• Four Malaysian companies to introduce halal products at Tokyo Olympics
  • Malaysia hopes to increase trade, tourists from Thailand
  • Indonesia targets domestic investments to overtake foreign investments
  • US Congress formalises Trump impeachment process
  • Porsche is letting customers shop for a new car online
  • US Online sales expected to hit $143 Billion this Holiday Season

4 companies to introduce Malaysia’s halal products at Tokyo Olympics
The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development has identified four anchor companies to introduce Malaysia’s halal products at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year. Its minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof said the ministry was helping the local private and corporate companies meet the requirements and standards set by the Olympic Council of Japan for the event. “We are talking not just in terms of business to business (B2B) but also business to government (B2G) marketing to ensure that the designated spot is given to the four anchor companies.”

Malaysia eyes more trade, tourists from Thailand amid stronger baht
Malaysia will intensify efforts to attract more trade and investment and tourist arrivals from Thailand following the strengthening of the Thai baht against the ringgit. Malaysia’s ambassador to Thailand, Datuk Jojie Samuel said the firmer Thai currency vis-a-vis the ringgit had led to a “slight decrease” in the two countries’ bilateral trade. The Thai baht has appreciated more than six per cent against the US dollar this year. Despite the surge in the baht, 2.96 million Malaysians visited Thailand in the first nine months of this year. According to Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports, this represented a 5.56 per cent increase over the 2.80 million tourist arrivals from Malaysia during the same period in 2018. The Malaysians contributed tourist receipts of 75.63 billion baht (RM10.47 billion), up 6.69 per cent from 70.88 billion baht (RM9.82 billion) previously.

Indonesia’s new investment chief targets domestic investments to overtake foreign investments
Indonesia’s new Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chairman, Bahlil Lahadalia, has shared his vision that domestic investors should overtake foreign investors, as Indonesia booked a 12.3 percent growth in realized investment in the January-September period of this year from the same period last year, led by gains in domestic investment. Domestic investment grew 17.3 percent to Rp 283.5 trillion while foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 8.2 percent year-on-year to Rp 317.8 trillion. “We still expect FDI to remain big, but I have a vision that domestic investment must be stronger and much more than FDI,” Bahlil, a former chairman of the Association of Young Indonesian Businesspeople (HIPMI), told reporters in Jakarta. Investment is a top priority for President Joko Widodo to jack up Indonesia’s economic growth, which declined to the lowest level in two years in the second quarter of this year, as trade weakens amid the ongoing trade war-driven global economic slowdown. 18.5 percent of the overall realized investment in the first nine months of this year went to transportation, warehouse and telecommunications, followed by 16 percent to electricity, gas and water, 8 percent to construction, 7.9 percent to housing, industrial zones and offices and 7.4 percent to mining.

US House formalises Trump impeachment process in landmark vote
The US Congress has formally opened a new, public phase of its investigation into Donald Trump as US lawmakers voted for the first time to advance the impeachment process targeting the US president. “Today the House takes the next step forward as we establish the procedures for open hearings” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The House of Representatives voted along party lines, 232 to 196, to pass a resolution that lays out guidelines for the next stages of the impeachment process. Democrats are seeking to learn whether Trump abused his presidential power by pressuring a foreign government to investigate a domestic political rival.

Porsche launches online car sales in the US
Porsche has launched a US-based online car sales project in partnership with 25 dealerships across the United States to bring the convenience of online shopping to vehicle purchasing. The move will allow customers to look for a new car online and digitally complete the accompanying paperwork. The final steps of the purchase will take place at the respective dealership. Both new and used cars that are in stock will appear online for clients to browse through. Out of the 191 independently owned and operated Porsche dealerships in the US, 25 are participating in this pilot. The service has been integrated into the websites of the participating dealerships. Based on how successful this project is, the company will roll out online car shopping to the rest of the country. A similar service is launching in Germany as part of Porsche’s push to digitalise the purchasing experience.

Adobe Forecasts $143 Billion in US Online Sales This Holiday Season
Adobe expects US online sales to increase 14.1 percent, totalling $143.7 billion, while total retail spending – both online and offline – is expected to increase 4.0 percent. Cyber Monday (2 December) will set a new record as the largest – and fastest – growing online shopping day of the year with $9.4 billion in sales, an 18.9 percent increase year over year. Online sales between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Pacific Time on Cyber Monday are expected to drive over $3B in revenue, with sales conversions nearly doubling during these golden hours of online retail. One out of five dollars this holiday season will be spent during Cyber Week between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, generating $29 billion or 20 percent of total online revenue this season.

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