. You also need to demonstrate a good ability to synthetize when reflecting on scenario and give alternative courses of action with relevant recommendations (LO1 1.2 & LO2 2.2).

D2 Take responsibility for managing and organising activities
Activities have been managed.
To achieve D2 you will have demonstrated an effective approach to independent research and study and use your critical reasoning to complete different tasks to achieve the unit assessment criteria.
 (LO2 2.4 & LO4 4.2)
D3 Demonstrate convergent/lateral/creative thinking
Effective thinking has taken place in unfamiliar contexts
When making recommendations for improvement, realistic ideas have been generated and decisions taken. Creative and innovative thinking with deep learning have been applied in management decisions. LO4 4.3 & 4.4






Assignment brief
Unit number and title

Qualification

Start date

Deadline/hand-in

Assessor


Assignment title

Purpose of this assignment

To provide learners with an understanding of the importance of international trade and in particular UK trade with the European Union. It is important, therefore, that learners seeking employment in the business world realise that if we do not export sufficient goods or services we cannot afford to import the food and raw materials we need to maintain our economic wellbeing.
Scenario

Task 1  (LO1 AC 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)

LO1: Understand the significance of international trade and the balance of payments to open economies such as the UK

UK, England, London listed palm oil firm gets cooking after £1.1bn bid
(By Oscar Williams-Grut, Evening Standard 10/10/14)

You can cook with it, it does in everything from margarine to soap and it’s even used to make plastics – palm oil is big business thanks to its presence in the London commodities markets.
Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby, one of the world’s biggest producers of the stuff, today offered £1.1 billion to snap up London-listed New Britain Palm Oil, a sustainable palm oil producer.
The 715p-a-share offer represents a whopping 85% premium to yesterday’s closing price, for a firm that has flown under the radar of most in the City.
The vegetable oil, popular in Africa and south-east Asia, has recently attracted negative press from environmental groups as forests are often cleared to make way for palm trees.
New Britain Palm Oil, which has palm fields in Papua New Guinea, produces its wares in an environmentally friendly way. Its position in London gives Sime Darby a foothold in Europe, where demand for palm oil is growing fast. New Britain Palm Oil leapt 288.5p to 675p.
News of the blockbuster deal boosted Dekel Oil, an Ivory Coast-focused palm oil producer, 0.1p to 1.47p, amid hopes of further consolidation in the sector.
Optimism in US and Asian markets overnight helped the Footsie shrug off its recent gloom, adding 46.15 points to 6528.39.
Traders pointed to dovish sentiments in the latest Federal Reserve minutes. Comments from the Fed expressing concern about the strength of the dollar also helped gold prices, giving a welcome lift to producers.
Fresnillo added 43p to 766.5p, Randgold Resources climbed 290p to 4341.5p, Antofagasta put on 22p to 696.75p, Polymetal International improved 23p to 493.9p and African Barrick Gold rose 6.1p to 206.2p.
Egyptian gold producer Centamin, up 2.85p at 60.57p, was lifted by third-quarter production figures, which revealed a 15% rise in production compared with the prior three-months.
Californian, USA customer services software specialist Kofax collapsed 49.75p to 420p after missing first-quarter forecasts. It was blamed on large software deals taking too long to complete.
Tasks:
Read widely and investigate further the facts in the article above and answer the following questions:

1.    Explain the importance of international trade to an open economy such as the UK
(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 1.1)

2.    a) Define Comparative Advantage, Absolute advantage and Terms of Trade & Exchange Rate

b) Assess the significance of comparative advantage, absolute advantage, the terms of trade and exchange rates to the UK economy
(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 1.2)

3.    Assuming that the balance of payment of an imaginary country comprises the following main items (all figures in millions of £): exports of goods 400; imports of goods 500; government (invisibles) -150; other invisibles +200; investment and other capital flows -45.

                  Describe the structure of the balance of payments and calculate the:
    1. Visible trade balance,
    2. Current balance and
    3. Balance for official financing.
(The above provides evidence for assessment criteria 1.3)

4.    What is Surplus and Deficit in an economy?

a.    Explain the terms ‘surplus’ and ‘deficit’
b.    Explain the significance of long-term deficits to open economies
                (This provides evidence for assessment criteria 1.4)

Task 2 (LO2 AC 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4)
LO2: Understand the economic rationale underpinning the European Union (EU)

Task 2a
Productivity growth has increased in Central and Eastern European countries relative to Western European countries. This has implications for the real exchange rate. Let’s look at the Czech Republic versus France (suppose they are the only two European countries).

For your task you are required to explain the role played by exchange rates in European business.

(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 2.1)


Task 2b
The Euro is a single currency arrangement that came into theoretical operation between 11 members of the European Union in January 1999. On January 1st 2002, 12 EU members got rid of their own currencies and introduced the Euro as their sole currency. A single currency means that there are no longer separate national monetary policies, and instead a new central bank has been set up – The European Central Bank – that conducts a Europe wide monetary policy, in particular the setting of interest rates. That means a loss of separate national monetary policies – interest rates and exchange rates. Should Germany want to introduce an economic policy to fight back against unemployment, it cannot do so as this can only come from the European Central Bank.

For your task you are required to analyse the advantages attributed to the adoption of a single European currency.

(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 2.2)

Task 2c
Explain the difference between free trade and protectionism and the role played by tariffs, quotas and deregulation within the EU.

(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 2.3)

Task 2d
One of the founding principles of the European Union is the freedom of movement of workers (Article 39 of the Treaty establishing the European Community). The free movement of workers is essential for the creation of an area without internal frontiers, and for the strengthening of economic and social cohesion as well as active European citizenship in creating wealth for the economic development. Despite these obvious returns geographic and occupational mobility rates are still relatively low in the European Union, both within and between countries. For instance, on average between 2000 and 2005, workers’ mobility within EU Member States (regional mobility) amounted to only one per cent each year. This is much lower than mobility rates across Australian territories and US states, which exceed two and three per cent, respectively (Adapted from European Commission, 2007).

For your task you are required to evaluate the importance of geographic and occupational mobility in wealth creation for EU member countries.

(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 2.4)

Task 3 (LO AC3.1, 3.2, 3.3)

LO3: Understand the role of the major EU institutions.

Task 3a
The Communities Act 1972, which gives legitimacy to the UK’s membership of the EU is under threat. Mr Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, has promised a referendum by 2017 to allow the British people decide whether or not the UK should remain in the EU. If the majority vote is for the UK to pull out of the EU, it means that the Communities Act will be repealed and the UK will no longer be a member of the EU. One of the overarching arguments behind the referendum is that the UK seem to have relinquished too much powers to the EU, through the main EU institutions.

Read widely and investigate further the facts above and answer the following question:

1)    Advise the UK government on what role the main EU institutions play in the determination and        legitimising of EU policy; and briefly discuss whether there is any veracity to the argument that the UK has relinquished too much powers to these institutions.

(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 3.1)   

Task 3b

A fictitious directive 267/14 was issued by the EU to all member states on 1 October 2014. It prohibits the export of fire arms out of the EU. The UK government has come to you for advice as they are concerned that if they implement this directive, they will be in breach of their contract with a non-EU country to whom they supply fire arms. The contract is due for renewal on 1 October 2015.

Consider the scenario above and answer the following questions

2)    Advise the UK government on the function of EU directives and whether or not you think they will be in breach as described above. Further, should the UK decide to ignore the directive, what consequences, if at all, do you think may follow.

(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 3.2)     

2)   What are the main EU funding streams? Evaluate their structure and purpose.

(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 3.3) 

Task 4 (LO AC4.1;4.2;4.3;4.4)

LO4: Be able to develop an action plan for a specific UK company wishing to trade within the EU.

Read the case study below and further research, complete the questions that follow.

A Slap Down of Italy and France Over Budget

"France and Italy pressed for an easing of budget restrictions to stimulate growth and cut unemployment in Europe, but won no concession from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who insisted that countries had to move faster on reforms.

The difference over budgetary policy overshadowed the Milan meeting of EU leaders on how to create jobs, as the multi-year budget plans of both France and Italy seemed likely to be rejected by the European Commission because of their fiscal backsliding.

While government leaders and EU officials agreed on the need to tackle record youth unemployment, which has exceeded 40 per cent in several Eurozone countries, they seemed no closer on the policy prescriptions.

Responding to a prior call by Hollande for Germany to exploit its trade surplus and balanced budget to adopt more expansionary policies, Angela Merkel said her country had already taken steps to boost domestic demand by 15bn Euros" (City AM 10 Oct.2014)

Tasks
1) Produce a profile of the EU as a trading bloc and discuss its importance to member states.
(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 4.1)


2) Evaluate the significance of:

a)    Linguistics,
b)    Cultural,
c)    Logistical and
d)    Environmental barriers to EU operations; and
e)    Briefly, explain how these factors may influence as barriers to the national budgets of the member states.
(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 4.2)

3) Carry out an audit of possible EU funding streams that may be available and relevant directives to support companies in France or Italy during their financial situation in the case study.

(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 4.3)

4) Produce an action plan which lists the actions necessary for Wonga to begin an investment venture in EU.

(This provides evidence for assessment criteria 4.4)











Indicative reading for learners

Textbooks
The books are aimed at undergraduates and are expensive. They are best for dipping in to.

Czinkota M R, Ronkainen I A and Moffett M H – International Business (Thompson Learning, 1998)
ISBN 0030223784

Czinkota M R – Fundamentals of International Business (Cram101 Textbook Outlines, 2003)
ISBN-10 1428805521

Monir Tayeb – International Business: Theories, Policies and Practices, (Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2000)
ISBN-10 0273637126

Morrison J – International Business Environment: Global and Local Marketplaces in a Changing World (Palgrave

Macmillan, 2006) ISBN 1403936919

Wild J and Kenneth Wild – International Business, The Challenges of Globalization (Prentice Hall, 2007)
ISBN10: 0135032814

Journal

Journal of International Business Studies (Palgrave Macmillan)

Newspapers
The Economist
The Financial Times

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