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Scandinavians at the Top, Russia, Turkey and South American Countries Score Low in English Language Skills

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— EF Education First’s English Proficiency Index reveals wide gaps in English skills across the world —

LUCERNE, Switzerland, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — EF Education First, the world leader in international education, today unveiled the first comprehensive index ranking the proficiency of English among a broad population in 44 countries and territories around the world where English is not the native language.

The EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) is the first index that compares the English ability of adults in different countries. The index uses a unique set of test data (see methodology) from over two million people across 44 countries who took free online English tests over three years (2007-2009).

Asia’s performance was lower than expected especially in light of the amount spent on private English training. Moreover, although European countries tend to perform very well, Spain and Italy lag far behind others in Western Europe. EF’s English Proficiency Index also shows an interestingly strong correlation between a country’s English ability and its national income per head. There are also high correlations with levels of education and with export strength.

“In today’s highly competitive global economy, English language proficiency is a basic skill and has never been more important for the entire workforce,” said Bill Fisher, President of EF’s online learning division Englishtown. Mr. Fisher added: “For developing countries to compete successfully in global industries and capitalize on the business outsourcing boom, the ability to produce large numbers of skilled graduates who are able to communicate in English, must be a top priority.”

The full country results included in this inaugural index are at http://www.ef.com/epi/ef-epi-ranking/. For interactive graphs and more analysis, please visit: http://www.ef.com/epi/ .

The 44 countries and territories represented in the inaugural EF EPI illustrate the wide range of English skills around the world today. Comparison of countries to their neighbors, trading partners and closest allies provides a fascinating study in divergent national priorities and educational policies across Europe, Asia and Latin America.

A few of the key findings for these regions include:

— English proficiency in Asia is surprisingly low
Despite its British colonial legacy and reputation as an English-speaking
nation, India is today no more proficient in English than rapidly improving
China. Indeed although it is very difficult to estimate the number of
English users in each country, today the two countries have an
approximately equal number of English speakers, with China poised to
surpass India in a few short years.

— Spain and Italy lag behind Western Europe
Northern Europe is remarkably strong in English, containing all but one of
the highest proficiency countries in the world – but this is not the whole
picture. Today, over 90 percent of all students in Europe study English as
part of their required schooling. In addition, many multi-national
companies and factories in Europe have adopted English as their workplace
language. However, proficiency in Spain and Italy is considerably lower
than in other western European countries.

— Spanish beats English as an international language in Latin America
Latin America is the weakest of all regions, with an average English
proficiency score barely surpassing the low proficiency cutoff. In part
this is explained by the importance of Spanish to the region. A shared
language already allows for some international trade, diplomacy, and travel,
possibly lessening the motivation to learn English.

— Countries with higher English levels have higher gross national incomes per
capita
The EF EPI shows a strong positive link income and English levels. This is
a case of both cause and effect. Richer countries have more to spend on
education-including English, the lingua franca of the global economy. In
the longer term, more English education boosts average national income by
improving economic opportunities.

Country Sites & Methodology
For additional details on select markets ranked in the EF EPI and for the study’s complete methodology, please visit: http://www.ef.com/epi/ .

About EF Education First:
Established in 1965 with the mission to “break down barriers in language, culture, and geography”, EF is the world’s leading international education company that has helped over 15 million students to learn a new language and travel abroad. With a network of 400 schools and offices worldwide, EF specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degrees, and cultural exchange programs. For more information please see http://www.ef.com.

Media inquiries, please contact:
Eric Feng
Tel: +852-2111-2370
Email: epi@ef.com

SOURCE EF Education First

Written by asiafreshnews

March 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Business & Finance

Embracing Green Business Opportunities, Fostering the Development of Low-carbon Cities

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2011-03-30 18:30
MIECF OPENS ON THURSDAY

MACAU, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ —

Hosted by the Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region, the 2011 Macao International Environmental Cooperation Exhibition and Forum (2011 MIECF) will open this Thursday at the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel. The event will run for three consecutive days, from March 31 to April 2. Chief Executive of Macao SAR, Mr. Fernando Chui Sai On will officiate at the opening ceremony. MIECF will gather the world´s top environmental government officials and experts and academics in the field to discuss the latest environmental issues and will be a meeting point for leading and well-known domestic and overseas exhibitors to create opportunities in the environmental business.

Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) and Macao Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) will act as host coordinators for the event. As in the past, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People´s Republic of China have consented to be the special supporting organizations. The event also include as co-organizers, the governments of the 9 provinces in the Pan-Pearl River Delta and the Government of Hong Kong SAR. MIECF is an exhibition and forum event of the highest level in the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region.

MIECF´s main theme for this year is “Green Opportunities — Low Carbon Urban Development”, to promote “Green Cities, Smart Technology, Sustainable Growth”, in line with the emission reduction strategy of the Central Government and the environmental policies of the Macao SAR Government. Through a series of professional exhibition and convention activities, along with the Green Business Cooperation Day, business matching sessions, Green Public Day and a wide array of other interactive activities, MIECF aims to promote local, regional and international cooperation and to share the latest environmental technologies and solutions, aiming to create business opportunities to the enterprises, disseminate the green spirit and to act an exchange platform between governments entities and academic institutions.

Mr. Joschka Fischer,Former Vice Chancellor and Former Foreign Minister of Germany, will deliver a keynote speech on “Decoupling Growth and Emissions — a Roadmap to a Prosperous Decarbonized Future”. Keynote address by another important keynote speaker, Mr. Klaus Toepfer, Former United Nations Undersecretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, will be presented on the next day (April 1).

The exhibition and business matching activities of this year´s MIECF will be held for three consecutive days. A series of activities and forums in connection with the Green Business Cooperation Day will be held in the afternoon of the first day. Other forums will take place on the second day, while the last day — April 2 (Saturday) is reserved for Green Public Day, when members of the public are welcome.

This year´s MIECF will exhibit important products of the green industry, including solar energy, biomass energy, wind energy, hybrid energy systems, electric cars and hybrid vehicles, charging stations, battery and battery storage solutions, building technology, facilities management, smart grid, waste disposal, water conservation, air pollution control, noise control, project financing and consultancy.

Besides the Macao Pavilion, the Pan-Pearl River Delta Provinces and Regions Zone, the European Pavillion, the United States Zone and the International Exhibition Zone, several business associations and chambers of commerce related to the environmental sector have set-up their respective exhibition zones inside the venue, including the Macao Association of Environmental Protection Industry, Macao Energy Saving Association, Macao Ecological Society, Macao International Green Industry Union, Green Environment Protection Association of Macao and “Macau, China — Centro para o Estudo e Desenvolvimento da Industria das Energias Renovavaveis entre Asia-Pacífico e America Latina”.

At 2.30 p.m. on the first day of the MIECF (March 31), a series of activities related with the Green Business Cooperation Day will be held, including forums, networking cocktail party and protocols signing ceremony. Green Forum will comprise two major themes, namely: “Exploring Green Market Business Opportunities” and “Opportunities in Green Sectors: E-Mobility”. Experts and senior representatives of the world´s leading enterprises were especially invited to make an in-depth exploration around these issues. Speakers will include Tongfan Co., Ltd. (China´s Top 100 IT enterprise), EDP Internacional, Beijing Origin Water Technology Incorporation Company, Wal-Mart (China) Investment Co., Ltd., BWM, Scania, BYD, GIZ, CEM (from Macao), Zotype, Zhuhai Jetco and CLP, as well as representatives of the Chinese and foreign governments, and also environmental organizations and business representatives.

Green Business Cooperation Day is jointly organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), AICEP Portugal Global, Macao Chamber of Commerce, European Union Chamber of Commerce in Chinam European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the American Chamber of Commerce in Macau, the American Chamber of Commerce in South China and the European Union Business Information Programme.

Since its inception in 2008, MIECF has been successfully held for three consecutive years in Macao. There has been a continuing growth in the number of exhibitors, exhibition area and the number of professional representatives present. Last year´s MIECF attracted altogether 5,990 representatives of companies from 47 countries and regions, the exhibition venue was 13,400 square metres and the number of exhibitors totalled 362. This fully demonstrates the successful role played by MIECF as an important green platform for South China and the Pan-PRD Region.

MIECF TO DISCUSS ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES – CREATING A LOW-CARBON CITY LIFE IN MACAO THROUGH JOINT EFFORTS

Grand opening of the 2011 Macao International Environmental Cooperation Exhibition and Forum (2011MIECF) will take place this Thursday (March 31). The event will be held for three consecutive days at the Venetian Macao-Resort Hotel. MIECF comprises several activities, including exhibition, business matching and several conferences under the Green Forum. Part of the conferences will be held on the second day. Top government officials, experts and academics in the field of environmental protection from all over the world will gather at the MIECF to discuss the latest environmental issues.

With regards to the Forum, the number of sessions has been increased from five sessions (last year) to seven sessions this year and will cover an analysis on the experience gathered from the development of low-carbon cities in different parts of the world, as well as the development of urban planning of Macao en route to be a city with low carbon emission. The Organizers have especially invited researchers from home and abroad to share the results of their research and their practical experience. The Green Opportunities Forum will start in the afternoon of the very first day, during which the speakers will focus on two major themes, namely: “Exploring Green Market Business Opportunities” and “Opportunities in Green Sectors: E-Mobility”.

On the other hand, on April 1, there will be more sessions of the Green Forum, including “Urban Planning and Eco City Development”, which will be held in the morning, when the speakers will discuss about the importance of improving urban planning for a sustainable development in an high-speed development scenario, and debate on how urban planning can create eco-city development programs. In the “Low Carbon Urban Industries: Sustainable Tourism”, discussions will focus on how to create a low-carbon urban environment and the regional positioning and sustainable development of Macao as a world tourism and leisure centre. Representatives from the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the PRC, APA — Agencia Portuguesa do Ambiente, from Portugal, PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) and the Environmental Protection Bureau of Beijing Municipality will be the keynote speakers.

In addition to the above-mentioned two sessions, there will be three more sessions under the Green Forum, including “Green Buildings: Foundations of a Low Carbon Future”, “Clean Energy & Smart Grid” and “Green Chemical Forum”. It is hoped that through the above topics discussions, practical experience from Mainland China and overseas will be introduced to Macao, while creating conditions for Macao to become a demonstration platform for environmental technology.

Furthermore, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the same day, Mr. Klaus Toepler, former Deputy Secretary-General Former United Nations Undersecretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme will deliver his keynote address.

GREEN PRODUCTS FROM SEVERAL COUNTRIES ON DISPLAY AT THE MIECF – GREEN BUSINESS MATCHING TO PROMOTE ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT

The 2011 Macao International Environmental Cooperation Exhibition and Forum (2011MIECF), which will be held from this Thursday to Saturday (March 31 to April 2), at the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, has attracted the participation of 324 companies from 24 countries. The Organizer believes that this year´s edition of the MIECF will derive significant business opportunities to the exhibitors from all over the world.

The exhibition venue of this year´s MIECF has been increased to 16,500 square metres, where a vast array of environmental products and services related to renewable energy, green transport, energy efficiency and environmental protection will be on display, including solar energy, wind energy, electric cars and hybrid vehicles, charging stations, battery and battery storage solutions, building technologies, green building materials, smart grid, waste management and water resources protection.

In addition to the Macao Pavilion, the Pan-Pearl River Delta Provinces and Regions Zone, European Pavilion, USA Zone, International Exhibition Zone, several business associations and chambers of commerce related to the environmental sector have set-up their respective exhibition zones inside the venue, including the Macao Association of Environmental Protection Industry, Macao Energy Saving Association, Macao Ecological Society, Macao International Green Industry Union, Green Environmental Association of Macao and “Macau, China — Centro para o Estudo e Desenvolvimento da Industria das Energias Renovaveis entre Asia-Pacífico e America Latina”.

On the other hand, several well-known domestic and international car manufacturers and brands, including BYD, BMW, Mitsubishi Motors, Yutong, Zotye, Zhongda, Jinglong, Zhonda Jiling and GreenWheel will participate in the MIECF as exhibitors. Furthermore, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, from Japan, Lamor and CCI, from Finland, Sonkyo Energy, from Spain, EDP, from Portugal, Bayer, from Germany and Taiwan Solar Energy will also showcase their respective products at the MIECF.

In order to allow exhibitors and participants to make full use of the functionality of the Macao business service platform, the Organizer will continue to provide free business matching services. A procurement area has also been installed at the venue, and well-known local hotels, such as Galaxy Macau/StarWorld Macau, Grand Lisboa/Hotel Lisboa Macau, Melco-Crown (COD) Hotels Ltd., MGM Macau, the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, Wynn Macao Resort will set-up their respective procurement counters at the site. Besides, several government departments and public institutions will take part in the green business matching sessions.

The business matching sessions held last year have achieved remarkable results. 416 sessions business sessions were arranged, resulting in the signing of 24 protocols. The signing parties were from Macao, Mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Brazil, Portugal and other countries.

So far, the Organizers have collected 539 projects related to environmental investment and agency for environmental products and have pre-arranged 368 business matching sessions for companies from Mainland China, Macao, Hong Kong, Australia and Europe, involving investment projects and interest in the following products: LED energy-saving products, hydroelectric power, sewage treatment, electric cars and lithium battery technology. Relevant information has been uploaded to the official MIECF website – http://www.macaomiecf.com – and to the following on-line business matching service platform: http://bm.ipim.gov.mo. Parties interested to participate in business matching are invited to navigate to the above-mentioned sites, for registration. The Organizer will continue to gather cooperation projects and intention and all enterprises are welcome to submit their projects and intention. We sincerely hope that the Macao SMEs will grab the business opportunities brought about by the MIECF. For further details, please contact the MIECF Commission at (853) 2872-8328.

MAKE A PLEASANT VISIT TO THE MIECF ON APRIL 2 — GREEN PUBLIC DAY

Hosted by the Macao SAR Government, the 2011 Macao International Environmental Cooperation Forum and Exhibition (2011MIECF) will be opened to the public, free of admission charge, on April 2, to mark the Green Public Day. Guided tours will be available at the venue, to present the MIECF concept and also the exhibition venue and respective characteristics. In addition, a series of popular programs specially designed for children and their parents will be available. Macao residents and visitors are welcome to visit the exhibition at the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel and participate in relevant activities. Green Public Day is opened from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and admission tickets are available at the venue. Furthermore, the Organizer will distribute to each ticket holder, on a first-come-first-served basis, a fine souvenir.

Green Public Day on April 2 will adopt as its main theme “Environmental Protection Starts with Green Life”. A series of activities suitable for children and their parents, such as green games, experience of electricity generation, exhibition of information on low-carbon, lecture on low-carbon, environmental-friendly magic shows, green wishing tree, photo studio using green screen, etc., have been specially prepared for the visitors. Souvenirs will be distributed at the site, to enhance public awareness to the issue of environmental protection by mean of interactive funny methods, aiming to promote the sharing of the joy of environmental protection in daily life and thereby to stimulate the community to jointly create and enjoy a green life, while promoting the concept of a low-carbon city.

In view of the public interest in eco-cars in recent years, on the Green Public Day, the Organizer will arrange for test riding of electric cars, so that the population could personally experience and feel the characteristics of environmentally friendly vehicles.

On the other hand, in order that the younger generation could also share the concept of low-carbon emission, the Macao Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) has invited 200 school teachers and students to visit the MIECF, and have arranged guided tours to explain to them the MIECF philosophy and the concept of an ideal life with low carbon emission. At the same time, students from Colegio de Santa Rosa de Lima, DSPA´s partner in the “Eco-School Partnership Program”, will deliver a speech on “My Viewpoint regarding Low-Carbon Life”. The speakers, secondary school students, will examine the concept of low-carbon and waste reduction and her attitude towards environmental protection, through her own clothes, food, housing and travel.

To facilitate transportation to the MIECF venue and advocate green travel, the Organizer will provide on the Green Public Day free shuttle bus services to and from the venue. Shuttle bus terminals are located at Avenida Dr. Mario Soares (Macau Square), Avenida Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida (bus stop next to Pak Vai Bus Stop), and Estrada Marginal do Hipódromo (Royal Supermaket at Hak Sa Wan). The service is available from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the buses will leave every 30 minutes. In addition, four hours´ free car parking service will be available. The Organizer hopes that each vehicle would transport as much number of passengers as allowed by law, to support green travel.

Contact:

MIECF Secretariat
Tel: +853-8798-8675
Fax: +853-2872-7123
Email miecf@ipim.gov.mo
MIECF website: http://www.macaomief.com
SOURCE 2011MIECF

Written by asiafreshnews

March 31, 2011 at 10:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Multi-Screening and Personalization Emerge as Key Asian Trends

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2011-03-30 13:00
Latest industry forum discusses key digital trends in Asia Pacific

Disney engages today’s consumers with the choice, flexibility and convenience they want

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Today at The Walt Disney Company (Asia Pacific) 4th Digital Media Conference held this year in Singapore, over 200 leading experts from media and technology companies from Asia Pacific and the US came together to discuss the continuing evolution of TV and how it affects the way we look at our businesses and our consumers. This year’s theme “Media R-Evolution: Engaging the Connected Consumer” focuses on what forward-looking media companies are doing to stay engaged with their audiences and address questions fundamental to creating value and launching the next generation entertainment marketplace. Today’s audiences not only expect flexibility in when to watch their favorite TV show, movie or latest sports news, but also access to that content on the platform of their choice whether at home or on-the-go.

“Audience viewing habits have dramatically changed — never before has TV viewing been so personal,” said Rob Gilby, Managing Director, Media Distribution, The Walt Disney Company (Asia Pacific) Limited. “Our research tells us that there is a complete shift in consumer expectations and audiences are looking for greater personalization and customization of how they access brands such as Disney, ABC and ESPN. The question we are asking is how to create the most value in delivering the best consumer experience.”

What’s your Screen of Choice?

Asia Pacific is home to over 135 million smartphones, 350 million 3G+ Subscribers, 968 million TV sets, 6.5 million tablets, 800 million internet users and 143 million Facebook Users.(1)A wide scale industry study conducted last year shows that using multiple devices to watch video content is on the rise in Asia Pacific. While the majority of people still watch video content on TV (77%), 63% are watching on a desktop/laptop computer, 38% are watching content on mobile phones and 19% on other hand held devices. (2) The region’s access to digital technology coupled with increased consumption of content on multiple platforms is a great opportunity to provide consumers the best entertainment experience on the screen of their choice.

“We are seeing the continued evolution of television with a rapid uptake from consumers who want multiple ways across multiple screens to connect and engage with their favorite content,” says Gilby.

Whilst viewing content on multiple screens is growing, the use of social media to complement the viewing experience is adding new dimensions to the concept of co-viewing. No longer do viewers have to watch TV in the same room to share the experience. Social media provides a platform for viewers to share opinions and commentary about their viewing experience with peers, family and friends on digital platforms and in virtual communities.(3)This further deepens the consumer experience, providing multiple touch points for consumers to interact with their favorite content, stories and characters.

Primetime is all the Time

Consumers are no longer confined to a scheduled viewing time. Digital platforms and devices offer flexibility for consumers to watch TV whenever they want. This is especially appealing to time-poor and younger consumers who require more flexibility in their free time, preferring to watch TV at a time that suits their lifestyle.(4)

In 2010 Disney did four major deals in Asia Pacific, including India and Indonesia- home to 2 of the top 5 populations in the world – to distribute content to mobile phones, through online and video-on-demand with traditional terrestrial and pay-TV.

“Technology is a natural part of consumer’s lives and the smart digital devices that exist today and the ones we haven’t yet seen provide opportunities for us to deepen our relationship with the viewer. At Disney, incredible content and innovation go hand in hand and we’re focused on finding new ways to take our compelling stories and characters to more audiences while enhancing the viewing experience,” adds Gilby.

In Malaysia, Disney Media Distribution works with Astro, Media Prima and TM Net. Disney Channel is available from Astro via mobile video (loop) services on Astro Mobile TV. Media Prima offers Disney TV content available for Malaysian fans to catch-up online via Ton.Ton.com.my, a leading edge video portal. TonTon comScore ranks 6th in Malaysia, and 32nd overall including international sites as of January 11, 2011. In addition, TM Net, which launched IPTV service HyppTV last year, offers Disney feature films available via VOD (video-on-demand).

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, interactive media and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 Company, had annual revenues of over US$36 billion in its most recent fiscal year. For more information about The Walt Disney Company please visit: http://corporate.disney.go.com/

About Disney Media Distribution

Disney Media Distribution is responsible for the distribution of The Walt Disney Company’s program content and channels to free-to-air, cable and satellite broadcasters and mobile, broadband and VOD platforms across Asia Pacific. The program portfolio includes quality feature films, critically-acclaimed scripted and reality series, ABC news programming, live action and animated kids content, and prestigious specials such as the Academy Awards(R). Disney Media Distribution also oversees channel distribution of the much-loved Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney to all major pay TV platforms in the region.

Note:
(1)Source: IDC Asia/ Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker Q4/10, Pyramid Research (Jan 2011, Informa Telecoms & Media, Yankee (Dec 2010), http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm, http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/
(2)Source: Synovate Young Asians Survey 2010- Device to watch video content at least once a week- universal (sample), 8-24 year olds: 25,612,200 (12,302).
(3)Source: Disney Media Distribution / TNS; The Future of Media 2008, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Australia
(4)Source: Disney Media Distribution / TNS; The Future of Media 2008, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Australia

SOURCE The Walt Disney Company

Written by asiafreshnews

March 31, 2011 at 10:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

PayPal Study Shows Singaporeans Find Value in Shopping on Local Websites

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2011-03-30 12:00
Local retailers should adopt multi-channel strategy to access S$1.1 billion online shopping market

SINGAPORE, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ –While the increasing popularity of online shopping in tech-savvy Singapore is no surprise, what is amazing is how fast it has grown, the unique preferences of Singaporean online shoppers and the business implications for local retailers. PayPal’s first ever “Online and Mobile Shopping Insights” study in Singapore revealed some interesting trends that strengthen Singaporeans’ reputation of being one of Asia Pacific’s most affluent and sophisticated online shoppers. According to PayPal’s research, the size of the Singapore online shopping market reached S$1.1 billion in 2010 and is forecasted to reach S$4.4 billion in 2015. Even though 1.2 million Singaporean online shoppers (above the age of 18 years old) had an average spend per head of S$1,492 over the past year, two-thirds of the online shopping spend (S$730 million) came from the middle income and above (Note 1) groups in Singapore.

Contrary to popular belief that Singaporeans shop online primarily on overseas websites, a significant portion of online retail purchases are domestic as online shoppers spend nearly 40% (approximately S$420 million) on local websites. Even when Singaporean online shoppers do buy from overseas websites, they cite “unavailability” (58%) and “greater choice” (48%) as more important reasons than “less expensive” (44%), “better discounts” (42%) or “strong Singapore dollar” (35%). Thus, local merchants can benefit from the growth in domestic online spending as well as offer a wider choice and selection of goods (instead of competing on price) to get a larger slice of the online shopping market.

Elias Ghanem, PayPal’s General Manager for South East Asia and India, said, “With the online shopping market growing so quickly and breaking through the billion dollar mark, Singaporeans are clearly finding great value and a wide range of products and services on the Web, be it on domestic or overseas websites. The study results prove to local merchants that they should embrace a multi-channel approach for both in-store and online retail experience, with mobile as an emerging platform, in order to be wherever their customers are.”

The study was conducted from January to February 2011 and polled 407 Singapore online shoppers aged 18 and above from Nielsen’s panel for their online and mobile shopping transactions in the past 12 months. Besides providing an overview of the growing online shopping market, the study also revealed insights into the attitudes and behaviours of Singaporeans when buying online and on mobile devices.

Some of the key findings for domestic and cross-border online shopping in Singapore:

Online shopping is more than just airline and hotel bookings. While the travel category is tops, it only accounted for S$307 million or 28% of the online shopping market in Singapore. Other key online shopping categories include: Fashion/Beauty (S$146 million, 13% share), Entertainment/Lifestyle (S$143 million, 13% share), IT/Electronics (S$117 million, 11% share), General Insurance (S$83 million, 8% share), and Gifts/Collectibles (S$75 million, 7% share).
Singaporean online shoppers buy different items between domestic and overseas websites. Movies/events tickets (S$36 million) and general insurance (S$36 million) are top categories for domestic online shopping, while books (S$41 million) and movies/music/video games (S$24 million) are top categories for cross-border online shopping. In addition, online shoppers buy nearly double the amount for clothing (S$84 million) and travel packages (S$38 million) on overseas websites compared to domestic sites.
Enhancing security can boost online spending, especially for high income (Note 2)group. Slightly more than 4 out of 10 say that current credit/debit card security measures for online transactions are inadequate and half believe they are taking a risk every time they transact online with their credit/debit cards. Yet, increasing safety measures would convince nearly 6 out of 10 to spend more online. In fact, the high income group was the most concerned about security measures (57%), but are the most willing to increase their online shopping if safety is improved (65%).
In addition, these were the key findings for m-commerce and mobile shopping:

Mobile shopping is in its infancy stage. Over 364 thousand Singaporean online shoppers spent S$43 million on their mobile devices last year, approximately 4% of the online shopping market. Mobile shoppers bought low-priced items like movie tickets, fashion items and mobile apps, leading to an average spend per head of S$119 over the past year.
Growth potential for mobile shopping is significant. 4 out of 10 online shoppers in Singapore are willing to make a purchase on their mobile phones. More importantly, nearly 6 out of 10 of the high income group would be interested to do so, and they accounted for more than half of the mobile spend last year. In addition to more Singaporean online shoppers interested in buying on their mobile devices, they would like to buy higher-priced items like IT/electronics, general insurance and collectibles, boosting the potential size of the mobile shopping market.
Convenient, safe, and fast mobile shopping experience will be critical for mass adoption. The top 3 barriers to mobile shopping are small screen size (55%), security concerns (52%) and slow mobile Internet connection (42%).
Based on the online and mobile shopping study results, Elias concluded, “The strong call-to-action for local merchants is to quickly adopt a multi-channel retail strategy, provide greater choice in their online product offerings and offer more secure online payment options. In order to sell to mobile shoppers, they should choose a safer mobile payment method that can be completed in as few clicks as possible.”

Note 1: With personal earnings of S$4,001 and above.
Note 2: With personal earnings of S$6,001 and above.

Research methodology

The Nielsen Company conducted an online research project, commissioned by PayPal, for the purpose of understanding the size of the Singaporean e-commerce and m-commerce market as well as consumer behaviour and needs. The research surveyed a random sample of 407 Singapore consumers aged 18 and above, via an online survey from January to February 2011.

About PayPal

PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online. The service allows members to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, debit cards and credit cards in various markets. PayPal is an eBay company and enables global e-commerce with more than 94 million active accounts in 190 markets and 24 currencies around the world. The company’s open payment platform, PayPal X, allows developers to build innovative payment applications on multiple platforms and devices. More information about the company can be found at http://www.paypal.com.sg.

PayPal is headquartered in San Jose, California and its international headquarters is located in Singapore.

Media Contacts

Dickson Seow
PayPal Asia Pacific
Tel: +65-6510-6463
Email: dseow@paypal.com
Idran Junadi
The Hoffman Agency
Tel: +65-6238-1851
Email: ijunadi@hoffman.com

SOURCE PayPal

Written by asiafreshnews

March 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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2011 State of the Industry (In-House) Report: Global Corporations “Must Rethink” Asian Engagement Strategies

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HONG KONG, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Western corporations must do more to localise their operating plans, government relations strategies and senior staffing profiles if they are to achieve their goals in Asia Pacific. These are the central findings of the PublicAffairsAsia In-House “State of the Industry Report” which was conducted among senior-level corporate public affairs practitioners representing global and Asian multinational corporations operating in Asia Pacific.

The survey, conducted in partnership between PublicAffairsAsia and The Research Pacific Group, highlights how an emerging public affairs and lobbying industry is developing in Asia. But it also sounds a series of alarm bells about future strategies, talent shortages and the impact of nationalism and corruption in the Asian governmental and business environment.

The report, published today by PublicAffairsAsia magazine and network, finds that three quarters of PA industry leaders in Asia Pacific believe that global operating plans, public affairs and government relations practices will have to change to accommodate the shift in geopolitical and economic power to the East.

The report, conducted among 43 leading corporations, also suggests that many business structures in Asia Pacific may not be fit for purpose. Despite the fact that many business units are built around the Asian map, senior practitioners are unanimous in stressing that Asia cannot be viewed as a market in the same way as Europe or North America. Significant moves towards the localisation of strategies and practices are essential if MNCs are to achieve their business goals, the report suggests.

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Craig Hoy, Executive Director of PublicAffairsAsia, said: “This report proves that global companies need to rewrite their operating plans, localise their government relations teams and develop more strategic engagement techniques if they are to influence the political and regulatory environments in which they are operating. Nationalism and corruption remain concerns for PA directors, and staffing constraints appear to be holding back the development of corporations in Asia Pacific.”

The State of the Industry (In-House) survey also finds that 70 per cent of practitioners believe that an identifiable PA and lobbying industry is emerging in Asia. However three in four believe that the term “public affairs” is not fully understood, although 68 per cent concede it is better understood than it was previously. The study also identifies significant staffing and capacity concerns, with a large number of PA industry leaders warning that staff shortages in the corporate affairs and government relations arenas is impeding international firms’ development plans.

The report received strong support from senior corporate public affairs and communications professionals engaged in Asia’s increasingly complex governmental, communications and regulatory markets.

Welcoming the report, Stephen Forshaw, Microsoft’s Director of Corporate Communications in Asia Pacific, said: “This report reminds business just how important it is to invest in the public affairs practice, build skills, retain talent and stay ahead of the new challenges that will come with growth and a globalised economy.”

Stephen Thomas, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citigroup China, added: “The public affairs profession in Asia faces rising complexity, heightened responsibility and a challenging external and internal landscape. The 2011 State of the Industry report highlights these factors, among others, and the drivers behind them, making insightful reading for anyone interested in the evolving nature of public affairs in the region.”

The PublicAffairsAsia State of the Industry (In-House) report forms part of a two-volume annual series published by PublicAffairsAsia, the magazine and network for senior corporate public affairs professionals. A second volume of the report, which covers in the consultancy sector, will be released in June.

To download the full report click here: http://www.publicaffairsasiaevents.com/SOI_2011_INHouse.pdf

To download the press release click here: http://www.publicaffairsasiaevents.com/pressrelease_SOI.pdf

For more information on the State of the Industry Report contact:

Craig Hoy, PublicAffairsAsia, at craighoy@publicaffairsasia.com
Irwin Hankins, The Research Pacific Group, at i_hankins@respac.com

About PublicAffairsAsia

PublicAffairsAsia is the network for senior government relations, public affairs and corporate communications professionals operating across the Asia Pacific region. It offers news, features, analysis and intelligence on practice and policy through PublicAffairsAsia magazine, online channels, intelligence and events. It also operates the flagship Gold Standard Awards for government relations, public policy and corporate communications. For more information, to REGISTER, or SUBSCRIBE: visit http://www.publicaffairsasia.com

About The Research Pacific Group
The Research Pacific Group is a full service marketing research provider, which has conducted research throughout Asia for over seventeen years. Our core competency is providing “Best In Class” customised Marketing Research solutions throughout Asia. We are independent and owner managed.

Through our Singapore based headquarters and Hong Kong Regional client service office, we offer clients real regional project management consistency and control, as well as a “one-stop” point of communications for clients conducting research anywhere in Asia. Our real network of subsidiaries and partners throughout Asia, provide us with local field coverage and insights unique to each market.

For more information visit: http://www.respac.com

Media Contact:

Mark O’Brien
Tel: +66-801-458697

SOURCE PublicAffairsAsia

Written by asiafreshnews

March 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Posted in Business & Finance

Global Broadcasting, Media and Infocomm Communities Unite at BroadcastAsia2011 and CommunicAsia2011

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2011-03-28 08:00
Malaysian companies returning to iconic event will boast growth in size and breadth of exhibits

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Three months before the opening of BroadcastAsia2011 and CommunicAsia2011 – Asia’s most distinguished business event for the global broadcasting, digital media and infocomm technology industries – its organiser is already anticipating a milestone year for both events.

To be held from 21 – 24 June at the award-winning Suntec Singapore and the prestigious Marina Bay Sands respectively, BroadcastAsia2011 and CommunicAsia2011 will serve as the premier launch pad for companies to introduce cutting-edge technologies and solutions designed to enhance global connectivity for consumers and businesses, and shape the future of digital content delivery across the world.

More Malaysian companies will join returning favourites MCMC and MEASAT

Multinationals and small and medium enterprises have selected CommunicAsia2011 and BroadcastAsia2011 to demonstrate their home-grown capabilities to the global industries. MEASAT is returning to CommunicAsia with a 40 per cent increase in booth size, alongside other Malaysian favourites including Cyberview Sdn Bhd, Avira Sdn Bhd and Aexio as well as first time exhibitors EFUNTV (M) Sdn Bhd, Infinet Wireless Sdn Bhd and Ansarcomp (M) Sdn Bhd.

Roland Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd, Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup Sdn Bhd and Tele System Electronic (M) Sdn Bhd are exhibitors at BroadcastAsia2011.

Size of Malaysian Group Pavilion at CommunicAsia2011 increased by nearly 30 per cent

Led by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the Malaysia country group pavilion at CommunicAsia2011 will boast a 30 percent growth in size compared to 2010, and 80 per cent bigger compared to its debut in 2005.

Event attendees will experience an enhanced show atmosphere with the introduction of new TechZones and Technology Trails, which distinctly organise key exhibitors by breakthrough technologies. The abundance and variety of purpose-built conference room, seminar room and hospitality suite facilities at the venues allows for increased high-level networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities between business and industry luminaries and attending government officials from across the globe.

These developments follow the success of last year’s event, which attracted a total of over 55,000 industry visitors, exhibitors, conference speakers and delegates, and media guests from over 100 countries and regions. In 2011, attendees can look forward to a myriad of the newest technologies, products and solutions from about 2,000 multinational and small and medium companies.

“There is no other combination of events worldwide where the broadcasting, digital media and infocomm technology industries come together in one city during the same week. Together, BroadcastAsia2011 and CommunicAsia2011 serve as the key international platform in Asia for Malaysian business leaders and trade professionals from multinational corporations to small and medium enterprises, and government officials to network, discuss the hottest industry trends and critical issues, and pursue high-growth opportunities that will shape the way digital content is delivered to and between us, both in work and play,” said Mr. Victor Wong, Project Director of Communication Events, Singapore Exhibition Services.

“Hosting the events in their new, in-town venues will enhance sourcing activities, networking opportunities and knowledge-sharing potential both on and off the exhibition floors. In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing technology industry, face-to-face and open forum meetings have never been more important.”

Highlights of BroadcastAsia2011

Asia’s leading digital multimedia and entertainment industry event, BroadcastAsia2011 continues to be the most important platform for industry leaders and professionals to form strategic partnerships and gain unique insights on the latest broadcast and digital multimedia technologies, solutions and equipment. With GDP growth in Asia forecasted at about 7 per cent in 2011 (1), higher than any other region in the world, the trade show is expected to garner strong interest from emerging markets across Asia.

In its 16th edition, BroadcastAsia2011 will showcase a global array of the latest technologies, applications, equipment and solutions in film and TV. Themed “Integrating Technology, Experiencing Content”, the spotlight at this year’s show will be on the latest in 3D, playout services and special effects technologies as well as Hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV), a new technology projected to be an industry game changer.

Returning exhibitors include Canon, Evertz, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Harris, Hitachi, Playbox, Sennheiser and more. The exhibition welcomes some new exhibitors — Leader Electronic and Thomson Broadcast / Video Networks. 12 international group pavilions from Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Norway, Singapore, Spain, UK, USA and international digital broadcasting organisation World DMB will also be featured.

Highlights of CommunicAsia2011

CommunicAsia2011 is the business networking platform of choice in Asia for the global ICT community and offers attendees the unique opportunity to witness the forefront of industry technology and innovation, as well as the chance to preview and test the newest technologies that will shape the future of communications. Themed “Shaping Vision, Creating Reality”, CommunicAsia2011 will feature breakthrough developments that push satellite technology boundaries, as well as a sneak peek into the latest market-ready devices and solutions and dynamic new industry deals set to change the pace of ICT communications in Asia and worldwide. Leading returning exhibitors include ABS, BlackBerry, Eutelsat, Irdeto, LS Cable, Falcon Interactive, Fluke Networks, Huawei, Inmarsat, Intelsat, PCCW Global, SkyPerfect JSAT, SES WORLD SKIES, THAICOM and ZTE Corporation; new participants include AsiaSat, Conax, 3M Touch Systems, National Instruments, Tata Communications, Tektronix, Vislink, Vu Telepresence and VNL.

24 international group pavilions, including representation from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Belgium, Canada, mainland China, France, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and USA, will display a strong presence on the CommunicAsia2011 show floors.

Note:

(1)International Monetary Fund, Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific (October 2010), http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/reo/2010/apd/eng/data1010/fig1_36.pdf

Shows at a glance:

BroadcastAsia2011:

Date: 21 – 24 June 2011
Venue: Suntec Singapore
Opening 21 – 23 June: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm.
Hours: 24 June: 10:30 am – 4:00 pm
Admission: Business and trade professionals only
Registration http://www.broadcast-asia.com

CommunicAsia2011/EnterpriseIT2011:

Date: 21 – 24 June 2011
Venue: Marina Bay Sands Singapore,
Basement 2, Level 1 & Level 3
Opening 21 – 23 June: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
Hours: 24 June: 10:30 am – 4:00 pm
Admission: Business and trade professionals only
Registration http://www.communicasia.com
SOURCE Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd

Written by asiafreshnews

March 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Shell Global Solutions Wins New Contract to Work with Three Indian Refineries

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2011-03-25 16:15
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, March 25 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Shell Global Solutions (GS) signed an agreement with the Centre for High Technology, India (CHT) to improve operational efficiency and business performance of three Indian refineries.

The contract, a Refinery Performance Improvement Program (RPIP), will be implemented over three years at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. at their Mumbai refineries and at Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd in Mangalore — and aims to help the three coastal refineries achieve margin improvements of US$ 25 cents/bbl over their total refining capacity of about 32 million metric tons per annum.

Secured via an open global tender initiated by CHT, the Shell Global Solutions’ program will focus on Process Optimization, Energy and Loss Management, Plant Availability and Reliability including Maintenance / Inspection Best Practices, and Refinery Margin Improvements.

“We are pleased to continue working closely with CHT in the execution of the RPIP program for these three refineries. We believe Shell Global Solutions’ owner and operator experience makes us well-placed to support the implementation of practical technology solutions to suit refiners’ short, medium and long term priorities,” said Bart van de Ven, Head of Business Development for Shell Global Solutions in India.

“We invest in technology and innovation to develop more efficient ways to improve and maximize the performance of Indian refineries. Shell Global Solutions has wide operational experience, an established reputation for technological excellence and highly skilled specialists. We look forward to a continued and productive exchange of business and technological expertise,” said B D Ghosh, Executive Director of CHT.

Shell Global Solutions has in the past worked with CHT in successfully implementing the Integrated Refineries Business Improvement Program at Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s Manali refinery, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s Kochi refinery, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd’s Mathura refinery and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s Visakhapatnam refinery.

About Shell Global Solutions

Shell Global Solutions is a network of independent technology companies in the Shell Group which provide technical consultancy and licensed technologies for both the Shell Group and third party customers within the energy industry. In response to the significant challenges facing the industry today, Shell Global Solutions strives to deliver innovative technical solutions and effective technology to support its customers in their day-to-day operations and delivery of strategic plans. This enables customers to improve the capacity and performance of existing units; integrate new process units into existing refineries and petrochemical complexes; incorporate advanced catalyst systems and reactor internals; through to the design of grassroots refineries. More information on Shell Global Solutions is available at http://www.shell.com/globalsolutions

Shell Global Solutions is affiliated with Shell’s catalyst companies which innovate and sell catalysts through a network that includes Criterion Catalysts & Technologies, Zeolyst International, CRI Catalyst Company and CRI KataLeuna. More information on the CRI/Criterion Catalysts and Technologies group is available at http://www.cricatalyst.com and http://www.criterioncatalysts.com.

SOURCE Shell Global Solutions (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd

Written by asiafreshnews

March 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized