Editor’s Choice: 4 December 2017

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  • MIDF To Continue Supporting SMEs Towards Industry 4.0
  • Malaysian factories in highest surge of over three years
  • Electric car-sharing scheme to hit Singapore roads December 12
  • Facebook opens new London HQ, to create 800 UK jobs

MIDF To Continue Supporting SMEs Towards Industry 4.0
Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd. (MIDF) will continue supporting local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on their journey towards Industry 4.0 in approving RM2.1 billion under the Soft Loan Scheme for Automation and Modernation (SLSAM). Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Chua Tee Yong said the federal government had allocated RM1.1 billion for SLSAM as of today and another RM450 million is to be given between 2018 to 2020. “To date, total approvals by MIDF under SLSAM stands at RM2.1 billion which has benefited 569 companies throughout Malaysia,” he added. (Bernama)

Malaysia’s Manufacturing PMI Rises To 43-month High
The Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a 43-month high to 52.0 in November from 48.6 in October, supported by improvements in domestic and overseas demand conditions. Information and analysis provider, IHS Markit which conducted the survey, said the November data showed the strongest improvement in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector since April 2014. Additionally, its Economist, Aashna Dodhia said the positive developments had fuelled job creation at the joint-strongest rate since December 2012. “However, inflationary pressures proved to be an impediment to business performance, with reports of suppliers struggling to obtain raw materials,” she added, in a statement today. She said subsequently, vendor performance deteriorated for the first time in three months. (Bernama)

Electric car-sharing scheme to hit Singapore roads December 12
The first fleet of cars for an electric car-sharing scheme will hit the roads in Singapore on December 12. BlueSG, a subsidiary of French transportation firm Bollore Group, said it will deploy 80 vehicles which users can book via the BlueSG mobile app. The app will be available on the App Store and Google Play from December 5. The company signed an agreement with the Land Transport Authority and the Economic Development Board last year to develop the electric car-sharing programme, which will see 1,000 electric cars deployed in stages. “We are excited about the impending official launch in Singapore, as it is the world’s second biggest electric vehicle car-sharing programme after Paris,” said BlueSG managing director Franck Vitte in a news release. A total of 30 BlueSG stations offering 120 charging points will be rolled out island wide by the end of this year. (CNA)

Facebook opens new London HQ, to create 800 UK jobs
Facebook opens its new London office today and said it would add 800 more jobs in the capital next year, underlining its commitment to Britain as the country prepares for Brexit. The social network said more than half of the people working at the site in central London will focus on engineering, making it Facebook’s biggest engineering hub outside the United States. It will also house Facebook’s first in-house start-up incubator, called LDN_LAB, designed to help kick start fledgling British digital businesses. EMEA vice president Nicola Mendelsohn said Facebook was more committed than ever to the UK and supporting the growth of the country’s innovative start-ups. “The UK’s flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem and international reputation for engineering excellence makes it one of the best places in the world to build a tech company,” she said. The new jobs, which come 10 years after the company set up its first London office, will take Facebook’s total British workforce to more than 2,300 by the end of 2018, it said. (Reuters)

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