1. Malaysian economy to grow beyond five per cent this year
  2. KL-Singapore is the world’s busiest air passenger flight route
  3. Global passenger traffic rises 9.5 per cent
  4. Global connections, industry transformation among key priorities at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry
  5. Singtel Group to bring ONE Championship’s martial arts content to mobile customers
  6. Lanson Place Announces its First Entry into Australia

Malaysian economy to grow beyond five per cent this year
The Malaysian economy is expected to achieve a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) target of above five per cent this year if economic data continue to show signs of further growth, said FXTM Global Head of Currency Strategy and Market Research Jameel Ahmad. He said investors have been provided with another reminder of the robust nature of the Malaysian economy following news that exports in March rebounded beyond expectations at just over two per cent. “Exports were forecast to grow at around 1.7 per cent and, although, the growth figures of 2018 might appear on the headlines to be showing slower economic momentum than the previous year, it needs to be remembered that the Malaysian economy in 2017 generally outperformed all expectations,” he added. He also noted that it would be slightly unfair to compare the headline 2018 trade figures with the previous year, where it was a common theme for exports to be announced at above double-digit growth. In addition, he highlighted that trade talks between China and the United States would be of heavy importance to the global economy and something that Malaysia, like all other economies, would need to monitor as a breakdown in relations between two of the largest economies in the would carry negative risks to global trade.

KL-Singapore is the world’s busiest air passenger flight route
The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route has claimed to be the world’s busiest air passenger flight route topping the OAG Top 20 Busiest International Routes rankings from March 2017 to February this year. OAG in a statement said the busiest route recorded 30,537 flights with more than four million passengers carried by seven carriers on route. “The carriers are Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, SilkAir, Jetstar, Singapore Airlines, Malindo Airways and Scoot. The rankings also show Hong Kong-Taipei (second), Jakarta-Singapore (third), Hong Kong-Shanghai Pudong (fourth) and Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur completed an all-Asian top five. Regional Sales Director Japan-Asia Pacific for OAG, Mayur Patel said with the robust expansion of air passenger travel across Asia Pacific and the fierce competition between carriers in the region, it is unsurprising that 14 of the world’s busiest 20 routes, including 8 of the top 10 routes, are between Asian city pairs. Published annually, the OAG’s Top 20 Busiest International Routes are calculated by analysing jet aircraft frequencies on international flight routes in the 12 months to February 2018. OAG is one of the leading global provider of digital flight information which provides accurate, timely and actionable information and applications across the travel sector to the world’s airlines, airports, government agencies, aircraft manufacturers, consultancies and travel related companies.

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that global passenger traffic rose 9.5 per cent, year-on-year in March 2018, its fastest pace within 12 months. Capacity grew 6.4 per cent, y-o-y, and the load factor climbed 2.3 percentage points to 82.4 per cent y-o-y, tracking the record high set in February 2018. IATA Director-General and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac said demand for air travel remained strong, supported by the comparatively healthy economic backdrop and business confidence levels. “While we still expect 2018 to be another year of above-trend growth for industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), we forecast a moderation in full-year passenger growth compared to 2017. “This is mainly because increases in airline input costs – notably fuel prices but also labour costs in some cases – means that we expect to see a reduced boost to demand from lower airfares in 2018 than we have in recent years,” IATA said. It said Asia Pacific-based airlines posted a double-digit annual international RPK growth for the first time in five months, registering 11.6 per cent, up from 9.4 per cent in February 2018.

Global connections, industry transformation among key priorities at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry
Singapore’s new Minister of Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing said ensuring that Singapore firms will continue to have access into overseas markets and help to transform their business models are among his key priorities. On his to-do list, Mr Chan said there is a need to ensure that homegrown companies have continued access to opportunities overseas despite “some headwinds” around the world, notably the simmering trade tensions between the United States and China. Singapore, being a small and open economy that depends heavily on the rules-based global trading system, will have “to watch the waves and currents carefully”, he said. Another of his priorities is to ensure continuous help, beyond “the cyclical up or downturns” in the economy, for local firms to adopt new technology as part of their business transformations. Another key to ensuring the resilience of the Singapore economy is to grow the local talent pool. Apart from understanding the Singapore market, workers will need to have “an extensive network and deep understanding of the regional and global markets so that (they) can continue to compete with the best of the worlds”, he said. Singapore will also have to remain open to global talent to ensure its success, added Mr Chan.

Singtel Group to bring ONE Championship’s martial arts content to mobile customers
Singtel and its mobile associates Globe and Telkomsel have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate with ONE Championship, the world’s largest martial arts organisation, to deliver martial arts-related content and other digital assets to customers across Asia. The Singtel Group and ONE Championship will explore integrating the Singtel Group’s mobile wallets and carrier billing services to power e-commerce functions in the just launched ONE Championship app which offers live and recorded telecasts of martial arts matches and events. Available on Android and iOS mobile platforms, the app aims to give fans of the sport access to ONE Championship live events, as well as their complete library of digital content for free. Content will be streamed in full HD and will also provide users with statistical information and a detailed background on ONE Championship superstars.

Lanson Place Announces its First Entry into Australia
Lanson Place has signed a new management contract to operate a brand new luxurious serviced apartment in Melbourne. This marks Lanson Place’s first property in Australia and its 12th property. Centrally located in Melbourne’s CBD adjacent to the Parliament House, this new property will be a luxurious serviced apartment with 117 units ranging from Studio to 2-bedroom apartments with facilities such as guest lounge with outdoor terrace, 24-hour gym and café. It is targetted to attract the younger generation travellers who are tech savvy and expect prompt delivery of service with the click of a few buttons through the mobile or iPad.