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Wednesday, 4 March

Expresso

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Jornal de Negocios

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The Economist

  • Golden scenarios

    ONCE upon a time, in a world in which oil was costly and energy sources seemed scarce, the International Energy Agency, a think-tank for countries which import fossil fuels, produced a special report heralding a “golden age of gas”. That was in 2011. It suggested that fast-rising demand, chiefly from emerging economies and in power generation, could lead gas to displace coal by 2030.

    Big energy companies shared that optimism. High prices and rising demand in East Asia, especially China and Japan, encouraged them to pile into huge projects in places such as Australia and Papua New Guinea to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG), either from offshore drilling or, in the case of a $20 billion project in Queensland by BG Group of Britain, from gas found in coal beds. America, awash with gas thanks to the shale boom, began rejigging coastal terminals originally built for importing LNG, so as to begin exporting it.

    But something unexpected happened. Coal, despised as the dirtiest fossil fuel, underwent an unexpected renaissance, notably in Europe, displacing gas in power generation. This was partly because of plentiful supplies of cheap coal...

  • Clarification: Boston Consulting Group

    Clarification: The Boston Consulting Group has asked to clarify the information it supplied to us about its forecasts for the uptake of automation in cars (“Upsetting the Apple car”, February 21st). It sees fully and partly automated cars levelling off at around 25% of new-car sales by 2035, but no such limit on the market share for cars with “assisted driving” features.

  • Spring tide

    The fresh, clean, premium-priced waters of Changbaishan

    BENEATH the frozen flanks of East Asia’s most revered mountain, in China’s north-eastern Jilin province, a huddle of sleek new processing plants will soon be packaging its precious essence: spring water. Known to the Chinese as Changbaishan, the mountain and its premium mineral water are the stars of the country’s frothing bottled-water market.

    In a country with just 7% of the world’s freshwater supplies but 20% of its population, cheaper bottles of water taken from river basins, lakes and underground, and of purified tap water, are even more popular than expensive mineral waters. In the past five years China’s guzzling of bottled water has almost doubled, according to Euromonitor, a research firm, from 19 billion to 37 billion litres. It has also more than doubled its share of global consumption since 2006. In 2013 the country overtook America as the biggest market for bottled water by volume, according to Canadean, another research group.

    Hygiene and health concerns among China’s rising middle class have stoked demand as more migrate to cities, where...

  • Recalling the boss

    “I’D SOONER die than imitate other people,” said Soichiro Honda, founder of the firm that is now Japan’s third-largest carmaker. On February 23rd Honda’s current boss, Takanobu Ito, suffered lesser consequences after trying to follow in the tyre tracks of Toyota and Nissan. He will quit in June after a year of recalls and disappointing sales that led in January to a second profit warning in three months. His error was to embark on an over-ambitious expansion plan in an effort to close the gap with Honda’s closest rivals.

    Mr Ito’s decision to quit was not unduly premature. Like him, most recent bosses have lasted for around six years. But the timing was undoubtedly influenced by the spate of recalls, which has affected millions of vehicles. Honda had to replace faulty airbags made by Takata, a Japanese supplier, that in a few instances exploded. Quality problems of Honda’s own making accounted for many others.

    The recalls not only cost money but delayed the launch of new models, which hit sales. It now expects to sell 4.5m cars in the year to March, 127,000 fewer than it had hoped. One of Mr Ito’s final decisions was...

  • Why Target lost its aim

    Where are the shoppers?

    AT ONE of Target’s shops in downtown Chicago, one recent weekend, customers congregated in the electronics department and the area that sells towels and bedding. Upstairs, the women’s clothes department was almost deserted. A quick examination of its stock revealed why: dowdy dresses, garish sweaters and jackets that any reasonably fashion-conscious woman under 60 would surely spurn.

    For many shoppers, Target no longer hits the spot. In its annual results this week it admitted that the cost of retreating from a disastrous foray into Canada, and of closing underperforming shops in America, would be a whopping $5.1 billion.

    It is an astonishing reversal of fortune. A decade ago Target had such a chic image that people called it “Tar-zhay” with a faux French accent. The Minneapolis-based discounter thrived after reinventing itself as a seller of designer-label clothing at affordable prices. It teamed up with designers such as Alexander McQueen, Proenza Schouler and Zac Posen, and attracted young, predominantly female shoppers with higher disposable incomes...

  • Growing by shrinking

    IT TOOK more than three years, but on February 24th Finmeccanica, Italy’s state-controlled aerospace and defence group, said it had found a buyer for its rail businesses. Hitachi, a Japanese conglomerate, will pay €773m ($876m) for Finmeccanica’s 40% stake in Ansaldo STS, a railway-signalling company listed on Milan’s stock exchange, and €36m for AnsaldoBreda, a trainmaker (and lossmaker) fully owned by Finmeccanica.

    The deal will make Hitachi the fourth-biggest company in the rail-equipment business worldwide, behind Bombardier of Canada, Siemens of Germany and Alstom of France. For Finmeccanica it marks an important step in the industrial plan it announced in January, following the appointment last year of a new chief executive, Mauro Moretti.

    Saddled with debt and reeling from a series of corruption scandals, the Italian industrial giant has been seeking to get out of activities it now sees as non-core, to cut its debts and improve its cashflow. It is Europe’s third-biggest military supplier (after BAE Systems of Britain and Airbus of France). Half its profits come from AgustaWestland, a world leader in helicopters, but the group is also into defence electronics, missiles and civil-aircraft parts. At the plan’s unveiling last month, Mr Moretti said Finmeccanica was spread too thin and was wasting money where it could not win: of the 18 business...

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Financial Times — Europe

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Portugal-US Chamber of Commerce - slideshow image

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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Eight Portuguese companies to visit New York City, 4-6 February 2014

In collaboration with the Associacao Comercial de Lisboa (ACL) and the Confederacao Internacional de Empresarios Portugueses (CIEP), the Chamber is hosting eight Portuguese companies from the textile, technology, artisanal foods, olive oil, wine, spirits, shoe wear, and lighting design sectors. The firms will meet with U.S partners based in New York and New Jersey, and will also meet with Portuguese and U.S. officials and representatives of the Portuguese business communities. For further details, contact the Chamber at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Posted on 28 Jan 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