1. Malaysia Still the Destination of Choice for International Investors
  2. Malaysia Promotion Programme Takes Centre Stage in Manila
  3. APAC Remains the Most Affected Region for Cyberattacks
  4. Standard Chartered Malaysia wins Best New Product Service or Innovation Launch award
  5. Grand Lion Group Inks Second Contract with Marriott International in Sihanoukville, Cambodia
  6. New heritage effort introduced by Mexico tourism
  7. Actor Andy Lau’s accident sparks rush for insurance cover by Asian film studios
  8. Singapore Companies to Get Direct Access to Infrastructure Opportunities in Bangladesh

Malaysia Still the Destination of Choice for International Investors
The Ministry of Finance said Malaysia is still the destination of choice for international investors as reflected by the continued net foreign investment inflow of RM39.2 billion in 2017. In a written reply at the Dewan Rakyat today, the Ministry said international reserves remain strong at US$103.6 billion. The statement added that Malaysia’s competitive standing, as reported in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, had improved from 25th to 23rd out of 137 nations. Malaysia was also successful in improving its standing to 59th position compared with 65th in the Human Development Index 2016, while moving up to 70th from 73rd in 2016, in the Global Liveability Ranking 2017.

Malaysia Promotion Programme Takes Centre Stage in Manila
Malaysia will mark its biggest presence in the Philippines through the Malaysia Promotion Programme (MPP) in Manila this week. This event serves as a platform to strengthen the brand of Malaysia in the Philippines and to promote Malaysia as a preferred partner for sourcing, trade and investments, tourism destination and a gateway to ASEAN. MPP Philippines will showcase the best of Malaysian food, culture and the country’s construction services providers and building materials suppliers through the three activities lined up to promote the “Malaysia” brand. The event will be spearheaded by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), organised by MATRADE and led by MITI Minister, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed. The Malaysia Promotion Programme also includes the Malaysia Business Forum and Worldbex Exhibition. The Worldbex Exhibition at the World Trade Centre, Metro Manila will see the participation of 27 Malaysian exhibitors that will showcase and promote Malaysian building and construction materials, office furniture and services. MITI said the Philippines remains an important trade and investment partner for Malaysia. In 2017, Malaysia-Philippines bilateral trade grew by 26.1% to USD 5.94 billion.

Asia Pacific Remains the Most Affected Region for Cyberattacks
Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today released its 2017 Annual Security Roundup Report that shows cybercriminals are utilizing more strategic methods to achieve a higher success rate and return on investment. “Cybercriminals are becoming smarter with their attacks as technologies continue to reach new frontiers,” said Dhanya Thakkar, Managing Director and Vice President, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), Trend Micro. “In 2017, 553 data breaches were made public, compared to 813 in 2016. But the number of affected records reached almost 5 billion, compared to 3.3 billion in 2016. Trend Micro recorded 1.7 billion ransomware threats from 2016 to the end of 2017, and Asia Pacific accounted for almost 40 percent of the total threats. In 2017 alone, 630 million threats were detected, a significant decrease from 2016 (1.07 billion). However, a 32 percent increase in new ransomware families in 2017 was observed.

Standard Chartered Malaysia wins Best New Product Service or Innovation Launch Award
Standard Chartered Malaysia picked up two awards at the 9th Retail Banker International (RBI) Asia Trailblazer Awards 2018. The Bank won the “Best New Product Service or Innovation Launch” for its Shake and Win campaign, and received the Highly Commended award for the “Best Savings Plan Offering”. The Bank was aptly recognised as the first retail bank to introduce mobile gamification via Shake and Win. Aaron Loo, Country Head of Retail Banking of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia says: “We constantly push the boundaries of retail banking to meet the demands of our clients in this increasingly digital world.” The awards are based on a rigorous selection process which starts with nominations from industry professionals. Nominees are then shortlisted and submitted to a panel of judges who decide the finalists in each award category.

Grand Lion Group Inks Second Contract with Marriott International in Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Cambodian real estate company, the Grand Lion Group has inked a deal with Marriott International, Inc., to manage and operate a new hotel in the stunning coastal city of Sihanoukville, located in Cambodia’s southwest region, a short 35-minute flight from the capital of Phnom Penh. Branded a Le Meridien, the 388-room five-star hotel forms part of the USD200million Gold Coast at Sihanoukville – a mega hotel and luxury residence complex – located on 1.67 hectares just 17km from the airport. Sihanoukville has evolved from a sleepy beach town and port city to one of Cambodia’s premier beach destinations rich in natural beauty. Its close proximity to surrounding tropical islands and the Ream National Park has attracted a growing number of international visitors over the years. Ground breaking is scheduled for January 2019 with date of opening slated for January 2022.

New heritage effort introduced by Mexico tourism
The Mexico Tourism Board has rolled out a new effort in marketing called “‘Viajemos Todos por México,” (Let’s All Travel Across Mexico) and is targeting over 35 million Americans who are of Mexican descent. The campaign, which highlights the beauty of Mexico and its cultural and natural wonders, is intended to tell the Mexican-Americans that those treasures are theirs. Enrique de la Madrid, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism said, “Our mission is to ensure that Mexico continues to sustain its track record of above-industry average growth for many years to come, and this includes seeking new ways to engage specific markets and audience segments that present opportunities for the industry.”

Actor Andy Lau’s accident sparks rush for insurance cover by Asian film studios
The Asian film industry’s demand for insurance cover has increased significantly since last year, after top Hong Kong star Andy Lau was injured after falling from a horse during a commercial shoot in Thailand. The insurance class has been commonplace in Hollywood for years but it is still relatively unusual in Asia. Lau’s injuries could well proved a wake up call, says Tommy Elliot, regional director of Circle Group, which dubs itself a movie contingency insurance specialist. Lau has 160 films under his belt, but after being hurt in January 2017, he was off work for nine months. “This has raised awareness by many Hong Kong and Asian film studios to pay more attention to the possibilities of delay, or even the chance a film might not be finished on time.” Elliot said the company expanded in Hong Kong five years ago to tap into the Asian market and the business has grown 20-30 per cent annually since. He expects Asian studios are now likely to increase their demand for film cover, as the industry continues to mushroom in China and the rest of the region.

Singapore Companies to Get Direct Access to Infrastructure Opportunities in Bangladesh
Singapore companies can look forward to capturing opportunities in the fast-growing market of Bangladesh as International Enterprise (IE) Singapore partners Bangladesh’s Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to ease the market entry process. IE Singapore and PPPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to facilitate Singapore companies’ direct participation in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects in the market. Bangladesh and Singapore enjoy strong economic ties, with Singapore being its third import partner. Singapore is also the fourth largest investor in Bangladesh with net cumulative investments of about S$1.2 billion. To make it easier for Singapore companies, especially SMEs, to venture into Bangladesh, IE Singapore will sign a MOU with BIDA tomorrow. The MOU will see BIDA acting as a one-stop agency to provide advice and direct assistance for Singapore companies setting up in Bangladesh. This includes working with them on applications for licenses and incentives. Both agencies will also exchange information and organise events to promote collaboration between Singapore and Bangladesh companies.