• Asia sits at world’s center

    As Asia’s economy continues to improve on the strength of the region’s stability, the China-led Belt and Road Initiative will promote greater regional communication and cooperation for win-win outcomes. This was the underlying message at a China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable hosted in Singapore on April 28. Panelists shared their views on how member states in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can benefit from the initiative through further cooperation. The theme of the session was The Asian Century and the Belt and Road Initiative: Where Do We Go From Here? Asia is now the world’s center of gravity, said Wiryono Sastrohandoyo, senior fellow of the Jakarta-based think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Wiryono, the session’s moderator, admitted that the region used to experience GDP growth that was below expectations. Nevertheless, he believes it will be the center of economic expansion in the 21st century. “We are hopeful that the situation will be improved, because what the region needs is continuous stability, not confrontation. We also need coexistence, not contradiction,” he said. The session was part of the 15th ASEAN Leadership Forum. With the theme Future Proof ASEAN: Strengthening Resilience, Promoting Innovation and Moving Forward the Digital Space, the event brought together leaders from government, business, academia, think tanks and civil society to discuss the future challenges facing ASEAN in the new global era. The ASEAN Leadership Forum is organized by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute, a leading independent private think tank based in Kuala Lumpur, together with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore’s Social Innovation Park and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. The Belt and Road Initiative “is starting to prove to be a workable system … It can fit in the current context of the situation of the world,” said Wiryono. He said it has the potential to strengthen regional cooperation, adding that economic cooperation should be formed on the basis of dialogue. Wang Huiyao, president of the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and a counselor to the State Council, China’s Cabinet, said the initiative helps strengthen the idea that Asia is the center of globalization and the world’s economic growth. “We need some new momentum for globalization so that we can maintain, sustain and improve the current global system and governance,” said Wang. “China is not going to change the system. Instead, just like President Xi Jinping has said, we want to enrich, safeguard and improve the existing system.” Huge potential This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. Wang said that while the past 40 years saw people from all over the world coming to China for investment, the next 40 years will probably see China sharing with the rest of the world what it has achieved, including in infrastructure, e-commerce, and its technologies. “We can see huge potential” for ASEAN’s prosperity, said Wang, through its sustained resilience and innovativeness. He said the ASEAN countries can better collaborate with China through the Belt and Road Initiative in infrastructure, as well as in people-to-people exchange. Taking education as an example, over 130,000 students from ASEAN countries are now studying in China, but only around 70,000 Chinese students are in ASEAN countries. Wang suggested a Belt and Road committee or coordinating group be set up between China and ASEAN to make sure that these nearby countries get early advantage and benefits from related projects. “The magnitude and size of the Belt and Road Initiative is breathtaking,” said Mohd Munir Abdul Majid, chairman of both Bank Muamalat Malaysia and the CIMB ASEAN Research Institute. “Third countries should participate vigorously in the Belt and Road Initiative to ensure it becomes what is more than just a China initiative,” said Mohd Munir, referring to a recent memorandum of understanding signed between Singapore and China for closer partnerships in third-party markets along the Belt and Road. He believes that third parties’ participation will help build standards concerning finance, the environment, society and project management. “The Belt and Road Initiative is a game changer for China, for ASEAN and for China-ASEAN relations,” said Tang Siew Mun, head of the ASEAN Studies Centre at Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. He said that while infrastructure plays a big role in the initiative, it is important to note the plan’s four other key elements — policy coordination, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds. China-ASEAN bilateral trade totaled US$514.8 billion last year, up 13.8 percent year-on-year, the fastest growth pace between China and any of its major trading partners, according to Xinhua. China registered a trade surplus of US$43.4 billion with ASEAN countries, narrowing by 27.4 percent from 2016. As regional cooperation deepens in various areas, Tang expects China to come up with more supporting systems like an arbitration mechanism to resolve possible conflicts during the Belt and Road process. In addition, while links between China and ASEAN are enhanced with increasing investment, Tang said both sides should make sure this is win-win cooperation that can benefit society. China is projected to be the largest economy in the world by 2050, while five member states from ASEAN will rank among the top 30, according to a report by international consultancy and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Noting increased anti-China sentiment in Cambodia over the past few months due to lack of knowledge on Chinese infrastructure projects, Vannarith Chheang, vice-chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies and chairman of the Mekong Connect, said more local consultation should be conducted to build a positive perception of China. Building trust For better cooperation between China and ASEAN in terms of connectivity, Chheang said a regional standard should be created to ensure the quality of projects. Michael W. Michalak, senior vice-president and regional managing director of the US-ASEAN Business Council, and former US ambassador to Vietnam, said ASEAN countries should start to think about how to utilize the Belt and Road infrastructure projects once completed. “Once you have this kind of connectivity, it should provide opportunity for the rest of ASEAN, and ASEAN should be gearing up now to take advantage of that,” said Michalak, adding that achieving harmony on a free and open internet and its regulation is crucial to unleashing the potential of the initiative’s connectivity. “ASEAN plays a crucial role in helping to develop the kind of trust that is needed in order to bring in a broader participation in the Belt and Road,” said Michalak. Xu Ningning, executive president of the China-ASEAN Business Council, said the future trend in the region, with the Belt and Road Initiative, should be active cooperation, co-discussion, co-construction and co-sharing. Moreover, countries that are not included in the Belt and Road routes are also welcome to participate, for joint cooperation. Xu said the 10 member nations of ASEAN are at different stages of economic development. Each of these countries has its own demands for growth, which are all considered in related Belt and Road projects, toward building a community with a shared future for mankind. ASEAN, as a regional bloc, aims to promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitate economic integration among its members. In 2015 it launched the ASEAN Community with three pillars, Political-Security Community, Economic Community and Socio-Cultural Community. “The majority of countries along the Belt and Road routes are developing countries, so they need financial support from China, whether it is from the Silk Road Fund or other project-based loans,” said Xu, adding that financial institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are formed under a multilateral basis and its investments are made through consensual decisions. Xu suggested that a comprehensive and detailed feasibility study is needed for Belt and Road infrastructure projects, focusing on project returns and environmental and social values for the sustainable development of the initiative. “The success of the ancient Silk Road lasted for about 1,700 years by creating wealth and encouraging the flow of people,” said Kho Choon Keng, group executive chairman of Singapore property developer Lian Huat Group. “I believe there is great wisdom in it, and it has shown it is a workable experience.”
  • Making innovation serve humanity

    Panelists consider challenges that must be overcome to ensure tech-driven disruptive change is used for the good of society Innovation is a word used frequently in this era of disruption. But aside from the excitement of all the technological advancement, of equal importance is how to harness it to promote humanity, harmony and stability. Nicholas Ho, deputy managing director of Hong Kong-based hpa (previously known as Ho & Partners Architects Engineers & Development Consultants) sees the conflicts in innovation as coming from trade and society. His company undertakes projects across Southeast Asia, the United States, Britain and elsewhere. “The vision (of innovation) has to be set right,” said Ho, speaking in Singapore on April 28 at a panel session during the 15th ASEAN Leadership Forum. The session was themed Innovation That Matters: How Innovation Can Transform Societies, Business and Social Enterprises. Ho took one of hpa’s projects, the New Manila Bay-City of Pearl, as an example. Though the government will play a vital role in it, the 407-hectare reclamation project in the Philippines gives half of its land to participants from the private sector and actively engages in public consultation. Innovative programs have also been formed under the public-private partnership framework to encourage technology companies to set up training programs with local universities as a way to improve education, according to Ho. As one of the key China-Philippine projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Manila Bay-City of Pearl aims to be a high-tech commercial and tourism center. “Government has a very visible hand in trying to support the society’s vision and the people’s vision, especially in cities that see constant changes,” said Ho. Laurence Lien, cofounder and CEO of the Singapore-based Asia Philanthropy Circle and chairman of the Lien Foundation, said instead of figuring out what innovation is, the bigger issue is to work on the culture, the mind-set, the fears and anxieties that prevent people from changing. “What is more important is to create an ecosystem that will make the innovation sustainable,” he said. “The impact that you can address in the social enterprise can be at the micro or SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) level,” said Aman Neil Dokania, managing director and head of Accenture Cloud for Asia Pacific. He said there is huge potential for tremendous business outcomes. Meanwhile, Dokania said that NGOs need to reflect back on their business models to be more relevant, and they should leverage disruptive change for themselves. One possible way is to look for collaborations with the private sector and governments for broader impact. “Governments really need to think carefully about having their resources, their money, their people work harder on this matter,” said Kate Duff, Australia’s deputy high commissioner to Singapore. “We have to be clear about the fact that social and economic productivity, harmony and stability are pins on a more inclusive approach.” For countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it is crucial to think about how to make use of the region’s talent pools, whether as consumers or inventors that bring about new innovations, said Jose Luis Yulo, Jr, president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands and former secretary-general of the ASEAN Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Established in 1967, ASEAN grew to embrace today’s 10 member states — Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Brunei and Cambodia. “Today, innovation serves as the driving force for economic growth. It is the internal impetus for companies to sustain and develop,” said Xu Ningning, executive president of the China-ASEAN Business Council. Noting that 2018 is China-ASEAN Innovation Year, Xu said he expects deeper cooperation in innovation, between China and ASEAN as well as other countries, to promote regional economic growth, a more harmonious society, closer relationships between neighboring countries and, most importantly, to build a community with a shared future for mankind. “Innovation that matters is at the heart of everything we do,” said Penny Low, president and founder of Singapore’s Social Innovation Park. “At the end of the day, it is about promoting humanity. It is not just about something functional, machines or factories, but it gets into the ecosystem as well as our daily lives.”
  • 「港股100強研究中心」 盛大啟幕 暨第二屆香港上市公司發展高峰論壇19日舉行

    由港股100強研究中心主辦, 財華社承辦, 騰訊新聞、新浪財經、今日頭條、中國日報、大公文匯戰略支持的第二屆香港上市公司發展高峰論壇暨2017「港股100強」頒獎典禮將於2018年4月19日在香港金鐘JW萬豪酒店三樓宴會廳舉行,並且本次活動將舉行港股100強研究中心成立儀式,本次論壇主題為「洞悉世界經濟,引領創新發展」,邀請了眾多業界大咖出席論壇, 共同探討在世界經濟格局風雲變化之時,資本市場的挑戰、變革、創新與風險。 論壇亦受到了香港中國倂購公會、香港中國金融協會、香港中資證券業協會、香港上市公司商會、香港中資基金業協會、證券商協會、香港投資者關係協會等多個香港知名金融團體的鼎力支持。 「港股100強」評選活動始於2012年,由騰訊與財華社發起舉辦。歷年活動規模及影響力逐年擴大,深受專業機構及市場認同信賴。「港股100強」活動一直致力於為投資者發掘具有投資價值的股票,促進香港資本市場的健康繁榮發展,將「港股100強」榜單打造成為最權威最具公信力的香港上市公司排行榜。 2017「港股100强」,擬在「港股100強」活動的基礎上進一步昇華品牌,成立港股100強研究中心,推出港股100強指數、研究報告等研究成果。「港股100強」以營業額、總市值、稅後淨利潤、股本回報率、總回報率五個指標為評選標準,堅持公平、中立的原則,力求為投資者量身打造最優質的價值投資指標。 港股100強研究中心是一個擁有堅實學術背景及專業專家團隊的非盈利性學術研究機構,由財華社及內地眾多知名媒體聯合發起,匯集內地與香港兩地的金融機構高層、經濟學家、知名律師、會計師、學者教授以及財經媒體人等,組成顧問委員會。港股100強研究中心將秉承客觀、公正的宗旨,旨在將「港股100強」品牌科學化、學術化、專業化。未來,研究中心將逐步推出港股100強研究報告、港股100強指數等成果,為香港資本市場提供有價值的觀點,為投資者提供投資參考,樹立專業化的投資指引,促進香港資本市場的健康繁榮發展。
  • 中國日報攜手「2018互聯網經濟峰會」 共同探索初創新機遇

    2018年4月13日 香港:中國日報今天在香港會議展覽中心舉辦題為「投資者對談:引領初創成就非凡」的研討會,逾300名參會嘉賓分享見解並互動交流參加討論,共同探索互聯網經濟下的初創企業發展機遇。 此次論壇由中國日報亞洲領袖圓桌論壇與「2018互聯網經濟峰會」 合辦。數碼港主席林家禮博士、國際科技公司主席尤西•瓦爾迪先生、Illumio行政總裁及共同創辦人安德魯•魯賓先生,以及英菲尼迪資本管理有限公司副主席許東威先生四位主講嘉賓分享了他們的見解。 當前,隨著互聯網經濟蓬勃飛速發展,網絡經濟正帶動線下傳統經濟,兩種經濟模式的逐步融合正為各行各業帶來新的發展機遇。在「大眾創業、萬眾創新」的背景下,中國內地互聯網領域掀起一股創業潮,誕生了一批為大眾所熟知的互聯網產品和估值不菲的優秀企業,為年輕創業者及初創企業打開了新的大門。 本次論壇匯聚的知名初創項目投資者,深入剖析了初創投資的最新趨勢,以及未來數年最具投資潛力和投資回報率的熱門科技項目,還向在場嘉賓分享初創企業如何吸引海外投資,共謀紅利的成功之道。 林家禮博士認為,助力初創企業發展,最重要的不僅是培養創業精神,更需要以指引和資金來給創業者提供幫助。這就要求我們眾志成城,政府部門、商界及社會各方都應參與進來。 尤西•瓦爾迪先生表示,當今社會僅僅處在一場技術大變革的開端,大數據讓我們擁有參與技術變革、改變世界潮流的潛力。 安德魯•魯賓先生在論壇上強調了“講故事”的重要性。他說,對於一家企業而言,在籌集資金時,敘事能力顯得格外重要。企業需要通過事實和例證讓投資者相信,他們所投入的這家企業有能力在未來創造更大的價值和經濟效益。 許東威先生表示,如今資本市場正在發生巨大的變化,除了經濟金融科技外,市場亦非常看重生物科技,這兩個領域對香港相關領域都非常關鍵。香港社會應創造良好的環境以培育這兩個領域,這也正是英菲尼迪在過去一段時間以來所投入的重點。 中國日報社擁有報紙、網站、移動用戶端、臉譜、推特、微博、微信、電子報等十餘種媒介平臺,全媒體用戶總數累計約7200萬;期均發行量超過90萬份,其中海外60萬份;網站日均訪問量(PV)超過5200萬,全球移動用戶端用戶達700萬;在海外,通過每月發行500餘萬份海外供版的《中國觀察報》(China Watch),直達美國《華爾街日報》和《華盛頓郵報》、英國《每日電訊報》、法國《費加羅報》、泰國《民族報》、俄羅斯《俄羅斯報》、日本《每日新聞》等美、歐、亞主流讀者群。 「中國日報亞洲領袖圓桌論壇」旨在搭建一個由亞洲國家和地區的政、商、學界領袖和社會精英參與的高端對話和交流平臺,圍繞亞洲地區經濟、商業、產業和社會發展等具有戰略影響的重要議題展開討論和分享見解,以增進中國與亞洲和西方國家的交流和理解。 媒體垂詢: 洪夢求 小姐 電話:(852) 3465 5427 電郵
  • Adaptability key trait for digital-era entrepreneurs

    In a digital era, with entrepreneurship the engine of technological innovation and global markets more connected than ever, successful entrepreneurs are often found to be adaptable while staying true to their roots. Panelists shared their opinions on how startups can achieve success in today's innovation-driven and fast-changing market at the Investor Dialogue: Powering Tomorrow's Entrepreneurial Success panel during the Internet Economy Summit held in Hong Kong on Friday. "(The concept of) 'local' doesn't exist anymore, the world today is one marketplace," said Yossi Vardi, chairman of Israeli investment firm International Technologies. Innovation and technology sectors such as fintech, artificial intelligence, smart city and medtech are gaining momentum among entrepreneurs. And institutions such as Hong Kong's Cyberport are coming up with new ways to support these startups. "We are going to make it a new industry in the digital economy that can help young people upgrade their digital technology skills, but our biggest problem is how to actually make sure we have enough smart money in order to attract the best entrepreneurs," said Lee George Lam, chairman of Cyberport. Operated by professional management teams, Cyberport aims to help startups focus on building their companies rather than on the time-consuming fundraising process, and to scale up faster. "We're evolving now into an investor," said Lam. "We have set up funds and investment networks." Lam also believes the Hong Kong stock exchange should set up a "green channel" for pre-revenue digital tech companies so they can have access to one of the biggest capital markets in the world. Sticking to company DNA Kersten Hui, vice-chairman of Infinity Equity Management, said: "Entrepreneurs go through various stages of psychological development. And that is something for both entrepreneurs and investors to take into consideration." "Some of the early-stage mistakes entrepreneurs tend to make are often driven by very dynamic situations, especially fist-time startups," he said. "If we can reduce some of these mistakes and offer some input during their psychological development, this will bring both investors and startup companies higher successful rates." Startups may have very different expertise but they're all intended to offer solutions to their customers from the get-go. "The size of the market or the opportunity to solve the problems of the customers was the No 1 thing on our list when we started Illumio," said Andrew Rubin, chief executive officer and co-founder of cybersecurity specialist Illumio. "You can collect a group of great people but you don't have control over the market." "In the cybersecurity space, we focus on segmentation, which quickly became a multi-billion-dollar business just a couple years ago," said Rubin. "If you have great people and great technologies, it would be a huge opportunity to build a sustainable, durable and valuable company because the market needed a solution." Attracting investors would be the next step. "People often forget the No 1 thing on the list for whatever company, especially when it comes to fundraising, is the ability to tell a story," said Rubin. However, Lam believes this process is usually harder than it seems behind the scenes. "As a smart investor, we also need to help our startups understand their shortcomings, particularly their business plan, team and approach," said Lam. "There is a learning process as well." Vardi said: "I don't think the rules of attracting investment can be generalized - it has to do with the market size, the opportunity. "But it mainly has to do with the decision of the people behind the project." Vardi raised the question of whether the amount of money startups raise at the beginning stage would have a significant effect on their decision-making process later. "Because companies tend to spend a lot at the beginning, if you raised too much and you'll be at the mercy of the funders," said Vardi. Rubin from Illumio disagreed. "Companies are very much like people and they have DNA. DNA is part of the make-up of who we are. Companies are the same," said Rubin. "Having raised $267.5 million in less than five years doesn't determine how we make decisions on what to spend or what to invest in." Rubin believes the decision a startup company makes on accelerating growth or investing more heavily doesn't start with how much money is in its account. Rather, it begins with its business plan and whether the company is succeeding or failing against it. "Much like we all have DNA, if the DNA of the company is built around that premise then it doesn't matter how much money it has." Rubin added. Hui backed up Rubin's comment by a study his firm did on the psychological development of entrepreneurs pre- and post-funding. "People's DNA doesn't change because of money," said Hui. "Entrepreneurs that didn't grow up in an environment of rich capital would use money in a proper manner. Most entrepreneurs don't use capital to solve their problem, they always go back to what they grew up with." Crucial success factors Lam also said startup companies now need technology directors and mentors. "Tech companies need good directors, even the best team with the best DNA still needs guidance and oversight," said Lam. "Mentors will tell startups the dos and don'ts, even the best teams need to be brought up." Vardi echoed that sentiment: "Good mentors are more important than investors." As the market evolves, it's no longer enough for entrepreneurs to focus only on one particular field and lack knowledge in other areas. "Cross-disciplinary is one of the key success factors for entrepreneurs, those who can adapt to new technologies are the winners," said Hui. "It's definitely a differentiating factor between winning and losing companies." Entering the new era Combinations of solutions experimented with in the past are coming together and creating new sets of solutions. There are more and more ways to tackle the problems we only had a single solution for previously. Rubin said: "Healthcare, for example, we've had singular path for so many years but now technology is fundamentally changing that." "Cyberport may have to refocus on digital technology - even half of the biotech industry now is computing, digital is the new English and AI is the new software," said Lam, recognizing the increasing weight of innovative technologies in the world's future development. "We have to fully adopt the regional tech potential, but domain knowledge is also important." "The opportunities are many and it's up to our imagination. The most important thing is to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit with the help of smart money and all the mentors we can bring," said Lam. "It's a collective effort - not just government but society at large and the business sector." Rubin said: "We are living in a global economy, there's no more 'US, Europe, Asia' and as entrepreneurs we have the responsibility to remember those things and that we're all connected. The opportunities should be looked at from that lens." "Your mindset is your biggest weapon," Hui suggested to entrepreneurs. "So, open your mind and don't stop learning."
  • Tech gurus to examine new potentials for startups in the internet economy

    13 April 2018, Hong Kong: China Daily teamed up with the Internet Economy Summit for the first time in co-organizing a session themed “Investor Dialogue: Powering Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurial Success” to be held from 10:10 AM to 10:40 AM at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai, on April 13, 2018. Industry pundits shared their insights on the topic and interacted with more than 300 delegates at the panel discussion. The distinguished panelists include Dr. Lee George Lam, Chairman of Cyberport; Mr. Yossi Vardi, Chairman of International Technologies; Mr. Andrew Rubin, CEO & Co-Founder of IIIumio; and Mr. Kersten Hui, Vice-Chairman of Infinity Equity Management Co Ltd. Dr. Lee George Lam said that the most important thing is that we need to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit, and we need to help them with smart money and also all the mentoring that we bring. It is a collective effort, not just the government, but also the society at large, and the business sector. Mr. Yossi Vardi said that we are just at the beginning. Today, with big data, you can approach the whole issue that is going to change the world. And it is just a small fraction of the very many opportunities you may take. Mr. Andrew Rubin think very often people forget number one on the list for every company, especially when it comes to fund raising, is the ability to tell a story that if you execute well, there is a really big opportunity outside to create something in the process. Mr. Kersten Hui said that many things are fundamentally shifted, like the new rules of listing, and in our eyes, other than fintech, there is a lot of emphasis on biotech, and these are the two areas that are really important to Hong Kong and Hong Kong has the ecosystem to nurture these areas. And we have been focusing our investment in these areas during the past year or so. The development of the booming internet economy is driving the offline traditional economy as well. Integration of the internet economy and the traditional economy has fueled new opportunities for all sectors of the community. In recent years, through “mass entrepreneurship and innovation”, the Chinese mainland’s rapid internet development has led to the creation of a number of well-known internet products and innovative internet companies, opening the door for budding entrepreneurs and startups. This special panel session gave early investors an insight into the latest trends in early-stage investment, the hottest technologies with the most investment potential and return on investment over the next five years, and what startups can do to attract overseas investment and to get the winning formula for fund-raising. About China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable The China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable is a by-invitation network of movers and shakers in Asia providing platforms for focused dialogue, issue investigation, and possible collective action on strategic issues relating to economic, business and social development in Asia. Our aim is to enhance communication and increase mutual understanding between China, Asian and Western countries. Roundtable events are held in major cities across Asia. Media Contact: Ms. Melody Hong Tel: (852) 3465 5427 Email:
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