Editor’s Choice: 22 November 2017

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  • Bank Negara to enforce Crypto Regulation next year
  • Autonomous vehicles to transform intra-town travel in Singapore by 2022
  • China’s “Silicon Valley” to introduce 10 policies to encourage foreign companies and investment
  • Hong Kong Citizens Spending Big on Travel
  • Global investors believe Europe has become a more attractive investment destination

BNM To Enforce Crypto Regulation Next Year
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will designate persons converting crypto currencies into fiat money as reporting institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 beginning next year. Its Governor, Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim said the move was aimed at preventing the abuse of the system for criminal and unlawful activities and ensuring the stability and integrity of financial system. “We need to prepare ourselves, as according to many pundits, digital currencies will become the new norm.
”The advent of digital currencies as some have forecast, will mark the beginning of a new era in the financial sector. As authorities, we cannot be oblivious to these developments,” he said. (Bernama)

Autonomous vehicles to transform intra-town travel in Singapore by 2022
Autonomous scheduled buses and autonomous on-demand shuttles will serve commuters in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District in Singapore from 2022. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be piloting the deployment of autonomous vehicles in these districts to provide convenient first-last mile connectivity for residents, workers and students. This is part of continued Smart Nation efforts to develop Smart Urban Mobility solutions that leverage data and digital technologies to enhance the public transport commute. The autonomous scheduled services will complement human-driven public buses, and will initially travel on less crowded roads.
(Singapore Media Centre)

China steps up promotion of its own `Silicon Valley’ with foreign investment perks
China is stepping up its promotion of the “Greater Bay Area” – its version of Silicon Valley – in Guangdong province by offering incentives to foreign capital and companies.
Ma Xingrui, the province’s governor, said that by the end of November the local government will introduce 10 policies to explain how the region will better utilise overseas capital. “These rules will show our strong support for foreign companies and investment seeking opportunities in Guangdong,” Ma said. The Greater Bay Area, which includes nine Guangdong province cities such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen as well as Hong Kong and Macau, will come to be a centre of technology and innovation, said Ma, adding that foreign businesses will enjoy “equal treatment” with mainland. China expects GDP in the Greater Bay Area to triple to US$4.62 trillion by 2030 from US$1.38 trillion last year, surpassing the Tokyo, New York and San Francisco metropolitan areas. (SCMP)

Hong Kong Citizens Spending Big on Travel
With total outbound spending of US$24.2 billion in 2016, Hong Kong ranked World’s 10th and Asia 3rd largest market (UNWTO Tourism Barometer), but No.1 among these 10 largest markets by per capita spending of US$3285! Outbound to many Asian destinations continue growing. For example, in 2016, to Thailand grew 12% to 0.75 million; to Japan grew 21% to 1.84 million.

Independent-travel (FIT) dominates Hong Kong outbound! Survey on public visitors of ITE Hong Kong this year, which drew over 5000 replies, found 87% respondents prefer traveling in FIT/private group. 12% had six or more holidays and 44% three to five holidays in past year, and these two groups contributed some 80% of all travel. Over 60% of ITE public visitors buy online directly from suppliers like airline and hotel and over 30% interested in onsite booking. (Media Release)

Investors believe Europe has become a more attractive investment destination
An Ipsos MORI survey for Invest Europe finds that the majority of global investors surveyed believe Europe has become a more attractive investment destination and expect investment to increase over the next five years. The Global Investment Decision Makers Survey, commissioned by Invest Europe, surveyed 360 senior-level corporate and financial investment decision makers at companies from the US, China, Germany, the UK and France. Respondents were surveyed online between 8 September and 17 October 2017 using panels of business professionals. All respondents were screened to ensure that they are involved in investment decision making in their organisation and that they have knowledge of Europe as an investment destination. (Ipsos MORI)

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