“Beyond Student Recruitment: 5 Countries American Universities Should Watch in 2013” | The Chronicle of Higher Education
Globalization of higher education is no longer just a concept- it is a profitable practice for many American universities. China has always been a favored destination for American institutions of higher learning, but we are now seeing many opportunities in new markets like Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia. This is causing smart universities to rethink their business models when shaping higher education planning for global markets.
– Vinita Bahri-Mehra
“Cuba’s Post-Castro Future” | Consortium News, 9/19/2012, Don Ediger
We are on the verge of a post-Castro Cuba, and while no one can predict what will happen, if the U.S. business community does not push for rapid change in U.S. policy, we will miss out on a very lucrative market right on our own shores.
– Luis Alcalde
“Cuban Higher Education Changing in Times of Reform” | Inter Press Service
For more than 50 years, free education for all has been a principal goal and achievement of the Cuban Revolution. As part of the ongoing economic reforms focused on increasing overall productivity, increased food production and a larger non-state employment sector, the principal of free higher education is being tweaked. University placements are no longer open to all, but are subject to tougher testing standards and reduced admissions, while other policies encourage students to pursue agronomy and other technical and vocational fields.
– Luis Alcalde
“Venezuela officially joins Mercosur trade bloc” | Austin American Statesman
Taking advantage of Paraguay’s suspension from Mercosur over the removal of President Lugo from office, Brazil and Argentina quickly moved to admit Venezuela as a full member of Mercosur. Venezuela’s admission strengthens the block’s GDP and may increase its influence if political divisions do not overshadow the commercial advantages that could be generated.
– Luis Alcalde
“Settlement Agreement between the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and ING Bank, N.V.” | U.S. Dept. of the Treasury
The U.S. Treasury announced the largest settlement for OFAC violations of transactions with sanctioned countries, including Cuba. The settlement agreement with ING Bank indicates that the bank shut down operations in Cuba as part of its “remedial actions” and disengaged “from any new business in any currency involving Cuba.”
– Luis Alcalde
By Luis Alcalde
Increasingly we read of cooling investor sentiment towards Brazil because of slowing economic growth, high taxes and import duties and complex bureaucracies. The fact remains that, right or wrong, Brazil does what it does to protect its domestic industries, employment, and balance of payments. Regardless, Brazil remains a market of 200 million people that is still projected to grow despite numerous worldwide economic woes, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years. Lenovo remains bullish on Brazil and Latin America and clearly understands that, to sell in Brazil, it is best to build in Brazil.
By Luis Alcalde
A three-week April business trip to Sao Paulo, Santiago and Bogota gave us an important feel to the pulse of three leading economies in South America. Sao Paulo, massive, vertical, and the most important business and financial center in South America, is bursting with optimism mixed with a touch of anxiety. Optimism that Brazil will continue on the path to becoming a tier one nation and anxiety over the many challenges to overcome in education, health, infrastructure and good governance. Regardless of the mood, the mix in Brazil leads to opportunities for Ohio businesses in a market of 200 million people determined to increase the size and purchasing power of its growing middle class.
Santiago, with parts looking and feeling much like any large U.S. city, touts Chile’s stability, its low taxes and countless free trade agreements as the place for U.S. companies to bridge Asia with South America and beyond. Given Chile’s relative small but affluent market of 17 million, it is a strategy long in the works, but one that Ohio business should consider in the mix.
Colombia has greatly improved its security over the last decade, but the business sections of Bogota remain filled with security personnel, which oddly makes the visitor feel in the midst of danger. Nevertheless, with the full implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and the expansion of the Panama Canal, Ohio businesses should expect in Colombia an open and increasingly affluent market with much growth and development around Barranquilla.
By David Wilson
U.S. companies manufacturing in Mercosul countries may experience increased tariffs and reduced flexibility related to importing and exporting between member countries due to a recent agreement between Brazil and Mexico and potential similar agreements by other Mercosul countries.
Mexico’s automobile trade surplus of nearly $700 million with Brazil led to recent discussions between the two Latin American giants. The leadership and trade ministers of both countries talked over the options available under the Common Southern Market (Mercosul) agreement. These conversations, although occasionally heated, concluded with an agreed upon three-year revised tariff structure. Each country shall limit auto exports to the other country, to approximately US $1.45B during the first year, US $1.56B the second year and US $1.64B the third. Exports over these thresholds may be subject to additional tariffs.
Shortly after the announcement of the agreement, Argentina began similar discussions with Mexico. Recent reports indicate that Argentina’s automotive sector trade deficit with Mexico reached US $995 million last year, up US $615 million from 2010.
U.S. companies should note that although the recent agreement between Brazil and Mexico primarily applies to light vehicles, the countries may also renegotiate duties and quotas for other imported products. Decision No. 39/11 of the Mercosul Common Market Council permits and outlines procedures for the countries to negotiate these topics. U.S. companies should be familiar with the required process and timeline outlined in the Mercosul agreement.
In addition to the revised import limitations, Brazil and Mexico have agreed to increase the required percentage of regional content in automobiles. Brazil is also internally evaluating the formula the country uses to calculate the percentage of regional content in an automobile. U.S. companies should understand the potential impact these developments may have on their business. As countries raise the level of required regional content, the value, and likely quantity demanded, of locally manufactured component parts may increase; thus, impacting the sales of both foreign and domestic products.
“Demanda local impulsiona mercado imobiliário de alto luxo no Brasil” | BBC
Local demand is driving record luxury real estate prices in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo as Brazil’s middle and upper classes grow richer and the World Cup and the Olympics’ approach. And, while 95% of the market is composed of domestic buyers there is a sense that foreigners will increasingly enter the market..
– Luis Alcalde
Kegler Brown hosted a full house for its “Exporting to Brazil, Chile and Colombia: Your Toolkit for Success” seminar in partnership with JPMorgan Chase and the Ohio Department of Development. The half-day event also featured insights from the managing directors of the South American offices of the Great Lakes Council of Governors and a panel of experienced business leaders who shared insights on exporting to South America. Presenters and attendees discussed financial strategies for success with Martha Gabrielse, director of global trade finance for JPMorgan Chase, and best practices in legal intelligence with members of Kegler Brown’s Latin America & Caribbean practice, including Team Leader Luis Alcalde, David Wilson, and its Global Team Leader, Martijn Steger. Decision–makers throughout the state were in attendance for this high-level discussion on Ohio businesses and their opportunities in South America. View the presentation from the seminar below: