Portugal–US Economic Development ·
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Thursday, 21 August

Expresso

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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Schumpeter: Got skills?

    pdiv class=content-image-full img src=http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20140823_WBD000_0.jpg alt= title= width=595 height=335 / /divFOR decades vocational education has suffered from the twin curses of low status and limited innovation. Politicians have equated higher education with traditional universities of the sort that they themselves attended. Parents have steered children away from “shop class”. And vocational studies have been left to languish: the detritus of an industrial era rather than the handmaiden of a new economy.A recent report from a management consultancy, McKinsey, called “Education to Employment: Getting Europe’s Youth into Work”, paints a dismal picture of the state of vocational education. In four of the seven countries surveyed, more than half of young people taking an academic course said they would have preferred a vocational one. But they had been put off by disorganisation and lack of prestige. Britain has more than 20,000 vocational qualifications offered by 150 different bodies. In America responsibility is scattered among government departments.The great exception to this has always been Germany, of course. But now there are signs that other countries are trying to turn a back road into an em class=ItalicA/emem class=Italicutobahn/em. Politicians are.../p
  • Governing partnerships: Electing the boss

    pEVER since the inception of the corporation, the “principal-agent” problem has bedevilled shareholders. The partnership structure that prevails at consulting, accounting and law firms is supposedly free of the risk of executives acting in their own interest at the owners’ expense. As the businesses belong to the employees, the incentives of managers and proprietors should be aligned. But leaders there must pay greater heed to the views of their worker-shareholders than do corporate bosses, who need only answer to boards selected by proxy votes that are rarely contested, and can simply issue orders to staff.This distinction is never more apparent than when the head of a partnership steps down. They will be dusting off the ballot boxes at Deloitte, the biggest of the “Big Four” global accounting firms. On August 15th Joe Echevarria, the boss of the American arm, said he would be leaving the firm. Rather than summon an executive-search agency to do some discreet recruiting, Deloitte will hold a leadership election.The firm does not disclose the mechanics of the process. But most partnerships form a nomination committee on their executive boards to assess candidates on both their visions for the firm and how much support they command from peers. After a series of informal consultations with fellow partners, the committee delicately advises likely losers to bow out gracefully..../p
  • Business in Nigeria: Africa’s testing ground

    pdiv class=content-image-full img src=http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20140823_WBP003_0.jpg alt= title= width=595 height=335 / /divIN 2001 MTN, a fledgling telecoms company from South Africa, paid $285m for one of four mobile licences sold at auction by the government of Nigeria. Observers thought its board was bonkers. Nigeria had spent most of the previous four decades under military rule. The country was rich in oil reserves but otherwise desperately poor. Its infrastructure was crumbling. The state phone company had taken a century to amass a few hundred thousand customers from a population of 120m. The business climate was scarcely stable.MTN took a punt anyway. The firm’s boss called up colleagues from his old days in pay-television and found they had 10m Nigerian customers. He reasoned that if they could afford pay-TV they could stump up for a mobile phone. Within five years MTN had 32m customers. The company now operates across Africa and the Middle East. But Nigeria was its making and remains its biggest single source of profits.Tales of rich rewards have many firms scrambling to invest in Nigeria. Africa contains some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Nigeria is the largest. In April its official GDP figures were revised up by 90% after hopelessly dated numbers were rebased.../p
  • Music and shopping: Beware of Beethoven

    pdiv class=content-image-float-290 img src=http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/290-width/images/print-edition/20140823_WBD001_0.jpg alt= title= width=290 height=372 / /divEVER since Muzak started serenading patrons of hotels and restaurants in the 1930s, piped-in music has been part of the consumer experience. Without the throb of a synthesiser or a guitar’s twang, shoppers would sense something missing as they tried on jeans or filled up trolleys. Specialists like Mood Media, which bought Muzak in 2011, devise audio programmes to influence the feel of shops and cater to customers’ tastes. The idea is to entertain, and thereby prolong the time shoppers spend in stores, says Claude Nahon, the firm’s international chief. Music by famous artists works better than the generic stuff that people associate with Muzak. The embarrassing brand name was dropped in 2013.Online shopping is an under-explored area of merchandising musicology. A new study commissioned by eBay, a shopping website, aims to correct that. Some 1,900 participants were asked to simulate online shopping while listening to different sounds. Some results were unsurprising. The noise of roadworks and crying babies soured shoppers’ views of the products on offer. Chirruping birds encouraged sales of barbecues but not blenders or board games.Sounds associated with quality.../p
  • Trust-busting in China: Unequal before the law?

    pdiv class=content-image-full img src=http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20140823_WBP001_0.jpg alt= title= width=595 height=335 / /divIN RECENT weeks, Chinese authorities appear to have been singling out foreigners in bars around Beijing, harassing them for allegedly breaking the country’s narcotics laws, conducting spot inspections of their bodily fluids and reportedly busting them without due process. This has made foreign boozers, especially those who have not dabbled in drugs, question the fairness and transparency of law enforcement in the country.Bosses of big multinational companies are feeling similarly outraged. In recent weeks, the Chinese authorities have been singling out foreign firms in various industries around the country, harassing them for allegedly breaking the country’s antitrust laws, conducting spot inspections of their hard drives and reportedly busting them without due process. In a blunt note of protest, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China recently asked whether “foreign companies are being disproportionately targeted.”They are not, say Chinese officials. “Everyone is equal before the law,” declared Li Pumin, the secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the most powerful of three agencies involved in enforcing antitrust laws.../p
  • Farming in the Netherlands: Polder and wiser

    pdiv class=content-image-float-290 img src=http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/290-width/images/print-edition/20140823_WBP002_0.jpg alt= title= width=290 height=405 / span class=captionHow long until the robots arrive?/span /divAT THE entrance to Hoeve Rosa farm, in the southern Dutch province of Limburg, a sign gives a warning that unmanned machines might zoom past. This farm is run by robots. They feed 180 cows, monitor their health, clean their stables and milk them whenever the cows choose. Fons Kersten, who runs the place, just needs to keep an eye on his phone. An app alerts him if a cow needs human attention.After inheriting the farm, Mr Kersten in 2008 invested €500,000 ($730,000) in the machines which enabled him to double the number of cattle, increase the milk yield per cow by 10-15% and reduce wasted feed. Technology-infused farmers like Mr Kersten and his robots are changing agriculture in the Netherlands and the world.Land and labour are expensive in northern Europe. To compete, Dutch scientists, businesses and government have always worked closely to boost productivity and develop high-value crops. As a result, tomato seeds treated by Incotec, a Dutch agribusiness, are worth—literally—twice their weight in gold. Dutch cows now produce twice as much milk as they did in 1960. The result is that the value of.../p

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Financial Times — Europe

  • Israeli strike kills 3 Hamas commanders

    Two of the dead were wanted by Israel for their alleged role in the kidnapping of a soldier who was abducted through a tunnel near the Israeli border with Gaza and freed in 2011
  • BofA to pay $16.65bn in mortgage case

    Chief executive Brian Moynihan is seeking to put the bank’s burdensome crisis-era legal woes behind it in the largest settlement of its kind
  • Rosneft hit as $2bn Vitol deal scrapped

    Russian state oil group’s projects may be in jeopardy without western financing and technology, even though China is set to continue advance payments
  • StanChart’s NY settlement draws UAE ire

    United Arab Emirates warns of possible litigation from customers as lender is forced to ‘exit’ Gulf country under terms of anti-money laundering deal
  • Eurozone bond yields reach record lows

    Markit PMI survey shows activity slowed in August, on the back of signs that geopolitical tensions have hurt sentiment among the region’s manufacturers
  • UK borrowing still breaching target

    Borrowing for the year to date rises to £37bn in July, up from £35.2bn, despite a 5% jump in income tax receipts compared with the previous month

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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