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Tuesday, 7 July

Expresso

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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Return to China

    EACH day on the dot of noon, a former naval artillery piece is fired from a platform at the eastern end of Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. Pulling the trigger is one of the 430,000 employees of Jardine Matheson, a British-run and family-owned conglomerate with interests in retail, property and carmaking. The ceremony harks back to Jardines’ origins in the 1830s as an intrepid tea-and-opium trader, and is usually attended by a gaggle of tourists. It is an oddly public display by a firm that otherwise prefers to pass unnoticed.

    Over the past decade few Asian conglomerates have performed as consistently as Jardines. Propelled by a well-timed expansion into South-East Asia, the group’s revenues have risen by about 18% annually since 2005. As the chart shows, the performance of its main listed vehicle since Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 has been strong even compared with that of two other successful “hongs” with roots in colonial times: Swire and Hutchison Whampoa. (The latter has just merged with Cheung Kong, another of Li Ka-shing’s companies, to form CK Hutchison.) It is a sharp contrast to Jardines’ sickly state at the...

  • Plucky contender

    Lovely picture, but will people pay for it?

    AN EXECUTIVE at Samsung, asked recently what he thought of LG, his company’s domestic arch-rival, said with a wry smile that customers for electronic goods will always want to have a second, third or fourth choice, but that his competitor does not have the engineers, the technology, the budget or the leadership to be number one in most types of gadget. There was a time when LG was the local champion. In 1959 Lucky Goldstar, as it was then called, produced South Korea’s first radio and, soon after, its first electric fan and telephone. By 1970 it was selling the country’s first fridges, televisions and air conditioners. Yet now it beats its old adversary in selling only one type of appliance, washing-machines, and is struggling to recover the ground it has lost.

    Samsung has emerged in recent years as one of the world’s dominant makers of microchips and smartphones. Last year its electronics businesses, including display screens, had almost four times as much revenue, and almost 15 times as much operating profit, as LG’s equivalent divisions. LG was once big in...

  • McJobs and UberJobs

    THE French enjoy nothing more than resisting the forces of Anglo-Saxon capitalism. On June 25th French taxi drivers paralysed Paris in protest against Uber, a ride-sharing service, and attacked a few Uber cars for good measure. On June 29th police arrested two of Uber’s managers in France for “illicit activity”. But from Uber’s point of view, all this is but a minor inconvenience: Paris is just one of 300 cities it serves. Far more worrying is what is happening in the company’s own backyard in San Francisco.

    On June 3rd the California Labour Commissioner ruled that Uber owes a former driver, Barbara Ann Berwick, $4,152, mostly in expenses, on the ground that she was an employee rather than, as Uber claims, an independent contractor. Uber is appealing against the ruling. But it is a harbinger of things to come: San Francisco courts are also hearing two more cases that hinge on the same question. If the rulings go against the company, its labour costs may rise significantly, as it is forced to pay drivers’ social security and other benefits as well as their expenses. Its valuation, which is currently above $40 billion, may suffer.

    Uber...

  • Fractured finances

    FROM atop Houston’s skyscrapers you can see evidence of the good times just gone. New towers are still being erected all around the city centre, a lagging indicator of the energy boom that ended abruptly in mid-2014 when the price of crude in America dropped from $100 to $43 (today it is around $57). The victims of that crash are harder to spot. “Look! Over there!,” says an oil man, pointing down at the offices of Goodrich Petroleum. A midsized exploration firm specialising in shale oil, its share price has collapsed, its debts are six times as big as the market value of its equity and it does not currently have any rigs in operation. (Goodrich says it has ample liquidity and may sell assets to raise funds.)

    At the start of 2015 it seemed that there would be a lot more firms like Goodrich. When OPEC, the oil cartel led by Saudi Arabia, decided to keep pumping oil, it hoped that lower prices would irreparably damage the finances of America’s shale-oil companies. They have revolutionised the energy industry, using junk bonds and a technique known as fracking—that blasts water, sand and chemicals at rock to release oil and gas—to boost America’s share...

  • Business and finance correspondent

    Job ad: The Economist is seeking a business and finance correspondent, based in New York. The successful candidate will have strong financial-analysis skills and demonstrate a deep interest in companies, management and finance. Applicants should send a curriculum vitae and an article of no more than 500 words suitable for publication. The closing date for applications is 31st August. Applications should be sent to nybizjob@economist.com

  • Instant karma

    Noodlegeddon

    IT TAKES only minutes to prepare, but India’s most popular processed-food dish is at the centre of a drawn-out dispute over its safety. On June 30th the Bombay High Court said that Nestlé India was free to export its Maggi brand of instant noodles but a ban on local sales remains in place. The Indian subsidiary of the Swiss food giant was making a second visit to the court to try to overturn the ban, which was imposed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on June 5th.

    Nestlé’s troubles began when a local food-safety agency in Uttar Pradesh state said it had found excessive levels of lead in the noodles. Nestle insisted they were safe to eat but recalled them hours before the ban was imposed, saying the public’s trust had been compromised. Nestlé has so far incinerated 17,000 tonnes of suspect noodles. Rivals such as Unilever have also pulled their instant noodles from the market until the air clears.

    The FSSAI told the court it did not object to Nestlé exporting its noodles, although it stood by its earlier decision to ban them in India. This seems a curious decision given...

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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