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Sunday, 30 August

Expresso

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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Manage like a spymaster

    UNTIL recently, for most businesses security was a question of buying decent locks, doors and windows, installing CCTV, making sure that reception staff sign visitors in and out, and trying not to leave confidential papers in the photocopier. But attacks on their computer systems, be they by business rivals, political activists, criminals or foreign governments, are much harder to defend against—and can have far worse consequences than a physical break-in. A company can suffer a devastating blow to its reputation, its intellectual property, or its ability to serve customers—not to mention its bank balances. It may never learn who has attacked it or why, or how much information has been taken; so it may never be sure if it has done enough to plug the leak.

    Cyber-security is now burning a hole in boardroom tables. Before the recent hacking of Ashley Madison, an online broker of adulterous trysts, the most notorious example in the past year was that of Sony Pictures Entertainment, in which a torrent of embarrassing e-mails, personal information about employees and copies of unreleased films was released on the internet by unknown infiltrators. But...

  • Snap judgments

    A WHOLE generation of young people has been snapped up by Snapchat. Every day around 100m people worldwide use the smartphone app to send (sometimes saucy) photos, videos and messages that quickly disappear from the recipient’s phone. Some 60% of American smartphone users between the ages of 13 and 34 use the service, the firm claims. It is among the most highly valued private technology firms in the world: its most recent financing round, in May, put a $16 billion price tag on it.

    The app’s impermanent messages, which help protect the sender’s privacy, have made it popular among young users. So has its clunky user interface, which dissuades parents from using the app. One of Snapchat’s most-used features is “stories”—mash-ups of videos that users take with their smartphones’ cameras, recapping their day’s activities, over which they can doodle and write captions before sharing them with friends. Perfect for the “selfie” generation.

    In recent months advertisers, eager to reach young consumers who spend less time with older media, have become captivated by Snapchat’s potential. Both Facebook and Google reportedly tried to buy it in...

  • A brand new game

    EARLIER this year BMW advertised on WeChat, a popular messaging app in China with around 550m monthly users. But its ads were shown only to those whose profiles suggested they were potential buyers of expensive cars. Others were shown ads for more affordable stuff, such as smartphones. The campaign bruised a few egos. Some of those not shown the BMW ad complained, referring to themselves as diao, or (putting it politely) losers.

    The carmaker’s experience shows the complexities of advertising today, when it is so easy for dissatisfied customers to make their voices heard. But it was also an example of how marketing chiefs are struggling to find the right way to reach consumers on new digital platforms, where they are spending ever more of their time.

    Not long ago social-media marketing was something that brand managers might ask their summer interns to deal with. Today it has become a pillar of the advertising industry. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have cultivated vast audiences: 2 billion people worldwide use them, says eMarketer, a research firm. Online advertising of all sorts continues...

  • Croissantonomics

    AIRY croissants, rich chocolate-chip biscuits, wedges of succulent cake—the goods at the City Bakery, in Manhattan, look delicious. Maury Rubin, its founder, studied in France. But his best creations are distinctly American: pretzel croissants (surprisingly tasty), and recipes for making money.

    Mr Rubin is among those bakers who revere traditional methods but want a fat profit. However, a good bakery is bad business. Flour is cheap but organic butter, which makes up half a croissant, is not. Central locations for outlets are expensive to rent. In all, it costs Mr Rubin $2.60 to make a $3.50 croissant. If he makes 100 and sells 70, he earns $245 but his costs are $260. Since he refuses to sell leftovers—all goods are sold within a day—he loses money. “Welcome to the bakery business,” Mr Rubin says.

    The obvious fix is to raise prices. But Mr Rubin says shoppers bristle when the cost of baked goods passes a certain threshold. He has two main solutions. First, don’t be just a bakery. He also sells fancy salads and sandwiches to office workers, which have higher margins.

    Second, use data to cut waste. Mr Rubin studies sales to discern trends in demand, then adjusts supply accordingly. There are no brownies or carrot cake on Mondays or Tuesdays—people don’t buy rich desserts after decadent weekends. He watches the weather closely, as demand melts in...

  • Patently problematic

    CLARITY or chaos? Supporters of the Base Erosion and Profit-Shifting (BEPS) project, being worked on by the OECD, argue that it will bind multinationals to a consistent set of global tax rules, providing them with less licence than they now have to short-change governments through artful use of loopholes in national laws. Sceptics worry that it could only lead to chaos if countries adopt the new guidelines to differing degrees, or if some governments conclude they are too soft, and take unilateral action to stop tax revenue on profits being siphoned abroad.

    With two months to go before the club of rich and middle-income countries presents its plan to the G20 for approval, much of its detail remains unclear. But no one doubts that, with so many clashing national interests at stake, there are limits to what can be achieved. Discord has been evident lately, even among allies: in June a US Treasury official accused Britain and Australia of undermining international agreement by “going their own way”. One beef is over Britain’s new “diverted profits” tax, which imposes a levy on profits routed to tax havens through “contrived...

  • Controversial hybrids

    Roundup Ready—but so are some weeds

    SIX companies dominate the business of farm supplies. The interest of Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed producer, in buying Syngenta, the largest agrochemicals firm, had threatened to whittle them down to five. That raised worries about whether the reduction in competition would mean less innovation—and thus slower improvements in crop yields—as well as higher costs for farmers.

    However, Syngenta played hard to get. It rebuffed a bid of $45 billion in June. And another, made on August 18th, worth around $47 billion. So, on August 26th, Monsanto walked away. But consolidation of the industry may be in prospect anyway. The takeover battle stimulated the interest of other big agricultural suppliers: BASF, another of the big six, had reportedly sought financing to make a rival offer for Syngenta. And Monsanto itself may not be done. Next year the firm may set its sights on another target, reckons John Klein, an analyst at Berenberg, a bank.

    Two decades ago the industry was far more fragmented. In 1994 the top four companies in the worldwide market for seeds and crop...

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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