Editor’s Picks: 26 September 2017

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  • German Companies to Continue Investing in Malaysia
  • Luxify Releases New App for Luxury Shopping On-The-Go
  • ADB: South East Asia Set for Stronger Growth
  • Inequality, low wages weaken global growth: IMF
  • India Seeks Better Market Access For Meat, Medicines In Indonesia
  • Singapore’s manufacturing output jumps 19.1% in August
  • Singapore Construction Productivity Week to Focus on Innovation and Building for the Future

German Companies to Continue Investing In Malaysia
German companies will continue investing in Malaysia, foreseeing improving economic environment in the next 12 months. Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC) Executive Director, Daniel Bernbeck said Germany had been the largest European investor in Malaysia, with investments worth about 5 billion in the last 10 years. “Most of the companies plan to further invest here and it is all related to the expectation of a positive economic environment. “The majority of the businesses see no change in their investment plans with significantly better expectations (for the economy),” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Luxify Releases New App for Luxury Shopping On-The-Go
Luxify, Asia’s leading online luxury marketplace, is set to boost online luxury commerce in Asia with its new app available for iPhones. The new app allows luxury consumers to browse and shop over 60,000 luxury products from over 2,000 of the world’s best luxury brands and dealer across the world anywhere and anytime. The new app enables users to discover, search and browse for luxury items, message dealers, negotiate prices and directly make purchases from their mobile device. “Online luxury sales are growing at a much faster pace than offline luxury sales in the region” says Florian Martigny, co-founder of Luxify. Luxury consumers in Asia are among the most-connected demographic groups. “These shoppers interact online before they decide what to buy, where to buy or how much they’re willing to pay for a particular luxury product” added Martigny.

Global Trade Rebound Boosts Growth in Asia and the Pacific, South East Asia Set for Stronger Growth
The Asian Development Bank said growth remains strong across most of developing Asia as a result of the broad-based recovery in global trade, robust expansion in major industrial economies, and improved prospects for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This will combine to push growth in developing Asia for 2017 and 2018 above previous projections, says a new ADB report. In an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017, ADB forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.9% in 2017 and 5.8% in 2018 for developing Asia. “Growth prospects for developing Asia are looking up, bolstered by a revival in world trade and strong momentum in the PRC,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada. “Countries in developing Asia should take advantage of favorable short-term economic prospects to implement productivity-enhancing reforms, invest in badly needed infrastructure, and maintain sound macroeconomic management to help increase their long-term growth potential.” Southeast Asia, meanwhile, is set for stronger growth as output accelerates steadily from 5% in 2017 to 5.1% in 2018, an upgrade from 4.8% and 5% in the previous forecast. Regional growth will be led by rising exports from Singapore and Malaysia, while the forecasts for regional leaders Indonesia and Thailand are maintained.

Inequality, low wages weaken global growth: IMF
A hollowing out of the middle class in advanced economies like the US, amid weak wage growth and rising inequality, is holding back global growth, Tao Zhang, the International Monetary Fund’s deputy managing director, said. He said the fund’s economic growth forecasts due out next month, will show little change in the global recovery that is still relatively slow. “Nearly a decade after the global financial crisis, the global economy is getting better,” Zhang told a gathering of business economists in Cleveland, Ohio. The IMF in July forecast global economic growth of 3.5 per cent this year, up from 3.2 per cent last year, and accelerating to 3.6 per cent in 2018. While this is “good news,” a 3.5 per cent global growth rate is weak in historical terms, he said. Zhang pointed to slowing productivity growth, income inequality and low wage growth and weak inflation as culprits.

India Seeks Better Market Access For Meat, Medicines In Indonesia
India is seeking to improve market access in Indonesia for its meat, medicines and auto components, as trade ministers from both countries discussed ways to strengthen commercial ties. India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu said Indian companies faced regulatory barriers in Indonesia in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, dairy and bovine meat. The Indian Ministry of Commerce said both parties agreed to meet with the regulators to resolve issues related to the pharmaceutical and health sectors. It also added that Indonesia had agreed “to conduct inspection visits” on facilities in charge of producing dairy products, fresh food of plant origin and meat processing.

Singapore’s manufacturing output jumps 19.1% in August
Singapore’s manufacturing output was up by 19.1 per cent in August compared to a year ago – the 13th straight month of growth. On a month-on-month basis, manufacturing output increased 0.6 per cent, according to figures released by the Economic Development Board (EDB). Excluding the more volatile biomedical manufacturing sector, output grew 17.8 per cent on a year-on-year basis, but fell 2.5 per cent month-on-month. The electronics cluster’s output increased 38.7 per cent in August, compared to the same month last year. The semiconductors, computer peripherals and infocomms and consumer electronics segments saw growth of 55.7 per cent, 20.1 per cent, and 6.8 per cent, respectively.

Singapore Construction Productivity Week to Focus on Innovation and Building for the Future
The Singapore Construction Productivity Week (SCPW) will return for its 7th year running, with the theme “Embracing Innovation, Building Our Future”. Organised by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) with strategic partner Sphere Exhibits Pte Ltd, the SCPW will be held at the Singapore Expo Max Atria and Hall 3 from 24 to 26 October. This year’s theme reflects the critical role that technology plays in paving the future of construction in Singapore. There is huge potential for the built environment sector to improve its productivity and resource efficiency, streamline project management and processes, and enhance construction quality and safety through innovation. SCPW 2017 will focus on two key areas – through the adoption of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), and Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD).

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