July 11th, 2012
07:04 PM GMT
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Farnborough, England (CNN) – You know you’re dealing with a busy executive when you have to interview them on their toilet break.

I grabbed a brief chat with Virgin boss Richard Branson on the sidelines of the Farnborough International Air Show, but only after he first dragged me to the bathroom.

“Follow me,” said Branson, after I approached him. With that he was striding urgently across the auditorium where he had just announced a new satellite launching venture for his Virgin Galactic space company.

Seconds later, we were outside the toilets. “Excuse me for a moment,” he said, diving inside.

A few awkward minutes later, Branson was back, looking somewhat relieved, if tired from a schedule that saw him fly in from Mexico only hours before attending the air show.

“Sorry… I’m just exhausted,” he confessed, stumbling on his first answer. Then he recovered his composure to outline dreams for his fledgling space exploration company that include putting a hotel into orbit.

Interview over, Branson declined the customary handshake, instead offering his little finger to shake by way of apology. “I’ve got a bit of a cold,” he said. “You don’t want to catch it.”

So at least he spared me a second indignity.

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July 11th, 2012
04:06 PM GMT
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Editor’s note: Outlook is CNN's in-depth look at business climates around the world. To August 12, 2012, we’re focusing on Singapore.

Singapore (CNN ) – At less than 700 square kilometers and fewer than 6 million people, the city-state of Singapore may be one of Asia’s smallest countries, yet its economic influence far outstrips its size. Next week, CNN will be focusing on Singapore for a special week of coverage in this blog and on TV.

The country is a global hub for exports, a financial capital and an increasingly popular tourism destination. Its GDP per capita, nearly $50,000, is one of the world’s highest, on par with the most developed countries in Europe.

That’s quite an achievement for what was a poor, undeveloped British colony just 50 years ago. The per capita GDP in 1961 was just $1,136. Author Michael Schuman writes in his book “The Miracle,” that “Singapore’s transformation from down-and-out tropical outpost to vibrant metropolis of international stature is one of the great tales of the [Asian Economic] Miracle.”
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July 11th, 2012
11:18 AM GMT
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Editor’s note: The Millennials are a generation that are constantly plugged in and moving fast to make their mark on the world. CNN’s Quest Means Business is tracking four of them.

London (CNN) – The Millennials meet two new faces from the streets of North London.

Sam Bompas and Harry Parr have style, substance and an entrepreneurial spirit. The two have known each other since childhood, and have been working together for more than five years.

These days, they are modern day Willy Wonkas - creating a business from jelly molds.



July 11th, 2012
06:23 AM GMT
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Despite slowing economic growth, China has more companies on Fortune's Global 500 list of the world's top firms than Asian rival Japan.

In its annual rankings released Tuesday, Fortune magazine lists 73 companies in China, second only to the United State’s 132. Japan is in third place with 68 companies in the top 500. FULL POST

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