Editor’s Picks: 3 October 2017

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  • Iskandar Malaysia To Take on Millennial-Driven Economy
  • IRDA Optimistic Over RM30 Bln Committed Investments Target for Iskandar Malaysia In 2017
  • SSM To Wind Up 50 percent of Dormant Firms Set Up Between 2012-2014
  • Simplified, Business-class WiFi for SMEs
  • Singapore Airlines and Grab Agree on Extensive Partnership
  • Asian Frontiers Picking Up China’s Low-end Manufacturing
  • Tech Firms Lead the Way in China’s Xiongan New Area

Iskandar Malaysia To Take on Millennial-Driven Economy
Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said Iskandar Malaysia must be ready to facilitate new transformation, which means taking into account the new economy driven by millennials. He said 69 per cent of Iskandar Malaysia’s population were youths aged between 16 and 40. “We need to engage with our younger counterparts. It cannot be business as usual, as we need to learn and embrace the millennials’ values and business trends,” he said at the launch of the ‘Invest Iskandar Malaysia 2017 Symposium’. Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled, who is also the co-chairman of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority, said Iskandar Malaysia should bring in new investments that would venture beyond the conventional industry, not only in property, but also in science and technology.

Meanwhile, IRDA is optimistic of achieving the target of committed investments of RM30 billion for Iskandar Malaysia this year, despite the challenging economic environment. Chief Executive, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said in respect of the committed investments, RM19 billion had been secured as of end-August. “Over the past 10 years and eight months, we have been able to achieve committed investments from domestic and foreign investors worth RM242 billion. “There is a need to work harder during the rest of the year to ensure that we not only achieve the base committed investment target (RM25 billion), but also exceed our stretch target of RM30 billion,” he said.

SSM To Wind Up 50 percent of Dormant Firms Set Up Between 2012-2014
The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) aims to wind up at least half of the 67,767 dormant companies incorporated between 2012 to 2014. Its Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Zahrah Abd Wahab Fenner said the commission was offering a moratorium period from 1 October to 1 December 2017 for applications to cancel the registration of company names and incentives to reduce compounds. “We urge dormant companies to use the opportunity during the three-month moratorium period to cancel the registration and take advantage of the reduction of up to 80 per cent for the compound offered,” she said.

HPE Aruba Gives Small Businesses Simplified, Business-class Wi-Fi with the Ease of a Mobile App
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, today announced a new Wi-Fi solution designed to give small businesses secure and reliable business-grade Wi-Fi with easy to set-up APs and an intuitive mobile app. The HPE OfficeConnect OC20 is a cost-effective wireless solution designed for businesses without dedicated IT resources. With OC20, small businesses or their channel partners can rapidly deploy and manage Wi-Fi for small business across all vertical industries. “Small and medium businesses are a critical growth engine for economies in Southeast Asia. According to International Data Corporation’s research, Asia is the third largest region for small business IT spend, demonstrating that these businesses increasingly rely on innovation and technology to deliver value to their customers,” said Justin Chiah,  Director and General Manager (SEA and Taiwan), Aruba.

Singapore Airlines and Grab Agree on Extensive Partnership
Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Grab will integrate their mobile apps to offer enhanced convenience to customers when travelling to the airport in six countries across Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Starting today, SIA customers can book Grab rides through the SingaporeAir mobile app. Customers using the app will see an option to book a Grab ride to the airport seven days before their scheduled flight. Selecting this option will direct customers to the Grab app, where they can choose to order a Grab ride to the airport on-demand or in advance. The airport will be automatically listed as the destination, so the user simply fills in the pick-up point and desired time. Grab today is in more than 100 cities across seven countries including Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar. Singapore Airlines operates services to over 60 destinations in more than 30 countries on five continents worldwide.

Asian Frontiers Picking Up China’s Low-end Manufacturing, Says Fitch
China’s move up the value chain and relocation of low-end manufacturing to cheaper countries, will continue to create opportunities and support strong economic growth in some of Asia’s “frontier” emerging markets, says Fitch Ratings. The countries best-placed to take advantage over the next few decades will be those offering workable business environments and relative macroeconomic and political stability to complement low wages, strong demographics and geographical advantages, it said. The rating agency said China’s rising wages, higher land costs and real exchange-rate appreciation over the past decade reflected policy efforts at rebalancing the economy, as well as raise living standards, but have also reduced low-end manufacturing competitiveness. “The average Chinese manufacturing wage is now higher than in Asia’s other major emerging economies. Finding cheap labour in China is only likely to become harder, with urbanisation rates already high and the working-age population set to shrink by 0.4 per cent a year on average over 2015-2035” it said. Fitch said a significant drop in China’s low-end manufacturing over the coming decades would leave a large gap for lower-cost countries to exploit.

Top Chinese tech companies to set up branches in Xiongan
A total of 48 companies, including Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, will set up branches in Xiongan New Area, its management committee said. The 48 companies are the first group approved by the committee in the area. Nine of them have been granted business licenses. Fourteen companies are leading Chinese information technology firms, 15 are in finance, seven are research institutes, and five are focused on green technology. Nineteen of them are centrally-administered State-owned enterprises and 21 are private companies. High-end and high-tech companies will be the mainstream of industry in the area, the committee said. China announced plans in April to establish the Xiongan New Area, a new economic zone about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing. It covers Hebei’s Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin counties.

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