Mon04242017

IP day

The 10th Luxembourg Intellectual Property Day will be at the Chamber of Commerce on 26 April this year, hosted by the Intellectual Property Office and the Intellectual Property Institute Luxembourg, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Crafts, Luxinnovation and Luxembourg incubators.

Topics to be addressed at the conference entitled "Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship" will focus on the support measures developed by the European Commission to facilitate the use of IP by start-ups and the means at their disposal to defend their rights. A consideration of intellectual property in relation to 3D printing and blockchain technology will also be developed. The final presentation will focus on the prototyping capabilities of the Technoport FabLab Incubator. 

In parallel with the conference, a trade fair will be open to the public, mainly led by Luxembourg intellectual property actors and national incubators, giving the public a chance to meet IP professionals and talk about the various components of IP, such as patents, trademarks, designs, copyright etc., and to meet incubators established in Luxembourg.  

Participation in the conference is free, but requires prior registration, before 24 April, on the website: www.ipil.lu, where information on the schedule is also provided. 

Speeches at the conference will be in English, with the exception of Mario Grotz's speech. Translation services will not be provided.

cinematheque thief baghdad

Live Cinema from the Cinémathèque presents The Thief of Baghdad with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Carl Davis at the Philharmonie on 12 May. Adapted from 1001 Arabian Nights, a thief falls in love with the Princess of Baghdad and pretends to be a prince in order to compete for her hand. Hailed as one of the most entertaining and successful of American cinema, many film historians consider The Thief of Baghdad to be one of Douglas Fairbanks’ masterpieces, and one of the “most glorious spectacles of the silent era.”

 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 09:08

Epipen Batches Recalled

 epipen

Four batches of Epipen and Epipen Junior have been recalled by the Pharmaceuticals and Drugs Division of the Health Directorate as a precautionary measure due to a possible fault which may prevent effective injection of the active compound. 

The products under recall are: 

Epipen Junior (150 μg), lot numbers: 5ED824AP and 6ED117P

and,  

Epipen (300 μg), lot numbers 6FA292K and 6FA293Y

Patients in possession of a package of the products produced by Meda Pharma NV should bring it back to their pharmacist, who will either hand them a new box of the same product or refund the packaging. 

Epipen does not have a marketing authorisation in Luxembourg, but it is occasionally imported.

Anyone needing further information can contact the Pharmacy and Drugs Division at: 247-75667.

 

francine closener explore luxembourg launch 14042017

On Good Friday, the Secretary of State for Economy, Francine Closener, attended the official opening of "Explore Luxembourg" at the Place d'Armes in Luxembourg City, organised by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office, in collaboration with the five regional tourist offices (ORT) and various tourist operators of the regions to highlight the Grand Duchy’s touristic and cultural attractions.

In line with the passage of the Tour de France in the Grand Duchy on 3 and 4 July 2017, the theme of cycling was highlighted, with a "Luxembourg - Let's make it happen" chalet, dressed in large visuals with a bike theme, inviting visitors to discover the "Velosland Lëtzebuerg" and the country’s 600km of bike paths.

The event also showcased the "Luxembourg Card App" application for mobile phone, which allows users to purchase the tourist pass "Luxembourg Card”, providing information on and access to a range of attractions and free public transport.

Friday, 14 April 2017 13:30

Belle Etoile's Crazy Days Winners

cactus joursfous

At the beginning of April, the Belle Etoile shopping centre hosted "Four Crazy Day", a series of events marked by a range of exhibitions, animations and discount offers, including a competition to win €1,000 of Belle Etoile gift cards each day. 

After a random draw, Joseph Glorieux of Garnich, Laure Adams of Steinsel, Marco Anen of Hagen and Daniel Martin of Itzig were the winners, each taking a gift card they can spend in any of the 105 shops in the centre. 

fondation idea

In an economic environment of continual growth and reducing unemployment, one Luxembourg sector seems to lag despite its near-explosive growth in other economies, according to a review issued this week by Fondation IDEA. Luxembourgers, though, are not so interested in the so-called “sharing economy”. 

While Luxembourg is doing well, and weathered the economic crisis better than other economies, the fallout from 2008 drove an explosion in the creation of platforms for sharing everything from goods, services, knowledge and resources, in some cases upsetting, or even upending, traditional methods of doing business. 

The new approaches have allowed individuals to break through the gates erected by industry to engage in fields they may not have considered before, from hospitality (Airbnb), to transport (Uber), to financing (Kickstarter), and beyond. Yet in Luxembourg, the sharing economy accounts for just 1% of the broader economy, with fewer than 4% of Luxembourg residents offering services that are taken up by 13% of people, compared to 36% in France. 

The low uptake is not linked to technical capacity, which Luxembourg has, but more to economic and socio-cultural conditions, including a large rural population, said Sarah Mollouet for Fondation Idea. 

 

lcto tea dances

The Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO) in collaboration with the Cercle Cité and the Danzsportclub Rout-Wäiss-Blo Lëtzebuerg RWB a.s.b.l. have announced two Dance Teas on Sundays 7 May and 5 November in the Grande Salle of the Cercle Cité located at the Place d'Armes in the centre of Luxembourg City.

The orchestra will be the RWB Combo under the direction of Claude Sinner. The Cercle Cité party room, one of the most historic buildings in the capital, will resonate on the dance floor in the lounge throughout the afternoon. The program includes samba, English and Viennese waltzes, cha-cha-cha, tango, rumba, paso doble, slow fox and quick step, all in strict dance rhythm on an enlarged dance floor. The occasions are open to all generations who love to dance in an elegant and friendly atmosphere.

Tea dances build bridges between generations and revive the downtown on Sunday afternoons. They also offer an opportunity to rediscover the Cercle Cité which has been a favourite meeting place for Luxemburgers and which already housed prestigious dancing teas in the 1950s and 1960s.

A small sweet and savory food will be provided on site.The afternoons run from 15:00 to 18:30, and tickets are €10, and can be bought online: www.luxembourg-ticket.lu -- or at the cashdesk from 14:00 in the afternoon on the day. 

statec logo 600 338

Luxembourg’s preliminary provisional accounts for 2016 show a surplus of €2.6 billion, with balance of trade for goods and services showing a positive balance of €17.4 billion in 2016, slightly less than the €17.7 billion recorded for 2015, according to a report published by the national statistics and economic studies agency, STATEC. 

Small changes in the flow of trade, lower exports and increased imports, mean that the net contribution to the current account balance of financial services fell from €14.3 billion in 2015 to €14 billion in 2016. Due to restructuring and gradual departures, exports in electronic commerce are declining.

In recent years, the balance of payments has been relatively stable at just over €2.5 billion. However, changes in the partial balances, which make up the current balance, buck this trend.

Indeed, international trade in services, driven mainly by financial services, has resulted in an ever-increasing surplus, which erases the deficit on goods and primary income. The primary income represents the remuneration of the factors of production: incoming and outgoing frontiers, financial assets.

While the deficit in employee compensation increases in 2016 (-€8.9 billion, compared to -€8.7 in 2015), provisional results point to a slight improvement in investment income (dividends, reinvested earnings, Interest), which now stands at -6.5 billion euros (-7.2 billion in 2015). 

In 2016, the current account balance stands at 4.7% of GDP. In the framework of the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances, the European Commission has set different indicative thresholds. For the current account balance (3-year average as a percentage of GDP), the warning thresholds are + 6% and -4%. In the case of Luxembourg, this indicator stands at 5% and remains well below the alert threshold.

In 2016, international trade in financial services fell slightly by 0.5% (€200 million) for exports and a near stabilisation for imports. Their share of total services is still up from 2015, with 58.4% (+0.2 percentage points) for exports and 55.4% (+0.9 percentage points) for imports.

The beginning of 2016 was marked by turbulence in the financial markets, which did not have any impact on financial services in general and those related to investment funds in particular. As a result, for the first time since the 2008/2009 crisis years, exports of financial services are falling, while imports are stagnating.

The share of financial services directly linked to investment funds is predominant, given the significant weight of the fund industry in Luxembourg, which ranks second in the world and the first in Europe in terms of net assets under management. Consequently, there is a strong correlation between the evolution of international trade in financial services and that of the net outstandings of investment funds.

The weight of financial services directly linked to investment funds in total financial services is down compared to 2015. In 2016, it is 83.6% and 85.6% respectively for exports (-1% and 1%) and imports (-2.4 percentage points).

On the basis of the provisional figures for 2016, the United Kingdom defends its position as Luxembourg's leading partner in international financial services. Despite a declining relative weight in 2016, both for exports (14.2%,  - 0.4 pp) and imports (21.8%, 0.5 pp), the United Kingdom continues to outpace other countries, in particular Germany.

2016 was a mixed year for the investment fund industry. Financial markets were particularly volatile during the first quarter, resulting in a significant decline in net assets under management in general and a net outflow of capital in particular. The following quarters certainly returned to growth, without however reaching the growth rates of 2015.

Thus, in 2016, Luxembourg's net assets increased by an annual average of 1.1%. Net issuance - the main driver of growth in the net assets of Luxembourg funds in recent years - was virtually halved in 2016. This phenomenon largely explains the low growth rate (annual average) of the Luxembourg in 2016, compared with the average growth rate in Europe (+ 2.6%), and with those of direct competitors, in particular Ireland (+ 5.2%) and Germany (+ 6.5%).

The Luxembourg investment fund industry managed an average of €3,526 billion in assets in 2016. However, it lost 0.4% in terms of market share at European level, while Ireland (+ 0.3pp) and Germany (+ 0.5pp) experienced favourable developments.

In 2016, the trade deficit will continue to increase from 2015 (-€647million). While the balance of general merchandise transactions (including non-monetary gold) increased just over €530 million between 2015 and 2016, net exports from international trade continued to fall (-€1.1 billion). However, this decline is less pronounced than in the previous year (-€2.7 billion between 2014 and 2015). The decrease in the balance resulted from the reorganisation in May 2015 of one of the European purchasing centres of a multinational group active in the field of e-commerce (an activity that is no longer part of international trade in 2016, Five months have been taken into account for 2015). 

The decline in net exports of goods and services in the context of international trade was partially offset by the arrival of new purchasing centres of other multinationals in Luxembourg (notably in the field of agricultural products).

Although the decline in the international trade balance could be depreciated, the following table shows that gross flows of acquisitions and sales of goods continued to decline substantially between 2015 and 2016 (-€10.5 billion for sales and -€9.3 billion for acquisitions).

Compared to the record year of 2014, the decline was €19.5 billion for the sale and €15.5 billion for the acquisition of goods in international trading. For 2017, the 2016 level is expected to stabilise, not to decline further.

Despite this significant decrease, the volume of international trading by resident companies in Luxembourg is about three times higher than that of exchanges of goods crossing the Luxembourg border.

According to the Council Directive on changes to the application of VAT on electronic services and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1042/2013, the place of the applicable tax system has been moved from the place of establishment of the supplier to that of the consumer, so that a country’s consumers are taxed at the same VAT rate (in force), irrespective of the country of establishment of the service provider. From 1 January 2015, an agreement allows countries with electronic and telecommunication services to retain 30% of VAT receipts collected, with the remainder being returned to the country of residence of the consumer. This share will be reduced to 15% after 2017, and then to zero after 2019.

For 2016, the total revenue for electronic commerce in Luxembourg is only about €320 million. This decline of €150 million is due to the departure of two of the three biggest players in this field during the year 2016: a departure on 1 January and a departure at the end of September. The forecast for VAT to be kept by Luxembourg for the year 2017 is unfavourable (€250 million less than 2016): on the one hand, the share of VAT receipts collected is reduced by 30% 15% and, on the other hand, the departure at the end of September 2016 of one of the larger actors in the domain will be felt in 2017.

The relative share of companies active in e-commerce in non-financial services has been steadily increasing for the first time since 2003, the year in which electronic and telecommunications services companies have been established in Luxembourg. Although the relative decline in services exports is low (-0.1pp), it is more pronounced at the level of imports: less 2pp  (46% in 2016 compared to 48% in 2015).

For 2016, exports of services from companies active in electronic commerce decline by 2% and imports even by 7%.

The redistribution between goods flows (international trade) and services following the reorganisation in the second quarter of 2015 of one of the main companies active in electronic commerce and the departure of two main players in the field of electronic services explain this downward trend, which could not be offset by growth in the business of companies remaining in Luxembourg will be felt fully in 2017.

Contrary to the evolution of the VAT collected, the number of employees active in this sector continued to increase in 2016 (+331 postes). The growth in employment can be ascribed to a significant employment wave by one multinational active in e-commerce. According to an article in the Luxembourg press from the beginning of 2017, 471 jobs  still needed to be filled at the group’s headquarters.

In 2016, most trade in goods and services in this sector takes place within the European Union: just over 84% for exports and 62% for imports. The services sector in this business sector generates a significant positive balance with the rest of the world. By analysing the geographical distribution of this balance, a positive balance with the other European Union countries (€4.5 billion) is noted, unlike transactions with counter-parties established outside the EU. The reason for this is that the customers are mainly located on the European market (exports), while a certain number of imports of services come from the parent companies mainly American.

 

The net contribution of these companies to the balance of trade in goods and services exceeds EUR 1 billion in 2016. However, it should be noted that this net effect does not take into account acquisitions of non- Of capital) and potential profits attributed to non-resident investors in the form of dividends or reinvested earnings (investment income expenditures).

ilcc

The Ireland-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ILCC) today launched its fourth Innovation Contest to promote the concepts of innovation, entrepreneurship and business idea pitching to take place on 8 May, with a deadline for applications of 25 April. 

The contest is open to early-stage start-ups in the domains of: Connected Objects / Internet of Things (IoT); Mobility / Smart City; FinTech / RegTech; Healthcare / eHealth Tech; AI / Machine Learning -- whose founders or developers have formed their business ideas but not yet necessarily created their company .

The ILCC Innovation Contest is based loosely on the Dragon’s Den concept of pitching ideas to potential investors with market experience. As long as the project would be operated from Luxembourg, is an early-stage start-up with under €50,000 raised, and has a technological component, there are no restrictions as to whether it is product- or service-based, or whether the participating entrepreneurs are ILCC members or not. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have covered the groundwork of market research, prototyping, a financial business plan and and have the ability to deliver a pitch.

Once the above is established, applicants can email: info@ilcc.lu with a brief outline of their business idea. Full applications should be submitted by Tuesday 25 April 2017, so that entrepreneurs can be selected to pitch their ideas in front of the “Dragons” on 8 May at a venue to be confirmed. 

The selected/screened entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of “Dragons”, each for a maximum five minutes. During the next five-ten minutes, the “Dragons” can then ask questions to better understand the business concept. When all pitches have finished, the “Dragons” will deliberate to choose the best pitch or pitches for the awarding of prizes. Judging criteria will be along the lines of the four basics detailed above, with the individual “Dragons” bringing their own market expertise to their critiques and decisions.

The pitching event will be followed by a networking reception during which the winning pitches will be awarded prizes from organisations including the ILCC, Bonn Steichen & Partners, ATOZ, Enterprise Ireland, The Huggard Consulting Group, LuxFutureLab with more under consideration. 

grund club songwriters show

The Grund Club The Grund Club Songwriters Show -- Summer Edition is at the Kulturfabrik in Esch-sur-Alzette part of “La Nuit de la Culture 2017” on 6 May. 

Josh Oudendijk will be inducted as the new singer-songwriter, and the show will also feature Daniel Balthasar, Lata Gouveia, Priscila da Costa, Kevin Heinen, Sitta, Susan Breuers and Kid Colling who will be hosting the event. Special guests include Ernie Hames on trumpet and David Ascani on saxophone.

The Grund Club Songwriters will perform 18 songs written in Luxembourg, many of them re-arranged by the Grund Club Band (Sven Sauber, Tom Heck, Gilles Bernard and Luca Sales) especially for this show.

 Entrance is free.

 

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