South East Asia

Date

Sriwijaya Air has announced it will open three new domestic routes ahead of Idul Fitri. On May 23, the airline will kick off its maiden flight from Makassar in South Sulawesi to Tobello in North Maluku; on May 27, the airline will start its Medan-Surabaya route; and on May 30, it will start its Manado-Jakarta route. “We always aim to improve our connectivity. The opening of the three routes is part of our efforts. The new routes will p…


Vina T&T Import - Export Service Trading Co Ltd (Vina T&T) has said its mango shipments to the US amounted to 71 tonnes.Following it first mango batch of 20 tonnes to the market via air and sea routes a month ago, the company has so far sent the fruit to the US every week.In 2018, Vina T&T reeled in 30 million USD from fruit export. The US’s permission for the import of Vietnamese fresh mango is said to be helpful to increasing …


Singapore has agreed to suspend the construction of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link until Sep 30 at Malaysia's request, Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Tuesday (May 21). Under a supplemental agreement signed between both governments on Tuesday, Malaysia will also reimburse Singapore for the abortive costs incurred - around S$600,000 - due to the suspension, Mr Khaw said during a&nbs…


A delegation of business executives representing 30 Indian companies led by the chairman of the Indian Silk Export Promotion Council met their Vietnamese counterparts at the Buyer-Seller meet held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 21.The visitors were from companies producing silk, fabrics, ready-made garments, silk scarves, stoles, Pareo shawls evening wear, beachwear, fashion accessories, tops, bottoms, trousers, jackets, kaftans, bags, embroidered sh…


 Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and US private equity giant Blackstone Group were among bidders for a portfolio of 15 hotels owned by Anbang Insurance Group Co., the Financial Times reported on Wednesday (May 22), citing unnamed sources. Anbang, under temporary control of Chinese government regulators, received offers of as much as US$5.8 billion (S$7.99 billion), the paper said. Other potential buyers to reach the final round include…


Two familiar National Day Parade (NDP) songs will form the basis of this year’s theme song as the parade commemorates 200 years since the founding of modern Singapore. The theme song, titled Our Singapore, will draw on the lyrics of the NDP 2002 theme song We Will Get There and the 2015 edition of Our Singapore.   Speaking at the launch event for this year’s NDP at the Asian Civilisations Museum on Wednesday (…


ASEAN's semiconductor exports to China, particularly Malaysia's, could be directly hurt, following the US's Huawei ban.  With China the biggest buyer for Asian semiconductor exporters (51 per cent in 2017), countries like South Korea (69 per cent), Taiwan (56 per cent), Vietnam (51 per cent), Japan (43 per cent) and Malaysia (39 per cent) are dependent on China and Hong Kong's import demand.  Following the announcement that the US …


Besides security, firm offers services such as managing facilities and customer care   Certis, which provides security services at Changi and Seletar airports, as well as at Changi's new Jewel complex, is looking to grow its overseas business. Outside Singapore, it already has a presence at Hamad Airport in Qatar, as well as at eight airports in Australia, including in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Newcastle...........


Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade and relevant departments to join hands to increase the value of Vietnamese brands to make inroads into international markets.He made the request at a conference in Hanoi on May 21 to review the 10-year implementation of the campaign “Vietnamese people prioritise using Vietnamese goods.”The Deputy PM told the ministry to continue improving the efficiency …


he UK-based Oxford Economics expects Philippine economic growth to rebound as the government finally spends its P3.7-trillion budget for 2019 after months of delay. “GDP (gross domestic product) growth slowed sharply to 5.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of the year amid delays in public spending and a substantial drag from net exports,” Oxford Economics director of global macroeconomic research Ben May and economist John P…


The country’s banking industry continued to undergo major consolidation as the number of banks fell by almost half to 571 from 996 over a 20-year period, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. In a report, the BSP said the leaner banking industry was a result of the rationalization of merger and consolidation incentives introduced in 1998 as well as the closure of weaker and problematic banks. “During the period, healthy banks …


THE NATIONAL PRIVACY COMMISSION (NPC) has begun looking into 48 online lending applications that have been subject to almost 500 harassment complaints. In a media briefing at the NPC office in Pasay City Tuesday, Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro said there are 485 complaints with the commission at the moment, of which 235 cases have been formally pursued, accusing operators of online lending applications that allegedly misused borrowers&rsq…


xcellence—and nothing less. Such is the demand of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association’s prestigious Virtus Awards, which, on its fifth year, has become the premier event for the Philippines’ hotel sales and marketing industry professionals......   Read more: https://business.inquirer.net/271032/wanted-best-of-the-best-in-hotel-sales-and-marketing-for-virtus-2019#ixzz5ockPlyQY


The government is targeting to increase the number of Filipinos covered by microinsurance to 50 million by 2022, a senior official of the Department of Finance (DOF) said. In an interview with reporters on Monday evening, Finance Undersecretary and chief economist Gil Beltran said the government wants to expand the microinsurance uptake in the country in the next three years to 50 million from 38.9 million in 2018. “We would like to cover a…


The public can browse, access, and request government records, documents, and information from the eFOI portal The public’s call for the right to information is a reminder for the government to promote good governance through transparency, accountability, and citizen participation. This falls under the principle that informed and critical citizens and an open government are indispensable components of a democratic society. Recognising the i…


The Singapore Government and the Law Society are actively encouraging legal practices to adopt technology solutions through the SmartLaw Guild Minister Iswaran was recently speaking at the launch of the SmartLaw Guild, where he discussed digitisation in Singapore and the importance of adopting technology in the legal sector. He said that the legal fraternity has an important role in the evolution of a regulatory architecture and the creation of l…


Discovery's new documentary uses virtual reality to capture the lives of the last sea wanderers of Sabah, Malaysia. Meet Bajau Laut, one of the last sea gypsy tribes in the world. Living in the great ocean in water villages, beneath the beautiful blue skies of Sabah, Malaysia may sound idyllic, but these come at a cost. The Bajau Laut villagers are essentially stateless, and have to worry about depleting fish stocks caused by illegal fish bombing…


2019-05-22

Singapore is poised to draw in more unicorns - private companies valued over US$1 billion - as a launchpad for regional expansion with its favourable business climate and access to talent, say market watchers.   This sentiment was strengthened as US ride-hailing giant Uber became the latest unicorn to designate Singapore as its regional base. On Tuesday, Uber launched its Asia-Pacific (APAC) hub at its new premises at Frasers Tower, cur…


2019-05-22

Over 1,000 miners, steelmakers, traders, brokers, shippers, analysts and industry experts from across 20 countries came together in May for the 7th annual Singapore Iron Ore Week (SIOW). SIOW continues to be the leading global iron ore conference with a great diversity of events and participants - providing an excellent platform for networking and collaboration. Industry experts led thought-provoking discussions on key issues and m…


Beezy Inc., the all-in-one Intelligent Workplace solution for Office 365, announced the opening of a new office in Singapore. This expansion is a testament to the rapid growth Beezy has undergone over the past few years and will greatly benefit customers and partners in the Asia-Pacific region......


2019-05-22

May sales launch! 3,485 BTO flats have been launched in Tengah, Woodlands, and Kallang/ Whampoa! Apply by 28 May, 11:59pm Choose your home from either theBuild-To-Order or Sale of Balance Flats.  Apply online from 22 to 28 May 2019. Applications are open till 28 May 2019, 11:59pm, and you can apply online at any time till then. Successful applicants will be determined by a computer ballot, and not on a first-come, first-served basi…


The company has raised 1.9 million US dollars from international and SG-based investors SpeQtral, a spin-off from the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore, has announced seed funding from US and Singapore-based investors totaling US$1.9 million (about S$2.6 million). The company is developing space-based quantum communication systems: using small satellites, it aims to deliver encryption keys via quantum signals…


There are some people who are lucky and privileged enough to have been given the chance to immediately follow their passion, and there are those who had to take the longer route towards theirs—those who were propelled by the need to succeed in order to survive, only to later on realize that the road that they’re on has always been where they wanted to be.   Marites Casao was in her late teens when sh…


The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) said it only plans to use about half of a 900-rai area at Klong Toey port, and hand the rest over to a real-estate project to facilitate a new landmark by the Chao Phraya River. The port will be shrunk to 500 rai while the remaining 400 rai will in the future house a department store, business centre, shops and other commercial space, said PAT director-general Kamolsak Promprayoon. "It will be something l…


The Memorandum of Cooperation aims to help create and sustain an anti-corruption culture in Thailand According to a recent press release, the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) and the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NCC) signed a memorandum of cooperation academic cooperation in the development and promotion of electronic technology and transactions. The aim is to implement the mission and the aut…


The aim is to diversify the economy by focusing on tech, according to Malaysian PM Malaysia and China have been strengthening ties after Malaysia resumed two China-linked projects worth billions of dollars this year. The two sides are now expecting a fresh stream of economic projects. This announcement followed the convening of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a report noted. One of the MoUs under the Belt…


The government on Monday submitted the macroeconomic assumption and basic fiscal policy for the 2020 state budget, which among other things proposed a gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection of 5.3 to 5.6 percent. The projection is lower than the figure in the 2019 state budget, which is 5.4 to 5.8 percent. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the global and domestic condition would still cast a shadow over the country’s econo…


Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said Indonesia is to still face a tough external economic challenge in 2020 because of an adverse geopolitical situation that was particularly triggered by a trade war between the United States and China. She was speaking before House of Representatives’ lawmakers in a plenary session on Monday when she submitted the government’s macroeconomic indicators and basic fiscal policies for the 2020…


The world’s biggest cave, Son Doong, in the jungle-filled Quang Binh province of central Vietnam, appears to be even bigger than previously thought, according to the US Cable News Network (CNN) Travel Last month, a trio of British divers ventured to the world natural heritage site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh to explore the cave’s waterways. During the groundbreaking dive, they discovered a new underwater tunnel th…


The number of private, unlicensed container and truck yards in HCM City’s districts 2 and 9 continues to increase because of a shortage of legal truck yards in the city. District 9 has about 127 private, unlicensed container and truck yards, mostly located along Hoàng Hữu Nam, Tăng Nhơn Phú and other streets, according to District 9 People’s Committee. Trần Khoa Nam, a resident in District 9, said the Ho&agrav…


Vietnam-Russia economic and trade relations have been growing continuously over the past years, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).Vietnam and Russia established a strategic partnership in 2001 and upgraded it to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership in 2012. Bilateral trade enjoyed a strong surge as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) took effect in October 2016. The effective…


Epson Philippines Corporation posted higher growth in 2018 following demands for its products. Epson Philippines marketing manager Eduardo Bonoan announced on Monday night in Boracay that the company’s growth continues to rise for the fifth consecutive time. Read more: https://business.inquirer.net/270964/epson-reports-23-growth-in-2018#ixzz5oWtOg4he


FINANCE SECRETARY Carlos G. Dominguez said that he will pursue the closure of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) companies employing foreign nationals without work permits, after learning that 12,000 foreigners are currently in the country without the proper authorization. A statement issued by the Department of Finance (DoF) Monday noted that the Department of Labor and Employment) identified 12,000 foreigners working here without permit…


he Department of Energy (DOE) has embarked on a road show in the United States to drum up interest in its Conventional Energy Contracting Program, with 14 onshore and offshore areas available for petroleum exploration concessions. The campaign, done through participation in the annual convention of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists being held in Texas May 19-22, followed last month’s sortie in Singapore. Read more: https…


Strong foreign exchange inflows continued to strengthen the country’s balance of payments (BOP) position, recording a surplus for six straight months with $467 million in April, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The latest figure was a complete reversal of the $270 million deficit recorded in April last year. The BOP is the difference in total values between payments into and out of the country over a period. Read more at https:…


THE Asian Institute of Management (AIM), in the Philippines, has received a US$ 9.5 million (PHP 500 million) donation for its program on data science and innovation. According to a recent report, the gift from a Philippine conglomerate will be used to fund the Institute’s data science initiatives. Realising a shared vision These initiatives include funding for the establishment of two data science professorial chairmen; an interest-fr…


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had launched an even closer relationship between Singapore and New Zealand. According to a recent press release, this agreement will see trade, defence, cybersecurity, education, and arts and culture ties strengthened. Not only that, but this will also create an improved working holiday scheme for young New Zealanders. The Enhanced Partnership The New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership, signed in…


A Scoot flight bound for Singapore was diverted to Chennai International Airport on Monday (May 20) after a cargo smoke warning was triggered.  Flight TR567, travelling from Tiruchirappalli in India, was diverted as a precaution, said Scoot in a statement.    The Airbus A320 aircraft, with 165 passengers on board, landed safely in Chennai at about 3.40am local time.     “The aircraft has been grounded…


Indonesian e-commerce firm Bukalapak started offering its services here on Monday (May 20) as it sets out on an ambitious regional expansion strategy. Bukalapak, a tech start-up whose valuation of more than US$1 billion makes it a rare unicorn company in Indonesia, is the country's first e-commerce site to be available internationally. Its BukaGlobal app, which uses Bahasa Indonesia, links four million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in…


After the cancellation of Blu Jaz’s Public Entertainment Licence, performers have moved to other small venues Despite the unassuming black door and the boarded up windows, there was no difficulty in distinguishing Al Capone’s from the other establishments at Far East Shopping Centre. Even on a Thursday night, the live music in the bar was loud enough to hear from the level below. Inside the bar, people stood shoulder-to-shoulder,…


IN a clear signal that Singapore's economic growth is likely to be muted for the rest of 2019, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) narrowed its forecast range downwards to 1.5 to 2.5 per cent on Tuesday morning, from an earlier 1.5 to 3.5 per cent. This comes as the economy saw growth of 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 - the lowest growth rate in almost 10 years. This was a notch lower than earlier estimates of 1.3 per ce…


Singapore's key non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) extended their quarterly decline in the first three months of the year, posting a 6.4 per cent drop year on year, according to trade promotion agency Enterprise Singapore on Tuesday (May 21). This was much sharper than the 1.1 per cent drop in Nodx in the final quarter of 2018. Both the electronic and non-electronic Nodx registered declines of 17.2 and 2.6 per cent respectively.......


Following the launch of its loadable QR-backed Ang Baos (red packets) earlier this year, DBS is now offering the same this Raya season with the quintessential Hari Raya green packets, in hopes of fostering cashlessness in these usually high-cash activities without sacrificing the traditional act of handing out physical packets. The green packets feature unique QR codes on the back for users to ‘load’ their desired cash values via…


Shopback has gained traction thanks to its cashback app, with more than 8 million users and 2,000 merchants Tucked away in a refurbished factory building in southwest Singapore, Shopback’s headquarters houses only 100 people, about half of its entire workforce. The affiliate marketing firm may only have a fraction of the employees that giants like Facebook and Google have, but Shopback has big dreams – to offer businesses a more eff…


2019-05-21

The Rail Corridor is a former railway line that stretches 24km north to south of Singapore. The future Woodlands North Coast and Greater Southern Waterfront areas will be linked by this trans-island green artery. Now a “green corridor”, it will be transformed into a community space that links 1 million people within 1km of the Rail Corridor. When the Rail Corridor is connected by 2021, it will spur the development of surroun…


The digital talents will support the need to produce more skilled human resources for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Indonesia’s Gadjah Mada University is inviting students in their final year, or those who have just graduated, to take part in the digital talent development program organised by the University’s Faculty of Engineering. According to a recent press release, they are once again opening the opportunity to grant 450 …


State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II (AP II) and ride-hailing app Grab are working together to offer an electric scooter service at Terminal 3 of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to support mobility in the terminal. AP II president director Muhammad Awaluddin said recently the Grab Wheels electric scooter service was an innovation to support operations and enhance customer experience at the airport. “Two Grab Wheels have been…


Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has expressed his wish to make Bandung Regency a Special Economic Zone (KEK) as a tourist destination through the development of its existing potential by improving attractions, accessibility and amenities. The minister considered Ciwidey in the regency in West Java as a place to be developed into a KEK tourist destination because the area was already a popular destination. Arief stressed the importance of improving a…