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WORLD REPORTS
From Site Selection magazine, January 2015
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by PATTY RASMUSSEN

Swing Wide the Gates

 
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nstallation of the first steel rolling gate on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal marks a major milestone in the massive expansion project. “This year, the Expansion Program completed several milestones towards the completion of the project,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “The Expansion will double our tonnage capacity and reinforces our continual commitment to provide greater service to our customers.” The enormous steel structures weigh an average of 3,400 tons, though gates vary in size depending on their location, Pacific or Atlantic, and their position on the locks chambers. The tallest of the gates is the equivalent of an 11-story building. All gates should be installed by mid-2015.


A Latin American Leader

Globant is the Latin American leader in the creation of innovative software products that appeal to global audiences.
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echnology services company Globant recently expanded into Peru, opening a development center in Lima. The new expansion allows the company to improve its customer portfolio and better serve customers in the region. “We chose Peru due to the outstanding growth it has shown during the past years,” says Martín Umaran, Globant co-founder and chief of staff. “Lima has become a remarkable business center in the region. This center proves that world-class software products can be built by putting together global teams, and by understanding that geography today isn’t the predominant factor to take into account.” Globant also has 25 other offices in cities from Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, and the US. The company was one of three tech companies chosen to help develop Scholas.Social, a unique online education project promoted by Pope Francis when he was still the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.


Banking on the Green Economy

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he organizers of the Conference of Ministers of the Economic Community of Central African States have established the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa (FEVAC). The move is a significant step forward in restructuring the Central African economy based on natural resources with a particular emphasis on the timber industry.

A $3 million contribution from the Democratic Republic of Congo will seed the fund. “Today, for the first time, Central Africa has placed the environment within the core economic structure of the countries in the region,” said Dr. Honoré Tabuna, Biodiversity Valuation and Environmental Economics expert and the conference coordinator. “We are finally reaching the final stages and practical implementation of a process that began in Rio in 1992. We must now talk about the economy in order to establish a new balance of sustainable development based on a green economy in Central Africa.”


Scooting Around

Deutsche Post DHL is acquiring StreetScooter, a maker of electric vehicles. Photo courtesy of Deutsche Post DHL
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eutsche Post DHL, the world’s leading postal and logistics group, is acquiring StreetScooter GmbH, a former start-up developing affordable electric vehicles. Deutsche Post DHL also plans to acquire development and production rights to StreetScooter, which is a spin-off of RWTH Aachen University and a consortium of 80 industrial companies in the automotive industry and related sectors. The company makes its home at the former Talbot/Bombardier plant in Aachen and has 70 employees. Twenty electric vehicles have been part of a pilot project providing carbon dioxide-free deliveries in Bonn, Germany, corporate home to Deutsche Post DHL. The company intends to convert its entire Bonn operations, mail and parcel, to electric by 2016.


That’s Cool ... or Warm

Gentherm thermal storage (cool bin), part of the company’s thermal convenience product line.
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entherm, a global leader and developer of innovative thermal management technologies, is expanding its production capacity in Europe. The company is building a new manufacturing facility in the southwestern Macedonian city of Prilep. Gentherm develops and produces seat comfort technology for automotive companies. The first phase of the facility will be approximately 65,000 sq. ft. (6,038 sq. m.) and is tentatively scheduled to begin production in late 2015. The plant is expected to create 1,000 jobs when it’s at full capacity.

Gentherm has manufacturing facilities in Ukraine, Mexico, and Langfang and Shenzhen, China. The new plant will have room for expansion. “We have a very strong specialty cable business in Europe that continues to grow,” said Daniel R. Coker, president and CEO of Gentherm. “We believe that the country of Macedonia provides us with a competitive environment to further pursue our ambitious growth plans in Europe, and elsewhere in the world.”



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