1. Indonesia says it is coordinating with Malaysia to combat current forest fires
  2. Physical, digital goods online retail sales will exceed US$6 trillion by 2024
  3. Chinese vice-minister heads to Washington for trade talks
  4. DHL delivers Rugby World Cup 2019™ to Japan
  5. HEINEKEN and Grab announce strategic collaboration in Southeast Asia

Indonesia says it is coordinating with Malaysia to combat current forest fires
Indonesia said it is coordinating and communicating with the Malaysian government to combat the current forest fires in Sumatera and Kalimantan. Its Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Southeast Asian Affairs director Denny Abdi described it as “not an easy task as the forest fires involved peatlands, where fires occur deep underground”. “The government of Indonesia is trying to use all the resources. So far, we have deployed almost 30,000 people on the ground and on top of that, we also deployed about 50 helicopters for aerial water-bombing to put out the fire,” he told reporters in Johor. Yesterday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said stern action would be taken against individuals or companies responsible for forest fires in Kalimantan and Sumatera, which have resulted in serious haze in Indonesia and Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia and Singapore.

Physical, digital goods online retail sales will exceed US$6 trillion by 2024
New data from Juniper Research showed that total transaction value of remote payments for digital and physical goods will exceed US$6 trillion by 2024, representing a growth of 53 per cent from 2019. The research, ‘Mobile & Online Remote Payments for Digital & Physical Goods: Opportunities, Pain Points & Competition 2019-2024’ revealed that online sales would be dominated by physical goods; forecast to account for almost 80 per cent of online retail purchases by 2024. This situation has urged traditional retailers to offer omnichannel offerings to ensure services align with ever-increasing consumer expectations. In addition, remote payments will be driven by purchases made via mobile devices, with the number of smartphone buyers increasing by nearly 60 per cent between 2019 and 2024. The shift to mobile has impacted purchasing behaviour, with the average value of transactions expected to decline by 2024. Juniper Research has assessed digital strategies of 25 leading bricks-and-mortar retailers according to their levels of agility and innovation, which the Home Depot ranked first, owing to its proactive e-commerce strategies and engagement with new technologies.

Chinese vice-minister heads to Washington for trade talks
China’s vice-minister for finance, Liao Min, will go to the United States for trade negotiations on Wednesday. China’s tate-run news agency Xinhua said Liao will lead a delegation to Washington in preparation for the face-to-face meeting to be held next month between Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Liao is expected to set out China’s agenda for the October talks. On Monday, Lighthizer told top business executives that there was still much work to be done to reach a trade deal with China, according to US Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tom Donohue. The chamber chief said Lighthizer had not mentioned the possibility of an interim deal that could de-escalate trade tensions by further delaying tariff escalations. Negotiations broke down in early May after the US side said Beijing had balked at American demands that it enshrines in domestic law major changes to address core US concerns about intellectual property and forced technology transfer.

DHL delivers Rugby World Cup 2019™ to Japan
DHL Express has accomplished the first mission as the Official Logistics Partner for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. DHL has fulfilled the delivery of all necessities for the 20 participating unions, such as team equipment and training and technical gear. By the end of the tournament, DHL will have delivered over 67,000kg of team freight internationally as well as domestically across Japan, in addition to over 432,000 tickets to more than 140 countries. The unique expedition started in February 2019, and since then, Ron Rutland and James Owens have crossed 27 countries in 7 and a half months to deliver the official referee’s whistle to the opening match of Rugby World Cup 2019, taking place at Tokyo Stadium on 20 September. On their way from London to Tokyo, Ron and James have covered more than 20,000 km, through every type of climate and across every type of terrain, including the Himalayas. This remarkable quest was in support of raising awareness and donations to give disadvantaged children in Asia the opportunity to take part in sports and learn vital life skills through the rugby-for-development program ‘ChildFund Pass It Back.’ DHL supported both adventurers during this epic journey from day one, delivering spare parts and care packages, as well as providing security and cross-border advice.

HEINEKEN and Grab announce strategic collaboration in Southeast Asia
Grab today announced a collaboration with HEINEKEN, which will enable the international brewer to plug into Grab’s platform of services to grow its digital business and extend its reach and convenience to customers and consumers in the region. The first-of-its-kind partnership will enable HEINEKEN to tap on Grab’s mobility, food, delivery and payment services across its platform to better meet its last-mile logistics needs, boost its offerings to customers and distributors, and drive demand for HEINEKEN beers and ciders in Southeast Asia. HEINEKEN will also be able to boost its sales and distribution channels. The latest HEINEKEN-Grab partnership validates how Grab has extended its all-in-one platform offering to merchants and brand partners so that they too, get a frictionless experience. These merchants can gain seamless access to Grab’s wide user base, customer insights, payment and on-demand courier services, backed by its transport network and technology infrastructure, and integrate them into their operations to grow their business. The collaboration kicks off in Singapore and Vietnam at the end of September. This will be followed by additional offerings in the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.

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