Archive for October, 2009

Chile’s Outsourcing Challenge

The list of challengers to U.S. tech supremacy may be getting longer. Many pundits say the greatest threats to the nation’s status as a tech superpower are China and India. Those people would do well to look south.

Aside from notable exceptions such as Venezuela, South America is a growth dynamo with a young population and rapidly maturing economies. Much recent growth has come from rich natural resources and a commodity bubble that rained cash on farmers, miners, and drillers alike. (By Vivek Wadhwa, BusinessWeek, October 20, 2009)

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October 30, 2009 at 8:00 am

Yuan’s Fall Annoys the Neighbors

HONG KONG — As the dollar continues to weaken, concerns are mounting in much of Asia over another descending currency: the Chinese yuan.

For more than a year, China has kept the yuan largely unchanged against the dollar. So, like the dollar, the yuan has been falling steadily against the currencies of China’s neighbors, including the Malaysian ringgit, the Indonesian rupiah and the South Korean won. That makes goods produced in those countries more expensive compared with China’s.(By ALEX FRANGOS, The Wall Street Journal, OCTOBER 26, 2009)

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October 29, 2009 at 8:00 am

U.K. Economy Continues to Shrink

The U.K. economy contracted for a record sixth consecutive quarter, underscoring the country’s lagging position compared with other leading nations and dealing a blow to Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s re-election prospects.

In its preliminary estimate Friday, the Office for National Statistics said output fell 0.4% in the third quarter from the second, and 5.2% from the year-earlier period. The negative reading startled economists: Almost all had forecast that the U.K. would begin to show signs of growth. (By ALISTAIR MACDONALD,The Wall Street Journal, OCTOBER 24, 2009)

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October 28, 2009 at 8:00 am

Outlook of Small Business Manufacturing Owners Fall 2009 Survey

Manufacturers Are Most Likely To Say Employee Morale Has Worsened; Retailers Have the Least Positive Outlook on the Economy Compared To Business Owners over All; Businesses in the Services Industry Are Least Likely To Take a Risk.(Manufacturing & Technology eJournal | October 21, 2009)

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October 27, 2009 at 8:00 am

China Gains Confidence in Recovery

BEIJING—China’s recovery is becoming broader and potentially more sustainable, a shift that could provide better support for a still-fragile global economy. Reinforcing those signs is a change of tone from China’s cautious government, which is now becoming more confident in a solid rebound.

Economic data released Thursday showed China’s gross domestic product growing by 8.9% from a year earlier in the third quarter, following the 7.9% gain in the second quarter. The expansion in industrial output, the backbone of the manufacturing-heavy economy, accelerated further to 13.9% in September from 12.3% in August. (By ANDREW BATSON, The Wall Street Journal, 10/22/09)

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October 26, 2009 at 8:00 am

Chamber Members in the News: Expeditors International and A.N. Deringer Inc.

Expeditors International and A.N. Deringer Inc. are two of four brokerage firms selected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to participate in a Broker Self-Assessment pilot program, American Shipper has learned.

The agency announced July 29 the selection of four companies out of 26 applicants to test whether a trusted compliance program should be instituted on a voluntary basis for customs brokers. CBP will not disclose the names of companies involved for privacy reasons.

OHL in Brentwood, Tenn., subsequently announced its Barthco International unit was chosen for the year-long partnership program. St. Albans, Vt., logistics and customs services provider A.N. Deringer will also self-police compliance with customs regulations, said Robert DeCamp, director of regulatory affairs and consulting. An official at Expeditors, one of the nation’s largest international freight forwarders, confirmed that the Seattle-based company was accepted into the Broker Self-Assessment (BSA) program.

All the companies were required to belong to the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, a voluntary security-based program in which importers receive fewer container inspections if they and their vendors follow approved security plans that meet minimum criteria (by E. Kulisch, American Shipper, October 2009).

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To Learn More About the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, come to our next seminar, Wednesday, October 28, 2009. Register Today!

October 21, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Ambassador Bruton Warns against Effects of Escalating Public Debt

Speaking at the European Institute in Washington, DC, today, Ambassador John Bruton, Head of the European Commission Delegation to the United States, warned that escalating public debt in Europe and the United States could hinder the ability to tackle challenges ranging from climate change to healthcare.

Noting estimates that the US public debt could reach 150% of GDP by 2030 – and that the number could be even higher for some European countries – Ambassador Bruton said, “Those levels of indebtedness would increase vulnerability of the EU Member States and the United States to international interest rate fluctuations, and they would reduce very significantly the resources that we could set aside for military, naval and homeland security activity, as well as for vital social and educational services.”

Pointing out that “politics is about more than the next election; it is about the next generation,” Ambassador Bruton said there is a need to get serious about long-term issues and realize that major problems have to be dealt with simultaneously as they are all interconnected.

“My hope, as I leave my post here after five wonderful years, is that, on both sides of the Atlantic, the positive, the foresightful, the courageous and the problem-solving forces in politics will overwhelm the forces of postponement, partisanship, point scoring and intellectual paralysis,” he said.

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October 21, 2009 at 8:00 am

Euro Zone’s Factories Rebound

The euro zone saw its fourth straight monthly increase in industrial output in August, providing further confirmation that the region’s severe recession ended around the middle of the year.

Industrial output in the 16 countries that have adopted the euro currency swelled 0.9% in August from July, the European Union’s statistics agency said Wednesday. (By BRIAN BLACKSTONE, The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, Oct. 15th)

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October 20, 2009 at 8:00 am

In China, Rx for Ailing Health System

As China continues riding a long wave of prosperity, its health-care woes are under a spotlight. Medical treatment has improved greatly for many Chinese in recent times of heady growth. But the system of near-universal but basic coverage offered in the years after the Communist revolution has frayed. Opinion polls rank medical care among citizens’ top concerns. Spiraling drug costs, inadequate insurance and big out-of-pocket expenses are all cause for public distress. In poor rural areas, many forgo treatment because they can’t afford it.

Now, as the Communist Party leadership this month celebrates its 60th year in power, it is moving away from a nearly single-minded focus on economic growth that shaped policy for much of the past three decades.(By GORDON FAIRCLOUGH, The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, Oct. 15th)

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October 19, 2009 at 12:00 am

Wal-Mart’s Painful Lessons

It’s rare that a $100 billion business can be marginalized, but such is the case with the international arm of Wal-Mart Stores (WMT). As a stand-alone company, it would rank among the top five global retailers. Inside the $401 billion retail giant, though, the business has traditionally received short shrift. Its Bentonville (Ark.) headquarters is underwhelming—a drab, largely windowless, one-story structure named after Bill Mitchell, a former Walmart executive whom nobody seems to remember. (By Matthew Boyle, Business Week)

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October 16, 2009 at 11:33 am

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