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Thursday, 8 October


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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Blue period

    Graceful amid the downturn

    LONG scrolls adorned the walls and stretched delicately over tables. There were serene landscapes in muted blues, greys and browns. Birds and blossoms provided flashes of orange and pink. These tranquil scenes were the backdrop to a busy week for Hong Kong’s art market. On display in a cavernous convention hall, they were just some of the thousands of items in Sotheby’s autumn sales, which were themselves part of a series of recent auctions across Hong Kong. Collectors, analysts and auctioneers watched the sales intently. There were some bright spots. On October 6th, for example, Fu Baoshi’s scroll of graceful women (pictured) fetched an impressive HK$35.5m ($4.5m). But the prospects for China’s art market are cloudy.

    Worldwide, art sales are booming. They reached a record €51 billion ($65 billion) last year, according to the European Fine Art Foundation. However, success is uneven. America’s art market is bustling; sales in Britain rose last year, too. But what was until recently the world’s hottest market is decidedly cooler. Auction sales in mainland China were $5.5 billion last year,...

  • Go forth and multiply

    FOREIGN universities crave access to India’s booming higher-education market. Less well known is how some Indian institutions are venturing overseas. Atul Chauhan, the chancellor of Amity University, rattles off a list of countries, including America, Britain, China, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, where his Indian outfit has so far opened operations. This month Amity, a non-profit which, unusually, is owned by a for-profit conglomerate, AKC Group, will open its latest foreign outpost, in Romania. Next on its list are Australia, Germany, Brazil and Japan, among others. “Our target is 50 countries in the next ten years,” says Mr Chauhan.

    Amity’s original campus is a set of red-brick-and-glass towers, east of Delhi, whose media-studies department is better equipped than professional broadcasters’ studios nearby. It offers more than 240 courses (engineering and business dominate) and says it has 125,000 students, most at 20-plus sites in India, with roughly 10,000 now enrolled overseas.

    Going gangbusters excites Amity’s bosses, though some competitors say throwing up campuses does not mean embedding a teaching culture, getting capable faculty or...

  • Norwegian blues

    IT IS a capitalist country but it is dominated by state-owned enterprises; it is an oil giant but it eschews conspicuous consumption. For decades this unusual economic model has served Norway well: in 1970 it was in Europe’s middle ranks as measured by income per head. Nowadays, Norwegians are richer than everyone in Europe except the Luxembourgers. However, the model is beginning to run out of fuel.

    Norway’s rise to glory began when the first oil was extracted from its continental shelf in 1971. The energy industry sent ripples of prosperity throughout the economy, turning Bergen from a fishing village into an industrial hub, creating companies that specialised in extracting hydrocarbons from beneath a stormy sea and filling hotels with oil workers. The ripples got ever bigger as the oil price lurched upwards from $10 a barrel in the late 1990s to almost $150 in 2008. Oil and gas now account for about a quarter of Norway’s GDP and almost half of its exports.

    But the recent fall in the oil price to around $50 has put this into reverse. Statoil, the national oil company, has seen its profits and share price plunge. Oil firms have laid...

  • New rules, same old paradigm

    IN 2013 investigators from America’s Senate shone a harsh light on a highly profitable unit of Apple that was registered in Ireland, controlled from America—and not paying tax in either country. That this “stateless-income” structure was perfectly legal highlighted a big loophole in the global system for taxing multinationals.

    There are many such gaps, and the reason is that the patchwork of national rules and bilateral treaties governing how much tax companies owe, and to whom, is horribly dated. It was designed for the manufacturing age. Business today is increasingly digital, services-based and driven by intangible assets, including rights to exploit intellectual property (IP), from patents to logos. These are easier than physical assets to shuffle from subsidiaries in high-tax countries to those in low-tax ones. In short, they make the old rules easier to game.

    Hence the relentless rise of tax planning as a core part of multinationals’ business plans. The OECD reckons that the resulting revenue losses to national exchequers have grown to as much as $240 billion a year, or 10% of global corporate income-tax receipts—an estimate it...

  • Still slipping the net

    ON a roundabout near one of the main roads into Amsterdam sits a drab office block which is home to hundreds of multinationals—on paper. Intertrust, the firm whose flag flutters outside, provides registration for local subsidiaries of the big companies, and other ancillary services. But many of those multinationals have a minimal physical presence there. Of the Netherlands’ more than 10,000 “letterbox” firms, such as these, many are empty.

    Often, one of the main reasons for such subsidiaries is to cut the tax bills of their parent companies. The Netherlands, and other low-tax havens such as Ireland and Luxembourg, have attracted much criticism from other countries for the legal loopholes they leave open to encourage such tax avoidance by big corporations. The three countries attract a huge amount of foreign direct investment (see chart), but much of it flows back out again, with the money ultimately financing factory-building and the like in another part of the world. By routing such investments via tax havens, multinationals can save on a variety of taxes, perfectly legally. The havens say that all they are doing is providing a business-friendly...

  • Debt and alive

    IT WAS not the noise of shale being blasted that heralded the fracking boom in Cuero, Texas, six years ago. It was the rumble of 18-wheel oil tankers. After a local company struck one of the first wells in the Eagle Ford shale belt near Cuero in 2009, the number of lorries passing through quintupled to about 40,000 a year, says Sara Meyer, the mayor. Now there’s barely a tanker to be seen. A heap of discarded oil rigs nearby is on sale.

    Most of the oil workers have “vamoosed”, she says. At a local caravan park, most of the mobile homes that until recently were packed with drillers and pipe-layers are empty. Josh Barrett, its manager, says that in August he pulled in a healthy $42,000, but in September his income crashed. A plunging oil price has caused a slump in fracking (see chart 1). “The juice is no longer worth the squeeze,” he says.

    Cuero and other towns on the Eagle Ford are at the sharp end of a crunch hitting America’s shale industry. It is also being felt 150 miles away in Houston, America’s oil capital. Hundreds of firms, big and small, will this month undergo reviews—semiannual affairs known as “redeterminations”—...

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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