Peru, Panama are Latin America’s fastest growing economies

panamacanalLatam forecasts go from rates at or below 1 percent for Jamaica and Venezuela, to Asian-style growth rates of 5.5 and 8 percent for the two best performers in the region in the past decade, Peru and Panama, respectively. Reassuringly, a good number of mid-sized Latam countries (such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Uruguay) are beating the regional average, with growth rates in the 3-4 percent range. Regrettably, the region’s giants, Brazil and Mexico, are growing below the average, with Mexico’s growth falling below 2 percent despite the ongoing wave of reforms fueling investor optimism. Continue reading “Peru, Panama are Latin America’s fastest growing economies”


Intercultural communication? Just be yourself

By Arnout Nuijt

avatarMany, many years ago, he was “my first Mexican”, the diplomat who came to visit us at our office. He never knew it, but he taught me the risks of cultural profiling, the generalisations and assumptions we make of the world’s different cultures and their ways of doing business, aka intercultural communication.

Back to the Mexican diplomat. We knew beforehand he wanted something from us we could not give him, simply because it was not in our power. While knowing nothing about Mexicans, I advised my colleagues (to whom his demand was directed) to start the meeting calmly, drinking some coffee and talking about anything but the subject in question, until the diplomat himself would smoothly raise the issue. We would then refrain from reacting directly and bluntly (the way we Dutchmen usually do), but withhold our answer, while explaining our position. I would then contact him several days later to deliver the “final verdict”.

That was the plan. Continue reading “Intercultural communication? Just be yourself”

Canon Europe and Nippon Express strengthen cooperation in Rotterdam

canonlogoCanon Europe, world-leader in imaging solutions consolidates its central warehouse operations for Western Europe in Rotterdam. The consolidation is part of a comprehensive review of  Canon’s supply chain network to optimize efficiency in anticipation of future business requirements. As a result of a tender, Nippon Express has been appointed as the logistics service provider for the new central warehouse operation. Together with the existing facilities, a new 70,000 m2 distribution center will become the beating heart of Canon’s European supply chain.

The location for the consolidated central warehouse operation will be the Distripark Maasvlakte in Rotterdam. The new Continue reading “Canon Europe and Nippon Express strengthen cooperation in Rotterdam”

The Republican Civil War: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

By Ralph Benko

GOP_Logo1_svgOpen warfare has broken out inside the GOP (the Grand Old Party – the Republicans, ed) between Tea Party  Insurgents and the Republican Party Regulars.  It revolves around  tactics, more than policy.  It’s an old-fashioned power struggle.

The Insurgents’ protagonist is charismatic freshman U.S. Senator Ted  Cruz. Behind him are a handful of powerful Insurgent leaders. Insurgent  leaders need political boots on the ground.  They’ve got them.  Their  most important generalissimo is Jim DeMint, with his ability to direct Heritage Action.  Also important is the Tea Party Patriots’  Jenny Beth Martin.  On the equally important money side there is  FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth.  Together these command  potentially huge sums on behalf of potential primary challengers. Continue reading “The Republican Civil War: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand”

The Roots of the Government Shutdown

By George Friedman

georgefriedmanIn general, Stratfor deals with U.S. domestic politics only to the extent that it affects international affairs. Certainly, this topic has been argued and analyzed extensively. Nevertheless, the shutdown of the American government is a topic that must be understood from our point of view, because it raises the issue of whether the leading global power is involved in a political crisis so profound that it is both losing its internal cohesion and the capacity to govern. If that were so, it would mean the United States would not be able to act in global affairs, and that in turn would mean that the international system would undergo a profound change. I am not interested in the debate over who is right. I am, however, interested in the question of what caused this shutdown, and ultimately what it tells us about the U.S. capacity to act.

That is one reason to address it. A broader reason to address it is to understand why the leading global power has Continue reading “The Roots of the Government Shutdown”

Rotterdam Port Promotion October 2013 schedule

terminalOn 10 and 11 October 2013, the Rotterdam Port Promotion Council will participate in the 53th edition of the European Commodities Exchange in Paris, France. This show will take place in the Palais des Congrès. Next week, on Tuesday, 15 October 2013, the Rotterdam Port Promotion Council will organize a promotional trip to the Nordrhein-Westfalen region. From 20 till 22 October 2013, the World Coal Conference will take place in Berlin. During this show, on 20 and 21 October, the Port of Rotterdam Business Lounge will be open. For November 2013 the Rotterdam Port Promotion Council is planning a promotional trip to Turkey, to take place on Wednesday, 20 November 2013.


Unique Dalí Collection Back Home in Rotterdam

surrealFor the last ten months seven works of Salvador Dalí (1904-1981) have travelled to major Dalí exhibitions in Europe. Icons from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection of Surrealist works, including Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages and Impressions d’Afrique have been exhibited in France and Spain. The museum is marking the homecoming of the paintings with a display of more than twenty-five works from its prestigious Surrealist collection, plus three rare loans of work by Dalí from the collection of the Museo Nacional Centro d’Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.

Director Sjarel Ex – ‘Loans to leading international museums let the whole world see how superb Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection of Surrealist works really is. The collection is of inestimable value to Rotterdam and the Netherlands.’ Continue reading “Unique Dalí Collection Back Home in Rotterdam”

Once Made in Rotterdam: Netam electric vehicles

netamNow and then Rotterdam Week will focus on historic innovative industries in the greater Rotterdam region. In a first of this series, we take a look at the Netam-L-Car. During the German occupation of the city, in 1941, the Netam company (aka NV Nederlandsche Tank-Apparaten en Machinefabriek “Netam”) developed a number of electrically propelled vehicles and marketed them under the brand name Netam-L-Car.

Before World War Two Netam was a well established producer of light weight trailers, hydraulic tipping constructions and other industrial add-ons for trucks. The company had never produced a complete car.

Now it was war and regular fuel was hard to get by. But electricity was still available and the Rotterdam city grid Continue reading “Once Made in Rotterdam: Netam electric vehicles”

Philippines to outperform other Asian economies

philflagDeveloping East Asia is growing at a slower pace but the Philippines expects to buck this trend in the next three years, says the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Economic Update. The positive forecast for the Philippines is attributed to strong private consumption on the back of vibrant remittances, continuing expansion of business process outsourcing and increasing government spending on infrastructure.   Continue reading “Philippines to outperform other Asian economies”

Erasmus University creates new centre for entrepreneurship

logoeurKnowledge and development on entrepreneurship play an important role to the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The launch of the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship on the 10th of October will secure the integration of entrepreneurship with education and research.  The centre makes a connection with the university’s academic knowledge and brings it to practice. The start of the centre is in line with the history of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Exactly 100 years ago entrepreneurs in Rotterdam founded the EUR. Continue reading “Erasmus University creates new centre for entrepreneurship”

Africa tourism set for high growth, new jobs, and more investment than other regions

atlanticoSub Saharan Africa’s tourism industry is set to spur more economic growth for the continent and directly employ 6.7 million people by 2021, according to a new World Bank report. The report—Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Livelihoodssays that tourism accounted directly or indirectly for one in every 20 jobs in Sub Saharan Africa in 2011, and is one of the few industries on the continent in which women are well represented as employees and managers. Sub Saharan Africa is outpacing other regions in tourism growth.

The report examines the potential of African countries to improve and expand their tourism sector, and suggests that 33 of Sub Saharan Africa’s 48 countries currently Continue reading “Africa tourism set for high growth, new jobs, and more investment than other regions”

Brazil Weekly: Odebrecht bets on Mexico

flag-brazil-XLThe October 4th Edition of Brazil Weekly is ready for you, with Marina Silva’s party barred from elections, Google, FB and Twitter facing high Brazil cost, foreign diploma’s accepted, Shell producing oil at new location, TAM saves on airco use, the Soan Highway, Odebrecht bets on Mexico, trade surplus increasing, Moody’s sees lower economic outlook, Curitiba stadium works halted and of course much more…

Moody’s downgrades Petrobras as it turns 60

petrobras2As  Petrobras turned 60 years old on October 3rd, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its global foreign currency and local currency debt ratings to Baa1 from A3. The downgrade reflects Petrobras’s high financial leverage and the expectation that the company will continue to have large negative cash flow over the next few years as it pursues its capital spending program. The outlook remains negative. “We see Petrobras’s leverage to be nearing peak levels in 2013 and 2014, significantly higher than those of its industry peers and only likely to decline in 2015 and beyond. Successful execution on its ambitious capital program and delivery on aggressive production targets will be key to reducing leverage in the next few years and to stabilizing the rating outlook,” said Thomas Coleman, Senior Vice President. Continue reading “Moody’s downgrades Petrobras as it turns 60”

Damen Trading delivers several vessels

Logo-Damen-ShipyardTrading in vessels proves popular with buyers and sellers alike; a round-up. Trading in pre-owned vessels continues to be a popular choice for many customers. Damen Trading facilitates the sale and purchase of both Damen and third-party vessels. Recent deals highlight how trading in vessels results in a win-win situation for buyer and seller.  Continue reading “Damen Trading delivers several vessels”

Fast installation makes robotics affordable for small companies

logo tudSmall and medium-sized enterprises in Europe mostly refrain from using advanced robot technology. The EU-project Factory-in-a-Day aims to change this by developing a robotic system that can be set up and made operational in 24 hours and is flexible, leasable and cheap. The project has a budget of 11 million euros for four years, 7.9 million of which will be funded by the European Union as part of the FP7 programme ‘Factory of the Future’. The international consortium comprises 16 partners and the coordinating university is Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The project will start on 8 October 2013 with a formal kick-off meeting in Delft. Continue reading “Fast installation makes robotics affordable for small companies”

‘Human capital’ report says Dutch labour force among best in the world

wefCountries have been ranked according to the amount they invest in their labour force for the first time in a recent Human Capital Report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), which found that  Switzerland, Finland and Singapore have the world’s smartest workforces. But the Dutch labour force is also among the best. Continue reading “‘Human capital’ report says Dutch labour force among best in the world”

Shell produces first oil from phase 2 of Parque das Conchas, offshore Brazil

shellShell and its partners have begun production from the second development phase of the Parque das Conchas (BC-10) project, located off Brazil’s south-east coast. The BC-10 project (Shell share 50%, Petrobras 35%, ONGC 15%) is comprised of several subsea fields which are tied back to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, named the Espírito Santo. Continue reading “Shell produces first oil from phase 2 of Parque das Conchas, offshore Brazil”

Brazil’s Sapura Diamante launched by IHC Merwede

sapura diamanteIHC Merwede has successfully named and launched the pipelaying vessel SAPURA DIAMANTE in a ceremony at the company’s shipyard in Krimpen aan den IJssel, The Netherlands. The naming of the innovative offshore vessel was carried out by Mrs Christina Lucia Duarte Pinho, the Executive Manager of Petrobras E&P Service. Continue reading “Brazil’s Sapura Diamante launched by IHC Merwede”

First order for Huisman Brazil

huismancranesHuisman, the worldwide specialist in lifting, drilling and subsea solutions, has received a first order for their new production facility in Brazil. The new order includes three sets of five cranes, which will be manufactured as soon as construction of the Brazilian production facility is completed in 2014. The sets of cranes are scheduled for delivery between Q3 2015 and Q1 2017. Continue reading “First order for Huisman Brazil”

Europort reaches beyond technology frontiers with Advanced Technology Conferences

europort_2011_payoff+datum_CMYKShipping’s need to squeeze maximum value out of available assets is finding sharp focus, as the global maritime and offshore industries gather at Europort 2013, Rotterdam (Ahoy Rotterdam, November 5-8).

In line with its stated aim to showcase ‘Pioneers in Maritime Technology’, Europort has tapped into the maritime industry’s state-of-the-art for 2013. Its Advanced Technology Conferences (ATC), organised by Ahoy in close collaboration with HME, features a programme focusing on the innovations that will open new routes to vessel efficiency for the world’s most sophisticated ships. Continue reading “Europort reaches beyond technology frontiers with Advanced Technology Conferences”

U.S. and Iranian Realities

By George Friedman

georgefriedmanU.S. President Barack Obama called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week  in the first such conversation in the 34 years since the establishment of the  Islamic Republic. The phone call followed tweets and public statements on both  sides indicating a willingness to talk. Though far from an accommodation between  the two countries, there are reasons to take this opening seriously — not only  because it is occurring at such a high level, but also because there is now a  geopolitical logic to these moves. Many things could go wrong, and given that  this is the Middle East, the odds of failure are high. But Iran is weak and the United States is  avoiding conflict, and there are worse bases for a deal. Continue reading “U.S. and Iranian Realities”

South Africa: IMF urges firm reform

malema2South Africa’s economy has made important strides over the past two decades. Rising income levels have resulted in declining poverty rates, and strong institutions and policy frameworks have contributed to macroeconomic stability and greater integration with the global economy. However, in recent years the country’s structural problems that are holding back growth and job creation have come to the fore. The economy has underperformed other emerging markets and commodity exporters, exacerbating South Africa’s already-high levels of unemployment (25 percent) and inequality, and contributing to rising social tensions. At the same time, Continue reading “South Africa: IMF urges firm reform”

The Gold Standard is no fairy tale

by Ralph Benko

gold-standard-liberty-coinOnce upon a time — September 17th — Reuters published a delightfully preposterous blunderbuss of a blog. It served up a one-sided attack on conservatives.  It did so as part of what it calls The Great Debate. Well, a debate has two sides. This was A Great Soliloquy.

Here’s the side Reuters declined to publish.

The very distinguished author of that blog, Prof. Charles Postel, author of The Populist Vision, purported to tell his readers why conservatives spin fairytales about the gold standard. The good  professor manages to defame both conservatives and the gold standard.  He, subtly, misrepresents even fairy tales. And he did not deliver the  goods. Continue reading “The Gold Standard is no fairy tale”

Stratfor’s Fourth Quarter Forecast

stratforFirst, the issue everyone is talking about — a developing rapprochement between U.S. and Iran. We’ve long said that Iran and the U.S. would eventually come to an agreement, but the timeline that both sides have set is ambitious with a number of potential pitfalls that will need to be watched closely. This quarter, both the Iranian and U.S. presidents will be negotiating with their publics as much as they are negotiating with each other through multilateral talks and backchannels. This is especially true for Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, who has a limited mandate to deliver concessions — particularly on energy-related sanctions — from a U.S. president that faces his own political limitations in unilaterally repealing these measures. Continue reading “Stratfor’s Fourth Quarter Forecast”

OECD sets out roadmap for Colombia membership

logooecd_enThe OECD set out a clear path for Colombia’s accession to the Organisation, reinforcing its commitment to further extend its global membership to include more emerging economies. The 34 OECD Members approved on 19 September a Roadmap to accession for Colombia establishing the process and setting out the terms for Colombia’s future membership. This follows the political decision taken at the OECD Ministerial Meeting in Paris in May.  Continue reading “OECD sets out roadmap for Colombia membership”

Business opportunities in St Petersburg

stpetdaysOn October 17th 2013 the St. Petersburg Days in the Netherlands will take place in Rotterdam, focusing on business opportunities in the Russian city. St. Petersburg is the major economic, transport, academic, cultural and tourism center in Russia as well as one the largest cities in Europe. The regional economy of St. Petersburg is made up of clusters such as life-sciences, IT, shipbuilding, transport & logistics and electronics, with world-class expertise and products. During the mission innovative products as well investment projects will be presented. Continue reading “Business opportunities in St Petersburg”