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Wednesday, 27 May

Expresso

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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Arevaderci

    Finding flaws in Flamanville

    PLANS for rescuing France’s ailing nuclear engineer, Areva, became a little clearer this week when the new boss of Electricité de France (EDF), Jean-Bernard Lévy, described on May 19th the role that the utility was prepared to play. Mr Lévy made the case for an “ambitious” takeover by EDF of Areva’s nuclear-reactor business, leaving Areva with uranium mining, fuel treatment and decommissioning. The price would have to be right. The government, which owns around 85% of both companies, is expected to make a final decision early next month.

    Ministers are anxious to restore to health an industry in which French firms have hitherto led the world, and on which their economy depends. Nuclear power generates around three-quarters of France’s electricity, more than in any other country. Resolution cannot come too soon for Areva. It has not sold a new reactor since 2007 or paid a dividend since 2009. In 2014, on revenues of €8.3 billion ($9.2 billion) it lost €4.8 billion. A new management team is trying to cut €1 billion from costs by 2017 and strengthen Areva’s balance-sheet. But the problems...

  • Managing partners

    IN THE run-up to the British election this month, it was taken for granted that politics was entering an age of alliances. No party would win a majority; that much seemed certain. The question was whether the Conservatives or Labour could put together a winning coalition. David Cameron’s surprise victory on May 7th put paid to this talk. But in many industries it is still May 6th: companies are casting around for alliances that can complement their strengths, make up for their defects, hedge their bets, add to their store of knowledge or extend their reach.

    There is nothing new about businesses forming either joint ventures (in which they establish jointly owned subsidiaries) or looser alliances. There are ample studies to show how often they have been tried—and how often they have ended in tears. However, despite the difficulties of making partnerships work, firms are under a number of pressures to keep trying.

    The first is that, in some industries, the cost of new technologies is so crippling that even the largest companies cannot bear it alone. Carmakers, for example, are having to spend fortunes developing electric, hybrid,...

  • Kiwis as guinea pigs

    IN MEDICINE, trials are conducted on guinea pigs, rats, mice and rabbits. In digital businesses, tests are performed on New Zealanders. Their country is proving the perfect location for software firms, social networks and app developers discreetly to try out and refine their products. Take Microsoft, which last year made New Zealand its first test market for Sway, a new app that helps users create websites, and which has since been released into other markets. Other big technology firms, including Facebook and Yahoo, also use New Zealand as a development lab, as do games companies and small startups.

    Firms preparing to launch new products need to discover and fix any bugs before releasing them, and to see whether their servers can support lots of users at the same time. It could prove fatal to a young firm if problems emerge only after the products are up for sale on the Apple and Google app stores. Developers could concentrate their testing on, say, one American state or city, but customers for digital products are so prone to sharing things among their social-media contacts that it would be hard to keep the trial under wraps for long,...

  • Knock ’em down, build ’em up

    Hard hats, hard times for Dilma

    IN 2014 Brazilian builders had a bumper year. Stadiums had to be ready in a dozen cities for the football World Cup in June, airports spruced up to welcome foreign visitors, and roads built to whisk them to venues. In Rio de Janeiro work was beginning in earnest on preparations for the Olympic Games it will host in 2016. President Dilma Rousseff was seeking re-election, and boosted the federal government’s infrastructure spending in the run-up to October’s tightly contested poll. Construction firms’ revenues had already been rising by 11% a year, in real terms, for the past ten years.

    However, in September a police investigation found that some of this growth was thanks to padded contracts that at least six of Brazil’s biggest construction firms, with combined domestic revenues of 19 billion reais ($8.8 billion) in 2013, had for years been signing with Petrobras, the state-controlled oil giant, in exchange for kickbacks to politicians. Around 30 construction executives are now awaiting trial on charges of corruption or money-laundering, including the boss of UTC Engenharia, Brazil’s...

  • Doubling down

    AFTER years of spectacular growth that propelled Macau past Las Vegas to become the gambling capital of the world, the territory has hit a rough patch. So you might expect that the gathering of the casino industry’s leaders that took place there this week would be dominated by talk of retrenchment. Instead, the tycoons boasted of their grand plans for expansion.

    Fat-cats from the Chinese mainland, where gambling remains illegal, used to be Macau’s mainstay. But as the Communist Party’s leaders have cracked down on corruption over the past two years, and as rival casinos in Australia, the Philippines and elsewhere have begun to draw big-spending gamblers away, the flood of high-rollers into Macau has slowed to a trickle. Its gambling revenues have plunged from nearly $13 billion in the first quarter of 2014 to under $8 billion in the first three months of 2015 (see chart). Shares in its gambling firms have fallen by half since the start of 2014, wiping more than $90 billion off their combined market value.

    Undeterred, they intend to open new casinos and hotels in Macau costing more than $20 billion over the next few...

  • Turbulence

    Private jets are so last year

    ALTHOUGH it started life making snowmobiles, Bombardier’s main businesses these days are building corporate jets, smallish “regional” jets for airlines, and trains. The Canadian firm has long dreamed, however, of breaking the stranglehold that Boeing and Airbus enjoy in full-sized commercial airliners. For 11 years it has been spending heavily on developing the CSeries, a 100- to 149-seater to compete with the slightly larger Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

    However, like so many new aircraft, the CSeries has slipped behind schedule and gone over budget. Orders are weak. And the family-controlled firm’s other businesses, which have been footing the bill for the work on the new plane, are struggling. There are worries that the CSeries will never be a commercial success—and that Bombardier might even run out of cash before the plane turns a profit.

    On May 14th Bombardier said it would cut production of the Global 5000 and 6000, its largest and most profitable corporate jets, with the loss of 1,750 jobs. Russian and Chinese tycoons are feeling the pinch, or are shopping with rivals...

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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