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Tuesday, 6 October


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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Good in parts

    MODERN cars are packed with safety features designed to withstand horrifying pile-ups. The emissions-cheating scandal at Volkswagen (VW) will show whether carmakers are similarly resilient. VW’s finances and reputation will certainly suffer after its attempts to fool American regulators about the levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted by its diesel cars. But the effects will also be felt by an industry that was already facing huge costs to keep up with ever-tougher rules on emissions and fuel efficiency, while suffering from chronic overcapacity and poor returns.

    The extent of VW’s cheating is becoming clearer, as is the mounting bill for the damage. On top of the costs of fixing the 11m cars affected, for which the firm has set aside €6.5 billion ($7.3 billion), VW may be fined billions of dollars in America and suffer a grave blow to its business there. Lawyers are preparing class-action suits. Some executives may face prosecution. That adds up to a daunting in-tray for the new boss, Matthias Müller, who has replaced Martin Winterkorn.

    However, the scandal will also mean big repair bills for VW’s rivals. One ramification is that...

  • Lessons learned

    THE auctioning of blocks of oil and gas fields, both onshore and in the Gulf of Mexico, is designed to bring foreign investment into Mexico’s decrepit energy industry as part of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s flagship reforms. The first of the “Round One” auctions, which took place in July, was a flop, with only two of the 14 blocks finding buyers. But the second, on September 30th, went a lot better.

    Three of the five shallow-water production blocks on offer were awarded, thanks to bids far above the government’s stated minimums. Nine of the 14 companies and consortia that had qualified put in bids, which was also an improvement on last time. The two biggest, Shell and Chevron, stayed away, but that Eni of Italy was awarded the first block was a welcome sign of faith from one of the world’s energy majors.

    Changes to the contracts and to the running of the auction showed how the state bodies involved had learned from earlier missteps. The government said in advance what minimum share of a field’s production it expected successful bidders to agree to give it, rather than revealing this after the auction. Last time, bids for three blocks were rejected for...

  • Warning light

    VOLKSWAGEN doesn’t just make cars. Its enormous lending arm also helps customers to pay for them. With €164 billion ($184 billion) of assets, this is a big business for Germany’s national champion. Others do it too: in all, the finance arms of the world’s top ten carmakers have almost $900 billion of assets on their books. Four firms—VW, BMW, Daimler and Renault—account for half of the $350 billion of debt on the consolidated balance-sheets of carmakers that needs to be refinanced this year. All four of these diesel-focused European carmakers have seen the cost of insuring their debt against default rise sharply since VW’s misdeeds were made public earlier this month.

    Loans to motorists are fairly short-term, and cars can be repossessed if drivers stop making payments. So this is a relatively low-risk form of lending. But the carmakers are highly dependent on using finance deals to drive sales—VW financed a quarter of the 10m or so vehicles it delivered worldwide last year.

    The risk now is that worries about the cost of cleaning up the emissions scandal trigger a cash squeeze. VW is most at risk. It has €67 billion...

  • Capitalism and its discontents

    DAVE SPART has been a stalwart of Private Eye, a British satirical magazine, since the 1970s. The bearded Bolshevik has never wavered in his enthusiasm for denouncing capitalism (“totally sickening”). But in recent years the Eye’s editors gave their fictional columnist progressively less space as the left made its peace with free markets and consumerism. Now, Mr Spart is back—not only on the pages of Private Eye but in the corridors of power. Britain’s main opposition Labour Party this week held its first conference under a new, hard-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn. In Greece and Spain new left-wing parties have emerged. Greece’s Syriza has come out on top in two successive elections and Spain’s Podemos is set to make big advances in December’s general election. In the United States, Bernie Sanders, a self-described independent socialist, is making a spirited run for the Democratic nomination. And in the Vatican Pope Francis denounces the “invisible tyranny of the market” and recommends “returning the economy to the service of human beings”.

    Why is anti-capitalism gaining ground?...

  • A rig too far

    Putting the Chukchi Sea on ice, again

    OIL companies have a proud history of digging holes in inaccessible places and producing gushers of money. But in the Chukchi Sea, in the Alaskan Arctic, Shell has poured $7 billion into a single 6,800-foot exploratory well, making it possibly the most expensive hole yet drilled, only to admit this week that it had not found enough oil and gas to make further exploration worthwhile.

    That was a big climbdown for a company that had spent seven years since acquiring the Chukchi licenses in 2008 in a highly public, drawn-out battle to drill in the Arctic. The decision boiled down to costs, financial and reputational. Most big oil firms face similar pressures. Some will take a lesson from Shell and put their Arctic plans on hold, though Eni, a big Italian oil firm, is vowing to press ahead with its efforts to drill in the Norwegian Arctic.

    As the oil price has fallen by more than half over the past year, the economics of drilling in deep and treacherous waters have worsened considerably. Though Shell had sought to play down the dangers of its Chukchi conquest, observers long...

  • Snap, flip and crackle

    NARENDRA MODI, India’s technophile prime minister, this week spent a good part of his visit to America, the second in a year, hobnobbing with Silicon Valley’s great-and-good. India has long been a supplier of talent to America’s tech firms. Its business-process outsourcing firms are a vital source of export earnings. But for years India has been an untapped market for consumer-facing technology firms. That is now changing. The rise of mobile-internet access has sparked interest in the potential of e-commerce in India. Bricks-and-mortar retailing is very fragmented. A trip to the mall can be an ordeal because of congested roads. In such difficult terrain, e-commerce may easily blossom.

    Two home-grown outfits, Flipkart and Snapdeal, are vying to be the dominant player. Flipkart has the advantage of starting first. It was founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, two software engineers who had worked at Amazon. The head start gave Flipkart time to build its own distribution arm and to establish a good name for service. Flipkart pioneered a cash-on-delivery service for the majority of Indians who do not use payment cards.

    Snapdeal began in 2010 as...

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Financial Times — Europe

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Portugal-US Chamber of Commerce - slideshow image

IV Annual Meeting of Portuguese Bilateral Chambers, NYC 27-28 April 2015

The Portugal-US Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to be receiving colleagues from Portuguese Bilateral Chambers from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe in New York on 27-28 April 2015, for the IV Annual Meeting of Portuguese Bilateral Chambers organized by CIEP Portugal. The working meeting will include discussions about common goals and concerns, and how best to advocate for and make widely known the work of the Chambers. Please check back for additional information about the meeting.

Posted on 22 Apr 2015
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Pan-European Days at the New York Stock Exchange, May 2014

Chamber board member Ricardo Caliço attended the event on behalf of the Chamber and reports back that the three-day conference was aimed at showcasing investment opportunities in Europe. This year, the program included the European Economic Forum at the New York Stock Exchange, featuring representatives from European Union, chief economists from major financial institutions, and other high-level thought-leaders to discuss the latest developments in the major European economies. The Program also included an investor conference at the Waldorf Astoria hotel organized by, ING, KBC Securities, Millennium BCP/Auerbach Grayson and Societe General. The investor conference provided opportunities for Euronext-listed companies from Portugal, Belgium, France, and Netherlands to meet privately with North America based institutional investors. The 13 Portuguese companies presented in the event were: BES, BPI, CTT, EDP, EDPR, Espirito Santo Saude, Galp, Impresa, Jerónimo Martins, Millennium BCP, Mota Engil, REN and Zon. The Portuguese Government was represented by Isabel Castelo Branco, Secretary of State of Treasury, and by the Treasury and Debt Management Agency. See more details here.

Posted on 2 Jun 2014
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Portuguese Artist Julião Sarmento to Exhibit in New York City

The Sean Kelly Gallery will host an exhibition by Portuguese artist Julião Sarmento, from March 28 - May 3, 2014. Further details can be found here.

Posted on 21 Mar 2014
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Chamber Attends Workshop on the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013

New York State’s laws governing charitable and other nonprofit organizations date from the 1960s. The New York State Attorney General’s Office has undertaken revisions in the form of the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013. The changes have two main purposes: reducing burdens on nonprofits through the modernization of statutory requirements; and increasing public trust in the nonprofit sector by strengthening board governance and enhancing Attorney General enforcement powers. Most provisions will take effect effective July 1, 2014. As a 501c4 nonprofit corporation, the Portugal-US Chamber of Commerce will also need to adhere to new regulations. More information about the Revitalization Act of 2013 can be found here.

Posted on 6 Mar 2014
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Vista Alegre Exhibits at the 2014 San Francisco International Gift Fair

Visit Vista Alegre’s booth at the San Francisco International Gift Fair, 15-18 February 2014. More information about the Fair can be found here.


Posted on 17 Feb 2014
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Our Organization

The Portugal–US Chamber of Commerce in New York was founded in 1979 to stimulate economic development, trade and investment, and cultural exchange between the United States and Portugal. As a member of the Association of Portuguese-American Chambers of Commerce (APACC), it works closely with its counterparts in Portugal, Canada, and across the United States to promote shared interests in Portugal and expose the vast economic opportunities of the country. The Chamber provides its members ongoing opportunities to network with individuals also engaged in Portugal-US affairs as well as numerous channels by which they can obtain essential bilateral support and information.

Membership Benefits

Membership in the Chamber is open to all individuals who are interested in building a strong economic partnership between Portugal and the United States. Current members range from small businesses to large corporations in the fields of banking and finance, construction, communications, education, import/export, law, and transportation, to name a few.

Membership benefits include:

  • Frequent Chamber events that promote networking and foster strong community ties
  • Access to prominent business and government leaders
  • Alerts of noteworthy cultural and social events in New York City
  • Business luncheons and seminars to expose members to exciting new economic opportunities
  • Access to online resources and members-only directory