Portugal–US Economic Development ·
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Thursday, 5 March

Expresso

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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Shock treatment

    THE best-known objective of America’s Affordable Care Act of 2010—commonly known as Obamacare—was to ensure that the 40m-plus Americans who lacked health insurance could get it. Less widely appreciated, but at least as important, are the incentives and penalties the law introduced to make the country’s hideously expensive and poorly performing health services safer and more efficient. Economists are debating how much credit Obamacare should get for a recent moderation in the growth of health costs, and for a fall in the number of patients having to be readmitted to hospital (see article). Whatever the answer, many companies see the disruption unleashed by the reforms as the business opportunity of a lifetime.

    One of the biggest shifts under way is to phase out the “fee for service” model, in which hospitals and doctors’ surgeries are reimbursed for each test or treatment with no regard for the outcome, encouraging them to put patients through unnecessary and expensive procedures. Since Obamacare...

  • The quantified serf

    THINK of it as the workplace equivalent of the Fitbit or Nike FuelBand: a way to set your goals and monitor your progress, and to share the journey with colleagues, who will cheer you on and give you a helpful nudge whenever you fall behind. Or, for the more sceptically inclined employee, think of it as a way to make the big boss even more like Big Brother.

    “Quantified work” is the vision of BetterWorks, a Silicon Valley startup that aims to bring “goal science” to offices everywhere. Its software lets groups of employees collaborate in setting each other’s objectives. Everyone can see how everyone else is doing, by means of a smartphone app. This sort of collegial, real-time performance measurement has already been introduced at some of the Valley’s most prominent firms, such as Google, Twitter and Intel. BetterWorks’ version is so far being used by 50 businesses, from Vox, a media company to Kroger, a grocery chain.

    “The traditional once-a-year setting of employee goals and performance review is totally out of date,” says Kris Duggan, one of BetterWorks’ founders. “To really improve performance, goals need to be set more frequently...

  • Corresponderous

    THE annual letters Warren Buffett sends to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway are among the most influential documents in business. For 50 years they have offered a ruthlessly honest review of the company he runs. In 1999 Mr Buffett reflected on the worst year of his tenure. “Even Inspector Clouseau could find last year’s guilty party: your chairman.” In his latest letter, released on February 28th, he admits making a “big mistake” by hanging on to shares in Tesco, a troubled British retailer.

    The letters have also provided an unfailingly intelligent explanation of the broader principles of investing, stripped bare of mumbo-jumbo. Little wonder that they are read around the world. Guo Guangchang, the boss of Fosun Group, a Chinese conglomerate, is a fan. Jamie Dimon, the boss of JPMorgan Chase, models his own letters on the sage of Omaha’s.

    Yet Mr Buffett’s 50th letter to shareholders is an exception, serving to muddy rather than clarify, for two reasons. First, because it does not tackle the questions that hang over Berkshire’s conglomerate model and its durability. Second, because of the uncharacteristic coyness with...

  • Googledome, or temple of doom?

    MARC ANDREESSEN knows a thing or two about Silicon Valley’s penchant for status symbols and its braggadocio. As a venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur, he has helped turn more than a few minnows into high-tech giants. As an investor, he serves these days on the boards of Facebook and Hewlett-Packard, among others. Along with avoiding such cardinal sins as going public too soon and being too eager to cash out, Mr Andreessen is adamant that his charges must refrain, at all cost, from pouring huge sums into glamorous new headquarters.

    Silicon Valley did not invent the edifice complex. The compulsion to build monuments to a ruler’s power and prestige has existed since history began. But flush with cash and with interest rates near zero, the Valley’s leading lights are now competing with each other over who can build the most lavish digs, to feed their corporate egos as well as to attract and retain talent.

    Despite Mr Andreessen’s forebodings, Facebook’s new West Campus in Menlo Park features a nine-acre (36,000 square metre) rooftop picnic area and a tunnel under the adjacent expressway to connect it to the firm’s existing...

  • Borrow, buy, cut

    PATRICK DRAHI, the main mover-and-shaker in Europe’s slowly consolidating telecoms market, says he likes to keep a low profile. That is getting harder. On Forbes magazine’s latest list of the world’s richest people, published this week, he shot from 215th to 57th place, and from 14th to third in France.

    The outfit through which he is transforming the industry, as well as his own fortunes, is still far from a household name. Altice is a holding company registered in Luxembourg, quoted in Amsterdam and 57%-owned by Mr Drahi through another holding company called Next LP. Until recently its main activity was acquiring and sprucing up an eclectic collection of dozy cable (and some mobile) operators in countries from Israel to the Caribbean. But its sights have been raised. It was floated in January 2014. Since then its share price has more than trebled; it is now valued at more than €23 billion ($25 billion).

    Mr Drahi hit the headlines a year ago when Altice and Numericable, its French cable subsidiary, bought control of SFR, France’s second-biggest mobile operator, from Vivendi, a conglomerate, for €13.5 billion in cash. It was announced on February 27th that another €3.9 billion will secure Vivendi’s remaining 20% of SFR.

    In December Altice bought Virgin Mobile France, the country’s largest “virtual” mobile operator (...

  • Female Finns are faring fine

    Progress towards workplace equality for women comes in small steps. Last month Keidanren, Japan’s powerful business lobby, appointed its first female executive. This week Toyota announced its first foreign female executive. Japan’s government is pressing businesses to appoint more women to their boards. But as shown by our glass-ceiling index, updated to mark International Women’s Day on March 8th, it remains far behind the Nordic countries, which are the best places to be a working woman.

    The index combines data on higher education, labour-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity rights, business-school applications and representation in senior jobs. Finland is now in first place, leaping ahead of Norway and Sweden, in part because it has recently given women almost two and a half weeks of extra paid maternity leave. New Zealand has slipped five places, because of the rising cost of child care.

    This year’s index includes Turkey, which with South Korea and Japan is among the worst OECD member countries for women’s workplace equality. It has the largest gap between male and female workforce participation...

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Financial Times — Europe

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Portugal-US Chamber of Commerce - slideshow image

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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Eight Portuguese companies to visit New York City, 4-6 February 2014

In collaboration with the Associacao Comercial de Lisboa (ACL) and the Confederacao Internacional de Empresarios Portugueses (CIEP), the Chamber is hosting eight Portuguese companies from the textile, technology, artisanal foods, olive oil, wine, spirits, shoe wear, and lighting design sectors. The firms will meet with U.S partners based in New York and New Jersey, and will also meet with Portuguese and U.S. officials and representatives of the Portuguese business communities. For further details, contact the Chamber at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Posted on 28 Jan 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