Portugal–US Economic Development ·
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Tuesday, 1 December


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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Billion-dollar babies

    AS THEY announced the proposed merger of Pfizer and Allergan to create the world’s biggest drugmaker, on November 23rd, the two firms’ bosses stressed the scale that is needed to keep inventing blockbuster treatments. As Ian Read, Pfizer’s boss, put it, the merger will create “a leading global pharmaceutical company with the strength to research, discover and deliver more medicines and therapies to more people around the world.”

    A more convincing explanation for the deal is that, by shifting Pfizer’s tax domicile from America to Ireland, where Allergan is domiciled, the combined group’s tax rate will fall from about 25% to 17-18%. But even leaving that aside, the common suggestion that size is needed to create a research-driven powerhouse does not stack up. The figure of $2.6 billion cited by PhRMA, the American drugmakers’ lobby, for the cost of developing a new drug, is questionable. And the industry is in any case moving away from a model in which giant firms throw huge sums at in-house research in a quest for ground-breaking new treatments.

    Start with the $2.6 billion figure. Two years ago, when the number being bandied about was...

  • Disrupting Mr Disrupter

    TWENTY years ago a then obscure academic at Harvard Business School published a career-making article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), warning established companies that they were in grave danger from being disrupted. Today Clay Christensen is an established company in his own right. He is regularly named as the world’s most influential management guru (his Harvard colleagues affectionately call him Mr Disrupter). He has applied his theory to an ever-wider range of subjects with books such as “Disrupting Class” (on education) and “The Innovator’s Prescription” (on health). He even has his own consulting operation to help him stretch his brand. Businesspeople everywhere treat him as a guide on how to cope with change. But the risk is that by paying too much attention to his theory, they will miss other disruptive threats.

    This thought is provoked by a new HBR article on the subject, written by Mr Christensen along with Michael Raynor and Rory McDonald. Mr Christensen rightly points out that the word “disruption” is now bandied about so much that it is losing all meaning. The...

  • Loosening their ties

    MEETINGS to last no more than 30 minutes; junior staff allowed to speak freely with superiors; a cut in bonuses for bosses whose teams do not take enough holidays. Since 2012 “Pride”, a handbook, has set a new tone for the internal culture of Hyundai Capital. Departments whose staff work latest into the evening are listed on the firm’s intranet: not to hold them up as models of hard work, but to tell them off for not working efficiently enough.

    It is a striking departure from the norm for the consumer-finance arm of one of South Korea’s most culturally conservative chaebol, the country’s giant family-owned conglomerates. Established during Japanese rule of the peninsula (1910-45), most of the chaebol were fashioned in the working style of Japan’s pre-war zaibatsu, huge industrial companies; many chaebol founders were also educated in Japan, and their successors still have connections there. Lifetime employment, hierarchical management and pay based on seniority rather than performance all struck a chord with Korean Confucianist traditions.


  • Chicago hope

    That’s a dummy, not a customer

    WHEN a globally successful fashion-store chain opens up for the first time in a big city’s most prominent shopping district, it might reasonably expect a rush of excited consumers. But when Uniqlo of Japan opened its first midwestern outlet last month, on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the reaction was restrained. In its first week of trading, “Some days were busy, others not so much,” says a saleswoman. Many who did turn up were from out of town, she reckons.

    Uniqlo did its best to arrive in Chicago with a splash. It took over an “El” (elevated light-rail) train, decorated it with Japanese lanterns and brought over a DJ to pump out Japanese pop as the train travelled round the Loop, the central business district. Chicagoan chefs, cheerleaders, rappers and other “tastemakers” were hired to model Uniqlo’s clothes on its website.

    The retailer is performing well at home in Japan, thriving in China, South Korea and Taiwan, and doing not so badly in Europe (though it did close some of its British branches). But America, where it has more than 40 shops, is a different story. Uniqlo has...

  • The rise and fall of the unicorns

    WORKERS from technology firms recently gathered at a cinema in downtown San Francisco to watch a preview of “The Big Short”, based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis. The film, which will be released in December, profiles several outsiders who successfully bet against the housing market when everyone else believed it would continue to rise, as it always had. You already know the ending.

    Some viewers in the audience must have seen it as a disturbing reminder of how dramatically momentum can shift. Technology companies are unlikely to experience a meltdown as severe as the housing crisis, but an industry that only yesterday was all promise and optimism is showing signs of cooling.

    Valuations for private technology firms are rising at a slower clip than they were six months ago. On November 24th Jet, an e-commerce competitor to Amazon, announced that it had raised $350m (valuing the firm at $1.5 billion), a big sum for a loss-making startup, but a lower one than it had first hoped for. Recently Airbnb, a fast-growing room-rental firm, raised $100m, but reportedly stayed at its recent valuation of $25 billion, instead of rising...

  • Standing up to Superman

    Thwarted, for now

    HONG KONG likes to think of itself as a bastion of global capitalism. Unlike politicised and parochial financial centres on the Chinese mainland, locals claim, their transparent markets protect the rights of minority investors. As evidence, they point to the fact that Hong Kong refused to let Alibaba list on its stock exchange last year, because the Chinese e-commerce giant’s management wanted to use a dual-share structure that limited the rights of minority shareholders. That rebuff forced Alibaba to move its $25 billion listing to New York.

    The growing influence of mainland regulators and tycoons in the former British colony makes this boast look implausible at times, but something remarkable happened this week in Hong Kong. Li Ka-shing, a local tycoon nicknamed “Superman” for his business acumen, is in the midst of reorganising his vast business empire. As part of this effort, Mr Li wants to merge Power Assets Holdings (PAH), a cash-rich energy firm, with Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI), a global conglomerate with holdings ranging from transport to waste management. Such a deal would allow...

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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