Highlights:

  1. Alibaba Business School Initiates Global E-Commerce Talent Network
  2. Malaysia confident of meeting 33.1 million tourist arrivals target in 2018
  3. Matta Fair 2019 to promote Sabah
  4. Zero-rated GST translates into stronger consumer spending: RAM Rating
  5. Half of Businesses Are Not Prepared for IoT Cyberattacks

Alibaba Business School Initiates Global E-Commerce Talent Network
Alibaba Business School today announced the establishment of the Global E-Commerce Talent (GET) Network, in collaboration with universities and training institutions from Malaysia and around the world. Focused on educating and equipping individuals with the skills needed for e-commerce success in the digital economy, the GET Network builds on Alibaba’s GET program to offer a full education ecosystem to network members. Malaysia is the initiatives founding member, and make up the largest number of educational institutions from a single country which includes the Ministry of Education Malaysia, MDEC and 18 public and private universities, colleges and training agencies within the network. The initiative was launched under the auspices of the 11th annual China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week. In driving the initiative, Alibaba Business School gathered renowned universities and training institutes from across the region to jointly establish the network, which will develop high-quality courses, grow teaching platforms and train teachers to empower their educational institutions to participate in the construction of the future digital economy.

Malaysia confident of meeting 33.1 million tourist arrivals target in 2018
Tourism Malaysia is confident of meeting its target of 33.1 million tourist arrivals this year on expectation of higher visitors from Japan and other main markets. According to the Tourism Malaysia website, Malaysia is also eyeing tourism receipts of about RM134 billion from the number of arrivals. In 2017, Malaysia registered 25.9 million tourist arrivals, contributing RM82.2 billion to the revenue. Tourism Malaysia Senior Director, International Promotion Division Asia/Africa Datuk Musa Yusof said Singapore, Indonesia, China, Brunei, and Thailand were the country’s top five major markets last year in terms of the number of tourist arrivals. “There is an ongoing promotion to attract more Japanese tourists. We are doing a tactical campaign through joint initiatives with operators in Japan to bring in the tourist traffic to Malaysia,” he told Bernama.

MATTA Fair 2019 to promote Sabah
The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) has picked Sabah for promotion as the preferred domestic destination at the Matta Fair in Kuala Lumpur next year. President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said Sabah would benefit from one of the biggest regional travel event which could see over 120,000 visitors and revenue of about RM120 million. “We need to plan early and undertake a lot of promotional and marketing activities, so visitors from the Peninsular and Sarawak can visit Sabah more frequently,” he told reporters after the launch of the Matta Fair Sabah today.

Zero-rated GST translates into stronger consumer spending: RAM Rating
RAM Rating Services said the zero-rated Goods and Services Tax (GST), effective June 1, will translate into stronger consumer spending and sales for retailers, especially during the three-month tax holiday and until the Sales and Services Tax (SST) is reinstated on 1 September. Head of Consumer and Industrial Ratings Kevin Lim said the rating agency expects the retail sector to be among the prime beneficiaries of the country’s generally more upbeat consumer sentiment and the string of measures proposed by the new government to alleviate the rising cost of living. “Accordingly, we have revised the negative outlook on the retail sector (in place since October 2016) to stable. “Consumer sentiment has improved markedly following the 14th General Election (GE14) in May 2018,” he said in a statement. Notably, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) consumer sentiment index (CSI) – a barometer of consumer confidence – surged to a high of 132.9 points in the second quarter of this year.

Close to 50% of Businesses Are Not Prepared for IoT Cyberattacks
Trend Micro, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today released survey findings that show businesses are most concerned about losing customer trust in the event of an Internet of Things (IoT) related cyberattack, however they remain unprepared. The survey, which was issued to 1,150 IT and security decision makers across the globe, indicates major discrepancy between the investment in IoT systems and security to protect them. As the growing number of connected devices opens businesses up to additional cyber threats, close to half (43%) of IT decision makers and security decision makers say that security is an afterthought when implementing IoT projects. In addition, while nearly two-thirds (63%) agree that IoT-related cybersecurity threats have increased over the past 12 months, only about half (53%) think connected devices are a threat to their own organisation. Additionally, the results suggest there could be minimal testing taking place ahead of implementation to ensure new devices added to corporate environments are secured. The survey also showed businesses are experiencing an average of three attacks on connected devices in the last 12 months. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of those that have already implemented, or plan to implement, an IoT solution enlist security decision-makers in the implementation process. This falls to one in three for smart factory implementation (32%), with a similar proportion enlisting the help of security teams for the roll out of smart utility (31%) and wearables (30%) projects. This suggests that a significant proportion of businesses globally could be unwittingly opening themselves up to a range of threats.