South East Asia

Date

IN an effort to diversify markets for Filipino exporters, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Middle East and Africa, is conducting an outbound business matching mission to the Middle East from February 12 to 24, 2020. The OBMM is in conjunction with Gulfood 2020 in Dubai World Trade Centre. “We hope that through this OBMM, the Philippines wi…


The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), lamenting that Chinese buyers have frozen their fruit orders, has called on the government to provide more assistance to the banana industry amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) scare Since 2018, China has become the biggest buyer of homegrown bananas and was considered as the biggest market among Filipino banana exporters.          …


Trade show Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific will be held for another five years in Singapore, with German organiser Deutsche Messe also setting up its regional headquarters here. On Friday (Feb 21), a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), German event organiser Deutsche Messe, and local partner SingEx to hold the trade show here from 2021 to 2025.....


Vietnam's manufacturing sector is suffering supply chain problems caused by the coronavirus epidemic, which may delay production of Samsung Electronics' new phones, the Ministry of Industry and Trade told Reuters on Friday. "Car, electronics and phone manufacturers are experiencing difficulty in acquiring supplies and materials due to disruptions from the virus," the ministry said in an emailed statement......


SLIGHTLY over 20 years ago, hybrid cars as we know them today were just entering the market, but 20 years from now, the internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles we've known for 125 years will be leaving the market for good. The Singapore government is making a big push for electric vehicles (EV), which, at 1,125 cars on the road as of January 2020, make up fewer than 0.2 per cent of the current car population....


Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) reported a 34 per cent jump in its net profit for the fourth quarter to $1.24 billion, compared with $926 million from a year ago. The increase comes on the back of stronger trading income, sale of investment securities and its wealth management business, the bank said on Friday (Feb 21). Annualised earnings per share was $1.11 for the quarter, an increase from 85 cents a year ago. Directors prop…


In 2019, orders on the platform surged 50% YoY. Online food delivery service Deliveroo saw its orders in Singapore rise an average of 20% in 27 January to 16 February, according to a press release. This was partly attributed to the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2019, orders on the platform surged 50% YoY, with most orders coming in between 7-9pm. However late night (11pm-1am) and breakfast (8-10 am) orders soared as high as 500% g…


An agent linked to Sembcorp Marine's Brazilian subsidiaries has been found guilty by a court in Brazil of corruption, money laundering and participation in a criminal organisation. Guilherme Esteves de Jesus, was sentenced to 19 years and 4 months in prison and also fined by the Federal Courts of Curitiba, SembMarine said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange on Friday (Feb 21). It learnt of the sentencing on Feb 20.....


Singapore Airlines (SIA) has stepped up the cleaning and disinfecting of its aircraft to prevent the spread of COVID-19, amid a decline in demand for air travel.  SIA has also made changes to its in-flight services to reduce contact between passengers and crew, such as by replacing its in-flight magazines and using pre-packed wet towelettes instead of hot towels....


IN THE SAME WAY that co-working spaces are all the rage now, so too is co-living changing the way people look at accommodation. Hmlet was one of the first few players to introduce shared living spaces in Singapore in 2017, and more players have jumped on the bandwagon since. (see amendment note) Mostly, they offered co-living options in new buildings - think lyf Funan, or in existing condominiums. Compared to regular rental, co-living offers…


 They are places that encapsulate Singapore: Gardens by the Bay, with its gigantic artificial trees and botanical conservatories dripping with orchids; Lau Pa Sat, the colonial-era food hall beckoning with chili crab and chicken rice; Jewel Changi Airport, the futuristic shopping and entertainment complex straight out of Crazy Rich Asians.....


2020-02-22

Calum Handforth – Thematic Lead for Digitalisation and Smart Cities, at the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Development – discusses some key aspects of smart cities for international development Urbanisation and the increasing role of innovation are two trends likely to continue well into the 21st century. With two out of every three people (or 2.5 billion more people) likely to be living in cities or ot…


An industrial zone project within the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Rakhine State will be developed for US$30 billion, deputy commerce minister U Aung Htoo told Pyithu Hluttaw this week CITIC Consortium from China owns 51 percent of the industrial zone while the Myanmar government owns 49pc, he said.   The industrial zone will be developed on 2400 acres of land and a high-end housing project will also be constructed across 1…


Myanmar is globally known for its high quality, locally produced jade, which is mostly extracted from Hpakant in Kachin State and sold to traders and jewellers worldwide.  Yet, despite the state’s rich deposits, the jade market in Kachin itself is relatively subdued.     But one person is trying to change the situation and has been working hard to develop the jade and jewellery market in Kachin State.    U…


Cambodian telecoms operator Yes Seatel has launched a pilot trial for the latest generation wireless technology for digital cellular networks – 5G. It was begun this week at Yes Seatel’s headquarters in Phnom Penh. It’s the fourth telecom operator to pilot 5G in Cambodia. Yes Seatel Director Yao Yue Yin said that expanding to 5G will be convenient for the public and businesses given its speed and efficiency. “When fully op…


The gold futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives hit a record high, surpassing RM220 per gramme at the close Friday, as concerns over the spread of Covid-19 beyond China spurred a rush for safe-haven buy. Phillip Futures Sdn Bhd trader Stephen Lou Yoke Lim said the local gold futures were also tracking the surge in the US Commodity Exchange’s (Comex) gold futures market which hit a seven-year high on Thursday. “Gold received a …


Plans to develop a Cambodia-South Korea Friendship Bridge is now being discussed in which form of financial assistance that will be provided by the South Korea government, Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said on Friday. Speaking during a press conference, Minister Sun said the South Korea government is now taking into account that the financial assistance whether it would be a loan or grant aid to provide for the project development. “The p…


 Government officials from Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have discussed measures to raise two-way trade to 100 billion USD this year despite regional and global economic difficulties caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. At their recent meeting in Seoul, Vietnam Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh and the RoK’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) Park Ki-young agreed on four m…


A seminar on risk management in agriculture – experience from Canada was held in Hanoi on February 21.The event was a joint effort between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Cooperative Enterprise Development (VCED) project.The VCED project aims to form and develop five new large-scale cooperatives in the Mekong Delta provinces of Soc Trang, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Lam Dong and Ben Tre since 2015.....


The system has capabilities that include historical geolocation and anomaly tracking for Chinese travellers A Malaysian IT service management company has developed an extensive artificial intelligence-powered (AI) coronavirus (Covid-19) risk profiling system. Malaysia’s eGovernment services provider said the system has capabilities that include historical geolocation and anomaly tracking for Chinese travellers. It is now making th…


Publicly listed nickel producer PT Vale Indonesia has recorded higher revenue and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) last year as nickel prices went up in the second half of 2019. Despite booking a 5-percent year-on-year (yoy) decrease in nickel sales to 72,044 tons of nickel in matte last year, the company’s sales grew by 1 percent to US$782 million. “The increase nickel prices clearly had a positive impact on our financial perf…


CRC launched its initial public offering (IPO) on Thursday despite business sentiment being blighted by the Covid-19 epidemic. The share price moved in a range of 41.50-42.25 baht with turnover averaging 7.5 billion baht. CRC is raising 78.1 billion baht in funds, the world's second-largest retail capitalisation offering, after setting a share price of 42 baht for no more than 1.69 billion IPO shares and an over-allotment option of 169 milli…


Foreign investment pledges approved by the country’s main investment promotion agencies surged to an all-time high of P390.11 billion in 2019, more than double from P179 billion in 2018, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed. These investment pledges were lodged at the Board of Investments, Clark Development Corp., Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, …


The financial technology sector here saw investments more than double last year to US$861 million (S$1.2 billion) from US$365 million in 2018, according to an Accenture study, the results of which were released on Thursday (Feb 20). The number of deals closed also jumped, by 52 per cent to 108 last year from 71 in 2018. Accenture's Asean financial services lead, Mr Divyesh Vithlani, said broad interest in the new digital banking licenses and the …


United Overseas Bank (UOB) reported a 10 per cent rise in net profit to $1.01 billion for the fourth quarter, from a year ago, as it continues to build on Asean growth. The bank’s total dividend for the financial year that ended Dec 31 stood at $1.30 per ordinary share, according to an UOB statement on Friday (Feb 21). Directors recommended a final dividend of $0.55 and a special dividend of $0.20 per ordinary share, subject to ap…


The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is urging government agencies to address the looming power shortage in Luzon in the summer months. In a statement, NGCP said thin electricity supply is projected between April and June, even with an expected incoming 700 megawatt (MW) capacity from new power plants. Based on Department of Energy (DOE) data, total system peak demand is estimated to reach 12,285 MW for Luzon in May. This marks an in…


Airlines operating in the Asia-Pacific region stand to lose a combined US$27.8 billion of revenue this year in the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday (Feb 20). The estimate is based on projections of a 13 per cent full-year decline in passenger demand, mostly in China, the trade body said in a statement.....


2020-02-21

(Source: NUS Singapore) It was long believed that physical characteristics acquired by organisms during their lifetime could not be passed on to their offspring. However, in recent years, the theory of inheritance of acquired traits has gained support, with studies showing how offspring of rats and tiny worms inherit behaviours that were acquired by their parents in response to particular environmental stimuli, even when the stimulus is no longer…


OCBC Bank on Friday upped its dividend payout as it turned in stronger profits for its fourth quarter, but flagged a weaker-than-expected outlook for the global economy ahead. Singapore’s second largest lender proposed a dividend of S$0.28 per share, up from S$0.23 a year ago. Together with the interim dividend of S$0.25 per share, the total dividend for FY2019 amounts to S$0.53 per share, up 23 per cent from S$0.43 in the previous year. Th…


Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has taken steps to accelerate the implementation of the One Map Policy since 2016. According to a recent press release, One Map Policy aims to synchronise, integrate and compile geospatial information about each island. OpenGov reported about the initiative in 2018. The One Map Policy Geoportal (KSP Geoportal) will serve as a point of reference for land use planning by all government institut…


India has issued import licenses for 1.1 million tons of refined palmolein from Indonesia, government and trade sources told Reuters, a move that has surprised the industry as only last month New Delhi restricted imports of the commodity. A resumption in refined palmolein buying by India, the world’s biggest palm oil importer, could lift its total palm oil imports and support Malaysian palm oil futures FCPOc3, which have corrected a fifth f…


2020-02-20

Buamim: ASEAN region with its quest for new markets and rising consumer demand presents an opportunity for Dubai to explore new avenues for bilateral cooperation Dubai- ASEAN bilateral trade reached $21 billion in 2018 ASEAN countries have a combined population of 650 million people and GDP of $2.9 trillion  Dubai Chamber organised a briefing session, recently, to create awareness among Ambassadors and Consul Generals from ASEAN c…


Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi Nguyen Duc Chung pledged to create the best possible conditions for Japan’s Uniqlo company to do business in the city, during a reception on February 20 for Uniqlo Vice President Koyama Noriaki.Chung said considering the popularity of Uniqlo, the arrival of the brand to Hanoi is great news for local people.Expressing support for the Japanese company’s target and development orient…


The Republic of Korea’s Air Busan has announced that it will open a new direct air route linking Busan and Ho Chi Minh City.The flight will take about five hours, departing from Busan’s Kimhae international airport at 9am (local time) and landing at Tan Son Nhat international airport, Ho Chi Minh City at 12am. The return flight will later starts at 1pm and finish at 9pm.....


A new Coastal and Flood Protection fund with an initial injection of S$5 billion by the Government will be set up as Singapore prepares to deal with the “significant’ risk of rising sea levels, announced Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget speech on Tuesday (Feb 18).....


ThorCon International Pte Ltd has been pushing to build an experimental nuclear power plant in Indonesia over the past five years, but with unproven technology and regulatory limitations, the company is unlikely to finish the facility by the expected deadline. The Washington-based power producer has been engaging with Indonesian regulators and state-owned enterprises to launch a 500-megawatt floating nuclear power plant in the country by 2027....…


The Ministry will need to ensure that research and innovation will contribute to the economic growth acceleration agenda Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo officially opened the 2020 National Coordinating Meeting of the Ministry of Research and Technology / National Agency for Research and Innovation. According to a recent press release, President Jokowi stated that the Ministry, being the research and innovation activities consolidator…


A well-developed telecommunications infrastructure will help Indonesia thrive in the digital era Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G. Plate highlighted the importance of having the government introduce to the public, especially millennials, the portrait of the development of digitalisation in Indonesia. Indonesia’s connectivity status.....


Bank Indonesia (BI) decided on Thursday to cut its benchmark interest rate to help mitigate the potential impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on the country’s economic growth. During a two-day board of governors meeting, the central bank decided to slash its benchmark interest rate, the BI seven-day reverse repo rate, by 25 basis points to 4.75 percent after holding the rate last month.....


The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Bank Indonesia commit to enhance mutual economic and financial system development The Philippines and Indonesia, through their respective central banks, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the area of payment systems and digital financial innovation.....


2020-02-20

Date: 21 February 2020, FridayTime: 4:00pm – 7:00pmVenue: Perl & Java @ BASH, Level 3, 79 Ayer Rajah Crescent, Singapore 139955 Presented by AngelCentralPartnered with SGInnovate AngelCentral’s monthly by-invite pitch day showcases a curated pool of startups pitching to raise funds. During the session, you will also find out more about what AngelCentral does to build an active community of effective and competent an…


2020-02-20

Date: 21 Feb 2020, FridayTime: 4:00pm – 6:00pm Venue: 32 Carpenter Street, Singapore 059911 Presented by SGInnovate   A significant change is happening within the computing industry, and it is driven by the massive volume of data generated by billions of connected devices in the enterprise, as well as the recent advancements in AI algorithms processing all this data.  However, for the change to be useful, the A…


PT Mandiri Sekuritas, a subsidiary of state-owned Bank Mandiri, is aiming to further improve its online stock trading platform to attract more retail investors using its brokerage services. With the improved online trading application, called MOST, the company hopes to have 148,000 users by the end of this year or a 25 percent increase from 119,000 in 2019, Mandiri Sekuritas executive vice president Theodora VN Manik said in Jakarta on Wednesday.…


Both countries recognise the significance of upskilling human resources, particularly in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Indonesia and Singapore are collaborating for the implementation of human resources (HR) training that is focused on industry development 4.0. According to a recent press release, the Government of Indonesia, through the Industrial Human Resources Development Agency (BPSDMI) Ministry of Industry, worked with Singapore Pol…


CIMB Singapore announced the launch of its virtual account today, which it hopes can eliminate manual and inefficient reconciliation processes that are inherent to businesses with a high number of suppliers and vendors.....


From banks to builders, more companies are going carbon neutral. Carbon offsetting is not without controversy, but in cases where sustainability can only be approached and not achieved, it may be the appropriate way to balance out emissions The term “carbon neutral” is being increasingly slung around alongside phrases like “net zero emissions”.  From paint manufacturers and the livestock industry, to banks and de…


The Ministry of Economy and Finance said it wants Japanese tech firms to join the government in its goal to transform the country into a more fully digital economy. The information was shared during a meeting between Minister Aun Pornmoniroth and President of Japanese firm A2A Town (Cambodia) Takeshi Izuka in Phnom Penh, where they discussed and sought collaborative opportunities regarding digitalisation. Finance Minister Aun said he has introduc…


Sweden-based fashion retailer H&M said it will make an evaluation over the business impact of the European Commission’s (EC) recommendation to partially withdraw Cambodia’s Everything but Arms (EBA) tariff benefits. The EC announced last week it wanted the European Union parliament to remove 20 percent of the Kingdom’s EBA trade status, over serious human and labour rights violations. In its statement, EC said the recommende…