Archive for January, 2011

The United States and China: The Race to Disruptive Transport Technologies

Accenture has completed a study that compares how the United States and China are in a race to bring alternative transport fuels (including vehicle electrification and biofuels) to their respective markets. Past research has shown that while new technologies will reshape the future fuel mix, adoption is not completely dependent on technology development.

It is also influenced by individual countries’ domestic agendas. This includes a balance of economics, energy security, climate change and legacy (or lack of legacy) infrastructure. Both the United States and China are aggressively pursuing these “disruptive” transport technologies.

Given the current activity and outlook, this report examines how their trajectories line up and what trade-offs we anticipate the two countries might make. Whoever wins the race to commercialize technology first may have unique advantages. These include intellectual property ownership and opportunities to provide jobs to their domestic population.

In addition, the outcome will have implications for energy companies. Depending on which technologies scale first, oil and gas companies may experience significant competition from biofuels, electrification and Next-Generation Engine technology. This will likely impact their business models, portfolio planning and asset rationalization.

On the other hand, utilities will likely see new opportunities in distribution and retail as electrification develops and takes shape. Their challenge will be understanding individual markets and investing quickly enough to establish their dominance before new competitors aggressively pursue this space. Read More

SOURCE: Accenture, Research and Insights

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January 26, 2011 at 7:00 am

Starbucks Brews Plan to Enter India

Starbucks Corp. unveiled an alliance with India’s flagship conglomerate—a move designed to pave the way for retail locations here and to sell more Indian coffee world-wide. India remains one of the big untapped markets for the Seattle-based coffee and food company. Chairman Howard Schultz said in an interview from Mumbai that India could one day rival China, where the company recently announced plans to more than triple the number of outlets to about 1,500 in five years. India is “as large an opportunity as there exists in the world, coupled with China,” he said.

The alliance is with India’s Tata Group, a wide-ranging company that owns everything from Jaguar cars to steel mills and tea plantations. Its Tata Coffee Ltd. unit owns the Eight O’Clock Coffee Co. in the U.S. and is a big coffee producer in India. The country, though known as a land of tea, is also a major coffee exporter—the fifth-largest in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Mr. Schultz said one of the reasons for the alliance is to raise the profile and use of Indian premium Arabica beans in Starbucks stores elsewhere. The first phase of the alliance involves sourcing and roasting beans. Read More

SOURCE: P. BECKETT, V. AGARWAL And J. JARGON, Wall Street Journal, January 14, 2011

January 25, 2011 at 7:00 am

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrowed again in November

The U.S. trade deficit was $38.31 billion in November, smaller than market expectations for a -$40.5 billion shortfall. October’s deficit was revised to -$38.42 billion from the initially reported -$38.7 billion. The improvement in the trade balance in the month reflected a $1.25 billion (0.8%) rise in exports paired with a $1.14 billion (0.6%) increase in imports. On a volumes basis, however, the goods deficit deteriorated mildly to -$45.2 billion from a revised -$44.8 billion in October.

Exports of consumer goods, food, industrial supplies and materials and capital goods rose in November while manufacturing exports fell with automotive products posting a decline. Imports of industrial supplies and materials, capital goods and food increased, while there were declines in imports of consumer goods, motor vehicles and parts, and other goods. Imports of petroleum products rose by $1.7 billion or 6.7%. Excluding petroleum products, imports posted a small decline in the month. On a volumes basis, exports fell 0.6% in November, barely denting October’s 3.2% rise, while imports slipped by 0.1% building on October’s 1.7% drop. Read More

SOURCE: Action Forex, January 13, 2011

January 24, 2011 at 7:00 am

U.S., China announce progress on trade, IPR

President Barack Obama announced $45 billion worth of export deals with China on the first full day of Chinese President Hu’s visit to Washington.

The two leaders met with top U.S. business leaders and discussed a range of national security, trade and human rights issues that test the relationship between the two world superpowers.

Obama touted the dozens of deals between U.S. firms and China as evidence that China is a growing market for the United States despite criticism that the United States runs a trade deficit with China, which often makes it difficult for U.S. companies to operate there. He said the contracts support about 235,000 U.S. jobs. Read More

SOURCE: American Shipper, January 1, 2011

January 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

With Jobs Act Implementation, SBA Puts More Capital, Assistance behind Small Business Exporting

New Legislation Helps Exporters by Providing Higher Loan Limits

WASHINGTON –Export-related loans to small businesses approved under the Jobs Act provisions have reached nearly $110 million as of Dec. 31, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced today. “The Jobs Act builds on the efforts already underway through the National Export Initiative by providing SBA with additional tools to help small businesses tap into the global market,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “We know that to take that next step to begin exporting or expand into a new market a small business often needs both financial and counseling resources.

“The Jobs Act strengthened SBA’s ability to provide assistance in both those areas by enhancing our export loan programs and also making counseling and technical assistance more accessible. Already, we’re seeing these tools put to use by small businesses that are in a position to grow and create good-paying jobs in their communities.”

The Jobs Act, signed into law on Sept. 27, raised SBA 7(a) export-related loan limits to $5 million. SBA helps small business exporters through three different export loan programs: Export Express, Export Working Capital Loan and International Trade Loan. The Jobs Act greatly enhances the tools the SBA has to help small business exporters grow.

The Act:

· Helps provide sufficient capital for small businesses looking to start or expand their exporting efforts, the law increased the maximum size of 7(a) International Trade Loans and Export Working Capital Loans to $5 million, up from $2 million, both with 90 percent guaranties.

· Makes the agency’s Export Express loan, which offers a streamlined application process, permanent with a 90 percent guaranty for loans up to $350,000 and 75 percent for loans between $350,000 and $500,000.

· Provides $90 million in grants over three years beginning in mid-2011 for states to help small business owners start or grow their exporting efforts.

· Makes counseling and technical assistance more accessible by increasing the SBA’s staff and other resources available to small business.

For a list of current SBA export lenders, visit http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/internationaltrade/lenders/index.html

President Obama has called for doubling the nation’s exports to support creating two million jobs in the next five years. SBA has taken target steps to strengthen its partnership with other federal agencies involved in international trade, creating new tools to help small businesses both begin exporting and grow their exports, and making loans to exporters more accessible.

The National Export Initiative also called for the creation of a new Cabinet-level focus on exports, expanding export financing (which in part is fulfilled by the new SBA loan limits,) prioritizing government advocacy on behalf of U.S. exporters, and providing new resources to U.S. businesses seeking to export, among other things.

For more information on export services for small businesses or to find local counseling and technical assistance resources, please visit http://www.export.gov.

Release Date: January 7, 2010
Contact: David Hall (202) 205-6697

Release Number: 10-02
Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news

January 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

EU Aims to Seal Deal With Beijing

Chinese leaders are stepping up their courtship of cash-strapped European countries such as Spain, pledging to buy their bonds and expand business ties. Yet China watchers caution that despite the warm diplomacy, Beijing won’t save the euro zone.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Berlin on Thursday on the latest stage of a European tour that began in Madrid. While in Spain, Mr. Li, who is widely expected to become China’s next premier, signed a string of trade and investment deals. He also vowed that China would continue to buy Spanish government debt, a message welcomed by Spain’s embattled government as a vote of confidence in the country. Read More

Source: M. WALKER J. DEAN, Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2011

January 12, 2011 at 7:00 am

China Gives Nod to Foreign Firms

SHANGHAI—China will continue to strengthen intellectual-property protection and improve the business environment for foreign firms, which are entitled to the same treatment as their Chinese counterparts, China Vice Premier Li Keqiang said in an article published in the China Daily on Thursday, the first day of his visit to Germany.

“China will continue to improve foreign business related laws, regulations and policies, and give protection to intellectual property rights in order to provide a level playing field and a stable, orderly, transparent and predictable market environment for all players,” Mr. Li said.

Mr. Li, who is widely expected to succeed Wen Jiabao as China’s premier in two years, is in Germany from Thursday to Sunday on the second leg of a trip to Europe. Mr. Li visited Spain earlier this week and will visit the United Kingdom from Sunday to Wednesday. Read More

Source: E. FUNG, Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2011

January 11, 2011 at 7:00 am

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