ARGENTINA-TEXAS

chamber of commerce 

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  • 13 May 2019 10:26 AM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    Thank You!

    Thank you for joining us at the O&G Business Seminar and for being part of our Pre-OTC Cocktail.
    It was an honor to have you in attendance. We hope that you found the event to be both interesting and informative. 
    We enjoyed having you and other 300 attendees building relationships and creating business opportunities. 


    We look forward to seeing you next year.

    Warm regards
    ATCC

     


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  • 26 Apr 2019 1:26 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    Tips For Making A Start In Argentina As A Foreigner

    In the 20 years I lived in Argentina, I met many foreigners visiting the country who said they would love to live there if they could only find a way to make a living. It was easy to understand how they could feel that way. Despite its many ups and downs, it’s a beautiful country, Buenos Aires is a jewel of a city, the climate is great, and the people are friendly.

    So, how can a foreigner make a go of it in Argentina? Here are five ways:

    • Expatriate: Get the company you’re working for to send you there. Of course, in most cases this will be for only a few years before you’re rotated to your next assignment.
    • Teleworking: Have a job that allows you to work remotely for employers/clients outside the country. Lots of people who work in fields like IT, design and publishing have taken this route and they can get the best of both worlds: an income in foreign currency and the pleasure of a great place to live.
    • Investor: go there and start your business make a investment.
    • Local Employee: Go there and find a job.
    • Entrepreneur: Start your own business venture.

    For the adventurous the last two options certainly offer an adventure, and many who have taken the challenge have succeeded. Despite having much in similar with the US or other Western countries, Argentina is very different in ways that might not be readily apparent. For those who have considered taking the leap, here are a few things to keep in mind:

    1. Relationships. Family and personal relationships are very important. Unlike in the US, where people move constantly and the rules tend to be clearer, feeling you can trust the people you are working or doing business with in Argentina is critical. You can build that trust, but it takes time.

    2. Learn Spanish, and don’t be afraid to use it. Sure, we all know the importance of learning the local language. The hard part is being willing to put yourself in situations where you need to use it and learn to take your errors in stride. In my early days as a journalist, I once went on a TV program to speak about the then government’s latest “measures” to fix the economy. It was only afterwards I learned that instead of saying medidas (measures), I kept saying medias (socks).

    3. Network, network, network. Ok, so you don’t have relationships that go back decades and your Spanish needs some work. What to do? Beyond doing the kind of networking within your area of interest you would do in the US when you’re looking for a job or doing business, network and socialize as much as you can in other circles too. As suggested in item 1, relationships run wide and deep in Argentina so the person you are talking to might not be in your line of work but he or she may have a primo (cousin) or childhood friend who is and would be willing to make an introduction.

    4. It takes time to understand local rules and regulations, and keep you up to speed.

    5. Assess your tolerance. Argentina’s economy has had its ups and downs. You need to be the kind of person who can adapt to change and figure out how to work around obstacles you may encounter.

    6. Figure out your competitive advantage: Beating out the local talent for a job or in a business field can be tough, unless you have some competitive advantage. In my case, the combination of my business experience and ability to write well in English opened opportunities for me, first as a freelance journalist and then as a newspaper editor. Maybe your competitive advantage is experience with a business concept that hasn’t been tried yet in Argentina or an extensive network of contacts or business associates back home that can be leveraged somehow. Whatever it is, you’ll need it.

    7. Have realistic expectations: Even if you have an outstanding resume, you might have to settle for less than your dream job, until you get established and prove yourself. If you’re starting your own venture, you might not want to go all in right away but give yourself some time to get the lay of the land. When folks down there start to see that you’re planning to stay for a while – and not just out to make a quick buck – opportunities will open.

    Of course, staying long enough to pursue your ambition will require you to get residency in the country, but an immigration lawyer can tell you more about your options for that.

    Starting anew as a foreigner in Argentina can be challenging, but if you’re willing to invest the time and effort it can be done. It is, after all, a country like the US that has become home to millions of immigrants over the years.



    Dan Krishock is a former editor of the Buenos Aires Herald. He has worked for Tenaris and Weatherford and now works in Houston for a leading company in the energy sector.


  • 26 Apr 2019 1:21 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    In this article we share how we implemented 5S in an international bottling company, in all sectors, and with suppliers, to reduce costs, increase engagement and improve safety.

    An international bottling company defined the 5S methodology as a fundamental part of its growth and sustainable development. We worked with them to implement 5S on the bottling lines, the manufacturing sector, administration, the dining room, the first aid room, and even the entry and security areas. Even suppliers were trained. Why did they choose this tool? How did they benefit from it?

    5S is a Japanese tool that aims to help companies improve organization and housekeeping to increase productivity. With 5 steps -- sort, store, shine, standardize and sustain-- 5S aligns the objectives of the different sectors of an organization by applying new habits and behaviors.

    With a clear definition of responsibilities and processes, presented visually, it is possible to improve communication between sectors and eliminate "gray areas" where no one takes full accountability. It seems like a simple tool since it does not use statistics like Six Sigma, nor does it require prior knowledge. However, it is difficult to implement because it requires a cultural change and working in a different way. It involves a set of activities designed to change the habits and behavior of people to create good working and environmental conditions, and to improve quality, productivity, commitment and safety.

    That's why the first thing we did in our project was implement the first S, sort: divide the entire organization into sectors, both physically and in terms of personnel, and choose a pilot sector with which to start training.

    The first S, Sort

    As part of the first S, Sort, we defined which tools or documents were needed, and which were not. We prepared an inventory. Many tools and objects did not belong in the sector, or there were too many of them. While others were necessary but not in good condition, or not in the location or quantity needed. The operators were the first to discover these details by observing their own place of work. One of the characteristics of 5S is to work with the ideas of the employees. The workers themselves know what they need and what they don't need, though they do not know how to express it. They do not know who to tell or they are afraid to provide feedback.

    The second S, Store

    Although we eliminated many things, it was difficult to maintain the workplace organized. New employees or suppliers were the main cause of chaos and disorder, and it was difficult to avoid. So, we identified what we needed, and defined a specific “home” for each item, so that everyone could find it and return it to its home after using it.

    The third S, Shine

    Storing objects is essential to keeping them "good as new", and that is the beginning of the third S: Shine. A lot of money is spent maintaining unneeded stock or replacing and repairing tools, when just taking care of them is much more efficient. As part of the third S, cleaning schedules for each sector and its instruments were defined. From the roof and the windows, to the floor, machinery, tools and drawers. 5S in industries seeks not to clean, but to avoid letting things get dirty in the first place.

    The fourth S, Standardize

    We needed to increase the visibility of the norms to make them "unforgettable". The bottling company began to apply visual controls everywhere and defining procedures or adding 5S standards to existing procedures. We emphasized making the procedures “baby proof” by including pictures, sketches or examples, and being very specific. The graphics not only had to say what must be done, but how, when, and by whom.

    The fifth S, Sustain

    The fifth S is where many companies abandon 5S. 5S in industries is not simply a couple of months of training It is a new habit. 5S is not implemented until employees are proud of their workplace. When they reach this level, they have incorporated 5S in their way of working and living. They even apply the knowledge at home and in their personal lives. Clear indications of a 5S level are when employees are requesting an internal audit, or sending pictures showing their accomplishments.

    Luciana Paulise
    Biztorming Training & Consulting
    luciana@biztorming.com
    @lupaulise


  • 23 Apr 2019 5:21 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    Rod Pump Assisted With Compression

    While most operators are familiar with using a rod pump for artificial lift, many overlook the opportunity to reduce the bottom hole flowing pressure and increase production by assisting with a rotary screw compressor. Using this method of production, operators also see a decrease in gas locking in downhole pumps, which increases “fill-up” and pump operating efficiency.

    How it works
    Depending on the pad set up, operators can connect a rotary screw compressor to either the casing line of a single well, or the separator on a pad of wells. The compressor becomes a gathering system on all casing head gas, relieving and lowering the pressure at surface, and in turn increasing the differential pressure between the casing line and the bottom hole pressure. This allows reservoir fluids to flow more freely into the wellbore, resulting in an increase in both oil and gas.

    Additionally, if the downhole pump is experiencing gas locking, the well is operating in inefficient conditions. Due to internal clearance and spacing, downhole pumps often leave un-swept areas. This creates space for gas to become trapped and expand on the upstroke. Rather than having fluid entering the pump, a cycle begins of gas expanding, preventing fluid to enter, and compressing back into the original space. Tying in a rotary screw compressor to the casing line help to alleviate this issue, allowing for increased pump fillage, as stated above.

    Permian case study
    A Flogistix customer had an eight well pad producing from the Sprayberry and decided to use rotary screw compression to gather all casing head gas. This lowered line pressure from 35psi to 17psi, resulting in an increase from 55 to 105 barrels of oil per day and gas increase of 370 to 659mcfd.

    Take away
    Always evaluate older or low production wells on rod pump to determine if they are a candidate for a compression assist. An easy addition of a rotary screw compressor could easily increase your recovery.  For an even more in-depth look at this application, please see SPE paper 38211, which provides details of oil and gas recovery from the El Tordillo field in the Gulf of St. George Basin, Argentina. Please visit www.flogistix.com for further case studies and information.




  • 23 Apr 2019 1:52 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    Outlook for Houston Industrial Real Estate Market remains positive

    Metro Houston created 72,600 jobs, a 2.4% increase, in the 12 months ending February 2019, compared to 56,400 jobs created in the 12 months ending February 2018, a 1.9% increase, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The three sectors adding the most jobs over the past 12 months were durable goods manufacturing (15,200); professional, scientific and technical services (12,800); and health care (10,300). In energy, exploration and production lost 300 jobs while oil field services added 3,600. Energy prices recovered over the first quarter from year-end 2018. 2019 began with West Texas Intermediate trading at $46.31 a barrel, trending up through Q1 2019, and closing on the last day of March at $60.19 per barrel, a 30.0% increase.  While oil prices recovered, Baker Hughes reports that the U.S. rig count peaked at 1,083 the last week of December and trended down in the first quarter of 2019. The rig count typically responds to fluctuations in monthly oil prices with a three-month delay. At the end of the first week in April, the rig count was at 1,025. Softness in the rig count suggests less work for oil field service firms now and slower U.S. production growth in the future. The unemployment rate in Houston was 4.1% in February, compared to the rates in both Texas and the United States at 3.8%.

    Record-breaking development pipeline

    Houston’s overall industrial vacancy rate ended Q1 2019 at 5.9%, up 30 basis points quarter-over-quarter, and an increase of 80 basis points year-over-year. 

    Net absorption was 1.4 million sq. ft. for the first quarter of 2019, down 44.2% over the prior year’s 3.1 million sq. ft. New construction delivered during the first quarter stood at 3.4 million sq. ft.—up from the fourth quarter’s 2.7 million sq. ft. There is currently a record-breaking 16 million sq. ft. under construction, with the lion’s share in the Southeast (5.8 million sq. ft.) and North (5.4 million sq. ft.). Triple net average monthly asking rents remained at $0.60 per sq. ft. quarter-over-quarter, and up 7.1% from $0.56 year-over-year.

    Houston Equity Partners
    Corporate Offices
    2313 West Sam Houston Parkway N
    Houston, TX 77043

    Inquiries: 281-899-0579
    Investor Relations: 919-593-7737

    Webpage: www.hepinvestments.com
    Email: HEP@HEPinvestments.com



  • 23 Apr 2019 1:01 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    New Cargo Service From Houston To 
    Neuquen, Argentina (NQN)


    With the goal of strengthening regional development and accompany growth in the Oil & Gas sector, final touches are being put on opening a new cargo service from Houston to Neuquen, Argentina (NQN), via Atlantic Airways.

    An Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus 330 will be used for the new Atlantic Airways route.

    The flight from Houston will pass through Ezeiza Airport, in Buenos Aires, but customs clearance will take place in Neuquen. The innovative logistics proposal originated with a group of companies in Neuquén who are working together with the government of the same province.

    The new service will make it possible to ship large-sized cargo for the Oil & Gas industry and export products such as cherries and other agricultural products from the province.

    The Governor of Neuquén, Omar Gutierrez, confirmed the new route on April 8, when he met representatives from five investment funds in New York. In his meetings, the Governor discussed the potential of Vaca Muerta and the investment opportunities Neuquén offers.

    The Governor also provided the funds with an overview of the province’s Five-Year Plan, covering 2019 to 2023, and the province’s strategic development vision for 2030. The new route is an important step for the development of the region’s logistics matrix, he said.

    “This new route is the result of private and public collaboration, with the involvement of our small and medium-sized companies for the diversification of our economy", he stated.

    "Vaca Muerta means investments, more jobs and development for our people. Neuquén is a land of opportunities and the world understands this" he added.


  • 11 Apr 2019 3:16 PM | Victoria Balaban (Administrator)

    Administrative Assistant / Part-time

    ATCC


    • Role and reporting

    We are looking for a new Administrative Assistant to support our executive team.

     

    This individual will manage mostly business support activities for the team such as administrative support, selected membership services, marketing, and public relation tasks. To do this role properly, the candidate selected should have sound relationship management skills, be fast at solving problems, very good understanding of the Microsoft Office suite, and previous experience as administrative assistant/coordinator, preferably of a Chamber of Commerce, non-profit organization, or an international trade / investment organization.

    Key duties

    Administration

    • Provide administrative support to the President of the Chamber and its Executive Committee.
    • Coordinate administrative duties with all chapters of the ATCC in Texas and Argentina.

    Membership Services

    • Provide administrative support, coordination, marketing and logistics services to plan, organize and oversee services and events for members and non-members (e.g.: missions, training, cocktails, webinars, newsletters, news, etc.).
    • Retain and grow the membership by attending selected networking events and promoting the ATCC mission and its commercial programs.
    • Maintain the website, social media account, and the database of members and contacts.
    • Respond to members and non-members inquires.
    • Manage membership renewals and new registration.
    • Generate and curate media content such as articles, summary of events, etc., related to the Chamber’s mission.

     

    Public Relations

    • Attend selected events organized by other chambers of commerce, non-profit, and governmental organizations.

    Marketing Activities and event coordination

    • Find innovative ways to increase sponsorships.
    • Identify potential donors / sponsors at networking events

     

    Background

    • Relevant administrative support and coordination experience.
    • Very good understanding of the Microsoft Office suite.
    • Ability to organize a daily workload by priorities.

    • Able to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

    • Professional level verbal and written communications skills

    • Bilingual in English and Spanish

    • Ability to travel within Texas

    • Preferable: international trade and/or investment knowledge.

    • Preferable: experience in chamber or commerce or non-profit organizations.

    • Desired: knowledge in e-marketing tools (e.g.: Mailchimp, Google Ads), social media administration (e.g.: LinkedIn), conference call software (e.g.: WebEx), chamber of commerce software (e.g.: Wild Apricot).

     

    Work Hours and Location

    The position is planned for a part time dedication of 20 hours per week.

    The candidate will be based in Houston. Initially, he/she would work from home or from our offices at The Galleria.


    Contact Person

    Please send you resume and remuneration aspirations before May 15, 2019, to:

    Eduardo R. Nunez

    President-Elect

    Argentina Texas Chamber of Commerce

    Email: info@argentinatexas.org (send your resume to this address)

    Email: eduardonunez@3rdwavedigital.com (cc your resume to this address)


  • 27 Feb 2019 7:37 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    New Law Brings Tax Changes for Small Business Owners

    The most recent tax reform law in the United States (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) effectively reduces taxes for many small businesses. It also creates some new complications. Here are the highlights.

    CORPORATE TAX RATES ARE CUT

    The graduated corporate tax structure has been replaced by a flat rate of 21%. This represents a significant rollback for corporations in the former top 35% bracket. Of particular note to owners of closely-held C corporations: the new law repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax and makes the simpler cash method of accounting available to more corporations.

    OWNERS OF "PASS-THROUGH" ENTITIES GAIN A NEW DEDUCTION

    The legislation creates a new deduction for 20% of business pass-through income. This deduction is available to owners of almost any type of trade or business whose taxable income does not exceed $315,000 (joint return) or $157,500 (other returns). Above those amounts, the deduction is generally limited to the greater of:

    • 50% of W-2 wages paid by the trade or business, or

    • The sum of 25% of W-2 wages paid plus 2.5% of the original cost of tangible, depreciable assets used in the business.

    When the business has more than one owner, the owners use their allocated shares of wages and assets in computing the limitations.

    Different restrictions apply to individuals in certain service businesses (e.g., law, medicine, and accounting). For those individuals, the ability to take the deduction is reduced with taxable income between $157,500 and $207,500 ($315,000 and $415,000 on a joint return) and is unavailable once taxable income reaches the top of the applicable range.

    The taxable income thresholds will be adjusted for inflation after 2018, and the 20% deduction is scheduled to expire after the 2025 tax year.

    DEPRECIATION AND EXPENSING PROVISIONS ARE MORE GENEROUS

    Bonus depreciation percentage increases from 50% to 100%. Businesses may deduct the full cost of qualifying property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023 (before January 1, 2024 for certain property). Unlike under prior law, the property does not have to be new -- used property can also qualify. Starting in 2023 (2024 for certain property), the deduction is gradually scaled back, and it sunsets after 2026.

    Section 179 expensing limit increases from $500,000 to $1 million. The law doubles the annual expensing limit and raises the investment threshold over which the deduction begins to phase out to $2.5 million. These new limits will be adjusted for inflation after 2018. The new law also makes the Section 179 expensing election available for more types of property, including certain improvements to nonresidential real property.

    Auto depreciation limits increase more than threefold. The new annual caps are generally effective for business autos placed in service after 2017.

    OTHER CHANGES COULD HAVE AN IMPACT

    The deduction for business entertainment expenses is repealed, effective for expenses paid or incurred after 2017.

    The costs of certain employer-provided transportation fringe benefits, such as transit passes, are no longer deductible, also effective for expenses paid or incurred after 2017.

    For the 2018 and 2019 tax years, employers that provide paid family and medical leave may claim a credit for a portion of the expense (requirements apply).

    The domestic production activities deduction is repealed, effective for 2018 and later tax years.

    Disclaimer

    This communication is not intended to be tax advice and should not be treated as such. Readers should contact your tax professional to discuss your specific situation.


    Oscar Eduardo Mary is a founding member of RCBM, an international tax and business consulting firm headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina and with a branch office in Carrollton, Texas. RCBM assists companies that want to operate in Argentina and / or United States. You may contact him at o.mary@rcbmgroup.com



  • 27 Feb 2019 7:27 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    CASE STUDY: 4 REASONS WHY BUY MODULAR SYSTEMS IS PREFERRED FROM STICK BUILT

    For new capital projects and/or expansions, it is seriously recommended, consider modular systems instead stick built fabrication of process systems. Here, Integrated Flow Solutions (IFS) gives you 5 reason why Modular Systems is preferred from Stick Built.

    Reason #1 - Modular System costs less

    The traditional “stick built” or “site built” construction method is subject to many factors that can negatively impact the construction cost & schedule. There are several advantages to modular vs. stick built process systems.

    A Modular System is a more cost-effective solution because designs, constructs, and tests hundreds of system each year. With a complete manufacturing staff of designers, engineers, project managers, ASME welders, painters, assemblers and quality control technicians, the process skid manufacturers can produce reliable systems more efficiently than is possible in the field.

    Reason #2 - Modular system is higher quality and more reliable

    Modular fabrication performed in a controlled environment with proven manufacturing procedures by an experienced labor force results in a higher quality reliable finished product.

    An experience engineer packager’s expertise in component selection, efficient design, factory acceptance testing, and equipment start up will provide customers with the highest quality reliable system.

    Reason #3 - Modular System provides the shortest project schedule

    In terms of productivity and delivery time, the efficiency of modular systems is a result of a controlled manufacturing environment where standard operating procedures are applied by an experienced staff. Plus you can design, build and test the unit without weather delays while the required site permitting is proceeding in parallel.

    Reason #4 - Single source accountability for an IFS Modular system.

    Engineering accountability is supported by a mechanical guarantee that insures the system meets the customer’s equipment requirements. Process accountability is supported by a process guarantee that insures the system meets the customer’s process requirements. If there should ever be a problem or question regarding a system, customers have only one number to call. Packager’s dedicated Customer Service Technicians provide immediate assistance by phone or email. If the problem cannot be resolved, packager will dispatch certified field technicians to your site.

    Conclusion – So take another look at the process and the product. Site built systems cost more and are less reliable; schedule delays due to weather are minimized. If you need help, you place one phone call. No finger pointing.


    For additional information about the manufacturing of your next modular process system, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    By – Integrated Flow Solution (IFS); https://ifsolutions.com


  • 27 Feb 2019 7:22 PM | Lucas Lombardi (Administrator)

    Key Tips for investing In Real Estate Using Retirement Funds (IRA,
    401K)

    Using retirement funds to invest in real estate offer retirement account holders several positive financial and tax benefits: 1) understanding of the asset and business model, 2) diversification, 3) inflation hedge, and 4) the ability to generate tax-deferred or tax-free (in the case of a Roth) income or gains.

    For example, if a person acquired a piece of property with retirement funds for $100,000 and later sold the property for $200,000, the $100,000 of gain appreciation would generally be tax-deferred.

    However, most people mistakenly believe that their retirement accounts must be invested in traditional financial related investments such as stocks, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, etc. Few Investors realize that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) permits retirement accounts, such as a Self-directed IRA or 401(k) plan, to invest in real estate and other alternative types of investments. If your employer 401(k) plans do not offer real estate as a plan investment option, establishing a self-directed IRA is quick and relatively inexpensive.

    The most challenging aspect of investing in real estate using retirement funds is navigating the IRS prohibited transaction rules (Internal Revenue Code Section 4975) that prevent the retirement account holder from making investment that will directly or indirectly benefit ones self or any disqualified person.

    In order to comply with regulations and understand what instruments are suitable, you should always consult with a tax professional for further guidance and have a paid custodian to keep track of and reports to the IRS on deposits, withdrawals, and year-end balances related to your investments.

    To invest the process is simple:

    1) The Custodian opens a new (Self-Directed) IRA for you.

    2) The Custodian helps you transfer, all or a portion of, your existing retirement money to your new IRA.

    3) The Custodian invests your new IRA directly into the Real Estate Fund, Private Equity or Property.

    As conclusion, investing in Real Estate using retirement funds is not only allowed but also simple and affordable; and it provides investors a financial instrument to diversify their portfolios and enhance returns.

    About the author

    Rodrigo Allub is president of Houston Equity Partners (HEP), a Houston-based commercial real estate private equity group that allows “accredited investors” to invest in a well-balance portfolio of Industrial & Self-storage income producing assets. As of today, HEP has participated in asset acquisition of 560,000 sqf. for $41 Millions. Houston Equity Partners - Round III private offer (https://www.hepinvestments.com/uploads/1/0/4/9/104900685/houston_equity_partners_-_teaser_401k.pdf) is a qualified Alternative Investment for IRA (401k, etc.). To learn more, please contact (hep@hepinvestments.com)

    Follow us – linkedin (www.linkedin/company/houston-equity-partners)

    Webpage – www.hepinvestments.com




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ABOUT

The Argentina Texas Chamber of Commerce is the primary advocate of Argentina and Texas business communities and is dedicated to building economic prosperity for both Countries. The Chamber of Commerce is a Member-driven organization.

CONTACTS

5100 Westheimer Rd, Ste 200

Houston, TX 77056

United States

Phone:  +1 (713) 969-5036

Fax: +1 (713) 966-6125

info@argentinatexas.org

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