Rediscovering the Americas: The World’s 15 Best Countries for Business in 2014

terminalThe US, Germany, Poland and Mexico are among next year’s Best Countries for Business. Rotterdam Week in cooperation with Atlantico Business Development (an international consultancy based in Rotterdam) has selected the best 15 markets of 2014/15 for your direct investment or for exporting your products. Continue reading “Rediscovering the Americas: The World’s 15 Best Countries for Business in 2014”

Brazil’s 2014 elections already face headwinds

By Fernando Dantas

logoFGVAs Brazil prepares for election year 2014, economic uncertainty is pervasive. It is likely that 2014 will not be as spectacular as 2010, but forecasts of what will actually happen vary considerably. On the negative end, Brazil would encounter a perfect storm that might combine one or more downgrades of its sovereign rating with a steep devaluation of the exchange rate in the wake of rising U.S. interest rates. The most optimistic scenario anticipates a gradual recovery in economic growth, and inflation still below the government inflation target ceiling of 6.5% a year. Continue reading “Brazil’s 2014 elections already face headwinds”

Port of Rotterdam 2013 throughput stable

portofrotterdamAccording to provisional figures presented today, goods throughput in the port of Rotterdam will end this year at the same level as in 2012: 442 million tonnes. The top performance came from dry bulk such as coal, iron ore and agribulk. Throughput figures for crude oil were noticeably lower than in 2012, due mainly to the weak fuel market in Europe and maintenance shutdowns at the refineries. There was a slight increase in the throughput of oil products. Container throughput was down due to the economic crisis and because Hamburg won back some cargo. Continue reading “Port of Rotterdam 2013 throughput stable”

Dutch consortium delivers Mekong Delta Plan, Vietnam

logo-rhdhv-largeA consortium led by Royal HaskoningDHV has drawn up a plan for Vietnam’s Mekong Delta that will deliver sustainability and protection for this important agricultural area. The plan describes the strategic vision for the Delta until the year 2100 and involves the industrialisation of agriculture, the sustainable use of land and water and planning based on a shared framework. The plan also contains ‘no regret’, priority and long-term measures for a sustainable and climate-proof delta. Dutch Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen presenting the plan to the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Văn Ninh. Other partners in the consortium include Wageningen UR, Deltares, and RebelGroup. Continue reading “Dutch consortium delivers Mekong Delta Plan, Vietnam”

SBM Offshore provides update to markets

sbmAhead of the scheduled 2013 earnings announcement, SBM Offshore provded a year end update yesterday. Bruno Chabas, CEO of SBM Offshore commented: “From a difficult start, 2013 has been a year of achievements. As we close, we are updating the market on further steps that mark SBM Offshore’s progress and our determination to manage our business rigorously and efficiently”. SBM Offshore announced that the Deep Panuke facility has received Production Acceptance Notice and is formally on hire. SBM Offshore also recently concluded a company-wide review of decommissioning provisions and vessel values. “As a matter of prudent accounting, this will result in certain non-cash charges. Even so, the Company will return a positive IFRS net income for 2013 and remains firmly within its covenants”, Chabas added. Continue reading “SBM Offshore provides update to markets”

Ukraine: On the Edge of Empires

By George Friedman

georgefriedmanThe name “Ukraine” literally translates as “on the edge.” It is a country on the edge of other countries, sometimes part of one, sometimes part of another and more frequently divided. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was divided between Russia, Poland and the Ottoman Empire. In the 19th century, it was divided between Russia and Austria-Hungary. And in the 20th century, save for a short period of independence after World War I, it became part of the Soviet Union. Ukraine has been on the edge of empires for centuries. Continue reading “Ukraine: On the Edge of Empires”

Turkish Airlines to set up base in Rotterdam

rtmairportTurkish Airlines will open a second base in the Netherlands at ‘Rotterdam The Hague Airport’. As of 4 March seven employees of Turkish Airlines will be stationed in Rotterdam to handle the new regular services between Rotterdam and home base Istanbul.  Continue reading “Turkish Airlines to set up base in Rotterdam”

Chinese biotech firm locates European office in Rotterdam

bgi-logo-dualBGI Tech, one of the world’s leading genomics research institutes, has opted for Rotterdam as its European headquarters. The Chinese company provides services in genetic research in humans, plants and animals, microbiology and medicines. Continue reading “Chinese biotech firm locates European office in Rotterdam”

Port of Rotterdam: Nirint swaps Moerdijk for Maasvlakte

nirintFrom early 2014, Rotterdam shipping company Nirint will use the Rhenus Deep Sea Terminal on the Maasvlakte instead of Moerdijk. The Nirint vessels have called at the latter port, with its far inland location, for sixteen years in a row. Nirint provides services to ports including Saint Petersburg, Bilbao, Havana and Moa in Cuba and La Guaira and Puerto Cabello in Venezuela. Continue reading “Port of Rotterdam: Nirint swaps Moerdijk for Maasvlakte”

How the US Will Amend the Constitution To Rein In A Power Drunk Washington DC

by Ralph Benko

GeorgeWashingtonOn December 7th, nearly 100 state legislators, many distinguished, representing 32 states, assembled at Mount Vernon. They gathered at the homestead of George Washington, 15 miles from the capital city named for him. The purpose? To discuss how, safely, to revive an overlooked, but invaluable, provision in the United States Constitution to allow a supermajority of states to rein in a power-drunk federal government. According to a Continue reading “How the US Will Amend the Constitution To Rein In A Power Drunk Washington DC”

For 2014 Brazilian businesses expect to invest less and gain less

logoFGVThe October-November 2013 edition of the Investment Survey by the Getulio Vargas Foundation has obtained data from Brazilian industrial companies on the development in 2013 and expectations for 2014 regarding variables such as investment, employed personnel and sales. 758 companies were consulted, responsible for sales of R$ 534 billion.  Continue reading “For 2014 Brazilian businesses expect to invest less and gain less”

Nidera Uruguay wins at annual Export Awards

nideraNidera Uruguaya S.A. was awarded first place in the category of ‘modern dynamic export companies’ at the 2013 Export Awards in Uruguay. This annual event, which was attended by over 700 people this year, is organized by the Republic Bank and the Uruguayan Association of Exporters. Continue reading “Nidera Uruguay wins at annual Export Awards”

Mexico orders fifth Damen Patrol Vessel

damenmexicoIn November 2013 the Mexican Navy (Secretaría de Marina) and Damen Shipyards Group (the Netherlands) signed another contract for a Damen Stan Patrol 4207. The Mexican Navy already operates two similar Patrol Vessels and has currently two ships under construction in their shipyard ‘Astillero de Marina Numero 1’ in Tampico, which is situated on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading “Mexico orders fifth Damen Patrol Vessel”

Latin America to grow by 3.2% in 2014

latamThe economies of Latin America and the Caribbean will expand by 3.2% in 2014, which is higher than the 2.6% performance of 2013, according to a new ECLAC report launched today at a press conference in Santiago, Chile. Panama will lead the pack with a growth rate of 7% in 2014, while powerhouses like Brazil and Mexico are predicted to grow at 2,6% and 3,5% respectively. Continue reading “Latin America to grow by 3.2% in 2014”

Letter from Kurdistan

By Reva Bhalla

stratforAt the edge of empires lies Kurdistan, the land of the Kurds. The jagged landscape has long been the scene of imperial aggression. For centuries, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Russians and Europeans looked to the mountains to buffer their territorial prizes farther afield, depriving the local mountain dwellers a say in whose throne they would ultimately bow to. Continue reading “Letter from Kurdistan”

Vopak invests in LPG storage facility in Singapore

logo_vopakRoyal Vopak announced that it will invest in the first Southeast Asia’s independent import Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facility in Singapore. The LPG facility will be located in its Banyan terminal at Jurong Island, with an initial capacity of 80,000 cubic meters (cbm).  Continue reading “Vopak invests in LPG storage facility in Singapore”

ISO 9001 certification for Nidera Sementes Brazil

nideraAfter almost 3 years of hard work and preparation, Nidera Sementes in Brazil announced that they have been granted an ISO 9001 certification. An audit by SGS found their quality management system in full compliance with ISO 9001:2008 standards this past month, which is the culmination of a process that was started at the beginning of 2011. With this system, it is possible to manage and control the quality of company transactions, raise awareness about all organizational processes, achieve continuous development and ensure customer satisfaction. Continue reading “ISO 9001 certification for Nidera Sementes Brazil”

Fifth Damen PSV World Opal for World Wide Supply

damenpsv2Damen Shipyards Group delivered the fifth Platform Supply Vessel in a series of six to World Wide Supply of Norway on December 5th. The World Opal is a Damen PSV 3300 CD. The first ship, World Diamond, was delivered in July and the last in the series ‘World Sapphire’ is due to be delivered mid-December. Continue reading “Fifth Damen PSV World Opal for World Wide Supply”

Brazil’s GranEnergia to open Rotterdam office

granenergiaGranEnergia of Rio de Janeiro will open an office in Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Investment Agency announced on its twitter account. GranEnergia, the logistics and energy arm of Brazilian holding company GranInvestimentos, is controlled by the Gradin family. In October GranEnergia announced it will invest $500 million on three offshore oil repair platforms in the coming years. The first platform will start serving state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, in the Campos Basin in 2014. Continue reading “Brazil’s GranEnergia to open Rotterdam office”

Understanding Latin America’s Shortage of Innovative Entrepreneurs

latamLatin America and the Caribbean is a region of entrepreneurs. The share of business owners per capita is larger than in other regions at similar income levels. Still, according to a new World Bank report, “Latin American Entrepreneurs: Many Firms but Little Innovation,” the region’s future will depend on having more “transformational” entrepreneurs than it has today. Continue reading “Understanding Latin America’s Shortage of Innovative Entrepreneurs”

World Bank to improve public services in Acre State, Brazil

brazilianflagMore than 700,000 people living in the State of Acre, in the remote Northwest of Brazil’s Amazon Region, will benefit from a program to improve public sector efficiency, particularly in the areas of education and gender equality. The US$ 250 million Strengthening Public Policies for Improved Service Delivery Development Policy Loan was approved by the World Bank Board of Directors. Continue reading “World Bank to improve public services in Acre State, Brazil”

Shell will not pursue U.S. Gulf Coast GTL project

shellRoyal Dutch Shell announced that the company will not move forward with the proposed 140,000 barrels per day Gulf Coast gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Louisiana and will suspend any further work on the project. Shell is the industry leader in GTL technology, and the company has carefully evaluated a number of development options for GTL on the US Gulf Coast, using natural gas feedstocks. Continue reading “Shell will not pursue U.S. Gulf Coast GTL project”

The Netherlands among top countries in OECD’s global education survey

logooecd_enSome Asian countries as well as Switzerland and the Netherlands outperform the rest of the world in the OECD’s latest PISA survey, which evaluates the knowledge and skills of the world’s 15-year-olds. The OECD’s PISA 2012 tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries and economies on maths, reading and science. The main focus was on maths. Math proficiency is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults. It influences their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future earnings. Continue reading “The Netherlands among top countries in OECD’s global education survey”

SBM adjusts management structure

sbmIn order to facilitate strategic decision-making and further management efficiency SBM Offshore announces that it has reduced the top of its governance structure from three layers, comprising of the Supervisory Board, Management Board and Board of Management, to two by removing the Board of Management. The Management Board (comprised of the CEO, CFO and CGCO) and the SBM Offshore business model remain unchanged. Continue reading “SBM adjusts management structure”

Raymond Riemen Port Personality of the year 2013

Raymond-Riemen1The Rotterdam-based foundation Port Personality of the Year (in Dutch Stichting Havenman/vrouw van het Jaar) has awarded Broekman Group CEO Raymond Riemen the honour of becoming Port Personality of the Year 2013. The members of the foundation have chosen him because he is an entrepreneur with a vision, who strategically expanded his business again during the past year, preparing for future international changes in the market. Continue reading “Raymond Riemen Port Personality of the year 2013”

World Bank to improve Peru tourism

latamMore than one million people will benefit from improvements in tourism services, appropriate solid waste management and disaster protection and prevention measures in the areas of Cusco, Calca and Urubamba, thanks to a US$35 million project by the World Bank that forms part of a broader Cusco Regional Government program. Continue reading “World Bank to improve Peru tourism”

Israel’s new strategic position

By George Friedman

georgefriedmanIsrael has expressed serious concerns over the preliminary U.S.-Iranian agreement, which in theory will lift sanctions levied against Tehran and end its nuclear program. That was to be expected. Less obvious is why the Israeli government is concerned and how it will change Israel’s strategic position. Continue reading “Israel’s new strategic position”

Deutsche Bahn and Port of Rotterdam Authority to double rail freight capacity

Betuwelijn-11Deutsche Bahn and the Port of Rotterdam Authority want to coordinate the extension of the Emmerich-Oberhausen section closely. Discussions to this aim were held on Wednesday in Rotterdam by the boards of Deutsche Bahn AG, Deutsche Bahn Netz (infrastructure management), Deutsche Bahn Schenker Rail (freight transport) and the Executive Board of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. The new third track will almost double rail freight capacity between the Port of Rotterdam and Germany. Continue reading “Deutsche Bahn and Port of Rotterdam Authority to double rail freight capacity”

Chairman Hensarling’s Promise To Tackle the Fed

by Ralph Benko

fedHouse Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling, after his introduction by Cato  Institute vice president Mark Calabria at a panel of the 31st annual Cato Monetary Conference, had effusive praise for his host: Continue reading “Chairman Hensarling’s Promise To Tackle the Fed”

The Democratic Alliance and South Africa’s 2014 elections

By Arnout Nuijt

dacampaignWith less than six months to go, South Africa’s national elections already fuel many speculations. As I wrote earlier, the big game changer may be Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters. The EFF may grab up to 10% of the national vote (one poll put them even at 12%), mostly votes previously cast on the ruling ANC. That will not cost the ANC its absolute majority, as it last time won a comfortable 65%. But the opposition Democratic Alliance will also be looking to steal votes from the ANC by targeting its (new middle class) voters. The DA thinks it can improve its score of 17% of 2009 dramatically. It also boasts it will take the key Gauteng province (the economic and political centres of Johannesburg and Pretoria) in the process. But a focus on Gauteng, with an uncertain outcome, contains some risks for the DA. Continue reading “The Democratic Alliance and South Africa’s 2014 elections”

BT expands data centre capacity in Benelux with new facility in Rotterdam

btlogoBT last week announced the expansion of its data centre capacity in the Benelux region with a new facility in Rotterdam. This expansion will increase BT’s IT services capacity in the region by almost 50 per cent when the centre becomes operational in spring 2014. The new centre addresses the growing customer demand for hosted and managed networked IT services and cloud-based applications that BT serves through its portfolio of BT Compute service offerings. Continue reading “BT expands data centre capacity in Benelux with new facility in Rotterdam”

Equities set to rise further in 2014

equitiesEquities are set to rise further in 2014 after the world returns to normality, with higher global growth and the end of easy money in the US. These are the key predictions of Robeco’s Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen in his outlook for markets next year. Stocks are Robeco’s preferred asset class for 2014, although returns may not be as strong as in 2013, when the MSCI World Index rose almost 16% in the first 10 months of the year in euros on the back of stimulus from quantitative easing (QE) programs. Continue reading “Equities set to rise further in 2014”

Boskalis and Van Oord to reinforce Dutch coast

Khalifa Port,Abu Dhabi, UAEThe Hollands Noorderkwartier Regional Water Board and the Department of Public Works and Water Management intend to award the Van Oord (50%) – Boskalis (50%) joint venture a contract to reinforce and maintain the Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defence from Petten to Camperduin, the northern stretch of the Dutch coastline. Continue reading “Boskalis and Van Oord to reinforce Dutch coast”