The largest building project in Colombia, a 260 metre high tower, will bear the Catalan seal.
The architectural macrocomplex, which is called BD Bacatá, is owned by the Catalan construction company BD Promotors, headed by Venerando Lamelas, and another Catalan company controlled by Grupo Preyco. The project, designed by the architectural firm Alonso Balaguer, now has a new Catalan ingredient: Hotusa Chain will manage the five-star hotel that integrates the macrocomplex.
This will be the first hotel chain to be headed in Colombia by Amancio López , arriving in Bogota with his Eurostars brand. The establishment will have 323 rooms and an area of over 3,000 square metres for conventions and events. The hotel will have 16 meeting rooms, a spa area of 550 square metres, two gourmet restaurants and two lounge bars.
The opening of the Bacatá tower hotel in 2014 will mark the fourth Hotusa Latin American destination, which already has establishments in Argentina, Peru and Mexico. For the president of Hotusa, "Colombia is one of the leaders in the emerging Latin American market."
The president of BD Promotors, Venerando Lamelas, said yesterday that the award of the hotel management to a chain with Catalan capital was "intentional" in the same way as the project design was awarded in its day to the Catalan firm Alonso Balaguer.
The BD Bacatá tower project has a projected budget of $200 million (151 million euros). The complex will have two towers and a total construction of 114,000 square metres. The hotel will be located in the tallest tower, with a total of 66 floors, and will occupy forty floors. The building will comprise 396 apartments, 117 offices, over 700 parking spaces, a shopping mall with 30 retail spaces and the hotel.
According to Lamelas, some of the apartments and mall have already been sold. The hotel property will be divided between the developer of the complex and fiduciary rights owners. Hotusa has signed a management contract.
The Hotusa Group's hotel division consists of 114 establishments in fifteen countries in Europe and Latin America. Besides, it has 2,500 associated hotels in 49 countries on four continents. The group also integrates the hotel representative Keytel, the technology company IGM Web and the management portal and online booking system Hotelius.com.
Hotusa had a turnover of 765 million euros in 2011, up 12.6% from the previous year. Of these, 249 million came from its hotel management division.
Alonso Balaguer, who has opened a temporary office in Bogota, where he directs the works from, plans to open a permanent office in Bogota. According to Luis Alonso, "it may be located in Bacatá tower itself, as it is becoming an icon for the city."
In addition to its new look, Windows 8 features a built-in store, selling an entirely new type of application. Windows 8 will also support both the AMD and Intel chips traditionally used by Windows, as well as the ARM processors commonly found in Android phones and tablets.
The Catalan technological firm expects to multiply its users by five, up to 500,000 customers, and continues with its plans to export its platform to Latin America.
Wuaki.tv is one of the online video-clubs that has emerged in Barcelona in the light of the changing trends in the consumption of films and series, and its aims for its second year of activity are ambitious: to multiply its customer base by five, up to 500,000 users, expand its offer from 2,000 to 5.000 titles and make a definitive move to Latin America through local partners.
The CEO of Wuaki.tv, Jacinto Roca, states the company “has the capital to face this year’s challenges”, but will seek new resources. “We will open a financing round to raise between five million and ten million further euros”, he says. The online video-club already raised two million in 2011, in an operation involving Bonsai Venture Capital and Axon Capital funds.
Roca maintains that the intention is to allow the participation of new investors. Most of the capital is still in the hands of the founding team and business angels such as Marc Ingla, ex vice-president of Barça and member of Nauta Capital, and Manel Sarasa.
Wuaki.tv trusts in gaining momentum this year owing to internauts’ greater awareness of the need for legal consumption, and also due to the boom in televisions connected to the Internet. “In 2012 the European Football Championship and Olympic Games are to be held...; manufacturers believe this year the change will take place in televisions in the home”, describes Roca.
The online video-club has already signed agreements to incorporate its system in televisions made by Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Philips. It is also included in some TDT appliances by Siemens Gigaset. The next step, according to Roca, will be to install Wuaki.tv in video-consoles, such as Sony’s Play Station 3, and Samsung and Apple tablets, among others. “We hope to close these deals in the first half-year”, he points out.
The company will launch a subscription in March for customers who can choose the method of payment; at the moment they can only buy or rent titles individually, and prices oscillate between 0.99 euros and 2.99 euros.
Wuaki.tv prefers not to reveal the expected turnover for this year or for 2011. “We will reach seven million euros in three or four years”, claimed Roca in another interview a year ago.
Wuaki.tv has agreements with majors such as Disney, Paramount, Sony Pictures or Warner to distribute their films in its online video-club. These agreements lead Roca to believe that their expansion into Latin America will be simpler, as its system has passed the relevant controls. “We will enter these countries hand in hand with local partners who know users tastes”, he says.
Etihad Airways has joined an elite club of airlines in the Middle East, reporting its first ever annual profit. Outside standouts such as Emirates, few of the region’s state-owned carriers have been able to report regular profits. Indeed, state-owned carriers in the region typically report heavy losses, when their results are made public at all.
In 2011 representatives from the Barcelona Air Route Development Committe visited the airline in the framework of an institutional roadshow around the Middle East countries. The meeting was very profitable and it enhanced the relationship between both entities.
China’s aviation market is poised for a memorable year in 2012, as Beijing likely eclipses Atlanta as the world’s busiest airport (expected in 2H2012) and double-digit traffic growth rates return. Chinese carriers are expected to report a 10% increase in passenger traffic this year to 320 million passengers, according to industry regulator, the CAAC, following growth of 9.2% in 2011.
Some 21 airports in China handled more than 10 million passengers in 2011, five more than 2010 – and more are expected to join the ‘10 million+ club’ in 2012. Eight Chinese airports handled more than 20 million passengers last year. 10 years ago, Beijing was the only Mainland Chinese airport handling over 20 million passengers (with 24.2 million passengers in 2001), while Guangzhou Baiyun and Shanghai Hongqiao (both with 13.8 million passengers) were the only two other airports in China with over 15 million annual passengers.
In November 2011 representatives from the Barcelona Air Route Development Committe (BARDC) visited Beijing, Shanghai and Guanzhou airports in the framework of an institutional roadshow to promote Barcelona Airport and its intercontinental air links. Those encounters helped to achieve new valuable partnerships, that is why the BARDC plans to continue the Barcelona's promotion together with Chinese airports.
Japan Airlines (JAL) and British Airways (BA) have initiated the creation of a joint venture to gain ground on routes between Japan and Europe, in a deal that will allow them to share revenue, coordinate flights and, potentially, offer new services. In order to take forward plans, JAL has contacted the Japanese Minister of Transport and Tourism to avoid competition concerns with the alliance with the British company, BA, who created the International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) with the Spanish company Iberia, and has contacted European authorities for the same purpose.
The airline business, under strong pressure from the economic crisis and competition from low cost companies and from companies in emerging countries, with lower costs, is trying to forge alliances to join efforts in a difficult environment.
Source: General Press
posted by flytobarcelona.org
Barcelona Air Route Development Committee promotes Barcelona Airport intercontinental flights.
In Spain, foreign multinationals account for about one third of expenditure on R&D, which means they can be considered to play an active role in the national innovation system. In this field, Spain is around the European Union average and above the level of France, Italy or Germany, although it is lower than the UK, Sweden and Ireland, according to OECD data from 2011.
According to the FDI Markets database, compiled in the Complutense University report, Spain ranks third in Europe, behind only the UK and France, in the number of R&D centres opened by foreign multinationals in the period between 2003 and 2010, with a weight similar to that of Ireland.
Foreign investment in R&D can contribute to strengthening national technological capabilities and accelerate the paradigm shift of production models towards greater specialisation in industries and knowledge-intensive services. These are some of the conclusions drawn in the report "R&D by foreign companies in Spain: towards a stronger partnership" prepared by a group of researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid.
The study analyses, through statistics, surveys of foreign companies established in Spain, and personal interviews with management, the integration of companies with foreign capital in the national innovation system. The study highlights the positive impact of strengthening this integration, first by the development of domestic technological capabilities and secondly by rooting multinationals in the local area, making the risk of relocation less likely.
In the last decade, to the increasingly open multinationals model, the potential attractiveness of some of the large Spanish companies and the consolidation of certain technology clusters in strategic industries in Spain has been added, in sectors such as renewable energy, rail transport, aeronautics, information technology or biotechnology. The possibility of establishing strategic alliances with these Spanish companies contributes to attracting innovative foreign companies. In particular, the study emphasises the potential for Spain as a business centre for multinationals from emerging countries with expansion plans in Europe and Latin America.
The study also includes recommendations for the public sector to promote the recruitment of intensive foreign investment in R&D. The authors influence the improvement in quality of human capital, universities, technology centres, public R&D centres and intermediary institutions such as science and technology parks. The report highlights the interaction between the three axes, government, universities and companies, which can generate fruitful results in the system, making it necessary for governments to adopt not only the role of regulators and funders but also to act as catalyst.
It further emphasizes the importance of Spain's participation in transnational research networks. A perspective that could be exploited further is to make Spain known to innovative foreign companies as an efficient platform that enables collaboration with universities within the country, and other European countries, as well as joint participation in projects and research consortia within the European Union.
Another strength showing Spain to be a suitable location for R&D activities of multinational companies, and which could be more intensively exploited, lies in its ability to attract talent from abroad, thanks to EU membership, links with Latin America and the country's high quality of life. In addition to the free movement of people in Europe, the entry of skilled non-EU workers has recently been favoured under the new Immigration Regulations approved in 2011, which provides a new and more flexible admission procedure for researchers.
Moreover, the study points out that Spain is a country that offers greater tax incentives for R&D, thus facilitating the attraction of foreign investment in R&D. There are also numerous lines of financing R&D at both the national and regional levels, which are available not only to domestic companies but also to foreign companies located in Spain.
Spanish franchises have successfully committed to international expansion despite the financial crisis, and the number of businesses that opened outside of Spain grew in 2011. According to a Tormos & Associates report titled Spanish Franchises in the World, 148 brands with 15,194 establishments are now operating in 113 countries – up 9.7% from 2010.
The fashion industry´s main objective has been to weather out the financial crisis, and this year it is again seeing an increase in the number of franchises. Nearly 40% of Spain´s international presence is from the textile industry, which leads with 40 specialized chains and 5,968 businesses.
Clothing with the “Made in Spain” label is highly regarded by consumers worldwide. Magno has 2,060 stores in 104 markets, and the Inditex Group whose flagship company is Zara, has 1,468 in 78 countries. The Cortefiel Group follows in rank with its brands Springfield, Women Secret and Adolfo Dominguez.
There are 13 Spanish chains in the U.S. operating in 98 establishments. Among the fashion and accessories companies represented are, Zara, Mango, Custo Barcelona, Adolfo Domínguez, Rosa Clará and Pili Carrera.
The beauty industry is also experiencing dramatic growth. At the end of 2011, there were 24 Spanish chains with 585 establishments operating in 24 countries. Among those firms that have committed to international expansion are No+Vello, Vellisimo Center, Equivalenza Refan, and Oh my Cut.
The Emirates airline will make available on the market a transport capacity of 25 tonnes of freight between Barcelona and Dubai as of next July, when the daily flight between the two cities, recently announced by the company, is launched. Gen-Air, the general sales agent for cargo (GSA) on behalf of the Emirates in Spain, will be in charge of marketing these spaces.
According to comments to this Newspaper by Luis Alberto Martínez, director general of Gen-Air in Barcelona, the airline will place a B-777 on the route between the Catalan capital and its hub in Dubai, “which will provide us with a load capacity of 25 tonnes with 100 cubic metres per flight”.
The GSA on behalf of the Emirates in Spain is convinced of the success of this freight transport route, as the Middle East is one of the markets in which foreign sales are growing in Spain. “We expect a very high occupation of the planes”, asserted Luis Alberto Martínez, who added, “in this economic climate, Emirates is adding a medium/long haul destination in Barcelona and, what is more, it is adding the possibility of connecting in the Dubai hub with the whole of Asia, India and Oceania on the same day and with the rest of the world through its flight network”.
Emirates are expected to begin to operate this route between Barcelona and Dubai on 3 July. The planes covering the service will accept “all sorts of cargo capable of being transported by air”, explained the director of Gen-Air in Barcelona.
Martínez specified that, from Catalonia, “there is a large amount of exports of pharmaceutical products, which require temperature-controlled transport, chemical products and live animals at certain times of the year”.
Conversely, from Dubai, “main imports are raw materials, textiles, general machinery and even fish”, pointed out the person in charge of the GSA on behalf of the Emirates.
The launch of this service is one more proof of this airline’s commitment to Spain.
Source: Diario del Puerto
posted by flytobarcelona.org
Barcelona Air Route Development Committee promotes Barcelona Airport intercontinental flights.