News Reel: 7 May 2018

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  1. SME Corp approves RM1.84 million in grants to Langkawi entrepreneurs
  2. Migrant workers transfer US$256 billion to their families in Asia Pacific
  3. MaGIC alumni collaborates to ease driver’s issues
  4. Malaysia’s 2018 exports, imports to grow 7.3 per cent & 7.5 per cent respectively
  5. Global apparel and footwear market expected to grow from US$1.7 trillion by 2022
  6. Grab unveils new services

SME Corp approves RM1.84 million in grants to Langkawi entrepreneurs
SME Corp Malaysia has approved grants totalling RM1.84 million to 20 local entrepreneurs for them to grow their businesses. Its Chairman Tan Sri Mohmed Al Amin Abdul Majib said the grants were approved following the 10-day ”Jom Niaga” programme and Entrepreneur Clinic co-organised with the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia, which ended today. “Our programme received overwhelming response from 9,000 participants who attended briefings on our business techniques,” he told a press conference in Langkawi. He said the programme gave SME Corp a platform to forge closer ties with local entrepreneurs who were mostly involved in the tourism industry. “SME Corp might consider setting up an office in Langkawi.”
with their problems, all under one roof,” he said…..

Migrant workers transfer US$256 billion to their families in Asia Pacific
Last year, migrant workers sent US$256 billion to their families in the Asia-Pacific region, representing 53 percent of flows worldwide, with India, China and the Philippines being the largest remittance-receiving countries in the world. The remittance has grown by 4.87 per cent since 2008, with the rates flattening in recent years. “Increasingly, the majority of migrants (60 per cent) now find work in the region with Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand being major destinations for migrant workers,” according to the report ‘RemitSCOPE – Remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific’ and a new web portal on remittances released today by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). It said remittance outflows from the region amounted to US$78 billion, of which 93 per cent remained in the region.

MaGIC alumni collaborates to ease driver’s issues
Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) startup alumni, Serv and JomParking, have announced a smart partnership with Bateriku.com, to provide convenience to drivers in terms of parking payment, battery replacement and car servicing. Serv is a company that provides a mobile car service concept, while JomParking is a mobile application that aids car owners in the payment of parking fees. Bateriku.com provides full on-site mobile automotive and electrical repairs in the country. In a statement, MaGIC said the collaboration was meant to help drivers resolve their driving and car maintenance issues in a more convenient way. “This strategic partnership between the three startups demonstrates how inter-connectivity and collaboration thrive within Malaysian’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, while pointing to industries that will drive growth in the future,” said MaGIC’s Chief Executive Officer, Ashran Datuk Ghazi. JomParking and Serv were in the Global Accelerator Programme (GAP) inaugural batch in 2017.

Malaysia’s 2018 exports, imports to grow 7.3 per cent & 7.5 per cent respectively
Malaysia\’s exports and imports are expected to grow at 7.3 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively, this year, as external trade is expected to maintain its positive momentum, says JF Apex Securities Bhd. It said external trade would be driven by the manufacturing sector, backed by strong global trade activities and meaningful recovery in commodity prices. While overall external trade was expected to remain positive, growth would be at a slower pace, as the prevailing trade war between the United States and China could derail global trade and hence affect export performance, it said in a research note. Meanwhile, JF Apex said Malaysia’s exports in March 2018 exceeded consensus expectation, growing 2.2 per cent, year-on-year, (y-o-y) to RM84.5 billion, mainly supported by steady exports to Hong Kong, the European Union and India. Imports in March 2018 contracted to 9.63 per cent, y-o-y, marginally below market expectation mainly due to subdued growth in all main components. “As such, the country’s trade surplus registered the highest value since October 2008 at RM14.7 billion, a 172 per cent increase, y-o-y,” it added.

Global apparel and footwear market expected to grow from US$1.7 trillion by 2022
The global apparel and footwear market top US$1.7 trillion (RM6.58 trillion) in 2017 and is expected to grow by two per cent by 2022, a statement from market research company, Euromonitor International said. It shows that the fast fashion trend has reshape the apparel industry in recent years, as frequent purchase of products that only last one season has led to the concept of disposable clothing whereby 350,000 tonnes of used clothing worth millions is disposed every year in the UK alone, according to WRAP charity. The company’s 2017 Global Consumer Trends Survey found that 65 per cent of respondents try to have a positive impact on the environment through everyday actions and over 60 per cent are influenced by friends and peer-to-peer opinions on social media, a statement said. “In this hyper-transparency age, better informed consumers want to know how materials used in their garments and footwear are sourced and disposed of,? said senior research analyst at Euromonitor International, Marguerite LeRolland.” “They are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of human activities on the planet which has led to companies being exposed to greater reputational risks if they are found to have unfair practices,” she added.

Grab unveils new services
Giving an update on the merger deal between Grab and Uber, the ride-hailing company’s Singapore head Lim Kell Jay said talks with the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) are “going well”. But he said when the deal will be given the regulatory green light depends on the competition watchdog. During a briefing to reveal new services today, Lim gave a progress report on the deal, saying the regulator allowing the Uber app to be retired today is a “good sign” and he is “fairly confident” it will make the right decision to allow for innovation and competition to flourish in the country. He also mentioned that “almost all active Uber drivers” in Singapore have been brought on to its platform, while the US company’s staff in the region is being approached by Grab to discuss their joining them.

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