New Technologies Enhance Franchise Management
Dec 15, 2018

10 December 2018 – The fourth HKTDC Hong Kong International Franchising Show and the second edition of the HKTDC SmartBiz Expo, both organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), were held last week (5-7 Dec). This year’s Franchising Show featured more than 130 exhibitors from 13 countries and regions. In addition to showcasing franchising opportunities across different industries, a series of seminars provided practical information to entrepreneurs interested in becoming franchisors or franchisees to help them succeed. A seminar titled “How Technology is Leveraging Franchise Management?” featured industry experts to share how franchised convenience stores, restaurants and vending machines can leverage technology to enhance their management and improve profitability.

Product Variety is Key for Small Convenience Stores

Stories shared by seminar speakers showed how technology can help Hong Kong retailers address one of their biggest challenges – rental cost. Dallas Cheung, Franchise Director, 7-Eleven Hong Kong & Macau, said research has shown that 85% of people in Hong Kong shop at 7-Eleven, which has 959 stores across the city, including 373 are franchisees. This massive group of consumers consists of a wide variety of consumer segments, including retirees, working men and women, and students. Stores in different locations have different target customers.

Mr Cheung shared that the average number of consumers that each 7-Eleven store in Hong Kong services is more than 7,000, “yet the average size of each shop is only about 500 square feet, which makes selecting the right products very important.” He said his company handles more than one million customers in Hong Kong every day, and for the 900-plus shops to serve such an enormous number of consumers, the use of technology to manage inventory is crucial.

All the shops transmit their sales data to a data centre, which then compiles the data for various departments to analyse and help the shops formulate their product strategies, Mr Cheung said. This means that even when the shops are limited in size, they can still accurately match their products with the needs of consumers in different districts and avoid wasting precious space stocking slow-moving items. This will help to improve sales and profitability.

Restaurant Cash Registers Hold Big Business Opportunities

Franchising is a common business model in the food and beverage (F&B) industry, yet operating a restaurant can be a daunting task, and restaurateurs do not always have the time to review their sales data and adjust their strategies. Michael Yung, co-founder of Everyware Limited, said that information technology can be used to resolve this pain point and lead the future development of the F&B and retail industries. He said that, for the F&B industry, the “cash register” is one of the most important tools for conducting business. “Today’s cash registers are no longer limited to calculating transactions. In fact, they can help a company achieve higher returns,” Mr Yung said. “Take an F&B group with multiple franchisees as an example. It used to be difficult to get the latest status of each franchisee, such as turnover, customer traffic and product sales, but with today’s cloud computing, restaurateurs can easily keep track of the data for all franchisees in real time and monitor each restaurant remotely.”

In addition to helping to assess the health of a business, smart technologies can also be used to enhance the consumer experience. Yung anticipates that self-ordering will become a bigger trend in the F&B industry. At present, many restaurants have tablet computers at tables for diners to self-order, while some have set up self-ordering and self-payment kiosks. Yet these business models invariably involve hardware investments. Yung expects that in the future, diners will use chatbots on their phones to place orders and settle payments by scanning the bills with their phones. Throughout this process, from the placing of orders to the settling of bills, all data will be recorded in the cloud to provide restaurateurs with real-time information. Yung described this revolutionary model as the “last mile” for restaurant operations.

Smart Vending Machines Offer New Opportunities for Operators

Sophisticated technologies are also behind the new generation of smart vending machines. Kong Yiu-chi, Product Evangelist of Gritus Technology Limited, pointed out that vending machines are no longer the simple soda machines of the past. His company’s smart vending consoles can support different products, such as snacks and beverages, lifestyle products, toys, and skincare and beauty products. More important than offering product diversity, these smart vending consoles are connecting businesses and consumers digitally. The vending consoles can become mobile billboards that show advertisements and generate additional income for console franchisees. In addition, brands can access data through the cloud to quickly update product pricing and promotions and optimise marketing strategies. They can also analyse the data collected to formulate targeted promotional campaigns.

Kong added that cloud computing can help businesses to get instant market feedback. “Cloud technology makes it easy to monitor the status, inventory and turnover of smart vending consoles. Operations teams can monitor the consoles in real-time and arrange restocking or after-sales services accordingly.” Mr Kong explained that these new technologies will help brands meet customers’ needs by providing personalised services and more engaging experiences. This approach is set to become a new direction in the marketing strategy for vending machine operators.

The fourth Hong Kong International Franchising Show featured four key zones, including the Hong Kong Food and Beverage zone, the Hong Kong Non-Food and Beverage zone, the Chinese Mainland zone and the International zone, displaying franchising opportunities across different sectors. The second edition of the SmartBiz Expo, which was held concurrently with the Franchising Show, attracted more than 520 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions to offer a variety of business solutions and innovative business ideas.

Fair Websites
SmartBiz Expo:
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Media Enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC's Communications & Public Affairs Department:

Billy Ng
Tel: (852) 2584 4393

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2nd Sichuan Tourism New Media Marketing Conference concludes in Ya'an
Dec 13, 2018

YA'AN, China, Dec. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Themed "Giant Panda, Integrated Tourism, Great Fusion", the 2nd Sichuan Tourism New Media Marketing Conference and Launch Event for the China Giant Panda Culture Alliance concluded on December 6 in Ya'an, Sichuan province. Over 450 tourism and media industry experts from around the world gathered in Ya'an, to engage in a high-level dialogue that takes a closer look at the development track for the cultural tourism marketing sector in the context of new media. The concurrent VR + Tourism Experience Show and Cultural Tourism Products Exhibition, serve as a window for the world examine the sector and revealed three trends leveraging new media to strengthen industry efforts.

The future of the Giant Panda will be a key subject when boosting the integrated development of culture and tourism

The China Giant Panda Culture Alliance, co-sponsored by Ya'an Municipal People's Government, the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda, Giant Panda National Park Administration (Sichuan Administrative Office), South China Normal University, Chinese National Geography Press and the Sichuan Provincial Tourism Association, under the Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, Giant Panda National Park Administration, World Wide Fund for Nature and the Geographical Society of China, was formally launched during the conference.

The fusion of culture and tourism will promote a larger-scale integration of resources

Supported by 61 members, to boost the development of the tourism marketing sector by implementing a comprehensive, multi-platform and multi-channel communication strategy. The alliance plans to build a complete tourism marketing ecosystem that includes participation by the government, media, thought leaders and the marketing and communication sectors, with the aim of strengthening the branding of the city's touristic attractions through professional, modern and international marketing approaches.

With the recent transformation taking place across the larger travel sector, the cultural tourism marketing sector will be open to faster integration with new media, new technologies and new platforms.

"A multi-dimensional marketing approach combined with new media is needed as a vehicle to promote tourism resources," said Ya'an Municipal Party Committee secretary Lan Kaichi. He added that the integration of tourism and new media will help create a new and intuitive experience while also enhancing the reach and impact of marketing campaigns.

Source: Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism

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PH's ABS-CBN Unveils Two Hollywood-caliber Sound Stages
Dec 13, 2018

ABS-CBN Corporation, the Philippines' leading media and entertainment company, marked its 65th founding anniversary with the inauguration of its brand new sound stages in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan today (December 12).

ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak said the two sound stages were built to support the company’s efforts towards expanding its audience and content output beyond the Philippines and to foreign audiences.

“We want to bring ABS-CBN content to the international stage, and having a state-of-the-art facility and a world-class production team is a big step for us towards that direction and dream,” Katigbak said.

ABS-CBN chairman Mark Lopez added, “What I’m most proud of about this project is that we’re creating Hollywood-level sound stages which puts us at par with the rest of the world.”

This project was the brainchild of ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, who saw that building the studios is the best way to keep in step with the world’s top entertainment companies, which shoot bigger percentages of their programs and films in sound stages and not in remote locations. Moreover, the sound stages also enable the company to manage production costs more efficiently.

“Completing the sound stages represents a very major step for ABS-CBN in terms of our ability to create much better production. Through this we can show the world the best of the Filipino,” said Lopez III.

Present at the inauguration of the sound stages along with Lopez III, Lopez, and Katigbak were ABS-CBN board member and former President and COO Freddie Garcia, ABS-CBN board adviser, former president and CEO, and current chief creative officer Charo Santos-Concio, ABS-CBN COO of broadcast Cory Vidanes, and ABS-CBN Film Productions Inc. managing director Olive Lamasan, together with Rep. Rida Robes, Mayor Art Robes, and some members of the ABS-CBN community.

The sound stages represent the beginning of a plan to establish a production hub that include sound stages, backlots, production and post production facilities and offices that will allow both ABS-CBN and Philippine-based productions to match production facilities found elsewhere in the world.

In parallel with the construction work, the production and support teams for both TV and Feature Films began a three-year training program for the stages both in Hollywood and in the Philippines designed by Manhattan Beach Studios together with ABS-CBN Studios Inc. and ABS-CBN University. Covering all aspects of production, the courses involved over 150 people and were designed to ensure that production processes mirror the best practices in the world.

Following the intensive training camp for production staff and crew, the studios will host the productions of upcoming teleserye “The Faithful Wife” and the much-anticipated “Darna” film in the second quarter of 2019.

Phase 1 of the production hub includes two 1,500 sq. m. (16,000 sq. ft.) sound stages with a floor to grid height of 30 feet, a breezeway with dressing rooms and various support rooms and the technical facilities in aid of production. Sitting on 7.7 hectares, the facility includes a visitor’s center, parking facilities and various support buildings. The sound stages also boast of solar panels that help support the energy requirements of the whole facility.

Inaugurated in time to celebrate not only its 65th anniversary but also Star Cinema’s 25th year anniversary, the stages will enhance the production output for both TV and film in the years to come.

Designed by California-based architecture firm Bastien and Associates together with Filipino firm AIDEA and consultants from Hollywood-based Manhattan Beach Studios, these represent a new wave of sound stage design customized for the Philippine climate.

Coincidentally, the sound stages are being inaugurated a few days shy of 50 years after the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in Quezon City was inaugurated. Considered the most advanced facility in Asia at that time, the center opened on December 18, 1968.

Work on the sound stages started as early as 2010 with various members of the executive and production teams visiting facilities in South Korea, Mexico, North America, Europe and Asia to understand the nuances of sound stage work. The project proper started in Q1 of 2014 with construction commencing May 2017.

For updates, follow @ABSCBNpr on facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and visit


About ABS-CBN Corporation
ABS-CBN Corporation is the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment organization. The Company is primarily involved in television and radio broadcasting, as well as in the production of television and radio programming for domestic and international audiences and other related businesses. ABS-CBN produces a wide variety of engaging world-class entertainment programs in multiple genres and balanced, credible news programs that are aired on free-to-air television. The company is also one of the leading radio broadcasters, operating eighteen radio stations throughout the key cities of the Philippines. ABS-CBN provides news and entertainment programming for eight channels on cable TV and operates the country’s largest cable TV service provider. The Company also owns the leading cinema and music production and distribution outfits in the country. It brings its content to worldwide audiences via cable, satellite, online and mobile. In addition, ABS-CBN has business interests in merchandising and licensing, mobile and online multimedia services, glossy magazine publishing, video and audio post production, overseas telecommunication services, money remittance, cargo forwarding, TV shopping services, theme park development and management, property management and food and restaurant services, and cinema management, all of which complement and enhance the Company’s strength in content production and distribution. The Company is also the first TV network in the country to broadcast in digital. In 2015, it commercially rolled out its digital TV box, ABS-CBN TVplus, to prepare for the country’s switch to digital TV.

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The Skyscraper of the year is Korean Lotte World Tower wins Emporis Skyscraper Award
Dec 13, 2018

Hamburg, December 13, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- The world's most renowned architecture prize for skyscrapers, the Emporis Skyscraper Award, has been awarded to the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea. Every year Emporis' ( expert international jury choses the top ten skyscrapers that have been completed in the previous calendar year. The award is being given out for the 18th time.

Lotte World Tower is currently South Korea's tallest completed building and, in many ways, a skyscraper of superlatives. The 555-meter-high tower houses the world's highest glass-bottomed observation deck. Even the elevator is record-breaking: at 600 meters per minute, it is currently the fastest in the world. The winner especially impressed the jury with its harmonious design that gives the skyscraper a soft and natural dynamic. "The design combines modern elements with classical forms from Korea's art and cultural history, making Lotte World Tower a particularly harmonious skyscraper," explains the jury.

This year's second place went to the Generali Tower in Milan, designed by recently deceased architect Zaha Hadid. The skyscraper's extravagant form earned it the nickname "Lo Storto" which means the “Twisted One”. The jury especially praised the building’s high standards in terms of energy efficiency. The building has a double skin façade and a sophisticated sunscreen, which ensures excellent energy performance on each floor. Generali Tower has therefore also received LEED Platinum, the highest certification given out by the US Green Building Council.

The third-placed project is 150 North Riverside in Chicago. Designed by Goettsch Partners, it is the building’s innovative and complex engineering work that stands out. The skyscraper is located next to the Chicago River on one side and several active train tracks on the other. The extremely narrow lot that the tower sits upon had been deemed impossible to build on for years due to its limited size. Goettsch Partners then came up with the tower’s daring design that features only a very small footprint while the building grows outward to its full size on the higher floors. A masterpiece of structural engineering.

This year's award marks the first time the prestigious award is given to a South Korean building. Surprisingly there is not a single Canadian skyscraper among the winners this time. Nevertheless there is still cause for celebration for North America: Three projects from the USA made it into Top Ten. Also for the first time in the history of the Emporis Skyscraper Award, a project from Africa is among the winners. The Britam Tower, currently one of the tallest buildings in East and Central Africa, made the 10th place.

Photo copyright / Tim Griffith

About Emporis
Emporis is a leading database of information about building and construction projects, based in Germany. For over a decade Emporis has helped companies, organizations and individuals stay informed about the building industry. The Emporis Skyscraper Award is the world’s most renowned prize for high-rise architecture.

About the Award
The Emporis Skyscraper Award has been given since 2000. The jury is formed of architecture experts from all over the world, who judge nominated buildings according to aesthetic and functional design criteria. Previous winners include VIA 57 West (2016) in New York City, Shanghai Tower (2015) in Shanghai, Wangjing SOHO (2014) in Beijing, China.

Media Contact
Emporis GmbH
Samantha-Christina Körber, Public Relations
Phone: +49 40 6094 6494 6

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Smart Industry Solutions Shanghai held concurrently with SIBT and SSHT for the first time to outline the future of manufacturing
Dec 11, 2018

Inspired by SPS IPC Drives in Nuremberg, Germany and its first sister event in China, SIAF – SPS Industrial Automation Fair Guangzhou, Smart Industry Solutions Shanghai (SISS) was successfully held on 4 September. The conference took place concurrently with Shanghai Intelligent Building Technology (SIBT) and Shanghai Smart Home Technology (SSHT) this year for the first time, providing a supplementary programme for these fairs’ visitors to discover more about the latest manufacturing solutions for their technology products.

Organised by Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt Co Ltd, the third edition of SISS successfully achieved its aim of presenting an overview of the application of Internet of Things (IoT) in the smart industrial automation industry. SISS was concurrently held with Shanghai Intelligent Building Technology (SIBT) and Shanghai Smart Home Technology (SSHT) for the first time.

SISS acted as an effective avenue for the exchange of market intelligence, with expert speakers delivering thought-provoking presentations touching every facet of intelligent industrial automation systems. This year’s speakers represented renowned companies, institutes and associations including Contrinex Electronic Technology, Datalogic (Shenzhen) Industrial Automation, Pepperl+Fuchs Automation, Rockwell Automation and Wintelligence. For these companies, the conference helped them to get their innovative ideas across to different sectors of the industry. Conversely, 85 conference attendees from the smart industrial automation and manufacturing sectors were impressed by the engaging dialogue, and found it rewarding to network with key players within the industry.
This year, several key developments of Industry 4.0, ranging from smart factories to automotive applications and intralogistics, were pinpointed, including the idea of utilising IoT technologies to develop revolutionary manufacturing methods. Speakers from different sectors also shared their thoughts on the latest trends related to big data analytics, IT/OT convergence, digital twin and artificial intelligence.

Speakers’ feedback

“With a spotlight on the development of intelligent manufacturing, the conference helped end users from different sectors to get a better understanding of the industry prospects. We are thrilled to see the foundation of digitalisation has been strengthened to enhance competitiveness of companies within the industry and eventually intelligent manufacturing will be realised.”

Mr Li Zhongjie, Competency Center Manager, Rockwell Automation China Ltd

“As a research institute, we shared the development trends and market intelligence of mechanical automation with the audience. This is a high calibre event which gathered notable speakers and industry elites in one place. The in-depth discussions imparted ideas on digital factories, IoT and sensor technologies. With the support of national policies, manufacturers are optimistic about the market and they are willing to ramp up investment and expand their businesses.”

Mr Jason Li, General Manager, Wintelligence Delegates’ feedback

“Our company is the leading solution provider in the global video surveillance industry. As a security company, we came here to learn about the industrial automation solutions backed by IoT technologies, as well as the advancements of industrial control systems. It was an eye-opening experience to attend the event as speakers provided insights into the latest developments regarding digital factories, IoT and sensor technologies.”

Mr Wang Yu, Energy Business Department Supervisor, Dahua Technology Co Ltd
“Our business focuses on smart home security. We pioneered using robots in production testing systems. By joining this seminar, we want to connect with industrial automation companies which can offer smart home solutions, as well as to gain knowledge to enhance production management and accelerate digitalisation.”

Mr Wu Gang, Engineer, Foshan Zmart Plus Intelligent Technology Co Ltd

Smart Industry Solutions Shanghai and its sister event, SPS – Industrial Automation Fair Guangzhou (SIAF), will continue to present the latest updates on industrial automation as well as intelligent automation solutions in their respective regional markets.

# # #

Media Contact
Sheva Ng
Tel. +852 2230 9280

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Malaysia Government Sets 20% Annual Growth Target For E-Commerce Sector
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Dec 06, 2018

The Malaysian government has set an annual growth rate target of 20 per cent for the e-commerce sector in the country, from 14.3 per cent growth posted in 2017, via various initiatives.

International trade and industry minister Darrell Leiking said e-commerce contribution to GDP in Malaysia continuously improved over a period of seven years to 85.8 billion ringgit ($20.7 billion) in 2017 from 37.7 billion ringgit ($9.1 billion) in 2010, with an average annual growth rate of 12.5 per cent.

He added that the government through the National E-Commerce Council (NECC) will continue to support the growth and development of the sector through the implementation of a respective strategic national e-commerce roadmap.

Since its establishment in 2016, the NECC’s achievements in developing and enhancing the e-commerce ecosystem’s competitiveness included registering over 120,000 online businesses at the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

Small and medium enterprises registered with the “Go eCommerce” platform – an initiative aimed at guiding companies in e-commerce adoption – exceeded 20,000.

The implementation of the Digital Free Trade Zone pilot project in Cyberjaya supported by Alibaba founder Jack Ma has also accelerated the growth of e-commerce activities by providing a platform for local enterprises to conduct their business and services.

Furthermore, on November 12, 2018, Malaysia signed the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce, a concerted effort between the ten countries of the bloc to smoothen cross border e-commerce transactions by reducing barriers and lowering entry costs.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique
Over 1,400 E-tailers Join Asian E-tailing Summit
Dec 06, 2018

6 December 2018 – The second Asian E-tailing Summit concluded yesterday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the one-day event offered a one-stop platform to explore the future development of e-commerce and was attended by more than 1,400 e-tailers and business professionals from various sectors.

The summit featured two plenary sessions in the morning, the first of which was chaired by Yew Hong Koh, Managing Director and Retail Lead of Greater China at Accenture. Mr Koh was joined by a panel of e-tailing experts from around Asia to discuss how the online retail ecosystem can fuel business growth and help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) build their brands.

E-tailing Ecosystem

The session began with each speaker explaining the part their company plays in the e-tailing ecosystem. Cassandra Girard, Global Vice President and Head of Consumer and Travel Industries at SAP Customer Experience, explained that she is in charge of both the consumer and travel areas because the two have a strong correlation. She said SAP has a long history of helping businesses transform from physical stores to e-tailing. “This requires a core transformation, not just a move online,” she said. Her main theme was that enhancing the customer experience was the new battleground. Her company’s goal is to get clients to put the customer first in everything they do. “This will result in improved marketing, sales and service,” she said.

Jenny Cheung, Head of Corporate Marketing for Microsoft Hong Kong, focused on how to get a clear picture of customer insights, needs and problems so that e-tailers can offer appropriate solutions. “Identifying customer insights with the help of technology and innovation is the key,” she said.

Clay Liao, Mobile Technical Solutions Consultant at Google, explained that Google’s role was to be a bridge between Google’s clients and their customers regardless of region, language or culture. “Google uses web technology behind the scenes to solve problems for its clients,” he said.

Josephine Chow, co-founder and Head of Expansion at ShopBack, explained the ShopBack concept, which involves helping companies market their products and services cost-effectively. They pay ShopBack a commission only when there is a successful transaction. ShopBack then gives part of the commission to the customers to encourage them to keep returning to ShopBack for the benefit of all 1,500 partners on its platform. She used the analogy of a mall, whereby ShopBack, the mall operator, provides expertise for the shops and brings in customers for a 10% commission, and then gives half of the commission back to the shoppers to encourage them to return for the benefit of all mall tenants.

Another speaker at the session was Sherry Zehr, Fashion and Toys Regional Lead for Regional Brand Partnerships at Shopee, a fast-growing online retail channel in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, which provides a platform for both small businesses and large bricks-and-mortar retailers that want to add an online presence. “Shopee provides a full-service lifestyle,” she explained. “It is a marketplace with social elements.” It is also a channel for e-tailers to attract mass traffic, which they could not possibly do on their own. The platform offers different features, with e-tailers chatting in real time with customers, for example. “The platform translates well from social media,” she said.

Online Marketplace Changes and Trends

Discussing the changes that are happening in the online marketplace, Ms Zehr said the key trend was the shift to mobile. In Southeast Asia, many customers skipped the personal computer era and went direct to mobile platforms. “The availability and affordability of smartphones has propelled the market to be mobile-driven,” she said. Shopee is a leader in the region because it adds features such as games, quizzes, loyalty programmes and interaction to build customer loyalty, she explained, adding “the mobile trend will continue to grow.” Shopee is also helping companies in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan enter the Southeast Asian market with full end-to-end logistics support, which is particularly important in countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

Ms Chow discussed interesting data trends in different countries, which e-tailers need to be aware of. For example, the largest volume of daily transactions in Malaysia is at lunchtime; in Indonesia, it is 3-4pm because internet access is better at work at that time; and in Singapore, more transactions take place in the late evening.

Ms Cheung said one growing trend is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to understand the customer. This is revolutionising online searching, she said. For example, customer only need to upload a picture of what they want and the computer will find a retailer of the product. “This streamlines the online shopping experience,” Ms Cheung said.

Focusing on Customer Experience

Ms Girard emphasised the importance of focusing on the customer experience. E-commerce is everywhere, so it is important to build a foundation to understand the customer and use this to engage them and respond to their needs and desires, she said. The goal is to transform the experience of the customer. “Being customer-centric is a culture,” she said. “It’s not simply a question of using tech. Companies must transform their organisations.”

In response to the question of how to drive growth, Ms Cheung said: “It’s really about understanding the customer.” The use of AI and big data allows e-tailers to improve their conversion rate. “When companies can predict what the customer wants, they can increase turnover and reduce inventory.”

Ms Chow said that data is useful, but making sense of it can be challenging. It requires an innovative approach. “Companies need to find a product that solves a consumer’s problem,” she said. It is also important for physical retailers to integrate the online and offline experience, since a lot of people still prefer to visit a physical store. So ShopBack offers cashback offline as well.

Ms Zehr said online channels can help retailers target and segment customers, so it is important to integrate the online and offline experience. “Shopee helps retailers become customer-centric,” she explained. With Shopee, they join a marketplace instead of being just one isolated store online. Each seller leverages the others to build and expand their customer base. This allows very small e-tailers to join the platform and leverage the popularity of the larger e-tailers.

Mr Liao shared some very important data on the importance of catching the customer’s attention immediately. According to Google’s findings, 53% of mobile users lose patience after only three seconds if what they see does not interest them, and every three seconds there is a 70% drop in revenue potential. “It’s important to make websites and mobile apps interesting,” he said. According to Mr Liao, the internet giants are all looking for the next big trend: for example, using Google Assistant not just to buy and sell things online, but also to run home appliances.

One question from the audience involved concerns about the vast amount of data companies are collecting from online customers. Ms Cheung said it needs to be built on a system of trust and privacy. “We are responsible for safeguarding this information, and if we abuse this trust, we will fail in the long run,” she said.

Other Technology-focused Events Create Synergy

The HKTDC is holding a total five events at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this week – yesterday’s Asian E-tailing Summit, the HKTDC SmartBiz Expo (5-7 Dec), HKTDC Hong Kong International Franchising Show (5-7 Dec), Business of IP Asia Forum (6-7 Dec) and DesignInspire (6-8 Dec). These events focus on new technology and cover various stages of the supply chain, including research and development, design, production, sales and marketing. They aim to help SMEs enhance their competitiveness and cost-effectiveness and develop new business areas and markets to adapt to the ever-changing economic landscape.

Fair websites:

HKTDC SmartBiz Expo:
Asian E-tailing Summit:
Business of IP Asia Forum:
HKTDC Hong Kong International Franchising Show:

Media Enquiries

Please contact the HKTDC’s Communication and Public Affairs Department:

Sunny Ng
Tel: (852) 2584 4357

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COEX FOOD WEEK KOREA 2018 Seoul's Biggest Food Festival at Coex
Dec 04, 2018

SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 3, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- COEX FOOD WEEK KOREA 2018 celebrated its successful 13th edition from November 28th to December 1st at Coex Halls A, B, C and D. This year's show brought together more than 53,000 visitors and 900 companies from 19 countries, occupying 1,500 booths. The festival exceeded expectations as the ultimate trade show for food & beverage brands, professionals, and industry insiders.

Since 2006, Coex Food Week Korea has been the exhibition dedicated to present domestic and international trend and products under one roof. This year's Coex Food Week set precedent by dividing its theme under 'Basic' and 'Trend". 'Basic Hall' was designed for specialists to find all types of ingredients, machinery, and general food products, while 'Trend Hall' included desserts, food market and craft beer lounge, which added culinary experiences for the public. In addition, the Food Week offered various programs such as 'One Day Baking Class', 'Live Cooking Show' by famous chefs, 'Korea FoodTech Conference', 'Seoul Cold-Chain Forum' and 'ASEAN Culinary Festival' to attract both food experts and foodies to the show.

At Coex Hall C, the Global Food Fair consisted of more than 100 companies from 18 countries including Italy, Vietnam, Turkey, Spain, Japan, Germany, and for the first time, Croatia and Latvia. Here, visitors had the opportunity to taste local specialties ranging from Taiwanese beverages and Indian food additives to Philippine dried fruits and Shizuoka and Miyagi gourmet. The success of Coex Food Week was the result of continued collaboration between Coex and overseas associations. This year, the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry, Guangdong Imported Food Association, and the Associated Chambers and Commerce & Industry of India brought their members and food products. Additionally, Vietnam Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Association, Mindanao Banana Farmers & Exporters Association, Inc., China Chamber of international Commerce Shenzhen and Australian Korean Chef Association came to discuss future partnerships for the growth of the industry.

Lastly, the B2B program added additional value to the exhibition by hosting 1:1 Business Matching Sessions between exhibitors and buyers. 80 overseas buyers from Belgium, Japan, Singapore and Russia, and 100 domestic buyers from E-mart, Lotte Mart, GS25, CJ Freshway, and Shinsegae Food took part in the session, ending with a total of 170 pre-arranged meetings over the exhibition period.

Next year's Coex Food Week Korea will be held from November 20th to 23rd at Coex Halls A~D with more diverse events and programs. The key word representing Coex Food Week Korea 2019 will be 'H.E.A.T', representing HMR, Eco-friendly, ASEAN Food and Technology. The show will reflect the new changes within the food industry arising from the increase in the single-person households and development of food technology.

Source: Coex Co., Ltd.

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360 Global Business Leaders Attend Hong Kong Forum
Dec 04, 2018

4 December 2018 – The latest business opportunities in Asia come into sharp focus at the 19th Hong Kong Forum, which opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and runs until tomorrow. Co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide (FHKBAW), the event has attracted more than 360 business leaders from 30 countries and regions. Key topics at the 2018 forum include innovation and technology (I&T), the role of start-ups, and the development of fintech.

This year’s forum is attended by representatives from Mainland China as well as Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. As a newly joined member of the FHKBAW, the Hong Kong-Korea Business Association is taking part in the forum for the first time.

Hong Kong Boosted by New Technologies and Regional Cooperation

Delivering the opening remarks at the forum this morning, HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said that this year’s event takes place at a challenging time amid the Sino-US trade conflict and with rising concern over the stability of the global economy. “At a time of such uncertainty, it is crucial for companies to look further afield for new opportunities,” she said.

Ms Fong noted that the importance of innovation and the huge potential presented by new technologies are currently hot topics in Hong Kong, with I&T made the key focus in the latest Policy Address by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

This year’s Hong Kong forum therefore focuses on I&T, examining cutting-edge technologies in the areas of biotech, artificial intelligence (AI), digital healthcare and fintech. Speakers will discuss how Hong Kong can leverage its advantages to develop into a technology hub, while the creative forces behind some of Hong Kong’s hottest start-ups will share their disruptive ideas that are poised to transform various industries.

Ms Fong also highlighted the business opportunities presented by greater cooperation within the region. “The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development is set to build a highly competitive, internationally recognised city cluster and provide abundant new opportunities for local and international businesses alike, especially in the areas of technology and innovation,” she said, adding that the free trade agreement and related investment agreement signed between Hong Kong and ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), which will start to take effect next month, will further promote investment and trade between the two sides and enhance the city’s role as a two-way investment and business hub.

Hong Kong: Cutting-edge Technology Hub

Recent years have seen the rapid development of cutting-edge technologies, many of which are now helping to transform various industries. In the first session of the forum, “The Future of Technology: A Look at Hong Kong’s Emerging Technologies”, Dennis Lo, Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Science and Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, joined Miles Wen, CEO of Fano Labs, and serial entrepreneur Danny Yeung, CEO of Prenetics, to discuss how Hong Kong can ride on its competitive edge to develop into a technology hub.

Professor Lo noted that the HKSAR Government has in recent years given strong support to the development of cutting-edge technologies, investing HK$10 billion in the medical sciences through innovative platforms such as Hong Kong Science Park. He added that Hong Kong is equipped with world-class biotechnology capabilities that have great potential for further development, and he hoped that DNA technology could be made more widely and freely available in Mainland China under the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development, helping to advance medical technology and benefit more people.

Start-ups Drive Innovation in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's start-up ecosystem is currently booming. In a session titled “Transformation Underway: Innovative Talents in Hong Kong”, three local start-up entrepreneurs − Eric Gnock Fah, COO and co-founder of Klook, Alan Lam, founder of Concept Infinity Limited, and Norman Cheung, founder of Boxful Technology − shared their game-changing ideas which are helping to disrupt and transform various industries in the city.

Mr Gnock Fah said that with the popularisation of smartphones, the company has launched a mobile app to make it easier for users to access Klook’s services. The company promotes travel innovation and provides quality services for its users by adopting digital technologies and establishing partnerships with different organisations around the world.

Technology Changes the Financial Landscape

Technology is sweeping its way through the world’s financial landscape, including in Hong Kong. Executives from leading corporations, including Ken Lo, CEO of Branding China Group Ltd, Simon Loong, founder and CEO of WeLab, and Jennifer Tan, CEO of Alipay Payment Services (HK) Limited, discussed the disruptive changes that are happening in the industry and the opportunities being brought about by new finance-related technologies.

Guest Speakers Share Valuable Insights

Each year, heavyweight speakers are invited to the forum’s luncheons to share their views and insights. Today’s “Luncheon Dialogue − Journey of a Pianist” featured renowned Chinese pianist Zhang Shengliang (Niu Niu), who as well as giving a piano performance shared his musical journey and detailed his road to success via the Hong Kong platform.

The speaker at the keynote luncheon tomorrow (5 Dec) will be Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR. He will introduce Hong Kong’s latest developments and business policies to participants from around the world. He will also explain how Hong Kong is working to establish closer cooperative relationships with regional partners to capture the opportunities presented by the new global economic order.

Zhuhai and Zhongshan: New Bridge Connects Fast-growing Cities

As a side programme of the forum, Iris Wong, the HKTDC’s Director of Belt and Road and External Relations, will lead a business delegation to Zhuhai and Zhongshan on 6-8 Dec, travelling from Hong Kong on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) to survey the investment environment and development prospects in the two cities. The recently opened bridge has established a new transport link between the east and west banks of the Pearl River, helping to meet the demand for passenger and freight land transport and enhancing the economic and sustainable development of Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau.

The delegation will include more than 60 representatives from chambers of commerce from Belt and Road countries, as well as Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States. The group will meet senior Zhuhai and Zhongshan officials and pay visits to the Guangdong Free Trade Zone (Hengqin), Gree Electric Appliances Inc., Ming Yang Smart Energy Group, and One Point. They will also meet with Hong Kong entrepreneurs with operations in Zhuhai and Zhongshan to explore cooperation opportunities.

The Hong Kong Forum is the annual flagship event of the FHKBAW. Set up in 2000, the Federation has a membership of more than 13,000 businesspeople, with 43 association members from 32 countries and regions.

The HKTDC is holding five events at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this week − the Asian E-tailing Summit (5 Dec), the HKTDC SmartBiz Expo (5-7 Dec), the HKTDC Hong Kong International Franchising Show (5-7 Dec), the Business of IP Asia Forum (6-7 Dec) and DesignInspire (6-8 Dec). These events focus on new technology and cover various stages of the supply chain, including research and development, design, production, sales and marketing. They aim to help small and medium-sized enterprises enhance their competitiveness and cost-effectiveness and develop new business areas and markets to adapt to the ever-changing economic landscape.

Media Enquiries

Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communications Marketing Department:
Coco Yuen
Tel: (852) 2584 4145

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Nineteen countries gather in Kathmandu to discuss disaster risk management
Dec 01, 2018

Kathmandu --( ASIA TODAY )-- Representatives from 19 countries are all set to meet in Kathmandu on Monday (3 December) at the 14th meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee on Disaster Management (RCC).

The three-day event is being hosted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), in collaboration with Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC). Serving as the RCC’s Secretariat since 2000, ADPC is an intergovernmental organization based in Thailand.

The Prime Minister of the Government of Nepal H.E. Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli will be the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Session of the meeting.

High-ranking delegates from National Disaster Management Offices of nineteen member countries in Asia and the Pacific alongside international observers and development partners from non-member states will attend the meeting.

The overarching theme of the 14th RCC is “Policies and Practices for Coherence between Global Frameworks”. The meeting will offer an opportunity to member countries to devise collective actions for coherence between Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SDRR), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other relevant frameworks at the national and local level.

Made up of 26 countries in Asia and the Pacific, RCC serves as a non-binding mechanism to promote the implementation of action strategies for disaster risk reduction and climate resilience; develop cooperative programs at regional and sub-regional levels; and provide guidance to ADPC on its future work and strategies.

Member countries will also discuss strategies for the implementation of global frameworks in line with national policies and priorities. In a bid to save people’s lives and properties from climate change-related disasters and to protect development gains of national economies in the region, delegates will share best practices and lessons.

Nepal is hosting the RCC for the first time and it is also one of the founding members of ADPC who ratified the ADPC Charter along with Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Thailand. The 14th RCC will conclude on 5 December with a joint statement from all participating countries on disaster risk management and coherence between global frameworks.

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For more information:
Please contact Ms. Vidya Rana

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