In July I had more than 14500 visitors reading the blog. This is truly amazing. Thank you for reading my website. 

Nearly half the world’s adults have a smartphone and although there is still a significant gap between developed and developing countries, the gap is closing rapidly. 

There are more people having access to a smartphone than to clean water. This is naturally insane, but still the way it is. However, the access is still not equal in geographical terms. 

A Pew Research Center analysis based on a survey of 40 nations puts global adult smartphone ownership at 43%.

Sales of smartphones are booming, with more than 1.4 billion sold in 2015 and the figure is expected to be higher still this year. However there is still a significant divide between developed and developing countries.

Richer economies still have a higher level of smartphone ownership, with South Korea coming top with 88% of people owning a smartphone. The Nordic countries, not surveyed in this specific report, have even higher numbers (91-95%). 

Of major regions, the United States came top with 72%, followed by Europe (60%) and the Middle East (57%.), Less than half (43%) of Latin Americans have a smartphone.

In Asia/Pacific more people own a mobile phone than a smartphone, and in Africa less than one in five people use a smartphone.

The smartphone digital divide is clear, with a difference of 84 percentage points between the country with the most smartphone owners, South Korea, and the country with the least – Ethiopia at 4%.

Pew notes that here is a strong correlation between country wealth and smartphone ownership, which corresponds with the digital divide for internet connectivity.

Of major regions, the United States came top with 72%, followed by Europe (60%) and the Middle East (57%.), Less than half (43%) of Latin Americans have a smartphone.

In Asia/Pacific more people own a mobile phone than a smartphone, and in Africa less than one in five people use a smartphone.

The smartphone digital divide is clear, with a difference of 84 percentage points between the country with the most smartphone owners, South Korea, and the country with the least – Ethiopia at 4%.

Pew notes that here is a strong correlation between country wealth and smartphone ownership, which corresponds with the digital divide for internet connectivity.

Smartphones are more common in Europe, US, less so in developing countries   

The gap is closing rapidly. Smartphone ownership rates have skyrocketed in many countries since 2013 and the report shows just how quickly the disparity is diminishing.

Turkey has seen ownership increase by 42 percentage points, Malaysia by 34, and Brazil and Chile by 26.

In fact, in emerging and developing countries, the average figure for smartphone ownership figure has risen from 21% to 37% in just two years.

Source: WEF

A new map is being born. The world is going upside-down in the future. World trade is going through its biggest changes in many years, moving into a complicated global value chain. However this is not the only change. We will also see new export- and inport giants emerge. 


A new report from BMI Research has identified the “10 emerging markets of the future” — the countries that are set to become new drivers of economic growth over the next 10 years.
BMI estimates that these countries will cumulatively add $4.3 trillion to global GDP by 2025 — roughly the equivalent of Japan’s current economy.

The future emerging economies and their primary products for the global market:

Bangladesh: Garments, agricultural products.

Egypt: Natural gas, oil, fruits and vegetables, cotton.

Ethiopia: Coffee, oilseeds, vegetables, gold.

Indonesia: Mineral fuels, machinery parts.

Kenya: Tea, horticultural products, coffee.

Myanmar: Natural gas, wood products.

Nigeria: Oil, cocoa.

Pakistan: Textiles, rice.

– Philippines : Semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment.

Vietnam: Clothes, shoes, electronics.

Prinary products will in later development be replaced by more advanced and manufactored product lines and this will be the moment when these countries will enter into the new paradigm of world trade, the era of global value chains. 

In general, manufacturing and construction are the sectors that will drive the economies. BMI reports that new manufacturing hubs are set to emerge in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Pakistan, and that these countries will see particularly strong growth in exporting manufacturing industries. And construction growth is going to be widespread throughout all the countries — partly to facilitate increases in urban populations and partly to help develop the manufacturing sector.


On the other hand, extractive industries — like mining, oil, and gas — are going to play a far smaller role in driving growth than they have the past 15 years.

While it might provide bright spots for some countries, the report states, “the ubiquitous commodity-driven growth model that was derailed by the 2012-2015 collapse in commodity prices is not coming back.”

Source: WEF

As you all know I am a frequent traveller. I have visited 164 countries and last year I had 280 travelling days. 

So which is the best airline in the world? My personal favourite is Emirates. What do other people think? 

CNN Business Traveller has made an inquire and huge survey asking business travellers about their preferences and experiences. I am not surprised that South American and Middle East Airlines come out at the top of the ranking. 

According to CNN the top three airlines are:

1. LATAM

South American airline, formed from merger of Tam Airlines and Lan Airlines.

The reviewers say “Best airline to fly to Brazil,” declares IsabellasTrips from New York. “Great onboard entertainment, very nice staff, good food and drinks.”

Ranked best for Customer Service, Cleanliness, Check-In and Boarding.

2. EMIRATES
Dubai-based international airline recently named the world’s best airline by Skytrax.

The reviewers say “I call it Awesome Airlines!,” enthuses Frequentflyer005 from Chandigarh, India, while ZA_World from Johanneseburg says it offers “unsurpassed price, service and luxury.”

Fred Z from Texas concludes: “Food was great. Seat was very good. The choice of Movies and TV shows is unbelievable and the Wi-Fi service is great.”

Ranked best for Customer Service, Cleanliness, Food and Beverage, Check-In and Boarding, In-Flight Entertainment (Wi-Fi, TV, Movies).

3. AZUL Brazilian Airlines

Brazilian carrier named 2016’s best low-cost airline in South America by Skytrax and third-most punctual airline of 2016 by OAG.

The reviewers say: Tak009 from North Carolina commends the “excellent staff support for canceled flight” while Cyn D from Edmonton, Canada found the service “prompt and professional” and the seats “relatively roomy.”

Niels_horn from Rio de Janeiro praises the “modern” in-flight entertainment system and “power outlets between the seats and USB power from the entertainment system.”

Ranked best for Customer Service, Cleanliness, Check-In and Boarding, In-Flight Entertainment.

I have used all of these three airlines nunerous times and agree with the survey. I would personally rank EMIRATES as number one and hold QATAR and Singapore Airlines above AZUL, but that is my view. 

All top ten ranked airlines are reviewed and presented in a similar way in the article. 

You can read the entire article here (click the link): Link to CNN BT Article

Swedish popgroup ABBA once sang ‘Money, Money, Money’. Men has always been fascinated with money and currency. 

ABBAs ‘Money, Money, Money’

So which country has the best banknote? The greenback may rule global markets, but when it comes to more aesthetic considerations, the currency of New Zealand is king.

The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) has announced the results of the “Banknote of the Year Award 2015”. 

The “clear winner” was New Zealand’s new $5 note, which beat almost 40 other designs from 20 countries to fuse arresting images with security features.

New Zealand’s $5 note, 2015 winner

Described as “stunning” by the IBNS, the orange and brown note features New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and Mount Cook (Aoraki) on the South Island. The opposite side shows a colour changing yellow-eyed (hoiho) penguin. It also has a map of the country in a polymer window.

To be eligible for the awards, a banknote must have been issued for the first time during the year of the award, and be in general circulation.

The judges assess banknotes on their artistic merit and the imaginativeness of their design, as well as the security features included on the note.

Swedish 20 kronor note with childrens’ book author Astrid Lindgren and her Pippi Longstockong charachter on the note 

Other banknotes in the running for this year’s 2016 title included Sweden’s 20 kronor note, Russia’s 100 rouble note, Kazakhstan’s 20,000 tenge note and Scotland’s (Clydesdale Bank) £5 note.

In 1977 Bruce Springsteen wrote the best song ever written amd it became the title song of his 1978 4th album.


Here is the amazing lyrics to ‘Darkness on the Edge if Town’, my favourite song of all times.

They’re still racing out at the Trestles, But that blood it never burned in her veins, Now I hear she’s got a house up in Fairview, And a style she’s trying to maintain. 

Well, if she wants to see me, You can tell her that I’m easily found, Tell her there’s a spot out ‘neath Abram’s Bridge, 

And tell her, there’s a darkness on the edge of town.

Everybody’s got a secret, Sonny,  Something that they just can’t face, Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it,They carry it with them every step that they take. 

Till some day they just cut it loose, Cut it loose or let it drag ’em down, Where no one asks any questions, or looks too long in your face, 

In the darkness on the edge of town. 

Some folks are born into a good life, Other folks get it anyway, anyhow, I lost my money and I lost my wife,  Them things don’t seem to matter much to me now.

Tonight I’ll be on that hill ’cause I can’t stop, I’ll be on that hill with everything I got,  Lives on the line where dreams are found and lost, I’ll be there on time and I’ll pay the cost, For wanting things that can only be found 

In the darkness on the edge of town.

Here is the album studio version (click the link): Album version Darkness on the Edge of Town

Here is a version from 1978: Video of Darkness on the Edge of Town (live) 1978