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Archive for May 25th, 2014

IMD Business School Releases its 2014 World Competitiveness Yearbook Ranking

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

The US leads, Europe recovers, and big emerging markets struggle

IMD, a top-ranked global business school based in Switzerland, today announced its annual world competitiveness ranking. As part of its ranking of 60 economies for 2014, the IMD World Competitiveness Center also looks at perceptions of each country as a place to do business.

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“The overall competitiveness story for 2014 is one of continued success in the US, partial recovery in Europe, and struggles for some large emerging markets,” said Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center. “There is no single recipe for a country to climb the competitiveness rankings, and much depends on the local context.”

Highlights of the 2014 ranking

The US retains the No. 1 spot in 2014, reflecting the resilience of its economy, better employment numbers, and its dominance in technology and infrastructure.

There are no big changes among the top ten. Small economies such as Switzerland (2), Singapore (3) and Hong Kong (4) continue to prosper thanks to exports, business efficiency and innovation.

Europe fares better than last year, thanks to its gradual economic recovery. Denmark (9) enters the top ten, joining Switzerland, Sweden (5), Germany (6) and Norway (10). Among Europe’s peripheral economies, Ireland (15), Spain (39) and Portugal (43) all rise, while Italy (46) and Greece (57) fall.

Japan (21) continues to climb in the rankings, helped by a weaker currency that has improved its competitiveness abroad. Elsewhere in Asia, both Malaysia (12) and Indonesia (37) make gains, while Thailand (29) falls amid political uncertainty.

Most big emerging markets slide in the rankings as economic growth and foreign investment slow and infrastructure remains inadequate. Mainland China (23) falls, partly owing to concerns about its business environment, while India (44) and Brazil (54) suffer from inefficient labor markets and ineffective business management. Turkey (40), Mexico (41), the Philippines (42) and Peru (50) also fall.

A matter of perception: Countries’ images abroad

Seven of the top 10 countries in the overall ranking for 2014 are also in the top 10 for having an image abroad that encourages business development, according to an IMD survey of executives based in each of these countries. In general there is a strong correlation between a country’s overall competitiveness ranking and its international image as a place to do business (see table).

Executives in Singapore are most bullish on their country’s overseas image, while Ireland, Chile, Qatar and South Korea are all far higher on this criterion than in the overall ranking.

By contrast, executives in the US, France, Taiwan and Poland are far gloomier about their countries’ international images. The US results may reflect international conflicts and domestic political gridlock, while perceptions of France continue to be colored by slow reforms and the country’s negative attitudes toward globalization.

“While economic performance changes from year to year, perceptions are longer-term and shift more gradually. They can also lead to a virtuous circle of better image and better economic performance,” Bris said. “So how executives feel their country is being perceived is a potentially useful guide to future competitiveness developments there.”

The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook ranking reflects more than 300 criteria, based on statistical indicators and on an IMD survey of 4,300 international executives. Published since 1989, the World Competitiveness Yearbook is recognized as the leading annual report on the competitiveness of nations.


Matthew Mortellaro, +41-21-618-0352,
Source: IMD International

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May 25, 2014 at 11:44 pm

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Simbionix Expands its Product Offering with New Platforms and Applications for Endovascular Training

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CLEVELAND, Ohio, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — As more endovascular medical programs adapt simulation as an essential part of their training curriculum, there is a constant and consistent need for updated simulation solutions. Simbionix is proud to offer two new platforms and two training modules, to enhance hands-on training for more clinicians to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes.


Simbionix training solutions for endovascular training, The ANGIO Mentor™ family of products, provide simulation platforms on which endovascular skills and complete procedures can be practiced.

The ANGIO Mentor Flex is an ultra-portable training solution that provides realistic simulation and tactile feeling of an actual procedure. Packed in a case, it can be checked-in as luggage on flights within airline weight restrictions. Its compact design and quick setup makes this platform ideal for remote meetings.

The new portable platform joins the recently released ANGIO Mentor Suite stationary platform, which includes a realistic human patient mannequin with 5 access points, ergonomic settings and large monitor to allow real life settings for interventional team training.

The ANGIO Mentor Flex and the ANGIO Mentor Suite are fully backward compatible. The entire library can be operated on either system including 19 different procedure modules, each offering a variety of training scenarios.

On top on these new platforms, Simbionix is introducing two new advanced applications, the Transradial Coronary Intervention Module and Transseptal Puncture Module with echocardiography.

Due to the increasing popularity and safety of the transradial approach and the large number of practicing physicians not yet trained in transradial catheterization, there is much interest in the use of simulation for this method. These procedures require a skill set distinct from trans-femoral procedures, with a steep learning curve associated with the technique.

The Transradial Coronary Intervention Module presents a variety of challenging anatomies and scenarios for coronary angiography and intervention using the transradial approach, such as tortuous subclavian, brachial loop, CABG and more. The module trains clinicians in appropriate equipment selection and techniques as well as negotiating complications, such as spasm and perforation.

Transseptal puncture is required for advanced cardiac procedures and is considered a highly demanded skill. Using echocardiography guidance for transseptal puncture allows better visualization of heart structures and reduces complication rates.

The Transseptal Puncture Module allows learners to practice left atrial access by puncturing the intra-atrial septum. During the simulation, life threatening complications such as cardiac tamponade or aortic puncture may occur.

Simbionix Transseptal Puncture module is the only available module that includes real time ICE (intracardiac echocardiography) simulation. Cardiologists learn how to maneuver an ICE catheter and interpret the echocardiographic image. The module also includes TEE (transesophageal echocardiography) simulation.

“Simbionix incorporates the complete procedure environment into its products, to ensure a true-to-life experience both in terms of performing specific procedures and the settings in which they are performed,” said Mr. Ran Bronstein, Simbionix President and COO. “All software modules can be used in any of the hardware configurations, allowing our clients maximum flexibility in terms of cost and capabilities.”

Experience our newest additions at the EuroPCR in Paris, May 20-23. Simbionix will also be part of the simulation program to be held at the SCAI 2014 Scientific Sessions in Las Vegas, May 28-31.

Simbionix USA Corporation is the world’s leading provider of simulation, training and education products for medical professionals and the healthcare industry. The company is committed to delivering high quality products, advancing clinical performance and optimizing procedural outcomes.

Visit: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Contact: Rebecca Levy, Manager of Marketing Communications, at, +1-216-2292040
Source: Simbionix USA Corporation

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May 25, 2014 at 11:19 pm

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Neuberger Berman Supports Continued Growth in Asia with Key Client-Facing Appointments

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HONG KONG and NEW YORK, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Neuberger Berman Asia Limited, a unit of Neuberger Berman, one of the world’s leading employee-controlled investment managers, announced today the appointment of six new marketing and sales executives in Asia, effective immediately, as the firm grows to meet client demand in the region.

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The new appointments include: Marco Tang, who joins the Hong Kong office from Baring Asset Management, as head of retail distribution for mainland China and Hong Kong; Katherine Low, based in Singapore, joins from Blackrock to spearhead Neuberger Berman’s retail distribution in Singapore; Elina Choy, formerly with First State, as head of Asia Pacific product and marketing, based in Hong Kong; Kay So, previously with AllianceBernstein, who joined as a marketing director in Hong Kong; Anny Wang, formerly with Baring Asset Management, has joined the Taipei office as a channel sales executive on Neuberger Berman’s Taiwanese sales team; and David Huang, also a channel sales executive with the firm’s Taiwanese sales team in Taipei, who previously worked at Allianz Global Investors.

“We are pleased to continue growing our team in Asia Pacific with the addition of these talented individuals,” said Nick Hoar, managing director and head of Asia Pacific for Neuberger Berman. “Across the Asia Pacific region our customer base has grown significantly over the past few years and these additional hires will allow us to continue to expand our client franchise in this important region.”

About Neuberger Berman

Neuberger Berman is a 75-year-old private, independent, employee-controlled investment manager. The firm manages equities, fixed income, private equity and hedge fund portfolios for global institutions, advisors and individuals. With offices in 16 countries, Neuberger Berman’s team is approximately 2,000 professionals and the company was named by Pensions & Investments as a 2013 Best Place to Work in Money Management. Tenured, stable and long-term in focus, the firm fosters an investment culture of fundamental research and independent thinking. It manages $247 billion in client assets as of March 31, 2014. For more information, please visit our website

All information is as of March 31, 2014, unless otherwise indicated and is subject to change without notice. Firm data, including employee and assets under management figures, reflects collective data for the various affiliated investment advisers that are subsidiaries of Neuberger Berman Group LLC. Firm history dates back to the 1939 founding of Neuberger & Berman (the predecessor to Neuberger Berman LLC).

This material has been issued for use by the following entities; in the U.S. and Canada by Neuberger Berman LLC, a U.S. registered investment advisor and broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC; in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East by Neuberger Berman Europe Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and is registered in England and Wales, Lansdowne House, 57 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6ER, and is also regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority as a Representative Office; in Australia by Neuberger Berman Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 146 033 801, AFS Licence No. 391401), which is licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to deal in, and to provide financial product advice for, certain financial products to wholesale clients; in Hong Kong by Neuberger Berman Asia Limited, which is licensed and regulated by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission; in Singapore by Neuberger Berman Singapore Pte. Limited (Company No. 200821844K), which currently carries out the regulated activity of fund management under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289) (“SFA”) and operates as an Exempt Financial Adviser under section 23(1)(d) of the Financial Advisers Act (Chapter 110) (“FAA”) of Singapore. Under the FAA, NB Singapore is exempted from Sections 25, 27 and 36 of the FAA, where its financial advisory service is provided to an accredited or expert investor (as defined in Section 4A of the SFA); in Taiwan to specific professional investors or financial institutions for internal use only by Neuberger Berman Taiwan Limited, which is licensed and regulated by the Financial Services Commission (“FSC”) and a separate entity and independently operated business, with FSC operating license no.:(102) FSC SICE no.011, and address at: 10F, No. 1, Songzhi Road, Taipei, Telephone number: (02) 87268280; and in Japan and Korea by Neuberger Berman East Asia Limited, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Agency of Japan and the Financial Services Commission of Republic of Korea, respectively (please visit for additional disclosure items required under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act of Japan). Except for the foregoing, this material is not intended for use or distribution within or aimed at the residents of any other country or jurisdiction. This document is not an advertisement and is not intended for public use or additional distribution in the following jurisdictions: Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia and China.

The “Neuberger Berman” name and logo are registered service marks of Neuberger Berman Group LLC. © 2014 Neuberger Berman Group LLC. All rights reserved.

Media Contact:

Alex Samuelson, NY

David Bloomfield, HK
Source: Neuberger Berman

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May 25, 2014 at 1:02 am

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Unilever Launches Global Platform To Engage With Start-Ups

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LONDON and ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Unilever announced today the launch of The Unilever Foundry, a platform that will provide a single entry-point for innovative start-ups seeking to partner with Unilever. The Unilever Foundry will enable the company’s global brands to experiment with and pilot new technologies more efficiently, effectively and speedily. It will also provide start-ups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on global projects, access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into a new source of funding through Unilever Ventures.

Keith Weed, Unilever Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, explains “We strive to be at the forefront of marketing and media innovation; to have our brands engage in the most creative, efficient and effective ways with the people we serve. Although we have been working with start-ups for years, we now want to scale up our efforts and, ultimately, embed this as a way of working throughout our organisation.”

“The Unilever Foundry will be our single our platform to harness, nurture and evolve thousands of innovative ideas from the entrepreneurial community. It will simplify the way in which small start-ups and entrepreneurs engage with a company of our size, offering an exciting opportunity for the best and brightest to pilot their technology with us,” adds Marc Mathieu, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing. “Through The Unilever Foundry, we continue the Crafting Brands for Life journey to make our brands more human and more purposeful, while also empowering our marketers to pioneer the future.”

The Unilever Foundry offers three key opportunities for start-ups and entrepreneurs:

1. Marketing Mentors
Over a period of three months, Unilever mentors will work individually with start-ups and entrepreneurs to craft their brand vision, marketing strategy and product roadmap. Luis Di Como, Senior Vice President, Media, explains, “Through mentoring, we hope to contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and build businesses who might eventually become our global strategic partners. Mentoring also enables our marketers across the organisation to engage directly with start-ups and be inspired by new ideas and ways of working.”

2. Projects
Through The Unilever Foundry Projects, Unilever brands and functional teams will post briefs where they are looking for innovative technology solutions. Companies with proven technology are invited to pitch their solution and, if selected, pilot their technology with Unilever. The pitch-to-pilot process enables Unilever to embed experimentation at the heart of the marketing function, allowing new technologies to be piloted and new partnerships to be cultivated.

3. Investment
The Unilever Foundry will also give companies the option to apply for funding through Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of Unilever. One of the investment focus areas for Unilever Ventures is ‘digital marketing’; and it has already made several successful investments in this space, including Brain Juicer, Yummly and Brandtone. “Through The Unilever Foundry, we hope to make more start-ups aware of this opportunity to receive investment from the world’s second largest advertiser. In combining our business and marketing knowledge with the expertise available in venture capital through The Unilever Foundry, we are in a position to provide the best of both worlds,” explains Olivier Garel, Head of Unilever Ventures.

“In an always-on, data-driven and connected world, innovative and forward-thinking technology companies will play a vital role in helping our brands continue to engage meaningfully with people everywhere. The Unilever Foundry will open a direct line of communication with all these companies, so we can work together and mutually benefit,” concludes Keith Weed.

Briefs detailing requirements and the innovative technology solutions that can help will be posted on
Source: Unilever

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May 25, 2014 at 12:58 am

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Cartus 2014 Global Relocation Trends Survey: Family is Top Factor in Success of Costly Job Transfers

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DANBURY, Conn., May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Family is pivotal in the success—or failure—of job transfers, according to Cartus Corporation’s just-released 2014 Trends in Global Relocation: Global Mobility Policy and Practices survey of international mobility managers.

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Respondents listed “inability of family to adjust” as the second most-cited reason (61%) for assignment failure, just two percentage points behind “changing business conditions” (63%). Even before a move, the importance of family cannot be underestimated: 76% of respondents rated “family/personal circumstances” as the top reason why employees turn down relocation assignments.

Stress can also occur in “split family” situations when the assignee and family live in separate locations during the assignment, with the employee traveling back and forth. The number of companies saying family members were always allowed to accompany employees on long-term assignments is down 14 percentage points in just two years.

“Increasingly, a family’s happiness and ability to adjust are nearly as important to the success of a job relocation as the employee’s own job performance,” said Matt Spinolo, Cartus executive vice president. “The rise in split families is a trend we are hearing more about as companies trim costs and move employees to new locations that can pose infrastructure or security challenges.”

Spinolo also pointed out that 50 percent of companies surveyed expect their mobility volume to increase during the next two years.

Cost Control, Talent Management, and an Expat Exodus

Cost control was named the top global mobility challenge by 75% of respondents. Overall compliance (at 62%) and immigration (57%) completed the top three.

Battling to contain costs, companies are nonetheless focused on identifying, preparing, and retaining top talent. Therefore, the assignment type expected to grow fastest over the next two years is “developmental,” as 79% of respondents consider these assignments’ main purpose to be leadership and development of management skills.

Despite the high cost of international job transfers, 61 percent of companies don’t track the percentage of assignees who resign within two years of concluding their assignment; and 75 percent of companies don’t track assignees’ careers post-assignment.

The survey, Cartus’ sixth on policy and practices since 2002, received responses from 172 international mobility managers representing more than 8 million employees. It was sponsored by the U.S. National Foreign Trade Council, UK-based Re:Locate magazine, and the Singapore Human Resources Institute.

Go to 2014 Trends in Global Relocation: Global Mobility Policy and Practices survey for full information.

About Cartus
Cartus provides trusted guidance to organizations that require global relocation solutions, including half the Fortune 50. We help our clients with mobility, outsourcing, consulting, and language/intercultural training needs. Cartus is part of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage and relocation/settlement services. To find out how our guidance can help your company, visit; or read our blog at for more information.


Alison Sedney
203 205 3739


Hugh Siler (for Cartus)
Source: Cartus

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May 25, 2014 at 12:26 am

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Groasis Introduces Greenboxx Made of Recycled Paper to Combat Desertification

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STEENBERGEN, The Netherlands, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — A new Groasis invention, a biodegradable version of the proven successful Waterboxx, is the answer against desertification. The Groasis Greenboxx, made of recycled paper, is an environmentally friendly development of the Waterboxx. The Groasis Greenboxx can be used to plant one tree in a desert without using irrigation. It saves up to 97% of water while planting. After a year the Groasis Greenboxx degrades and functions as manure for the tree.


Groasis, a socially active and environmentally friendly company from Holland, won the Popular Science Award for “Best of What’s New – Innovation of the Year 2010” with the Waterboxx. This Waterboxx is made of polypropylene and can be used multiple times.

Through this press announcement Groasis invites people or organizations to subscribe on its website in order to help test the following revolutionary invention: the Groasis Greenboxx. Groasis is inspired by the introduction method of Google Glass. Through a crowd source model many companies and persons test the Glass in order to improve its use.

With the Greenboxx, Groasis plans to use the same method: through selecting the right partners the Groasis Greenboxx can be tested worldwide in order to improve its function.

Pieter Hoff, social entrepreneur and founder of Groasis, is the writer of the book The Treesolution. In this book he promotes the idea to replant all manmade deserts with economical and ecologically interesting trees. This way we can help feed the world, fight erosion and clear the air of CO2 through a money-making business model. Pieter Hoff says: “With the Groasis Greenboxx we introduce an unimaginably easy tool to combat erosion through reforestation of manmade deserts without using irrigation. I hope thousands will subscribe on our website to help us test and improve the Greenboxx in order to reach our objective to reforest the world.”

Groasis is successfully active, planting trees in over 30 countries with extreme dry and hot climates. In July Groasis will introduce the next groundbreaking instrument to reach the objective of worldwide reforestation of manmade deserts, the “Growsafe” plant protector.

A video presentation of the Groasis Greenboxx experiments in English:

A video presentation of the Groasis Greenboxx experiments in Spanish:

For more information about the Groasis Technology:

The two Popular Science Awards: and

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Source: Groasis B.V.

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May 25, 2014 at 12:01 am

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