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    Sep 16, 2017
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    From August 7th to 10th, the 18th International Symposium on Silicon Chemistry (ISOS-XVIII) & the 6th Asian Silicon Symposium (ASiS-6), hosted by Shandong University, was held in Jinan.

    This symposium was co-organized by China Association of Fluorine and Silicone Industry (CAFSI) and Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS). It is for the first time that this Symposium hosted in China in the past 53 years since its launching, which attracted more than 700 scholars from home and abroad to attend.

    On the opening ceremony, Vice Present of SDU Li Shucai made a congratulatory speech for the symposium. The chairman of the symposium, Prof. Feng Shengyu from the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of SDU, made an opening address.

    The symposium lasted for four days and on each day there were four parallel sessions for displaying the forefront research results in Silicon Chemistry and Material Science, which mainly focused on aspects from organic silicone monomers to organic silicone polymers and the application of organic silicone material. This displayed the characteristics of organic silicone chemistry and its materials, and the widely application of organic silicone materials in aviation, aerospace, daily chemical industry and construction, etc. As many as 9 plenary lectures, 47 invited lectures, 70 oral presentations, and 22 brief presentations were given in this symposium.

    Among them, the reporters and speakers of this symposium included Russian academician Aziz M. Muzafarov from the Russian University of Science and Technology, Polish academician Bogdan Marciniec from the University of Poznan Mickiewicz, Chinese academician of CAS Xi Zhenfeng from Peking University, Chinese academician of CAS Qian Yitai from Shandong University, and six Frederic Stanley Kipping Award (known as the "Nobel Prize" in Silicon Chemistry) winners incuding Richard Laine, Michael A. Brook, Mitsuo Kira, Yitzhak Apeloig, Akira Sekiguchi, Robert West, and Kohei Tamao.

    Prof. Zhang Jie from SDU made a 50-minute invited lecture in this Symposium. The Symposium attracted more than 200 international attendants including experts and scholars from Germany, the U.S, Japan, Canada, France, Russia, the U.K, Korea, Poland, Australia, Israel, etc.

    The "Silicon Youth Spring" section was specially for young researchers under 30 years old, in which 22 young scientific researchers from all over the world gave 3-minutes brief presentations one by one. They used their unique methods to present their understandings, inspirations, and unique experiences on silicon chemistry. The attraction to the youth was fully embodied in this section, and thus it was highly praised by the symposium attendants.

    This symposium provided an opportunity for participants to get a whole picture of the forefront and technology of silicon chemistry, and promoted the development of the science, technology and industry of silicon in the world. The holding of it marks that international academic circles of silicon chemistry have admitted and acknowledged the academic level of Chinese silicon chemistry and the development of its industry. Meanwhile, it also introduced SDU and its research progress in organic silicon to international academic circles, which enlarged the university’s clouts to the international academic circle.

    Source: www.view.sdu.edu.cn
    Translated by: Yin Qize
    Photo by: Mao Chenxin, Xie Mengya
    Edited by: Xie Tingting, Song Yijun

    SOURCE / Shandong University China



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    Sep 15, 2017
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    Green Trade Project Office (GTPO), the international trade promotion arm of the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs, will organize the Green Technology Pavilion of Taiwan Expo 2017. The event will take place from September 29th to October 1st at SMX Convention Center, Manila, Philippines. It will bring together the most famous Taiwanese companies and will showcase Taiwan’s green technologies with practical applications in the Philippines.

    The show will focus on practical applications in the Philippines, to name but a few, TECO will display its five-seater electric tricycle specifically designed for the local market, and Sino-American Silicon Products Inc. (SAS) will show their 50-megawatt solar power plant in Palo.

    Simultaneously, Sun Rise E&T Corporation will show its Solar Floating System, which can be installed in fish farms, bringing the farmers both value of fishery harvesting and electricity production. As the Philippines is well known for its abundance in geothermal energy potential, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), will also showcase its Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems.

    Besides, the event will demonstrate Taiwan’s ability to provide total solution through system integration of renewable energy technologies, energy storage, energy saving management systems, transmission and distribution through power supply. This is a total solution for self-sufficiency and sustainability in the Philippines.

    At the same time, an interactive game will be available where visitors taking part will come to a better understanding of the micro-grid. See you in the Taiwan Green Technology Pavilion in the Philippines!

    About GTPO

    Green Trade Project Office is sponsored by the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs and serves as the primary think tank and accelerator to help craft policies to support development of green trade in Taiwan. From this year TAITRA is taking GTPO to enhance the local green industry and products for export.

    About TAITRA

    Founded in 1970 to help promote foreign trade, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is the foremost non-profit trade promotion organization in Taiwan. Jointly sponsored by the government, industry associations, and several commercial organizations, TAITRA assists Taiwan businesses and manufacturers with reinforcing their international competitiveness and in coping with the challenges they face in foreign markets.

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com



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    Sep 17, 2017
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    SINGAPORE - (ACN Newswire) - BlackGold Natural Resources Limited (the "Company", and together with its subsidiaries, the "Group" or "BlackGold") is pleased to announce that, on 15 September 2017, it entered into a Heads of Agreement (the "HOA") with various parties to form a new consortium (the "Consortium") in relation to an ongoing cooperation project for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of a 2 x 300 MW coal-fired power plant in Riau province, Sumatra, Indonesia (the "Riau-1 Project").

    The Consortium shall consist of i) the Company; ii) China Huadian Engineering Co., Ltd ("CHEC"); iii) PT Samantaka Batubara ("PT SB"), a subsidiary of the Company; iv) PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali ("PJB"); and v) PT PLN Batubara ("PLN BB"). PJB and PLN BB are both wholly-owned subsidiaries of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara ("PLN").

    The addition to the Consortium of certain subsidiaries of PLN and the signing of the HOA follow earlier announcements made by the Company on 28 December 2015 regarding BlackGold's entry into a consortium agreement with CHEC for participation in a bid to provide electric power to PLN and on 12 June 2017 regarding BlackGold's signing of a conditional term sheet with CHEC. The HOA supersedes both of these previous agreements.

    Pursuant to the HOA, upon the successful award of the Riau-1 Project by PLN to the Consortium, the Consortium will establish a joint venture company ("NewCo") which will enter into the relevant power purchase agreement ("PPA") with PLN and construct and commission the Riau-1 Project. It is anticipated that the Company, CHEC and PJB (through its appointee and other PLN subsidiaries) will hold equity interests in NewCo.

    Under the HOA, amongst others, PJB (through its appointee) shall be appointed as the project leader. CHEC shall secure lenders, on a best efforts basis, for the financing of the Riau-1 Project and will fulfil the technical criteria for the Riau-1 Project in accordance with a procurement document to be issued by PLN. PT SB and PLN BB will jointly ensure the supply of coal from PT SB's mining concession to the Riau-1 Project for the duration of the PPA.

    Mr Philip Cecil Rickard, Chief Executive Officer of the Group, commented: "The entrance of PJB into the Consortium is a mark of endorsement by PLN. We are thrilled to be embarking on this ground-breaking collaboration with our strong, state-owned partners in our bid for the Riau-1 Project. BlackGold shall continue to focus on the prospect of supplying coal on a longterm basis to the Riau-1 Project over the duration of the PPA."

    Information on PLN, PJB, PLN BB, CHEC and the Riau-1 Project

    PLN is Indonesia's state-run power distribution company. PJB and PLN BB are both whollyowned subsidiaries of PLN.

    PJB is a power generation company with the aim of promoting Indonesia's economic development by providing high-quality, reliable and sustainable energy supply.

    PLN BB provides support to its parent company, PLN, for the obtainment of coal for generation of electricity.

    CHEC is a state-owned power engineering company in China. CHEC's core businesses encompass high tech product research and development, engineering design, general contracting, as well as energy technology research and services. CHEC is currently involved in project construction, investment, operation and maintenance of various power projects located in Indonesia.

    The Riau-1 Project is listed as one of the planned mine-mouth power plants in the 2017 National Electricity Supply Business Plan (the "2017 RUPTL"), with commercial operation date expected to start in 2020.

    ABOUT BLACKGOLD (Bloomberg Ticker: BHR:SP)

    The Group is an Indonesia-focused coal mining company targeting Indonesia's rapidly growing power plant industry. Through long term, fixed offtake agreements with its principal customers, the Group has a customer portfolio consisting of state-owned and independent power plants and factories.

    The Group, through its local subsidiaries, has the rights to three coal concessions in Riau, Indonesia.

    Currently, the Group, through its subsidiary PT Samantaka Batubara, has a coal concession for an area of 15,000 hectares, and has over 500 million tonnes of Coal Resources (Resources and Reserves estimates reported in compliance with 2012 JORC Code). For more information, please visitwww.blackgold-group.com.

    Contact:
    BlackGold Group
    T: +65 6884 4418
    E: investor.relations@blackgold-group.com

    This press release has been prepared by BlackGold Natural Resources Limited (the "Company") and its contents have been reviewed by the Company's sponsor, SAC Advisors Private Limited (the "Sponsor"), for compliance with the relevant rules of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (the "SGX-ST"). The Sponsor has not independently verified the contents of this press release.

    This press release has not been examined or approved by the SGX-ST and the SGX-ST assumes no responsibility for the contents of this press release, including the correctness of any of the statements or opinions made, or reports contained in this press release.

    The contact person for the Sponsor is Mr. Sebastian Jones, Director, at 1 Robinson Road, #21-02 AIA Tower, Singapore 048542, telephone: +65 6532 3829.

    SAC Capital Private Limited is the parent Company of SAC Advisors Private Limited.

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    Sep 18, 2017
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    JAKARTA - (ACN Newswire) - The Ministry of State-Owned Enterprise (MSOEs) of the Republic of Indonesia announced on Wednesday (9/13) that it would again organize Indonesia Business and Development Expo (IBDExpo) 2017. Due to be held in Jakarta Convention Center from September 20 to 23, 2017, this largest SOE exhibition in the country will be joined by around 95 Indonesian SOEs and region-owned enterprises as well as a number of Singaporean enterprises, incorporated in the Singapore Business Federation -- a Singaporean business community focusing on the areas of trade, investment, and industry.

    With a theme of "Synergy to Make Indonesia Great", this year's event is, once again, organized by the National Publishing and News Corporation (NPNC), a consortium of four media-focused SOEs consisting of Antara News Agency, Balai Pustaka, National Publishing of Indonesia (PNRI), and Peruri.

    According to Devi W. Suradji, Special Staff for Communications and Media of the Minister for SOEs, the IBDExpo 2017 is designed to expose the leap frogging progress made by the SOEs in shoring up the country's economy and promote the national growth and the public welfare.

    "The leap frogging progress does not only refer to technological or infrastructural innovations, but also to innovation and achievement that promote the people's economy; the far-reaching economic contribution," Devi said.

    Currently, the total assets of all state-owned enterprises are valued at Rp5,395 trillion with income of Rp1,728 trillion, annual tax contributions at Rp220 trillion and total annual dividend of Rp38 trillion.

    Capital spending of the state-owned companies in 2017 rose to Rp555 trillion to finance development of 52 toll roads, 17 airports, 13 seaports and 19 rail tracks and other infrastructure.

    Through the exhibition, the synergy of the SOEs, which is marked with the success in such projects as development of sea toll, Jakarta-Bandung high speed train and single price oil fuel program will also be shown.

    Meanwhile, Chairman of IBDExpo 2017 Hempi N. Prajudi said that this annual event is designed to enable all participating SOEs to showcase their innovations and achievements and have opportunity to interact directly with visitors.

    "Through this event, we encourage all of the SOEs to have direct interaction with the public; to hear their aspirations and even their complaints," said Hempi, who is also Commercial Director of Antara, Indonesia's national news agency.

    Open for public and free of charge, the IBDExpo 2017 will also feature a number of flagship products and innovations of SOEs, such as Mobile Shooting Range and military vehicles provided by PT Pindad; flight simulator and a mockup of N219 airplane by PT Dirgantara Indonesia; virtual reality technology by PT Telkom; and many more.

    In addition to the exhibition segment, IBDExpo 2017 will also feature a number of side events such as thematic press conferences, which will expose the SOE's achievements to support the implementation of President Joko Widodo's Nawacita (nine ideals) vision. Speaking at the "CEO BICARA", leaders of the SOEs would talk at about strategic development in the country such as program of sea toll, single price oil fuel program all over the country, creative houses of state-owned enterprises for the SMEs, railway transport and food security.

    At the exhibition, 25 SOEs will also offer jobs in various sectors, and there would be seminar on business opportunities, and a forum of business discussions between leaders of SOEs and private companies.

    The IBDExpo 2017 is scheduled to be inaugurated by President Joko Widodo and attended by a number of cabinet members, legislators, ambassadors, and C-suite invitees.

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    Sep 18, 2017
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    Coex is embracing the international community this December 9th -10th with its first ever expat lifestyle fair.

    The Expat Fair looks to bring together the expat community and representatives from education, living arrangements, lifestyle management, tourism, and other lifestyle services. Visitors will have a chance to look for employment opportunities, meet new friends, and enjoy great food and beer to celebrate the winter season.

    The number of expats in Korea has already surpassed 1.5 million, demonstrating the great impact that they have and will continue to have on Korean society. At present time, expats coming to Korea have flown in from countries all around the globe, a decisive change from the past, where most expats in Korea originated from U.S. military forces and staff members of embassies. Today, expats have entered into the Korean workforce en masse including as executives and staff members of foreign companies, workers, teachers, and more. As a result, there are now many industries in education, medicine, and tourism that target the needs of the expats in Korea.

    More than 10,000 expats and 250 exhibitors are expected to come to the fair. Come and meet new people, discover charities, entertain your family, and learn more about the international community in Seoul. We look forward to seeing you all!

    For more about the information, please visit our official website and social media channels.

    Official Website:www.expatfair.kr
    Facebook:www.facebook.com/expatfairkorea
    Instagram:www.instagram.com/expatfair_korea

    Contact us – The Expat Fair Secretariat
    Tel: +82-2-6000-1413/8004
    Email: expat@coex.co.kr

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 19, 2017
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    Coex is launching the 1st ASEAN Seafood Expo & Conference in Bangkok, Thailand this November 20th – 21st 2017.

    The dedicated seafood exhibition and conference will be staged at the Queen Sirikit National Convention (QSNCC) in Bangkok by Korea’s leading international organizer, Coex, the Korean Ministry of Oceans & Fisheries, and Asian Exhibition Services (AES) Ltd, Coex’s Thailand associate. The event is supported by the Thai Overseas Fisheries Association and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, under the Office of the Prime Minister.

    “The 1st ASEAN Seafood Expo is an important event that will benefit all of Southeast Asia as the industry rapidly embraces new innovations, new trends, new regulations, new markets and new competition. The exhibition will be a showcase of the latest equipment, products, and services for the entire scope of the industry from ‘catch to table’ and the supporting the conference will provide the insights and direction of the future trends”, explained Mr. Aphisit Techanitisawad, President of the Thai Overseas Fisheries Association.

    The ASEAN Seafood Expo will showcase fishery equipment, aquaculture, seafood processing, packaging, products, and suppliers. A co-located conference program hosted by the Association of International Seafood Professionals, and supported by the Thai Overseas Fisheries Association, will present papers on the latest trends, developments and regulations directly affecting the seafood industry in Southeast Asia.

    “Thailand is one of the most dynamic international seafood markets in the world and to be hosting the first dedicated international seafood event for the industry is a very positive long-term strategy for the market, the supporting industries, and the region,” added Mr. David Aitken, Managing Director of Asian Exhibition Services (AES) Ltd., Coex Thailand Associate and local partner of ASEAN Seafood Expo.

    Thailand has one of the world’s largest fish and seafood industries. Some 90% of its production is exported, accounting for 4% of all global exports. Thailand exports approximately $7 billion USD worth of fish and seafood products every year. Its top export destinations are the U.S. (22.8%), Japan (20.4%), Australia (5.4%), Canada (4.4%), and the UK (3.9%).

    The 1st ASEAN Seafood Expo is expecting seafood industry professionals from throughout Southeast Asia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and India.

    Join the exhibition, attend the conference, see the latest products, meet the industry stakeholders and learn about the latest trends. For international enquiries contact aseanseafood@coex.co.kr or for domestic Thailand enquiries contact seafood@aesexhibitions.com.

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 19, 2017
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    (Hong Kong, 18 September 2017) Long been credited as Asia’s Best, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (“HKCEC”) is proud to be the Champion of the “Outstanding Venue Award” at the 2017 AFECA Asian Awards in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on 6 September. Beating strong competitors from the region, the HKCEC’s leading position as one of the best convention and exhibition venues in the region was reaffirmed.

    Ms Monica Lee-Müller, Managing Director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (“HML”), the management company of the HKCEC, said “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award from the Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA) and industry peers, as it demonstrates our ongoing commitment to service excellence is being recognised by the industry. The award is a clear testimony of our continuous efforts in upgrading the HKCEC’s infrastructure, uplifting our service standards and driving sustainability.”

    HML team’s professionalism also wins applauds from international event organisers. Mr Michael Duck, Executive Vice President of UBM Asia Limited, said “The HKCEC is home to many of UBM's most important regional and global exhibitions and so we are very demanding on excellence in our venues. The HKCEC team is definitely one of the best among our venue partners, in terms of service delivery, professionalism and dedication. Also HKCEC’s continuous commitment to sustainability helps raise industry standards.” Mr Stuart Bailey, Managing Director of Diversified Communications Hong Kong, LLC also complimented, “The HKCEC is one of the best exhibition venues in the world and the management team who operate it are the reason for that fact.”

    The HKCEC has already garnered 14 international and local awards and certificates since the beginning of 2017, including “Best International Convention and Exhibition Centre 2017” in Hong Kong Business Awards conducted by APAC Insider magazine, “Top 10 Conference Destinations” by Business Destinations magazine, “10 Years Plus Caring Company logo” by Hong Kong Council of Social Service, and “Indoor Air Quality Certificate” by HKSAR Government’s Environmental Protection Department. HML is the first organisation in Hong Kong to obtain the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certificate.

    The AFECA Asian Awards is organised by AFECA, the leading MICE industry association in Asia. With judges from various professional disciplines, the Awards is an annual regional event to celebrate and acknowledge excellence in the exhibition and convention industry, based on various criteria such as service standards, facility management, marketing and sustainability. It also promotes best practices in the region, and recognises the contributions of members in the global marketplace.

    #####

    About the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
    This award-winning 306,000 sqm building, first opened in 1988, offers 91,500 sqm of rentable space. An iconic Hong Kong landmark, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (‘HKCEC’) is located on a prime waterfront site in the central business district of Hong Kong. It is owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

    About Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited
    Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (‘HML’) is a professional private management and operating company responsible for providing day to day management for the HKCEC, where it oversees administration, marketing, booking, scheduling, event co-ordination, maintenance and security. It also manages food and beverage operations at the HKCEC, including restaurants and catering services. HML provides world-class services for users, visitors and guests of the HKCEC, a venue which has been consistently awarded the title of ‘Best Convention and Exhibition Centre in Asia’ by leading industry professionals. Over 1,100 events are held at the HKCEC every year, including exhibitions, conferences, corporate meetings, entertainment events, seminars and banquets. These events contribute significant economic benefits to the city, and help raise the international image of Hong Kong.

    HML is a member of NWS Holdings Limited. NWS Holdings Limited ("NWS Holdings", Hong Kong stock code: 659) is the infrastructure and service flagship of New World Development Company Limited (Hong Kong stock code: 17). It has diverse businesses and investments predominantly in Hong Kong and Mainland China, comprising toll roads, environmental management, port and logistics facilities, rail container terminals, commercial aircraft leasing, facilities management, healthcare services, construction and public transport. Please visit www.nws.com.hk for details.

    Issued by Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited

    For further information, please contact:
    Miss Gloria Fong, Corporate Communications Manager
    Tel:+852 2582 7918
    E-mail: gloriafong@hkcec.com
    Website:www.hkcec.com

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 19, 2017
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    SINGAPORE, September 18, 2017 – Helsinki, the Finnish capital city is bringing its largest delegation of high-profile iconic technoprenuers (such as Mr Peter Vesterbacka - co-founder of Angry Birds), government leaders (including Finland's Minister of Transport & Communications - Ms Anne Berner) and global experts in education, transport, technology, healthcare and innovation to Singapore this week. In addition, it will be unveiling a slew of digital innovation and Regional HQ (RHQ) opportunities in Finland for Singapore companies and other companies in the region.

    Led by the Mayor of Helsinki, Mr Jan Vapaavuori, this high-level visit organised under the theme of ‘Designing Better Life’, will be held from September 18 to 21, 2017, during the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH).

    The visit comes on the back of Finland's centennial celebrations this year and the comprehensive economic reforms launched in Helsinki to improve the business environment and attract more foreign investors to Finland. Due to rapid global changes impacting the Finnish economy and its structural transformation led by the ICT sector, Finland has been cited as a model case of the global information economy.
    Singapore's "Smart Nation" initiative for growth through innovation, technology and education presents a strong case for collaboration between the two countries.

    To accelerate the growth of bilateral business partnerships, Helsinki will be unveiling its RHQ incentives to attract companies from Singapore and the region to set up their Headquarters or HQs in Helsinki and raise awareness of the country as a key gateway or springboard to the rest of Europe. Targeting the East-Asian markets, Helsinki hopes to use its events in Singapore to spotlight its excellent networking opportunities and Research & Development and Digital Innovation solutions and funding options in Helsinki, especially for companies wanting to break into the Russian and North European markets.

    Finland today has attracted some of the biggest brand names in the world to set up headquarters there. These include Nissan, Rolls Royce and IBM Watson.

    In addition, Helsinki has a very vibrant start-up scene which has attracted several start-ups and SMEs, including many Chinese and Indian companies to establish themselves in Finland. Finland has committed itself to be a great platform to help start-ups accelerate business. An example of a Singapore start-up in Finland is oBike, which is a homegrown smart bike-sharing company.

    During the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH), a startup event Slush Singapore originating from Finland will be hosting its second edition here for 3,000 attendees, 200 investors and 300 start-ups.

    Her Excellency, Ms Paula Parviainen, Finland's Ambassador to Singapore, said: “With our partners and over 100 Finnish companies taking part in the events during the innovation week, we want to show that a small country can be bigger than its size, it can have a positive impact, be heard, and be known for the good things it represents. We are looking for new partnerships in both public and private sector. Both Finland and Singapore have strengths and strong interests in the areas covered by our biggest business delegation to Singapore ever. Our goal is to see new joint business opportunities and innovation projects seeded and accelerated this month.”

    Singapore is Finland’s largest trading partner in ASEAN and a regional gateway to Southeast Asian markets and beyond. Amongst the ASEAN countries, Singapore has the highest number of Finnish companies and the largest number of Finnish people in it. With more than 140 Finnish companies based here, Mr Vapaavuori is confident that this high-profile mission to Singapore will, not only further strengthen the business ties between Singapore and Helsinki, but also increase the opportunities for collaborations and investments.

    He shared: "We believe there is still a lot of potential for both Singapore and Finnish companies to work together in building connections and we have always been very supportive of entrepreneurs and companies seeking to establish partnerships overseas. As Finland and Singapore have many similarities, particularly in the sectors of technology, healthcare and education, we hope that the business communities in both countries can come together to exchange ideas and cooperate."

    While emphasising on the importance of healthcare, Mr Vapaavuori also announced that the City of Helsinki is currently in the process of bidding for the European Medical Agency (EMA) which will be relocated from London, United Kingdom after Brexit. If the bid is successful, the relocation of the Agency in Helsinki would bring about considerable benefits to Finland, in attracting business and leaders in healthcare to the city/country.

    Improving Finland - Singapore Trade Relations

    In 2016, Finland’s exports to Singapore totalled S$298 million, with more than half of it consisting of machinery, equipment and means of transport, as well as manufactured goods, chemicals, IT hardware and electronics products. Imports from Singapore amounted to S$158 million, with 80 percent of it also made up of machinery, equipment and means of transport. Revenue figures from companies registered in Singapore with Finnish ownership are in the billions. These include some of the leading companies in their sectors - such as Kone and Neste Oil which officially opened the world's largest renewable diesel plant in Singapore on 8 March 2011.

    Mr Riku Makela, Counsellor, Innovation and Trade Affairs at Embassy of Finland in Singapore, explained: "Singapore and Finland have enjoyed a good relationship economically in the past and big Finnish MNCs have been in Singapore a long time. And in the last 18 months, we have seen a three- to five-fold increase in interest in Singapore from Finnish SMEs. Hence, I believe the investment numbers will also increase, with growth sectors especially in health, education and maritime technologies.”

    Mr Makela also added that he expects at least seven deals to be sealed as a result of the slew of Helsinki’s “Designing Better Life" events in Singapore.
    The deals or collaborations will focus on areas of mutual interest such as education, technology, healthcare and innovation.

    During their visit here, the Finnish Minister Ms Anne Berner and her delegation will also meet top Singapore ministers and officials, including Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister of Transport, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information and, Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, for Communications and Information and Health, and the Senior Minister of State/Minister in charge of GovTech (MCI) - Dr Janil Puthucheary.

    Key Events with Global Cast of Experts/ Practitioners
    There will be a series of inspiring and engaging events organised by Helsinki and Finland 100 (or "Suomi Finland/SF100") throughout the SWITCH Week. These events will unveil some of the best known global names in Finland – in education, innovation, design, technology as well as transport and healthcare.
    The main events and the key speakers include:

    Smart & Clean Cities (organised by Finland 100 and Helsinki) on September 18, 2017

    Helsinki is a global pioneer in offering services and creating new businesses through smart mobility solutions. The Finnish smart mobility scene is very vibrant with many new service and solution providers focused on autonomous vehicles, car sharing, integrated mobility and smart transport. To spotlight on some of the latest smart mobility solutions, Helsinki's team of business experts will share about R&D possibilities, product development opportunities, unique transport platforms, global expansion, tertiary and research collaboration, funding, talent and partnerships to help Singapore companies tap into Helsinki's smart mobility ecosystem.

    Slush Singapore (by Slush Singapore) with Finland Pavilion on September 19, 2017

    Slush Singapore is the premier start-up launch pad of Southeast Asia – bringing together investors and entrepreneurs and innovators across the globe. To be held for the second time in Singapore, Slush 2017 will present outstanding speakers such as Taizo Sun, the founder and CEO of Mistletoe Inc, Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder and Chairman of Transferwise and Valenzia Yap, the CEO and Founder of PolicyPal, a digital platform using artificial intelligence to simplify and digitise insurance for thousands of people.

    Health Tech Finland (by Finland 100 and Helsinki) on September 20, 2017

    Finland positions itself as the Land of Future Health, with an array of unique strengths in technological application areas such as wearable devices and sensor technology, IVD, monitoring and imaging supported by information and wireless technology. Helsinki has an established digital infrastructure, lively start-up environment, and excellent capabilities in medical technology and engineering which supports development of future digital health solutions.

    One of Finland’s universally-recognized brand names, Nokia Technologies, has collaborated with Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) and University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine to spawn innovative solutions for outpatient care and to foster mutual research and development. This collaboration will focus on developing remote patient monitoring solutions. Mr Visa Honkanen / Director of Strategic

    Development, HUS – The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa will be here to share more about the latest in digital healthcare.

    One of Singapore's biomedical start-ups AEvice Heath – the winner of the Slush Pitching Competition 2016 will also be sharing its experience and how it can leverage on Finland's well-established healthcare infrastructure to accelerate its product development. AEvice Health creates a wearable monitoring device for asthmatic patients through its patented technology.

    Intelligent Maritime and Ports (by Finland 100 and Helsinki) on September 20, 2017
    Digitalisation is a key driver for the maritime sector – creating new value while saving costs and resources to improve competitiveness. The aim of this event is to usher in new strategic partnerships between Finland and Singapore to seize these opportunities. The event brings together companies and expertise to display Future Shipping including autonomous shipping and the latest developments in data-driven maritime business.

    Sauli Eloranta, Senior Vice President, Technology Management and Innovation for Marine (Marine R&D Centre for Remote Control & Autonomous Ships and Artificial Intelligence) and Ville Tolvanen, Digitalist Group will present insights into autonomous shipping and maritime operations of tomorrow.

    Several companies in this sector such as Aeromon, ASANTech, Cargotec, Controlthings and Digitalist Group and Fleetrange are expected to be here in Singapore for the event.
    Future of Education (by Finland 100 and Helsinki) on September 21, 2017

    The two Super Powers in Education will come together in this event to offer practical solutions to encourage lifelong learning. The event will explore a wide variety of perspectives, from education to digital learning, and social media applications to smart school buildings and creating conducive learning environment that encompass social media applications to help deal with the emotional, psychological and physical aspects as well as the challenges of education today.

    Held at the GEMS World Academy campus in Yishun, the key speakers are: Ms Kirsti Lonka, Professor for Educational Psychology, University of Helsinki and Mr Peter Vesterbacka - a respected and well-known Finnish entrepreneur, Founder of Rovio (Angry Birds) and Brand Breaker at digital games company – Lightneer. Keen to attend the above events, please visit www.myhelsinki.fi/designingbetterlife for further information and contact details.

    About City of Helsinki
    By decree of King Gustav Vasa of Sweden in 1550, the city was founded at the mouth of river Vantaa. From there, the city was moved further south to its present location in 1643. Helsinki has been the capital city since 1812, three years after Finland became an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire.
    Helsinki continued as the capital after Finland gained its independence in 1917. Today, Helsinki is the centre of the Helsinki Region, a functional urban region of about 1.4 million inhabitants and 753,800 jobs.

    Helsinki is a modern city, with half a million residents, nicely situated by the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is the center of Finland’s administrative, educational and cultural life. It is also the finance and business center of the country.

    Helsinki is a city full of contrasts: light and white in summer, and dark, but full of warmth in winter; modern and cutting edge, yet steeped in fascinating past; cosmopolitan and compact capital where form follows the function, where both sea and deep forests are just a stone’s throw away. Helsinki is unique among the Northern European cities. The lifestyle in the second-most northern capital city in the world is full of contrasts and activities also in the form of hundreds of events and friendly people.

    Helsinki’s identity has been formed by cultural influences from both the East and West. Over 450 years of history, several architectural layers and the impact of different periods can clearly be seen in the city. The beauty of the surrounding nature blends seamlessly together with high-tech achievements and design, while old traditions mix with the latest contemporary trends.

    Website:www.hel.fi/helsinki/en
    Social media: #myhelsinki and #designingbetterlife
    About Suomi Finland (SF100)
    Suomi Finland 100 Singapore is an organisation working closely with the Embassy of Finland running over 30 events in Singapore this year. The events are planned around four main themes: healthcare and well-being, education, innovation and design. The main goal is to greatly strengthen the knowledge of Finland by building bridges that would boost cultural and university exchange programs, tourism, business and investment opportunities with Singapore.
    Website:www.sf100.sg
    Social media: #SF100SG"

    For more media queries, please contact
    Ms Tham Moon Yee – tmy@stratagemconsultants.com
    Mr Soh Tiang Keng – sohtk@stratagemconsultants.com
    Ms Karen Chan – kc@stratagemconsultants.com
    Stratagem Consultants Pte Ltd
    Tel: + 65 6227 0502

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 19, 2017
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    • Xendit, first in Asia Pacific to partner with CyberSource using Flex API connection, makes digital transactions in Indonesia more seamless
    • CyberSource’s holistic payment management solution helps Xendit increase successful transaction rates by 30%
    • Xendit now allows Solution As A Service (SaaS), subscriptions are possible via APIs

    INDONESIA – 19 SEPTEMBER 2017 – CyberSource, a Visa company (NYSE: V), and one of the world’s largest providers of eCommerce payment management services, has collaborated with Xendit, a fast-growing payment service based in Indonesia. This collaboration means Xendit is the first in Asia Pacific to use CyberSource Flex API to tokenize customers’ data, thereby enabling them to provide a robust payment gateway for next-generation businesses to send and receive payments more conveniently and securely without the risk of storing customer data. As a result, Xendit’s successful transaction rates increased by 30%[2].

    Founded in 2014, Xendit’s mission is to simplify payments by providing an end-to-end payment solution that delivers frictionless payments. Xendit offers a payment gateway that allows businesses to quickly and securely accept payments through card and bank transfers.

    Despite the fact that Indonesia’s digital commerce market is expected to hit US$18.5b in 2017[3], the country faces execution challenges due to consumers’ preference for payment via bank transfers, which are heavily reliant on the use of physical tokens to execute the transaction, and frequently do not include the information necessary for the merchant to identify the sender[4]. As such, Xendit has sought to solve these payment problems by offering a secure and reliable payment infrastructure that supports multiple payment types, and in turn, helps businesses of all sizes embrace digital payments.

    Xendit leverages CyberSource’s comprehensive suite of payment processing and fraud management solutions to enable businesses to securely accept a wider range of payments, including different card types and brands across the world, which affords them the ability to provide their merchants with customized payment services and an enhanced user experience. At the same time, businesses which leverage Xendit’s payment services can do so securely without having to handle any sensitive customer payment details.

    Xendit also uses CyberSource to enhance its credit and debit card payment services, which integrates with platforms such as WooCommerce for easy integration[5]. This lets companies with subscription business models automate payments for their customers, such as SaaS platforms, non-profits, or premium content providers. The all-in-one solution allows Indonesian companies to accept credit or debit cards issued from across the world, all while benefitting from the reliability of CyberSource. Going forward, the next generation of Southeast Asian Software as a service (SaaS) can be built on top of Xendit’s rails.

    “At Xendit, our goal is to make payments simple and pleasant. We started our journey by providing businesses with the fastest way to disburse funds throughout the country, through the use of application program interfaces (APIs). In automating the process, we have enabled customers to quickly and efficiently scale their business. Now, our customers want more,” commented Moses Lo, Chief Executive Officer, Xendit. “CyberSource’s customized payment processing and fraud management solutions have enabled us to offer a broader range of options to our customers, thus providing them with flexibility to build their desired user experience, while minimizing the number of systems and endpoints falling within the scope of PCI DSS compliance.”

    As the digital economy continues to evolve and impact nearly every business, success today requires a holistic approach to managing fraud, especially as customers constantly engage across multiple channels on a variety of devices. By leveraging CyberSource’s multi-phased fraud management solution, including CyberSource Decision Manager, Xendit is able to offer a world-class fraud detection solution to its customers, while dynamically allowing low-risk transactions to proceed. This has resulted in an improved payment experience for Xendit end-users, and reduced payment drop-off for businesses, increasing successful transaction rates by as much as 30%[6].

    “As eCommerce continues to boom in Southeast Asia, providing a seamless customer experience is of unparalleled importance – merchants need to provide a faster, more secure payment experience to differentiate themselves from their competitors,” said Chew Ann Wee, Senior Regional Director, Southeast Asia, CyberSource. “As customers engage with a brand across multiple channels, it is crucial for that brand to provide a superior and consistent brand experience. We are delighted to work with Xendit to ensure a seamless customer journey, end to end.”

    ###

    About CyberSource
    CyberSource, a wholly owned subsidiary of Visa Inc., is the only integrated payment management platform built on secure Visa infrastructure, with the payment reach and fraud insights of a massive $358Bn global processing network. CyberSource and Authorize.Net payment management solutions help 475,000 large and small businesses grow sales, mitigate risk, and operate with greater agility. The company is headquartered in Foster City, California and maintains offices throughout the world, with regional headquarters in Singapore, Tokyo, Miami/Sao Paulo and Reading, U.K. For more information, please visithttp://www.cybersource.com/asiapacific.

    About Xendit
    Xendit provides payments infrastructure in South East Asia. We have an end to end solution that allows modern businesses to accept payments through cards and bank transfers, manage funds through escrow/custodian accounts and disburse funds through the fastest pipes in the markets we serve. This means we deliver frictionless payments across tech and traditional businesses.www.xendit.co

    For more information, please contact:
    Subeer Dutt
    Ying Communications
    +65 6779 5514
    subeer.dutt@yingcomms.com

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 18, 2017
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    New HKTDC study finds ASEAN consumers focus on quality, style and online reviews.

    Hong Kong trade with its second-largest trading partner looks set to expand following the conclusion of three years of negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Set to be formalised in November, the agreement adds new impetus to a new Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) study, which found the outlook for quality, unique-style products and services remains bright in the region.

    The study of markets in the ASEAN economies, conducted in the second quarter of 2017, surveyed more than 1,400 middle-income class consumers in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Manila.

    “Travel and leisure were found to be the most popular spending category among ASEAN middle-class consumers,” said HKTDC Principal Economist (Asian and Emerging Markets) Dickson Ho. About 56 per cent of respondents indicated that this was among their top spending categories in the past two years. In second place was health, beauty and wellness (36%), followed by fashion (32%),

    “On the other hand, fashion has the biggest growth potential, with 63 per cent of respondents saying they would spend more on fashion in the next two years,” Mr Ho added. This was followed by travel and leisure (54%) and health, beauty and wellness (36%).

    Local Brand Preference

    The study also revealed that ASEAN consumers were spending more on local brands than overseas ones, although Hong Kong brands that offer good design and quality enjoy a good reputation.

    “The results showed that many Hong Kong brands are well-known among ASEAN middle-class consumers, who would like to see more of these introduced to their home countries,” said Mr Ho.

    An overwhelming 95 per cent of respondents said they were willing to spend more on products with better quality, while 89 per cent liked “personal style,” said Mr Ho. “These ASEAN consumers also exhibited a great desire to try trendy and novel items, with 83 per cent saying they were always willing to try new brands and products.”

    Environmental features, certifications, good design and packaging were found to be among ASEAN consumers’ product selection criteria. “Brands have to create value beyond their core functions to succeed in the ASEAN market,” Mr Ho said.

    The survey found that ASEAN middle-class consumers were multi-channel shoppers, with their purchasing decisions heavily affected by online reviews. “At least 50 per cent of respondents have made purchases online or used both online and offline channels,” said Mr Ho. “More than 50 per cent also reported that social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, had influenced their buying decisions. This shows that Hong Kong suppliers can use social media platforms to market products to ASEAN consumers.”

    Export Confidence

    The study comes as the latest HKTDC survey of trader confidence showed a slight dip in overall sentiment. “The HKTDC Export Index dropped to 46.2 in the third quarter of the year (3Q17) from a four-year high of 50.1 recorded in the preceding quarter (2Q17),” said HKTDC Director of Research Nicholas Kwan.

    “This shows that local exporters have become slightly negative about prospects for Hong Kong’s export performance in the near term,” said Mr Kwan, noting that the reading was dragged down by the clothing, toys, jewellery and timepiece sectors.

    The HKTDC Export Index monitors the current export performance of Hong Kong traders and gauges their near-term prospects. Readings above and below 50 indicate positive and negative sentiment, respectively. The Index covers markets in the United States, the European Union, Japan and the Chinese mainland.

    Mainland most promising, US least encouraging

    “By market, a marginal decline in confidence swept across the board,” said HKTDC Principal Economist (Global Research) Daniel Poon, noting that the Chinese mainland “remained the most promising market, while the United States was least encouraging.”

    The mainland, Hong Kong’s largest trading partner, was the only market that stayed above the watershed 50 mark – with a reading of 51.5 in Q317, down from 51.9 in the preceding quarter.

    The European Union scored 49.5, followed by Japan with 48.6. The US posted a reading of 47, down from 48.1 in 2Q17 and 50.3 in 1Q17. “While exporters were once positive on the US in the beginning of 2017, confidence in the market slid down over the course of the year,” Mr Poon said.

    The survey also indicates that the perceived impact of Brexit on Hong Kong’s export performance continues to decrease. The new research found that 91 per cent of respondents report “no impact” so far from the United Kingdom’s eventual withdrawal from the European Union. The figure was 86 per cent in 1Q17 and 83 per cent in 3Q16. Only eight per cent of responding exporters in the latest survey anticipated a negative impact, down from 13 per cent in 1Q17 and 17 per cent in 3Q16.

    Meanwhile, the perceived effect of US protectionism under the Trump administration on Hong Kong’s export performance also declined. Among respondents, 81 per cent said they saw no impact, compared with 71 per cent in 1Q17. In the latest survey, 18 per cent of respondents expected a negative impact, down from 27 per cent recorded in 1Q17.

    “Among the exporters affected in the UK and US markets, the majority planned to respond by developing new markets,” said Mr Poon.

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    Sep 19, 2017
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    London, UK – Access is completely free to the world-class exhibition at Tank Storage Asia, to be held in Singapore on 27th and 28th September.

    The exhibition will feature over 80 international and local suppliers showcasing a broad range of the latest products and services. Exhibitors will reflect the entire supply chain, from tank design, construction and maintenance, through to innovations in metering and measuring, pumps and valves, automation and loading equipment and inspection and certification services.

    Highlights of the exhibition will include:

  • A Singapore Pavilion, where local companies from the world’s second largest oil and gas trading hub will be exhibiting with the financial support of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and iMAP funding initiative. Companies participating include Fire Fighting Systems (Far East) PTE, Viscoy, Dynaglass, NETZSCH Asia Pacific, UL International Singapore, Aquila Nova and Ichinose Emico Valves.
  • Timm Elektronik, in conjunction with partners OSK Industrial and Implico, will be presenting three of its products: the EUS-2 Overfill Prevention Controller (named “Most Invaluable Product’ at this year’s Tank Storage Awards), the new SEK-3 Marine Grounding System for equalisation of oil tankers, and the EKX-4 Grounding Control Device for grounding of tank trucks, silo trucks and railcars as well as containers, barrels and similar vessels.
  • Labuan International Business and Finance Centre (IBFC) will also be presenting its range of services and products, with a specific focus on its GIFT (Global Incentives for Trading) programme.
  • KROHNE, a world-leading supplier of custody transfer metering systems and other outstanding industrial process instrumentation, will be showcasing its breakthrough technology OPTIMASS 2000 S400, a large diameter mass flowmeter for bulk measurement and custody transfer of liquids and gases.
  • The event is supported by Horizon Terminals, Stolthaven Terminals, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, the Independent Power Producers’ Forum, RVB Tank Storage Solutions and the Corrosion Association Singapore. The official show sponsors are Emerson Automation Solutions, Labuan, Krohne and Rotary.

    Visitor registration is now open; anyone wishing to attend the exhibition or conference can register online. For more information about Tank Storage Asia, and to register, please go to: www.tankstorageasia.com

    - ENDS -

    Follow us on:
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     Facebook: StocExpo Tank Storage Events https://www.facebook.com/StocExpo/
     LinkedIn: StocExpo Tank Storage Events www.linkedin.com/groups/2010070
     Instagram: @stocexpo_tankstorage_events #stocexpotankstorage

    FORTHCOMING TANK STORAGE EVENTS

    Tank Storage Asia 2017
    27 & 28 September 2017
    Marina Bay Sands
    Singapore

    Tank Storage Germany 2017
    29 & 30 November 2017
    Hamburg Messe

    StocExpo Europe 2018
    20-22 March 2018
    Ahoy, Rotterdam

    StocExpo Middle East Africa 2018
    17 & 18 April 2018
    Dubai World Trade Centre

    Media Contact
    To request images, interviews, or for more information, please contact Susan Brownlow at BCM
    Public Relations on +44 (0) 7814 474562 or email s.brownlow@bcmpublicrelations.com

    About Artexis Easyfairs

    Artexis Easyfairs enables communities to “visit the future” at must-attend events that anticipate their needs and present solutions in the ideal format.

    Through Easyfairs, the Group currently organises more than 200 events in 19 countries (Algeria, Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Emirates, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States).

    In the United Kingdom, these events include Packaging Innovations (Birmingham & London), Empack, Label&Print, Advanced Engineering, CCR Expo and Lab Innovations. Events organised by the UK & Global division internationally include: StocExpo and the Tank Storage portfolio of events (Rotterdam, Antwerp, Dubai, Singapore, Hamburg and Shanghai) and the publication, Tank Storage Magazine; ADF (Aerosol & Dispensing Forum) and PCD (Packaging of Perfumery, Cosmetics & Design) in Paris and New York, through Easyfairs Oriex; and Maghreb Pharma, Dentex and Medex in Algiers, through Easyfairs Northeral.

    And through Artexis, the Group manages 11 events venues in the Benelux and Nordic regions (Ghent, Antwerp, 2 venues in Namur, Mechelen-Brussels North, Mons, Hardenberg, Gorinchem, Venray, Stockholm and Malmö). The Group employs more than 700 people and expects to generate revenues in excess of €169 million for its financial year 2016-2017.

    Artexis Easyfairs strives to be the most adaptable, agile and effective player in the events industry by employing committed individuals, deploying the best marketing and technology tools, and developing strong brands. Visit the future with Artexis Easyfairs. For more information, visit our website www.easyfairs.com

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 20, 2017
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    Since taking office five years ago, he has helped transform Taitung County from a remote southern coastal city with 40 percent low-income families and a serious population drain into a major tourism hotspot. How has County Magistrate Justin Huang presided over such a turnaround?

    No matter how things change, or who gets the upper hand between Taiwan’s major political parties, one local Kuomintang (KMT) administrative chief has quietly occupied one of the top positions in the CommonWealth Local Leader Approval Survey. That man is Justin Huang, magistrate of Taitung County.

    Huang achieved his highest survey rank in 2013, coming in fourth among all 22 city and county heads across Taiwan. Even as strong anti-KMT sentiment rose as the Sunflower movement exploded across Taiwan the following year, he not only held strong at fifth, but retained his office in the year-end election. He followed this with strong showings of tenth in 2015 and eighth last year, and he moved back up to sixth this year.

    In Taitung County, a region comparatively lacking in favorable conditions and resources for development, how has Huang managed to push local residents’ happiness buttons?

    Taitung had quite a difficult year in 2016. On July 8, Typhoon Nepartak made landfall at Taitung City and Taimali, where class-17 gale force winds hit like a powerful bomb, causing damage the Taitung County Government has estimated at NT$2 billion, equivalent to 10 percent of the county’s entire annual budget.

    “We have to take advantage of rebuilding to elevate the city, or we’ll have gotten clobbered by Nepartak for no reason,” says Huang, addressing the tree planting and home rebuilding efforts.

    Another challenge that has hit Taitung with hurricane force is the continued precipitous drop in tourists from China. Huang relates that in the year since Tsai Ing-wen took office as president, the number of Chinese visitors to Taitung has dropped by one million. Meanwhile, hotel and bed and breakfast occupancy rates have declined 20 percent to around 40 percent of capacity.

    3 of 10 Employees Work in Tourism

    Despite his somber predictions that Taitung will face a rash of hotel and B&B closings over the next few years, he believes that Taitung’s tourism and hotel industry should take advantage of the opportunity to “revamp tourism.”

    “Businesses used to feel that government backing, combined with hot air balloon events and surfing competitions would attract tourists,” he says. A flurry of hotel and B&B openings ensued, doubling during his term in office to a total of 6,000. “Under the reshuffling, only those that work hard to improve service quality will survive,” he says.

    Maybe it has something to do with the optimism that comes from being the first place in Taiwan to greet the sun each day - despite the limited resources of a remote area - that allows Huang to find cause for optimism even in difficult circumstances.

    In 2010, he took over as county magistrate from Kuang Li-chen, who had the unflattering distinction of being ranked the last among all administrative chiefs in Taiwan. “As soon as I got in office, I was thinking: Wow, this county is really in bad shape, with 40 percent of households low-income families. And over the last 40 years, one-quarter of Taitung’s population has moved away,” he notes.

    Contemplating how to shake the status quo, he knew that the first step was for citizens to have their basic needs met. Thus “finding people work” became Huang’s top mission.

    Huang began an all-out effort to promote tourism, from the Taiwan International Balloon Festival in Luye, which attracted 600,000 visits in its seventh running this year, to the Taitung County Taiwan Open of Surfing, in which more than 30 international athletes competed in the sixth addition this year. In tourism, Huang seemingly found the answer for Taitung.

    According to official Taitung County government data, of 220,000 current residents, Taitung County has a working population of around 100,000 people. Of these, around 30,000 are employed in the tourism industry in some capacity, with 20,000 involved in the fishing and farming industries.

    Huang proudly relates that, according to survey statistics from banks and credit departments of farmers’ and fishermen’s associations, county residents’ savings have risen from NT$118.1 billion in 2009 to NT$137.4 billion in 2016, creating additional savings of more than NT$20 billion during his time in office.

    Balancing Environment and Economics

    However, it is worth noting that the tourism-oriented model has turned off quite a few Taitung locals. For one, long-time bird watcher Cheng Yu-sheng of the Wild Bird Society of Taitung pulls no punches in asserting that, while Huang has undoubtedly brought change to Taitung, he fears that lacking commensurate policy restrictions, the environmental cost of economic development will bring calamity to Taitung.

    Cheng cites the example of landslides at the Luye Gaotai Platform with every heavy rain, which were never seen prior to two years ago. “The residents of Taitung don’t want to offend anybody - and only end up offending the environment,” he states.

    Sayinu Tepiq, president of the Aboriginal Restoration Cultural Foundation and pastor of the Lalaulan indigenous community, also voices concerns. He notes that although indigenous people constitute one-third of Taitung’s population, the county government has always taken a top-to-bottom approach on indigenous culture and communication with different indigenous tribes.

    “If you respect indigenous people’s own consciousness, and adopt an open and tolerant attitude, you’ll find that promoting Taitung’s Austronesian cultural roots makes a more powerful statement than hot air balloons can,” states Sayinu emphatically.

    Taiwan’s most compelling cultural and humanitarian connections to the international community are tucked away in its most remote regions. Perhaps in his remaining year in office, Huang can start thinking about reconciling economics with the environment to map out a better future for the people of his county.

    Translated from the Chinese by David Toman

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 20, 2017
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    The Singapore government is launching a new training center focused on cyber threats under the Cyber Security Agency. It will be an academy to boost the skills of cyber-security professionals in government and Singapore’s critical sectors, including energy, banking, government healthcare and transport.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said the academy was essential, given that Singapore was heavily connected.

    The Cyber Security Academy will cooperate with leading industry partners in cybersecurity training. It will be opened in the later part of this year and will be expanded later to include cybersecurity professionals of the wider community.

    Details of the investment and the academy’s launch date and size are still being worked out. However, the agency will include US-based cybersecurity firm FireEye as its first partner to provide training in incident response and malware analysis.

    Additionally, the Singapore government will also launch the Cybersecurity Awards to recognise outstanding cybersecurity professionals, enterprises and students who have made “significant contributions” to the ecosystem, Teo said.

    Singapore will also be tabling a Cyber Security Bill in parliament next year which would require private and public organisations to report breaches that involve critical infrastructure to the Cyber Security Agency. It also empowers the agency’s chief, as commissioner of cybersecurity, to investigate threats and incidents to ensure essential services are not disrupted in a cyberattack.

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 20, 2017
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    Bangkok, Thailand –Asian Construction Week, consisting of three co-locating exhibitions in the concrete and building industry - Concrete Asia, BMAM Expo Asia and GBR Expo Asia. The exhibition opens its doors today at Hall 5 - 6 and Outdoor Area P5 at IMPACT Exhibition & Convention Center in Bangkok. The opening ceremony of the second edition of Asian Construction Week was graced by H.E. Nikom Wairatpanij former President of the Senate.

    “With ongoing infrastructure projects in ASEAN on the rise, we are excited to welcome more than 350 exhibiting companies and brands, who will be meeting 250 specially-invited regional buyers and more than 8,000 targeted visitors, “shared Mr. Loy Joon How, General Manager, IMPACT Exhibition Management Co., Ltd.

    Strong industry support
    Asian Construction Week is honored to feature exhibition showcases by government departments and supporting associations which include highlights from Construction Institute of Thailand; Department Of Public Works and Town & Country Planning; Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Training; Thai Contractors Association; Thai Machinery Association; Architect Council of Thailand; Asian Professional Security Association (APSA) Thailand; Smart Cities Thailand Association; Thailand Facility Management Association; Hotel Security Association of Thailand and more.

    Ms. Supawan Teerarat, Vice President, Strategic and Business Development, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) said that “TCEB delighted to be one of the main supporters of Asian Construction Week 2017. We expected that the show would attract over 8,000 MICE travelers including visitors and exhibitors from domestic & international and generate around 120 million baht to Thai economy from direct spending of international trade participants which motivate Thailand’s economy to greater development and set to be an infrastructure hub in ASEAN.”

    Interesting show activities held alongside the exhibitions
    Below are some of the activities at Asian Construction Week aimed at providing a fruitful experience for visitors:
    Concrete Asia 2017 presents Thailand Concrete & Construction Trends Seminar conducted by Thailand Concrete Association (TCA) with a focus on design trends in the 4.0 era and structural requirements for tall buildings. Speakers include representatives from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT); Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT); Department of Public Works and Town Planning (DPT); Bouygues Thai; Italian Thai and more.

    An Outdoor Demonstration Area, within walking distance of the exhibition hall, features more than 14 outdoor workshops on concrete decoration and concrete polishing by leading brands such as Concrete Décor Thailand Co., Ltd., Reentech Co., Ltd, Rep Floor CO., Ltd and TC Industrial Equipment.

    Held concurrently, the 2ndAsian Concrete Conference is a one and a half day conference program designed specially to explore the upcoming concrete trends in concrete/construction (concrete chemicals); innovations in structural engineering design; and many more.

    BMAM & GBR Expo Asia 2017 brings the latest technologies and services in building maintenance, facilities management, green building solutions and the latest 4.0 technology under the theme, “Internet of Things (IOT) Meets FM (Facility Management)”.

    In line with this theme, a feature zone featuring Smart Security and IOT showcases the connectivity between security devices and networks in the IOT. A brand-new zone, “Smart Home Showcase” by the Architect Council of Thailand demonstrates the next generation of smart home innovation features with electric car “Tesla S Series”.

    Free Smart City consulting service by Dr.Katanyoo Klubsuwan, President of Smart Cities Thailand Association will be pitched to governors in theSa Kaeo, Phichit, NakhonSawan, Ayutthaya and Pathum-Thani provinces looking to engage in smart city projects.

    BMAM and GBR Expo will also conduct a unique half-day seminar that will feature government and private representatives coming from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia, presenting their upcoming construction projects in their respective countries.

    Asian Construction Week is jointly organized by Globe International Events Consultancy Pte. Ltd. (GIEC), IMPACT Exhibition Management Co., Ltd and Sphere Exhibits Pte. Ltd. Concrete Asia 2017 is co-hosted by the Thailand Concrete Association (TCA) and Asian Concrete Construction Institute (ACCI).

    Exciting times ahead in 2018
    To create synergy among the exhibitions in the building, construction and infrastructure industries, INTERMAT ASEAN, Concrete Asia and BMAM & GBR Expo Asia,will come together on 6 to 8 September 2018 at Halls 5, 6, 7and 8 at IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand.

    For more information, please visitwww.asianconstructionweek.com/www.concrete-asia.com/www.bmam-gbr.com

    IMPACT Exhibition Management Co., Ltd.
    Amelia Sam
    +6628335214
    amelias@impact.co.th

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 20, 2017
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    Bangkok, 19 September 2017 – Showcasing two of its proven technologies for the Power industry, Veolia Water Technologies (Veolia) is exhibiting at Power-Gen Asia 2017 to create greater awareness about the benefits that its Actiflo® clarifier and Hydrotech™ microscreen filters can offer to industry players. From 19 – 21 September 2017 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC), Veolia will reaffirm the company’s commitment to simplify water and wastewater challenges for the Power industry in the Southeast Asia region.

    Bill Willersdorf, Global Market Director, Power, Veolia Water Technologies, shared, “Undoubtedly, power companies need to conserve fresh water by either using reclaimed water (sewage effluent), cycling cooling towers more often, or by re-using wastewater. It can also be difficult to navigate stringent environmental regulations. Wastewater challenges in the industry can be complex, and if discharge is not carefully managed, aquatic life and environmental balance will be impacted negatively. However, appropriate solutions are available for water management in the power industry. The Veolia Actiflo® and Hydrotech™ discfilter products have been winning technologies for our existing power customers, so we hope to have engaging conversations and meetings about these solutions with more companies at the show.”

    Tried and Tested Technologies

    At Power-Gen Asia 2017, Veolia is exhibiting its Actiflo® and Hydrotech™ microscreen filter technologies. Both advanced technologies have been well received by the power industry.

    • Actiflo® is a high rate clarifier exclusively developed and patented by Veolia. With over 1000 global references, Actiflo® is known for its performance in the pre-treatment of makeup water, cold lime softening, and side stream treatment. The clarifier is an ideal solution for recycling process water and pre-treating boiler feed or water within a power plant cooling tower. Compared to conventional clarifiers, Actiflo® has a small footprint resulting in competitive installed costs, and can be used for process water production, wastewater treatment, reuse and recycling, as well as storm water run-off treatment.

    A demo unit of the Actiflo® system is on display at the Veolia booth.

    Veolia will showcase two filters under the Hydrotech™ range – the Hydrotech™ Discfilter and the Hydrotech™ Drumfilter. Manufactured in Sweden, Hydrotech’s unique filter panels feature unparalleled quality and durability. The small footprint, as well as other technical features of the solution, results in cost-competitive installations.

    • Hydrotech™ Discfilters are mechanical and self-cleaning filters that offer a large filter area in a small footprint. Equipped with self-cleaning nozzles, the Discfilter eliminates the need for a backwash strainer. The easy to operate and maintain system also features flexibility in construction materials, and enables water and energy savings. The Discfilter is available in several series to cater to a variety of flow requirements.

    • Hydrotech™ Drumfilters are specially designed for high performance in systems where preventing particles from fragmentation is essential. The unit features a modular design, enabling easy maintenance and the ability to meet the actual flow capacity and performance requirements of filtration.

    To learn more about Veolia’s technologies for the power industry, visit Veolia’s Booth B1 at Power-Gen Asia, held in Exhibit Halls 98 and 99 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) from 19 – 21 September 2017.

    ###

    Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 163 000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.
    In 2016, the Veolia group supplied 100 million people with drinking water and 61 million people with wastewater service, produced 54 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 30 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €24.39 billion in 2016.www.veolia.com

    Veolia contact:
    Chin Lay LIM
    +6 03 2264 1818
    chinlay.lim@veolia.com

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 20, 2017
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    Coex’s President and CEO, Mr. Bo-Kyung Byun, was beaming after receiving the news that the venue won the ‘Outstanding Venue Award’ at the 2017 AFECA (Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations) Awards in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

    “We are honored to be selected as an outstanding venue by the AFECA judges,”said Mr. Byun. “This is our first AFECA award and it represents the collective effort of all our staff at Coex to make our venue the gold standard of professionalism as we upgrade and improve our offerings.”

    In the last year Coex has upgraded many of its facilities including reupholstering its 1,080 seat auditorium and renovating its 4th floor theatre and adjacent meeting rooms. Continuing through 2020, Coex will be upgrading all of its facilities including a complete overhaul of its second floor meeting rooms.

    “As leaders of the MICE industry in Asia, Coex is committed to developing our professionalism, environmental sustainability, and innovation in the meeting space,”said Mr. Byun. “This acknowledgement from our industry peers is confirmation that we are on the right path and will continue to push forward with mutually beneficial partnerships that benefit both our clients and industry professionals.”

    Celebrating the organizations 12th year, now with over 131 members covering 17 nations, AFECA is currently the leading MICE association in Asia. The AFECA Awards is an annual regional event to celebrate and acknowledge excellence in the exhibition and convention industry, and recognizes the contributions of AFECA members in the global market place.

    For questions regarding the AFECA awards contact Coex’s International Marketing Manager at curtis@coex.co.kr.

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 20, 2017

    SHENZHEN, China, September 20, 2017 - China Information Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNIT), a leading provider of internet-based ad distribution and ad display terminal sharing systems in China, today announced it has engaged Dragon Gate Investment Partners to lead an expanded investor relations program.

    "CNIT has made important progress in the past four months," said Mr. Jianghuai Lin, the Company's Chairman and CEO. "Given our progress toward key goals, we believe the timing is right to engage Dragon Gate Investment Partners based on their proven track record in assisting companies like ours. As we move forward, we are confident that Dragon Gate Investment Partners will be a valuable resource to assist us on our financial communications and our presence in the investment community."

    "We are honored to provide investor relations services to CNIT. By enhancing the communication to investors, CNIT is a great opportunity for Americans to benefit from the fast growth of the IT industry in China," said Lijie Zhu, Managing Director of Dragon Gate Investment Partners.

    About China Information Technology, Inc.
    China Information Technology, Inc. (CNIT) is a leading Internet service company that provides integrated cloud-based solutions enabling innovation and smart living in the fields of new media, elevator safety management, education, etc. Through continuous innovation, CNIT is aiming to leverage its proprietary Cloud-Application-Terminal technology to level the competitive landscape in the new media industry and deliver value for its shareholders, employees, customers, and the community. To learn more, please visit http://www.chinacnit.com.

    About Dragon Gate Investment Partners
    Headquartered in New York City's midtown Manhattan, Dragon Gate Investment Partners is a unique investment firm with a special focus on globalizing and localizing sustainable and promising companies in the U.S. and China. The team has well-earned reputation of excellence in providing sensible and cost-effective cross-border business solutions for a wide breadth of clientele, including public companies, financial institutions, and high-net-worth individuals.

    Safe Harbor Statement
    This press release may contain certain "forward-looking statements" relating to the business of China Information Technology, Inc., and its subsidiaries and other consolidated entities. All statements, other than statements of historical fact included herein, are "forward-looking statements" in nature within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, often identified by the use of forward-looking terminologies such as "believes", "expects" or similar expressions, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they do involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and these expectations may prove to be incorrect. Investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including those discussed in the Company's periodic reports that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on its website (http://www.sec.gov). All forward-looking statements attributable to the Company and its subsidiaries and other consolidated entities or persons acting on their behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these factors. Other than as required under the securities laws, the Company does not assume a duty to update these forward-looking statements.

    For further information, please contact:
    China Information Technology, Inc.
    Iris Yan
    Tel: +86-755-8370-4767
    Email: IR@chinacnit.com
    http://www.chinacnit.com
    or
    Dragon Gate Investment Partners LLC
    Tel: +1(646)-801-2803
    Email: cnit@dgipl.com

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    Sep 20, 2017

    SHENZHEN, China, September 20, 2017 - China Information Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNIT), a provider of internet-based ad distribution and ad display terminal sharing systems in China, today said it has entered into a contract for the sale of 5,000 CNIT cloud-based ad terminals to be installed in office buildings, residential communities, shopping malls and various outdoor locations throughout Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province.

    Signed with advertising agency Guangzhou Taoping New-media Technology Limited, the contract is expected to generate sales and service revenue to CNIT of $1.5 million.

    Today's news is the twelfth in a series of announcements since May of 2017 on CNIT's sales of its cloud-based ad terminals. Each of the contracts - which range in value from $0.5 to $3 million - is also expected to generate revenue from customers' use of the company's Yunfa advertising distribution system and Taoping ad screen sharing platform.

    "This contract will not only contribute substantial revenue but will also strengthen our exposure as one of the leading providers of cloud-based equipment and systems in China's four tier one cities- Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, " said chairman and CEO Mr. Jianghuai Lin.

    The CEO reiterated the company's projection of 2018 revenue of $30 to $33 million and adjusted net income of $9 to $11 million, with sales of additional 120,000 cloud-based ad terminals with market penetration in 100 cities and IoT network coverage of 200 million people throughout China.

    About China Information Technology, Inc.
    China Information Technology, Inc. (CNIT) is a leading Internet service company that provides integrated cloud-based solutions enabling innovation and smart living in the fields of new media, elevator safety management, education, etc. Through continuous innovation, CNIT is aiming to leverage its proprietary Cloud-Application-Terminal technology to level the competitive landscape in the new media industry and deliver value for its shareholders, employees, customers, and the community. To learn more, please visithttp://www.chinacnit.com.

    Safe Harbor Statement
    This press release may contain certain "forward-looking statements" relating to the business of China Information Technology, Inc., and its subsidiaries and other consolidated entities. All statements, other than statements of historical fact included herein, are "forward-looking statements" in nature within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, often identified by the use of forward-looking terminologies such as "believes", "expects" or similar expressions, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they do involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and these expectations may prove to be incorrect. Investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including those discussed in the Company's periodic reports that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on its website (http://www.sec.gov). All forward-looking statements attributable to the Company and its subsidiaries and other consolidated entities or persons acting on their behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these factors. Other than as required under the securities laws, the Company does not assume a duty to update these forward-looking statements.

    For further information, please contact:
    China Information Technology, Inc.
    Iris Yan
    Tel: +86-755-8370-4767
    Email: IR@chinacnit.com
    http://www.chinacnit.com
    or
    Dragon Gate Investment Partners LLC
    Tel: +1(646)-801-2803
    Email: cnit@dgipl.com

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    Sep 21, 2017
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    SHENZHEN, China, Sept. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- China (Shenzhen) International Gift and Home Product Fair held by Reed Huabo, one of the members of Reed Exhibitions is to celebrate its 25th anniversary on October 20, 2017.

    Taking advantage of reform and opening up to accelerate development

    Shenzhen Gift and Home Show since its inception in 1993, has kept pace with the times, dedicating to create outstanding exhibition and infinite business opportunity. Chinese economy has grown rapidly after the reform and opening during the past 30 years, the show has taken advantage of the development to be the largest show of its kind in China and the most anticipated sourcing event in the industry.

    Leading the industry and staying one-step ahead

    Shenzhen Gift and Home Show has been pioneer with creative and innovative spirits. "Target Attendee Program" held at the show allows exhibitors to contact with large global sourcing organizations. Meanwhile, buyers can quickly meet and identify the suppliers they need.

    Other pioneering services helping to maximize sourcing productivity include a new mobile app which allows buyers to access exhibitor profile on a mobile device conveniently. And also the exhibitor has a new online marketplace to display their products. The app enables the transaction to be done all the year round from off-line to on-line scenarios.

    Forging ahead and making further progress

    "The past 25 years indicate that our show is welcomed by both visitors and exhibitors. It also boosts the development of Gift and Home industry in China. I truly thank all the trust and support of our clients, and hard-working of our team members. In the future, we will keep being dedicated to build the first-class exhibition and facilitate more trading opportunity," Mr. Jiang, President of Reed Huabo, said.

    Opening hours for the show are:

    Oct. 20-22 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Oct. 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    About Reed Huabo

    Reed Huabo - one of the most influential exhibition companies in China, is a member company of Reed Exhibitions - the world's leading event organizer, based in the UK. It's committed to leading the industry development and continuously creating values for customers from all over the world. For more info, please visit us at:www.chinagiftsfair.com

    Media Contact:

    Lisa Li
    + 85 755-3398 9311
    lisa.li@reedhuabo.com

    Source: Reed Huabo Exhibitions

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    Sep 21, 2017
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    Singapore’s education system is the best in Asia in preparing students for the future, a new study looking into the quality of education in 35 important economies worldwide showed.

    The research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released on September 19 ranked countries which together account for 77 per cent of the global population. The index assessed how well they were preparing students for a world where they would need interdisciplinary, creative, analytical, entrepreneurial, leadership, digital and technical skills, as well as global awareness and civic education.

    Singapore scored 80.1 out of 100 to rank fifth overall – behind New Zealand (88.9), Canada (86.7), Finland (85.5) and Switzerland (81.5) – in the study that assessed how well governments equip people aged 15 to 24 with skills for their working life.

    Japan, which ranked seventh, was the next best Asian economy with a score of 77.2. South Korea ranked 12th, Hong Kong came in 14th and China was placed 31st out of 35 economies.

    The EIU said that employees of the future will compete across global borders for the best education, jobs and growth, and they will need to be nimble, flexible and dynamic, ready to recognise and respond swiftly to emerging trends. Thus, students must be prepared for rapidly evolving technologies and face challenges such as environmental change, urbanisation, migration and demographic shifts, the report said.

    Singapore was especially lauded for its pool of effective teachers, which are even more central to a successful future-skills education system than in more traditional schooling environments. However, the study cited Singapore as one of the economies that could improve in having initiatives beyond the classroom assisted by collaboration with businesses, the wider society as well as other schools or universities.

    The mediocre ranking of Hong Kong, instead, is mainly owing to not performing well in socioeconomic environment, scoring poorly – 58.4 out of 100 points – for cultural diversity and tolerance.

    The study said that Hong Kong lacked “a comprehensive policy on equipping youth with skills for the future, in particular, an assessment framework for future skills, global citizenship skills and project learning,” adding that this was “a wake-up call” for the education system there.

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 22, 2017
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    Singapore, 22 September 2017 – Global energy leaders will discuss energy challenges facing the region at the 10th edition of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) to be held from 23-27 October.

    The annual event will commence with the Singapore Energy Lecture by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, focusing on this year’s theme – “Rethinking Energy; Navigating Change”. Mr S. Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) will deliver SIEW’s Opening Remarks.

    Participants can look forward to in-depth strategic discussions at the Singapore Energy Summit and the inaugural Singapore-IEA Forum led by the Energy Market Authority (EMA). Topics include rethinking energy strategies, the outlook for oil & gas, integration of renewables, and energy investment opportunities in Asia.

    High-level attendees include:

  • H.E. Dr Khammany Inthirath, Minister of Energy and Mines, Lao PDR
  • H.E. Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia
  • H.E. Bill Johnston, Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia
  • H.E. Tun Lean, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Cambodia
  • José María Figueres, Former President, Costa Rica and Co-Chair, Global Ocean Commission
  • Christiana Figueres, Former Head, UN Climate Change Convention
  • Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency
  • Adnan Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency
  • Liu Zhenya, Chairman, Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization
  • Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman & CEO, The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan
  • Dr Rashid Al Leem, Chairman, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, United Arab Emirates
  • Goh Swee Chen, Chairman, Shell Companies in Singapore
  • Charif Souki, Chairman, Tellurian Investments
  • Yuji Kakimi, President, JERA
  • Neil McGregor, Group President and CEO, Sembcorp Industries
  • Ulla Sandborgh, Director General and CEO, Swedish National Grid
  • Mohammad Mohammad Saleh Abdulwahed, Director-General, Federal Electricity and Water Authority, United Arab Emirates
  • John McCarrick, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Transformation, US Department of State

    SIEW 2017 will also feature our key partner conferences & exhibitions: Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES), Asian Downstream Summit (ADS) and Gas Asia Summit (GAS). There will also be nine think-tank roundtables co-hosted by the EMA and leading international organisations for focused discussions on key energy issues.

    In celebration of its 10th edition, SIEW will be launching a commemorative book “Rethinking Energy; Navigating Change: 10 Global Insights” on the first day. Delegates will also be invited to a special networking reception held at ME@OUE on 23 October 2017.

    Register by 30 September 2017 for early bird discounts of up to S$300. SIEW 2017 will be held from 23 to 27 October 2017 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Visit www.siew.sg to register your attendance and for more updates.

    ###

    About Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW)

    In its 10th edition, SIEW is the premier platform in Asia for energy insights, partnerships and dialogue, which brings together the world’s leading conferences, exhibitions, and roundtables in one week, one location. SIEW enriches the global energy conversation by convening political, business, academic and energy industry thought-leaders to define and advance the world’s leading energy challenges, solutions and actions across the energy spectrum of oil & gas, clean and renewable energy, and energy infrastructure financing.

    Please visitwww.siew.sg for further information.

    For media queries, please contact:

    Chiu Mei Ji
    Energy Market Authority
    Tel: +65 6376 7876
    Email: chiu_mei_ji@ema.gov.sg

    Eileen Ho
    Edelman for SIEW
    Tel: +65 6347 2320
    Email: eileen.ho@edelman.com

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 22, 2017
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    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- IFSEC Southeast Asia, the leading security, fire and safety event for the region is going to alternately be held between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in 2018. The first Bangkok edition will take place next year on 14-16th November 2018 at the Impact Exhibition & Convention Center.

    The Bangkok edition is supported by the Royal Thai Police, Asian Professional Security Association (APSA) Thailand Chapter, and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).

    Just recently, the Thai prime minister has ordered a review of the 300,000 CCTV cameras that are installed in public spaces and roads in the country. The authorities discovered that dozens of cameras were out of service, some for years. The growth of the CCTV market in Thailand is driven by several factors, including business requirements and the growing need for safety and security for everyday use. AXIS Communications expects the CCTV market in Thailand to continue its growth trajectory after posting a 9.2% boost in 2016 to THB 4.3 billion in total value, which is expected to rise to THB 5.7 billion by 2020.

    With the move to Bangkok, the organiser, United Business Media (UBM) will continue to bring world-renowned brands to the emerging market of Southeast Asia, in general, and Thailand, in particular. Thailand's economy recently grew at the fastest pace in more than four years. Economic growth for the full year of 2017 is now projected at around 3.5%, according to a new World Bank report. The country's mega projects in infrastructure and transportation, including smart building, surveillance systems, access control and biometrics, and others, will have a direct effect on the security industry. The growing demand of Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to increase since Thailand's internet penetration is up to 42% with over 29 million users nationwide; it now ranks 8th fastest in Asia.

    "As the country is growing rapidly in multiple sectors, we must not neglect the essential of the nation's security preparedness," said Mr. ChiruitIsarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of TCEB. "With IFSEC Southeast Asia moving to Bangkok, we hope Thailand's industry players and users will benefit by meeting directly with leading global brands and witnessing the latest products and technologies to be used in the nation."

    On top of that, UBM is very proud to launch POLSEC, a new exhibition that focuses on police security products, including anti-riot equipment, ballistic helmets, body armour, clothing, countermeasure devices, and more.

    "With the fast-changing security landscape, the police will have to be properly equipped to face the ever-changing challenges in securing people, properties and assets," said Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, Royal Thai Police Commissioner-General. "The launching of POLSEC will give us insights of the latest products and technologies available for the police or any other law enforcement body to secure public safety."

    IFSEC Southeast Asia is a franchise of the leading global security, fire and safety event portfolio. It takes place annually in London, India and the Philippines. The Bangkok edition estimates to showcase around 350 world-leading brands, for the viewing of more than 10,000 trade buyers and industry players coming from around the region.

    For more information on IFSEC Southeast Asia, please log on to www.ifsecsea.com or contact the organiser at +60321768788.

    About UBM Asia

    Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is the largest trade show organiser in Asia and the largest commercial organiser in China, India, Malaysia and Thailand. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global network of 32 offices and 1,300 staff in 24 major cities. We operate in 19 market sectors with 230 events, 28 trade publications, 18 online products for over 2,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world.

    UBM Asia was awarded "Asia's Most Reliable Trade Show Organiser Award" in Hong Kong's Most Valuable Companies Awards (HKMVCA) 2016.

    Source: UBM Asia (Malaysia)

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

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    Sep 22, 2017

    The world's fourth largest and China's top ranked payment solutions provider, Goldpac Group Limited ("Goldpac" or the "Group", stock code: 03315.HK) announced that it has delivered China's first-ever multi-industry application mobile payment Bluetooth card, the "One Card Pay" smart co-branded card, to Guangdong Huaxing Bank. Jointly produced with Internet + Finance pioneer, Guangdong Huaxing Bank, China's leading mobile apps development and mobile payment service providers in finance domain, CNMOBI, and the pioneer of intelligent transportation, ShenZhenTong, this innovative product demonstrates Goldpac's innovation capabilities in the mobile finance domain.

    The "One Card Pay" smart co-branded card is a dual-interface debit card integrated with industry-standard financial payment applications, ShenZhenTong metro applications and CNMOBI applications. It not only enables cash withdrawals and offline payments, but can also be used on public transportation such as buses and subways. More importantly, it can download, over the air, a number of CNMOBI apps through Bluetooth. On the one hand, this creates a one-card, multi-purpose product, reducing the number of cards consumers carry every day in their wallets. This will lead to an enhancement in card usage rates and improve consumer stickiness. On the other hand, it connects with mobile phones via Bluetooth to realize the Internet+ transformation for payment cards, extending payment card applications towards wider domains.

    Mr. LI Yuangang, General Manager of Goldpac Limited, said, "By taking advantage of our core security authentication technologies, the mobile payment Bluetooth card becomes an innovative financial payment product designed for the mobile internet domain. The integrated low-energy Bluetooth module creates a channel between offline financial payment cards and the mobile smart terminal. This is what gives the financial payment card the ability to interact with the internet. In addition to fundamental financial payment card functions, the card can connect with the mobile phone to download other card applications over the air like transportation cards, citizen cards and gas cards. Thus, realizing over the air, download, recharge, and top-up capabilities, thereby, stimulate multi-scene business integration and the multiple applications interaction. It appears that diversified payments are moving inevitably towards the O2O model. This trend is also in line with Goldpac's strategy for security and payment technology development. Therefore, we are confident that we can continue to deliver increasingly innovative products and services for the mobile internet space."

    - End -

    About Goldpac Group Limited (Stock Code: 03315)

    With more than 20 years of successful experience and a leading global technology portfolio, Goldpac is honored to be ranked China's No.1 and the world's No. 4 corporation in the secure payment industry.

    Committed to its core vision of Making Transactions More Secure and Convenient, Goldpac is specialised in delivering embedded software and secure payment products for global customers while leveraging innovative Fintech to provide data processing service, system platform and other total solutions for a wide business range of financial, government, healthcare, transportation, and retails.

    Inspired by the China government's Belt and Road initiative, Goldpac is now extending its superior solutions and services to an even wider geographical network, delivering convenient, secure payment experiences to people around the globe.

    For more information, please visithttp://www.goldpac.com/cn/ or contact at goldpac@godlpac.com.

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    Sep 22, 2017
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    Offshore wind power is one of the two major pillars of Taiwan's transition away from nuclear power and fossils fuels to renewable energies. Yet concerns remain that offshore wind farms might obstruct sea channels, encroach on marine habitats and undermine the livelihood of coastal fishermen.

    On an August afternoon, the thundering sound and smoke of firecrackers fills the air in front of the activity center in Bengang, a local community in Taoyuan's Xinwu District. The commotion is not part of a temple festival, but is meant to disrupt a public hearing near a transformer station site for a planned offshore wind farm.

    As an Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) official begins to explain the project, Benggang ward chief Peng Yung-liang cuts him off, stating, "No need to talk; we are firmly opposed." At the same time, local residents set off more firecrackers, the ear-deafening crackling, roaring sounds drowning out the speaker's voice.

    Taoyuan City Councilor Chiu Chia-liang of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who spearheads local resistance movement, chips in, saying, "In the winter, the fishermen catch eel larvae, this will affect their livelihoods. Big business only thinks about making money; they don't care about the locals." Chiu storms off immediately after making his statement, and representatives of the wind park developer and a small number of local residents complete their onsite inspection of the transformer station. For Taiwan's wind farm developers, local protests like this one are a common occurrence.

    Offshore wind power plays a major role in Taiwan's energy transformation. By 2025, Taiwan hopes to have an installed offshore wind power capacity of 3 Gigawatts. Currently applications for projects exceeding 10 GW of total installed capacity have been filed, more than three times the government target. In the government's nuclear-free energy mix, wind power takes up a major share, second only to natural gas.

    But how can the timetable for the erection of offshore wind farms be met if confrontation and resistance undermine the government's efforts to communicate its energy policy?

    Successfully communicating government policy to residents is just one of many challenges. Other hurdles include the leasing of construction vessels for offshore work, securing capital, and dealing with extreme weather events. Just how hard is it to erect an offshore wind farm in Taiwan? Robert Tsai, chairman of Swancor Renewable Energy Co., Ltd., knows best.

    It took the company from 2012 until April of this year to be granted a power generation license for its two pilot wind turbines in waters of Zhunan, Miaoli County. "In short, this dream wasn't meant to come true," notes an emotional Tsai as he recalls the many twists and turns that threatened to thwart his dream project over the years.

    Hoping to build support for the wind turbines among the local fishermen, Tsai posted employees in Miaoli to do the legwork. By 2015, they had finally won over 95 percent of the fishermen for the project after promising to pay more than NT$400 million in compensation.

    However, due to construction difficulties, plant erection costs have meanwhile more than doubled. Tsai also hit a wall with his efforts to raise capital for the project. He had doors slammed into his face more than 200 times. In the end, he had no other choice but to solicit foreign investment.

    For Lack of Precedents, Developers Learn the Hard Way

    After five years of hard work, only two turbines of the planned pilot wind farm have been completed. If the targeted installed capacity of 3 GW, requiring 500 wind turbines in the sea, were to be reached by 2025, from now on an additional wind turbine would have to be installed every five days.

    "We would have to work very hard, but it's not impossible," says Bureau of Energy Secretary-General Lee Chun-li, although this means that many issues would have to be tackled at the same time. For instance, wind park developers could develop wind farms suggested by the Bureau of Energy or scout for prospective sites themselves. At the same time, the government is creating special zones in the Port of Taichung and Xingda Port to facilitate offshore infrastructure construction as part of its four-year wind power promotion plan. "We are doing so many things at the same time, which raises the level of difficulty and complexity," says Lee.

    Presently, at least six domestic and foreign firms are competing for wind farm projects in Changhua County. Many of the challenges they face can be attributed to the lack of precedents in Taiwan.

    One wind farm developer who did not want to be named points out that offshore wind farms face a bureaucratic labyrinth with long and winding detours. "Promoting the policy is the Bureau of Energy, but when it comes to other government organs, you are hitting a wall," notes the industry insider, pointing to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Fisheries Agency and the Ministry of National Defense.

    "It feels like we have embarked on a hopeless adventure," laments the developer, saying that government units should act in concert. Precisely because there are no precedents, the government should take a more proactive role in coordinating the various Cabinet agencies instead of letting developers hit setback after setback. The status of the Bureau of Energy in the government hierarchy is too low, the Fisheries Agency remains passive and ignores its duties, while the capacity of the Executive Yuan's Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction is insufficient. Developers should not be left to fend all by themselves, he says.

    This high level of uncertainty undermines willingness to invest. In late July, German wind farm developer WPD Offshore GmbH withdrew its application to build a wind farm off the Changbin Industrial Zone in Changhua County because the prospective construction site mostly overlaps with a white dolphin habitat. In late August, the Maritime Port Bureau announced a new sea channel that would affect the scope of the planned wind farms, triggering protests from developers. All these are recent examples of aggravating circumstances.

    Most affected by the new sea channel is the Hai Long Offshore Wind Farm Project in Changhua County, jointly owned by Canada-based Northern Power Development Inc. (NPI) and Singaporean Yushan Energy Pte Ltd. Originally, the Hai Long project comprised wind farms No. 18, No. 19 and No. 25. However, due to the overlap of the wind farm sites with the new sea channel, the project has been scaled down by nearly half. No. 18 can be fully built, whereas only 60 percent of No. 19 can still be developed, and No. 25 had to be scrapped completely.

    For NPI Taiwan General Manager Sean McDermott, this is not a new experience. “Taiwan seems to be going through some of the same growing pains that we experienced 10 and 15 years ago in North America and Europe when wind power was just starting out. Energy policy is complex, and it requires coordination among multiple government agencies and public stakeholders, especially since it has such a direct impact on people’s lives. Finding the right approach is tricky and takes time, but Taiwan is moving in the right direction. This transition can be frustrating, but it’s understandable, and we’re confident that Taiwan will figure it out,” says McDermott.

    Clearly, energy transformation will not materialize overnight. The eight-year timetable proposed by the government coincides with two successive presidential terms. If implemented, it would provide the incumbent government with something to demonstrate its political track record. But haste usually makes waste. Two years after the Bureau of Energy announced potential wind farm sites, they were found to clash with the new sea channel in one case and a white dolphin habitat in another, which indicates that the prospective sites were announced too hastily. Such rushed policymaking has eroded developers' trust in the government and left local residents feeling they are not treated with due respect.

    Lack of Time for Communication Means Everyone Loses

    Compared to Germany, which managed to reduce coal-fired power generation by just 10 percent over the past twelve years as part of its energy transition, Taiwan is planning to slash coal-fired power generation by an ambitious 25 percent within eight years. As a result, pressure to realize offshore wind farms is far higher than anticipated.

    Lin Tze-luen, deputy director of the Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction, believes that the transition to renewable energies will take time and space. "Energy transition is not just a technological alternative, such as renewable energy substituting thermal or nuclear power, but means a fundamental change in the approach to civil participation," Lin says. "Those advocating renewable energies must communicate clearly which options entail which costs and risks."

    Lin believes that communication concerning potential risks is particularly important where local residents oppose wind turbines. "Saying 'No' is very easy, but how about thinking together about a solution that would create a win-win situation for the environment, local development and energetic sustainability?" Lin asks rhetorically.

    He suggests slowly building understanding and support through community-building approaches. The laying of an undersea power transmission cable from a wind farm in waters off the Penghu Islands to the coast of Yunlin County was originally put off for ten years. But after Lin posted staff in Taixi township, where the cable is supposed to come ashore, slowly a more sophisticated mode of communication with local residents evolved, which very recently led to some progress in the discussions.

    If Taiwan's offshore wind farm ambitions are to materialize, the current conflict between local residents and developers must be transformed into collaboration. If either side only pursues its own selfish interests, no one will gain anything. Developers, local residents and Taiwan's energy transition will all lose out.

    Although the energy transition targets have been set, the Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction is currently holding a conference to draft an "Energy Transition White Paper." How did the target come to be set before the conference was called? As Lin explains, past practice was to have the government decide policy targets and approaches. But the international trend now is to forge consensus through dialogue with citizens. The upcoming white paper will cover feasible roadmaps and approaches to reach targets for reducing coal consumption and carbon emissions, and natural gas usage.

    What is needed most for consensus building is time. While time alone won't solve everything, without sufficient time, nothing is likely to be solved.

    Translated from the Chinese by Susanne Ganz

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    Sep 23, 2017
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    Taiwan intends to increase the use of renewable energy and phase out nuclear power by 2025. But thermal power plants burning coal and natural gas will still play major roles and could pose serious health risks, especially over the next 10 years.

    TSMC’s expansion of its foundry in the Central Taiwan Science Park not far from Dadu Mountain is in full swing. The world’s biggest contract chip maker may be an important lifeline of Taiwan’s economy, but it has also accounted for a third of the increase in electricity demand in the country over the past five years.

    On the other side of Dadu Mountain less than 20 kilometers away lies Taichung’s Longjing District. Four days after Taiwan suffered a blackout that affected most parts of the island on Aug. 15, former Premier Lin Chuan visited the coal-fired Taichung Power Plant in Longjing and was met by protesters led by opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Yen Kuan-heng, who represents the district.

    “The use of nuclear power is being cut; does that mean we are jacking up the use of fossil fuels to generate power? Doesn’t pollution from particulates get worse the more coal we burn?” asks Ou Yu-mei, the head of Lishui Ward in which the plant, the world’s biggest thermal power station, is located. Another one of the protesters that day, Ou brews coffee for visitors while pointing outside as she holds court.

    “The air is really not good. If you leave your car outside for two or three days, it becomes caked in black dust. I don’t want to say it’s entirely because of the Taichung Power Plant, but it’s one of the main culprits,” she says.

    Taichung resident aren’t the only ones worried about air quality. “Changhua faces the dual threat of a coal-fired plant to the north and the sixth naphtha cracker plant project to the south,” says San Hsiao-ching, the deputy director-general of the Changhua County Public Health Bureau.

    An eye-catching green vehicle is parked outside the community development association of Nandian Ward in the county’s Hemei Township. Some 30 to 40 people local residents have lined up to the side, waiting to undergo a lung function screening test.

    Changhua County began to offer lung screenings last year, hoping in part to better understand the connection between the incidence of respiratory tract diseases and risk factors in the area.

    “I did a test before, and they told me my lungs had gray spots,” says a 47-year-old woman surnamed Huang who lives in neighboring Hedong Ward. Just a few weeks earlier, she was diagnosed as having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and now she exercises every day, hoping to improve her lung capacity.

    At the end of last year, Changhua County Commissioner Wei Ming-ku used the NT$17 million state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) subsidizes the county to promote electricity development to conduct lung screenings around the county and survey the prevalence of respiratory disease and key risk factors.

    The county deployed the mobile screening vehicle to county townships and into elementary schools to track the health of people’s lungs from the time they are small and determine if the respiratory problems are linked to nearby power plants.

    Tsai Yi-giien, the head of the Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Changhua Christian Children’s Hospital, has researched the subject. He has found that in the three Changhua townships closest to the coal-fired power plant in Longjing just across the county border, the incidence of allergic rhinitis (commonly known as hay fever) and asthma among second- and fourth-graders is clearly higher today than 10 years ago.

    “Ten years is not even a generation. For allergies to steadily rise like this is a sure sign that the environment is a very important factor,” he says. But pinpointing what those environmental factors are will require further clarification, he admits.

    Air quality has increasingly drawn national attention, and while there remains a lack of hard evidence of a link between health and the pollutants discharged by power plants, many public health scholars believe that the health risk from such pollution cannot be underestimated.

    In fact, health has been all but ignored as a risk in Taiwan’s bumpy transition to an energy future that will rely more on renewable energy while phasing out nuclear power. Yet that risk is very real, because Taiwan’s next 10 years could be hot and dirty and face the risk of power shortages.

    Lights Out vs. Black Lung

    What many people don’t realize is that the Taichung Power Plant, seen by residents in both Taichung and Changhua as a major health risk, is assuming an increasingly important role in Taiwan’s power generation.

    When the six generators at the natural gas-fired Tatan Power plant in northern Taiwan shut down on Aug. 15 because of human error, it caused a rolling blackout around the island. Had it not been for the Taichung Power Plant, which accounts for about 20 percent of the country’s power generation, Taiwan would have gone completely dark.

    Many people are also just realizing that what helped Taiwan get through its hottest August on record was not nuclear power or alternative energy, but thermal power. At noon on a hot day in late August, coal was used to generate about 33 percent of the country’s electricity, compared to 42.5 percent from natural gas, 8.4 percent from nuclear power and 4.4 percent from renewable energy.

    Taipower statistics indicate that over the past 10 years, the generation of thermal power has risen nearly 20 percent, from 151.83 billion kilowatt-hours in 2007 to 180.45 billion kWh in 2016, and its proportion of total electricity production has risen from 75 percent to 80 percent during that time.

    The government’s energy transition plan has described the next 10 years as “first bitter then sweet.” It foresees coal-fired power increasing to 50 percent of Taiwan’s electricity mix by 2020 but then receding to 30 percent by 2025, when renewable energy and natural gas-fired power will account for 20 percent and 50 percent of total power generation, respectively.

    The increasing use of coal in the short term flies in the face of international trends. Coal has been recognized as a hazardous toxic substance, and countries around the world are trying to reduce its use in electricity generation. In May, for example, South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered eight domestic coal-fired power plants over 30 years old to be shut down for the month of June and 10 aging coal-fired power plants to be closed for four months next year starting in March, mainly because of pollution concerns.

    Yeh Guang-perng, a gynecologist at Changhua Christian Hospital and the founder of civil group Air Clean Taiwan, cited a March 2011 report by the American Lung Association as saying that American coal-fired power plants spew 84 separate hazardous air pollutants into the air. Aside from emitting heavy metals and carbon dioxide, coal plants are big producers of PM2.5 particulates and PM2.5 precursor gases sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide.

    PM2.5 particulates, classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as being “carcinogenic to humans,” are of particular concern. Only 1/28th the diameter of a human hair and able to flow freely through the human body, these particulates have been linked to everything from respiratory diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease and dementia to lung, liver, and bladder cancer.

    “PM2.5 pollutants can reduce the respiratory tract’s resistance to disease-carrying bacteria, and hamper the function of white blood cells,” says Vincent Su, a chest medicine specialist at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. PM2.5 particulates not only increase the incidence of these diseases but also their fatality rate, he adds.

    A total of 8,600 people in Taiwan died from exposure to PM2.5 particulates in 2009, according to a study published this year by Lin Hsien-ho, an associate professor in National Taiwan University’s Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.

    Tracking down the source of PM2.5 pollutants can be tricky, however, because they come from many sources, including traffic dust, factories, overseas sources, and power generation, and the latter only accounts for 3.6 percent of all PM2.5 emissions, according to Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) figures.

    But 36.4 percent of all sulfur oxides and 16.7 percent of nitrogen oxides, the precursor gases for the hazardous PM2.5 particulates, are produced by power plants, EPA data shows.

    As thermal power generation grows in importance in the country’s electricity mix, the proportion of emissions from power plants is bound to rise. As Taiwan increases the share of coal-fired power in the next few years, it cannot but take the corresponding health risks and costs seriously.

    Chen Yu-cheng, an assistant investigator at the National Health Research Institutes’

    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, says PM2.5, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide values in Taiwan have improved since 2006, but annual average PM2.5 concentrations remain higher than national standards and World Health Organization guidelines.

    The Culprit behind Rising Lung Adenocarcinoma

    Another worry is that while the fatality rate of lung cancer in Taiwan has declined over the past five years, the incidence of pulmonary adenocarcinoma (a type of non-small cell lung cancer that begins in the glands) has grown steadily over the last 20 years.

    “Of 10 lung cancer patients in Taiwan, six to seven have adenocarcinoma of the lung,” Taipei Veterans General Hospital’s Su observes.

    This form of lung cancer is not highly correlated to smoking. Studies have shown that aside from other factors such as genes, occupational hazards, and exposure to cooking oil fumes, air pollution is also an important cause of the disease.

    That’s why central Taiwan, home to the world’s biggest thermal power station, has garnered particular attention from doctors who study air pollution and related diseases.

    Responding to the possibility of higher pollution in the near future, Wu Cheng-hung, the head of Taipower’s Department of Environmental Protection, explained that despite the short-term rise in coal’s share of the energy mix, the emissions that will be reduced by decommissioning two coal-burning generators at Hsinta Power Plant in 2024 will more than offset the additional emissions generated by new power plants.

    That’s because the thermal power plants being designed for the future, including three generators at the Linkou Power Plant, three at the Dalin Power Plant and two at the Shen Ao Power Plant, will used advanced ultra-supercritical technology that is much cleaner than what is in place today.

    This would be the ideal scenario, but it would mean that the two major preconditions for decommissioning aging coal- and gas-fired generators – more renewable energy and a more robust natural gas infrastructure – had been met.

    At present, renewable energy contributes only about 5 percent of Taiwan’s overall power generation, and the government’s biggest hope for increasing that number substantially – offshore wind power – still faces many problems and obstacles.

    At the same time, plans for a third liquefied natural gas terminal in Taiwan are being held up by environmental disputes, and a solution is unlikely in the near term.

    If the development of renewable energy and natural gas facilities remains stalled, Taiwan will not be able to retire old coal-fired and oil-fired power stations, and those fuels will emerge as the biggest source of Taiwan’s electricity generation, as was the case this summer.

    The most likely energy source Taiwan would call on in an electricity pinch – oil-fired power – generates serious nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide pollution even in limited use relative to other sources.

    In 2015, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide emissions spewed out by Taiwan’s only completely oil-fired power station, the Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung, soared nearly 100 percent and 67 percent, respectively, according to EPA statistics. The huge increase occurred because the plant was forced to operate longer hours to compensate for tightening electricity supplies.

    Also, because the Hsieh-ho plant is aging and scheduled to be decommissioned in the not-too-distant future, there is not enough space or time to fit them with pollution control equipment, admits EPA deputy chief Thomas Chan. The only eco-friendly option, if you can call it that, is purchasing low-sulfur oil, because the Hsieh-ho plant alone generated 12 percent of all of Taiwan’s sulfur oxide emissions in 2016.

    The High Health Risk Era Has Arrived

    Though oil-fired power plants are now relegated to being used only when power is tight (defined as when the operating reserve margin is below 6 percent of capacity), that threshold was attained 80 days last year and 78 days already this year with nearly four months still to go.

    Aside from the two Hsieh-ho Power Plant generators, the No. 3 and 4 oil-fired generators at the Dalin Power Plant, which are to be decommissioned in September and October, respectively, and the No. 3 gas-fired generator at the Tunghsiao Power Plant will also be called on in relief in the future to keep Taiwan’s electricity flowing.

    In other words, the hotter the weather, the more these old power-generating veterans will be forced back into action no matter how dirty they are.

    Taipower has said it experimented with low-sulfur oil at the Hsieh-ho plant last winter and will formally use it for the first time this winter because it can cut sulfur oxide emissions by 30 percent. But its use will be restricted to winter because of its relatively high cost and the fact that air pollution and smog tend to be at their worst during the winter months. Also, beginning next year, the utility will comply with overall emission limits set by the EPA.

    To keep these aging relievers from reappearing, it would mean hitting targets on both natural gas and renewable energy, quite a tall order. Not achieving them could consign Taiwan to high thermal power use and high health risks over the next 10 years.

    Using Pricing to Control Demand

    So how can Taiwan confront the health risks it is bound to face during its energy transition? Yu Li-hui, the deputy director-general of the Health Promotion Administration (HPA), says the EPA has joined with the ministries of Economic Affairs, Transportation and Communications, and Health and Welfare to create a task force aimed at supervising and coordinating efforts to reduce air pollution and draft clean air plans.

    “Health has always been an important consideration in the interagency discussions,” Yu says, noting that the HPA believes the best way to control air pollution and improve health is by starting at the source.

    Taiwan must face up to the difficulty of retiring aging, dirty power plants during the transition of the country’s energy structure and prepare to invest more in pollution control measures.

    Many experts have also suggested that Taiwan consider more rational electricity pricing to keep a lid on demand and limit the chances that the dirtier power plants will be called into action.

    Liang Chi-yuan, a chair professor at National Central University and an expert in energy economics, argues that the most effective approach would be to use higher prices to restrain demand.

    The oil-fired Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung has been used heavily in recent years because of tight power supplies, increasing Taiwan's sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.

    “Electricity prices should reflect external costs, so air pollution fees should be increased and energy and emissions taxes should be imposed,” Liang says. That means the more individuals or companies use power and generate emissions, the higher the price they will pay, creating an incentive for them to save energy and ultimately prevent an unabated rise in air pollution.

    Chien Jien-wen, the director of Changhua Christian Hospital’s Department of Pediatrics, sees Taiwan’s stubbornly high power consumption as the by-product of a lack of incentives for individuals and companies to save power. Government officials, for their part, have the mentality that higher electricity demand goes hand in hand with economic growth, he contends.

    The average Taiwanese uses 10,000 kWh of power per year, far higher than the 7,000 kWh per capita seen in Germany, and Chien insists that excessively low electricity prices stand out as the most important culprit.

    “The best way to curb something is through pricing,” Chien argues. The key to raising prices, he says, is good communications. “Just like raising cigarette prices is the most effective way to reduce the rate of smoking, I think that if you want to lower power consumption, there has to be a reasonable increase in the cost of electricity.”

    “An increase in electricity prices would have a bigger impact on businesses but only a limited effect on the average person. Though household electricity bills might go up a little, you would be cutting health care costs, so over the long run [higher prices] would be reasonable and effective,” he says.

    Explaining the risks associated with different energy choices and clearly communicating them with the public is the obligation of the government. Understanding these complicated issues and being willing to shoulder the costs of their decision is the responsibility of the public. Whether renewable energy or nuclear power or electricity generated from coal or natural gas, none of them are all good or all bad.

    In the end, there are in fact no free lunches. If Taiwan is unwilling to invest more time and money, demanding clean energy in a short amount of time along with lower emissions may be mission impossible.

    Translated from the Chinese by Luke Sabatier

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