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Business in the Burbs

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Archive for the 'Global' Category

PepsiCo to invest $3 billion in Mexico

November
20

PepsiCo Inc. views Mexico as one of its key growth markets and expects to invest up to $3 billion in the country over the next several years.

The Purchase-based beverage and snack food giant said that two-thirds of that investment will fund research and development, manufacturing, distribution, marketing and advertising for the company’s Mexican food businesses during the next five years.

The rest of the investment will support marketing and advertising for Pepsi beverages.

“For the last 100 years, Mexico has been a key market for PepsiCo, and today’s news is the latest proof that we will continue to invest for growth here,” PepsiCo Americas Foods CEO John C. Compton said in a written statement.

PepsiCo already has a sizeable presence in Mexico with 60 production centers, 22 manufacturing plants, 667 distribution centers and more than 19,000 sales routes. The company’s annual potato use of 230,000 tons represents 22 percent of the potato production in Mexico. With more than 40,000 employees in Mexico, PepsiCo is among the largest employers in the country.

“From the jobs we provide to the economic impact we have in the economy and through agriculture, PepsiCo’s businesses in Mexico have developed great consumer loyalty to their brands — built through decades of investment,” Compton said.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, November 20th, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
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Business leaders from around the world express anxiety

October
28

As business leaders from Westchester County mingled with their counterparts yesterday from China, South Korea, Japan, Scotland and Australia at an international business conference, there were differences in languages but common anxieties about the direction of the global economy.

Stock markets across the world have plunged for months as an economic crisis spread like a virus from the United States to countries rich and poor. The downward spiral in the markets continued yesterday as the 120 attendees at the ninth annual Global Digital City Network Conference were given presentations focused on technology.

Grayson Perry, who traveled 20 hours from Australia to Westchester for the conference, said the meeting at the Hilton Rye Town was a good place to share survival strategies with attendees from other countries. Australia’s stock market is down about 40 percent for the year, compared with a drop of 42 percent for the S&P 500 index in the United States.

“A conference such as this is really an opportunity to find solutions,” said Perry, manager of economic development for the Gold Coast City Council in Australia. “We are talking to other city delegates who are here to look at how they are riding out the economic strains in their own cities to see if there are any answers for us.”

Organizers said that attendance was probably lower than normal this year because businesses were reluctant to pay for the trip at a time of economic uncertainty and depressed sales.

Amy Allen, managing director for advocacy and international business at the Westchester County Association, said there is an acknowledgement among delegates that the crisis is a universal problem.

“The world is seeing the same impact that we are seeing in the States,” Allen said. “People are looking for new and different ways to develop business. If you can do it virtually or by coming to a conference like this, it can be vital, especially during challenging times.”

The growth of the Internet, instantaneous communications and international trade helped bring the world closer together and lift billions of people out of poverty. That was the bright message presented during a formal presentation by Thomas Moebus, a vice president at the Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations in New York City.

But after his speech, Moebus added that the world might be at a crossroads in which the financial crisis could cause serious damage.

“There’s not going to be as much credit available,” Moebus said. “The free flow of capital around the world will slow. A lot of people’s plans for expansion are going to be cut back. Overall spending is going to be cut back.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 at 11:31 am |
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ITT Corp. lands $1M pact with Indian Railways

June
19

ITT Corp. reported today that its Energy Absorption unit received a $1 million order to supply Indian Railways with more than 3,000 dampers and shock absorbers for rail cars on four Indian rail lines.

Considerable expansion of India’s rail system has prompted the rail companies to invest in parts, infrastructure and technology, the White Plains-based conglomerate said.

The company operates in India through its ITT India subsidiary, it said.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
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Starwood unit to open luxury hotel in Malaysia

June
17

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said today it has plans to open a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, under the hotelier’s St. Regis brand.

The 200 room luxury hotel, which would also have 200 residences as well as restaurants and meeting halls, is scheduled to open in 2014, White Plains-based Starwood said.

Shares of Starwood were lower in late-afternoon trading, down $1.07, or 2.2 percent, to $47.18 a share.

Posted by David Schepp on Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
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IBM, Ireland establish center to monitor water

June
16

Armonk-based IBM Corp. and Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency have established a center to manage water resources, the entities said today.

The Dublin-based facility, to be called IBM Centre of Excellence for Water Management, will monitor changes in fresh water, and marine and oceanic environments, IBM and the IDA said.

One of the center’s first tasks will be to work with Ireland’s Marine Institute on SmartBay, a research project that monitors and manages aquatic data, such as tidal flow, wave heights and temperature, through a network of sensors, robotics and other technology throughout Ireland’s Galway Bay.

IBM will develop an advanced sensor network, and use real-time monitoring and other technologies to provide scientists, commercial fishers, monitoring agencies and the public with environmental information, similar to weather and marine forecasts.

“The Marine Institute’s aim is to create a mind shift in the way we view our marine sector in terms of economic opportunities,” said Peter Heffernan, chief executive of the Marine Institute.

Novel technologies that emerge from SmartBay will create new business for a wide range of Irish companies, Heffernan said, and enhance “the viability of the seafood, shipping and water-monitoring sectors.”

Posted by David Schepp on Monday, June 16th, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
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Bunge raises dividend

May
23

Bunge Limited of White Plains said its board of directors raised the company’s regular quarterly dividend by 11.8 percent, from 17 cents to 19 cents.
The new dividend is payable on Sept. 3 to shareholders of record on Aug. 15.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Friday, May 23rd, 2008 at 12:27 pm |
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IBM computers to tackle global rice shortage

May
14

When you think of IBM, you think of computers, not rice bowls. But for the billions of people around the world who rely on rice as a staple food, a new initiative by Big Blue could mean heartier meals.

A worldwide network of computers created by IBM will be tackling the looming rice shortage by helping researchers at the University of Washington research stronger, more nutritious and climate-tolerant rice strains.

IBM’s World Community Grid — a network of more than 1 million personal computers linked together to donate idle time to science — has accepted the Nutritious Rice for the World project as its latest effort.

Robin Wilner, vice president of Global Community Initiatives at IBM’s Armonk headquarters, said this is the ninth project for the grid, which was started in 2004.

“As a corporation, we’re a member of all of the communities where IBMers live and work and where our customers live and work. We need to be involved in solving problems that affect those communities, whether it’s looking for a cure for AIDS, creating diagnostic tools for cancer or finding more nutritious, disease-resistant rice,” she said.

IBM is not only providing technical assistance to the project, it’s donating computer time. Almost a third of IBM’s employees have signed up to allow their PCs to be used by the World Community Grid’s projects.

“More than 100,000 of us have World Community Grid on our laptops. Whenever we are on the phone, like we are now, my laptop is working to find out about the proteins in rice because I’m not typing,” she said.

The idea behind the grid is that unused computer power can add up to deliver the performance of a supercomputer to an organization that couldn’t afford to buy one for itself.

The University of Washington researchers will use the grid in a project that is expected to take 12 to 18 months. Without IBM’s help, it would 200 years to complete the rice study using just the computers the researchers have at hand.

The project involves mapping the structure of rice proteins using three-dimensional models on the computer to find ones that yield more rice, repel bugs, resist drought or contain more nutrients.

Anyone with a computer and Internet access can donate their time.

The project is supported by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Posted by Julie Moran Alterio on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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