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Germany at a glance

Germany has had several different versions of its flag during its tumultuous history. The official colors of the three-equal bands are jet black, traffic red and rapeseed yellow, which is actually gold, not yellow, an important distinction in the German flag lexicon.

Smoothie King makes moves in United Arab Emirates

The Middle East is a hotbed for franchising right now. Those who want to ease into the territory may want to enter through the UAE. But be aware: It's easy to get seduced by money flowing in the region.

Country profile: doing business in UAE

The colors of the UAE flag symbolize Arabian unity. Above is the national flag; however, each of the seven emirates has its own flag, except for Fujairah, which uses the national flag.

Oil and gas exports make Kazakhstan viable

The design features a gold sun with 32 rays shaped like grain to represent prosperity, above a soaring golden eagle. The sky-blue background symbolizes cultural and ethnic unity, as well as the endless sky and water. To the left is a national ornamental pattern which represents the horns of a ram.

Jumping to Kazakhstan from Turkey, Russia

Kazakhstan was given a bum rap by the movie “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” in which Sacha Baron Cohen portrayed the country as a backward, barbaric place.

Land of the midnight sun offers opportunities

The cross is common to most Scandinavian flags, linking Norway to the other countries. The colors are believed to have been influenced by the flags of France, the U.S. and Britain.

Franchising in Portugal, at a glance

Lisbon could be the San Francisco of Portugal—at least in reference to the hilliness of the city and its beauty. The costal city has an abundance of small stylish cafés, many with outdoor seating, which may be one of the reasons we didn’t see many franchised restaurants in the row after row of buildings. A large busy Starbucks was located in a corner of an historic train station building on one of the bustling squares where shops catered to tourists. It was one of the few American brands spotted there.

Costa Rica At a Glance

Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Most tourist spots are on the Pacific side.

Costa Rica: Ecotourism plus franchise opportunities

Since Costa Rica is first up on the Franchise Times, IFA and U.S. Commercial Service’s trade mission to Central America in September, here’s a preview. To find out more: http://www.franchise.org/CentralAmerica2015.

Pragmatism rules in New Zealand, and laws trump emotions.

New Zealanders aren’t afraid to say ‘no’ during negotiations. Their style is closer to the British reserve than their neighbors in Australia. And don’t use the ‘V is for victory’ sign when you succeed, as it’s considered rude.

Room for more U.S. brands in Japan

The best way to enter into an agreement in Japan is to think small and be patient. “American franchisors always seek the largest development agreements,” says Roy Fujita of I Fujita International, a consultant who works with both Japanese brands coming to the U.S. and U.S. brands going to Japan. His advice: “Don’t push too much in the beginning. Let it (your concept) prove itself.”

All about Japan, the No. 2 franchise economy

English is a mandatory subject in Japanese grade schools, but don’t expect to do business without an interpreter since many Japanese can understand some slowly spoken English, but are not used to speaking it.

There’s a lot to like about franchising down under

From high-tech to Bollywood in India

1.2 billion people and an emerging middle class are just two good reasons for franchisors to take a second look at India. In December, a second franchise trade mission visited Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.

Belgium

Belgium’s central location in the wealthy region of Europe makes it a natural as an entryway into the region. It’s also viewed as a test market because it contains separate socio-demographic groups.

Malaysia

Malaysia went from being ranked 16th in ease of doing business by the World Bank in 2013 to 6th in the latest findings.

The Philippines

The Philippines has the second largest number of Certified Franchise Executives (CFEs), a designation by the International Franchise Association.

Spain

Brazil

Success in Brazil requires boots-on-the-ground knowledge of the regulatory and business environments.

Canada

We may share a border with Canada and a language, but there are some subtle differences that wise franchisors should note. Here’s the 411 to consider.

Thailand

Thailand is the second largest economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, after Indonesia. But if you plan to do business there, here’s what else you need to know.

India

Mexico