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Monday, 3 August

Expresso

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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Building castles on sand

    Reach for the sky

    WERE it built to its original design, the Burj Khalifa would have just 90 floors, says Muhammad Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties, which developed the skyscraper. But when Mr Alabbar presented his plans to Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, he was told to do better. So, 73 floors were added, making the Burj Khalifa far taller than any other building when it opened in 2010.

    The rise of Emaar has been just as vertiginous—and similarly influenced by Dubai’s ruler. Since it was founded by Mr Alabbar in 1997, the firm has grown to become the emirate’s biggest property developer by market value. Its profits rose by 30% in 2014, to $912m, and its spectacular buildings and planned communities have helped put Dubai on the map. The question now facing Emaar is whether it can sustain this momentum as it seeks to become a global business.

    Emaar has undoubtedly benefited from the right connections. About 30% of it is owned by a sovereign-wealth fund; and Mr Alabbar says he doesn’t do anything without talking to Sheikh Muhammad. In many ways the firm is a reflection...

  • A recipe for sustainability

    A fruitful endeavour

    TOSS the fruit of the oil palm in your hand—a reddish-orange lozenge not much bigger than a chestnut—and it is difficult to imagine all the trouble it has caused. At Carey Island, an enormous plantation run by Sime Darby, a Malaysian grower, more than a million shady palm trees buttress Kuala Lumpur’s outermost sprawl. Workers with telescopic scythes cut down fruit bunches a bit bigger than footballs, which break into pieces on the ground. At an old, clanking mill, where the greasy nuggets are pressed and steam-sterilised, the air smells sweetly of syrup.

    Yet Carey Island is the presentable face of an industry which has done a lot of harm. Driven by swiftly-rising demand for vegetable oils (see chart 1), over the past two decades the spread of oil-palm plantations has destroyed swathes of tropical forest, releasing much of their trapped carbon into the atmosphere. Indigenous people have been chased off land they had long occupied, and the migrants brought in to tend the plantations have often suffered appalling working conditions.

    ...

  • Read all about us

    IN RECENT years a variety of global names in journalism have been put forward as potential buyers of the Financial Times. But it came as a surprise when, on July 23rd, the FT’s owner, Pearson, announced that it was selling the newspaper to Nikkei of Japan, for £844m ($1.3 billion). Pearson wants to concentrate on its education businesses, and its boss, John Fallon, argued that with the growth of mobile and social-media platforms, a better home for the FT would be a global, digital news company.

    However, it is not clear quite how Nikkei fits the bill. It publishes Japan’s largest business newspaper, the Nikkei. But it is almost entirely focused on the domestic market. Its daily has 2.7m paid subscribers to the FT’s 737,000, but only one-sixth of them receive the paper digitally. The FT is much further along in the transition from print, with two-thirds of subscribers having gone digital.

    Nikkei has promised to respect the FT’s editorial independence, even though its own journalistic culture is far removed from that of the British paper. It is a willing participant...

  • Myths about millennials

    ONE of the perks of getting old is that you are allowed to talk nonsense about the young. Plato was said to have complained that young people “disrespect their elders” and “ignore the law”. Peter the Hermit griped that they “think of nothing but themselves” and are “impatient of all restraint”. Today, grizzled business pundits tend to mix in some praise with their gripes. But they abuse the privilege of age as much as anyone ever did.

    Such modern-day sages tell employers they must adjust their management styles to meet the expectations of millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000, also known as generation Y. These people are now the largest group in America’s workforce, making up 37% of the total, compared with 34% for the baby-boomers—those born up to the mid-1960s, now retiring in droves. It is often pointed out that millennials are the first generation to have grown up in the digital era. That is true, but much else that is said about them is conjecture. They are said to be natural collaborators. Everything from their education in kindergartens to their participation in social media has turned them into team players. But at the same time they...

  • Counterfeit.com

    THE grand golden doors of 500 Pearl Street, in Manhattan, have welcomed such glamorous names as Hermès, Tiffany & Co and Kering, a French conglomerate whose treasures include Gucci and Bottega Veneta. The building is not a posh hotel or department store. It is the federal court for the Southern District of New York, a favoured battleground for the decidedly unglamorous war against counterfeit goods.

    The court is now the venue for Kering’s suit against Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant. Kering alleges that Alibaba helps fakers sell goods on its websites. The French firm is not the only one to be incensed. On July 17th the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) demanded that Alibaba crack down on counterfeits. Alibaba insists it has extensive measures in place to do just that. It is trying to distance itself from counterfeiters, who are also accused by Kering. On August 6th Alibaba plans to argue to the court that it risks being unfairly implicated as a co-conspirator. A bitter trial looks likely.

    The fight against copycats has been long and arduous. Kering’s suit is the industry’s most important in a decade—Alibaba...

  • Cyber-boom or cyber-bubble?

    ISRAEL’S arms exports fell last year. Cutbacks in the defence budgets of many Western countries pushed the global sales of Israeli weapons systems down to $5.7 billion, $1 billion less than in 2013. Unexpectedly, another security-related industry took up the slack. For the first time, the country sold more cyber-wares than arms. According to figures published recently by the cyber-task-force in the prime minister’s office, in 2014 Israeli companies sold around $6 billion of internet-security software, equivalent to about a tenth of the entire worldwide sales of such stuff.

    A big chunk of that came from Check Point, best known for its ZoneAlarm antivirus software for home computers, and a provider of a broad range of online-security products for business. Its revenues last year were $1.5 billion. But Israel is also producing lots of cyber-security startups. Last year eight of them were sold to foreign investors, for a total of $700m. In September CyberArk, which specialises in protecting firms against attackers who pose as system administrators and other insiders, had one of the year’s biggest IPOs on the American NASDAQ market, and its current...

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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.

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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