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Investment profile

A league of their own 32

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Laos

Asia Outlook profiles APT Showfreight

Prevention and cure

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Ahead of the field 22

Trelleborg holds a long and successful track record in the offshore industry

Aetna International delivers comprehensive global health insurance and health management solutions

Asia OUTOOK ISSUE 04 ALSO TH I S I SSUE : s w i b e r | A s i a ’ s n e x t h o t m a r k e t s | T u n g S h i n H o s p i t a l


W E L C O M E The rise of Alibaba,

Editorial

Asia’s growth markets

Editor: Ian Armitage ian.armitage@outlookpublishing.com

and much more...

production

Asia is considered a key strategic growth market in various fields and it is easy to see its appeal, not only are many of its markets centres for low-cost labour but they also centres of global consumer demand. This issue reflects that and brings you the story of a number of firms benefiting from – or trying to tap into – Asia’s growth. One of those is China’s biggest e-commerce group, Alibaba. The firm was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, one of the country’s most celebrated entrepreneurs, and is the biggest player in China’s fast-growing e-commerce market operating online platforms Alibaba.com, Taobao and Tmall, which connect small sellers and major companies with consumers and business partners. It is a phenomenal business, which has created tremendous value for its shareholders over the years and you can read more on page 16. Another business creating value for investors is Swiber and the Singapore-based firm enjoyed quite the start to the current fiscal year, announcing that profits for the period ended June 30, 2013 rose 11.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The Group has achieved what it calls “an eminent position amongst global offshore oil and gas industry players” and continues to set “a blazing trail” in the sector (see page 26 for more). Remaining on the growth theme, we also take a look at Fortune 100 health insurance firm Aetna and have a chat with Danny Khor, the managing director of APT Showfreight & Logistics Group, one of Asia’s largest exhibitions logistics companies. Of course, we’ve much, much Ian Armitage more inside. Reading glasses at Editor, Outlook Publishing the ready...

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In this issue of Asia Outlook... 06 12

NEWS All the latest news from across Asia

SUPPLY CHAIN FOCUS

FINANCE

A lea g ue o f t h ei r o wn Asia Outlook speaks to APT Showfreight, one of Asia’s largest exhibitions logistics companies

Asia’s next hot markets Recent forecasts have cast doubt over Asia’s growth markets

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HEALTHCARE FOCUS

FINANCE

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Investment profile: Laos Asia Outlook takes a closer look at Laos’s business and investment potential BUSINESS

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The rise of Alibaba Asia Outlook takes a look at China’s biggest e-commerce group

OIL & GAS FOCUS

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A h ea d o f t h e fiel d Trelleborg Group’s offshore operation is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of polymer- engineered solutions for the offshore oil and gas industry

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T h e fl o w o f success Asia Outlook profiles Swiber Holdings Limited, a Singapore-based integrated construction and support services provider to the offshore oil and gas industry

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P r e v enti o n an d C u r e Aetna International delivers comprehensive global health insurance and health management solutions for mobile employees worldwide Q & A T un g S h in H o spital We learn more about Tung Shin Hospital, an unassuming private hospital where East meets West EVENTS

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Asia’s biggest upcoming events

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N E W S News

SE Asia energy demand to increase by more than 80% by 2035 Southeast Asia’s energy demand will increase by more than 80 percent in the period to 2035, a rise equivalent to current demand in Japan, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said, while the region’s huge appetite for energy will leave nations exposed to price shocks. Southeast Asia will consume more than five million barrels of oil per day - double current levels of consumption - to fuel its economic growth, the IEA said. “Southeast Asia is, along with China and India, shifting the centre of gravity of the global energy system to Asia,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said at the launch of a World Energy S port

News

Indonesian businessmen buy 70% stake in Inter Milan A majority stake in Italian football club Inter Milan has been sold to a trio of Indonesian businessmen led by media tycoon Erick Thohir. Mr Thohir, Rosan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo have taken a 70 percent stake in the club which Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has said is worth about 300 million euros. Thohir, a media entrepreneur and part owner of Major League Soccer club DC United and the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, is the first Asian to invest in one of Italy’s football clubs.

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Outlook Special Report, Southeast Asia Energy Outlook, which provides a comprehensive picture of the region’s energy future. The report says Southeast Asian Nations will need to invest a total of about $1.7 trillion in energysupply infrastructure between now and 2035 and that the region will become the world’s fourth-largest oil importer, after China, India and the European Union.

Growth in developing Asia ‘slowing’ says ADB Asian Development Bank (ADB) has cut its outlook for developing Asia, citing slower growth in China and India. The ADB revised down its growth forecast for the region to six percent for 2013, from 6.6 percent. For 2014, growth is now projected at 6.2 percent. “Asia and the Pacific 2013 growth will come in below earlier projections due to more moderate activity in the region’s two largest economies and effects of QE nervousness,” said Changyong Rhee, chief economist of the ADB. “While economic activity will edge back up in 2014, current conditions highlight the need for the region

“Increasing reliance on oil imports will impose high costs on Southeast Asian economies and leave them more vulnerable to potential disruptions,” the IEA said. According to the report, imported oil will cost the equivalent of four percent of GDP across the region, with Thailand and Indonesia likely to see their bills triple to nearly $70 billion a year by 2035. ASEAN nations are expected to slash exports of natural gas and coal as they divert abundant resources to burgeoning domestic demand for energy, in a region where roughly 134 million people lack access to electricity. “Coal is emerging as the fuel of choice because of its relative abundance and affordability in the region,” the study said, adding there is an “urgent need for more efficient coal-fired power plants”. to exercise vigilance to safeguard financial stability in the short term while accelerating structural reforms to sustain economic growth in the longer term.” In its latest report, the bank said that softer than expected economic activity in China and India and concerns over the U.S. wind-back of its quantitative easing programme will weigh on Asia and the Pacific’s growth prospects in the near term. It added that growth in Southeast Asia will be hampered by weak performances in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, due to weak exports, and that the slowing growth “highlights the need to push ahead with overdue reforms in areas like foreign direct investment, infrastructure development, fiscal consolidation and social protection.”

go to www.asiAoutlookmag.com/news for all of the latest news from asia


B u s i ne s s

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KFC parent Yum! Brands profits hurt by China food scares Yum! Brands, the owner of fast food chains KFC and Pizza Hut, says its profit fell 68 percent in the third quarter, as its China sales slumped following controversy over its chicken supply and bird flu scare. Yum! said it made a net profit of $152 million in the three months to 7 September, with sales in China, one of its biggest markets, falling 11 percent from a year ago. “China division third quarter sales and profits were impacted by adverse publicity surrounding the December poultry supply incident and subsequent news of Avian flu,” the company said. Chief executive David Novak said, “Despite the disappointing third quarter performance, I remain as confident as ever in our ability to deliver strong, sustainable growth in the years to come. “Even with our recent challenges, KFC is unquestionably the category leader in China and we remain

S port

Vettel clinches fourth world title following win in India Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel clinched his fourth consecutive world title with victory in the Indian Grand Prix. It was the German’s sixth consecutive win and he has now become the fourth man in the history of the sport to win four world titles, joining Fangio, Prost and Schumacher on an illustrious list. “I’m speechless,” said Vettel after his title win. “I don’t know what to say.”

Panasonic to exit plasma TV business

confident sales will fully recover. “As evidence of this, we expect to open at least 700 new units in China this year, as we capitalise on the world’s fastest growing consuming class.” Outside of China, Yum! expects record new-unit openings for “Yum! Restaurants International and in India this year,” Novak said. “When you add it all up for Yum! we will open at least 1,850 new restaurants outside the U.S., further strengthening our leadership position in emerging markets. In addition, we will have net new-unit growth in the U.S. for the second consecutive year.”

Japan’s Nikkei business daily has reported that electronics giant Panasonic will stop making plasma television screens by early next year as part of a huge corporate overhaul. The report said the company will close its plasma screen factory in Amagasaki and put it up for sale next year. A Panasonic statement said nothing had been decided but discussions about business strategy were ongoing. Panasonic’s plasma TV division made huge losses in recent years and other electronics companies, such as Hitachi and Pioneer, have already pulled out of the sector. In its last financial year, the division made a loss of 754 billion yen following sluggish demand mainly in Japan. The Japanese electronics industry is going through tough times at present on account of strong Korean competition.

The win in India was Vettel’s tenth this year and he can still match Schumacher’s record of 13 wins in a single season. Vettel’s Red Bull team also won the Formula 1 constructors’ championship for the fourth consecutive year. “We looked after the tyres and had incredible pace towards the end,” Vettel said.

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Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has the second-largest fine, at $190 million. The other companies that pleaded guilty and will pay fines are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Jtekt Corp, Mitsuba Corp, NSK, T.RAD, Valeo Japan, and Yamashita Rubber. The two executives are Tetsuya Kunida, a Japanese citizen, and Gary Walker, a U.S. citizen. Both will pay $20,000 fines. “These international price-fixing conspiracies affected more than $5 billion in automobile parts sold to U.S. car manufacturers, and more

than 25 million cars purchased by American consumers were affected by the illegal conduct,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “The Department of Justice will continue to crack down on cartel behaviour that causes American consumers and businesses to pay higher prices for the products and services they rely upon in their everyday lives.” The announcement was the latest crackdown in the Justice Department’s long-running investigation of price-fixing and bid rigging in the U.S. auto industry. So far, 20 companies and 21 executives have been charged - 17 executives have served prison sentences, and more than $1.6 billion in fines has been collected. “Today’s charges should send a message to companies who believe they don’t need to follow the rules,” said Ronald Hosko, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Division. “If you violate the laws of this country, the FBI will investigate and put a stop to the threat you pose to our commercial system. The integrity of our markets is a part of the foundation of a free society.”

“We will utilise the A350 XWB to maximum, which offers high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness, while positively catering to new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines. “In addition to improving profitability with advanced aircraft, we always aim to deliver unparalleled services to customers with the latest cabin and steady expansion of our route network.” “Japan Airlines is well known as one of the most preferred airlines in the world providing its passengers with an excellent flight experience. We sincerely welcome Japan Airlines as a new Airbus

customer and feel honored by this first ever order from Japan for our all-new A350 XWB,” said Fabrice Bregier, President and CEO of Airbus. “It fills us with pride to see a leading Japanese airline start a new chapter with us. This highlights a very bright and flourishing future for both of us, JAL and Airbus.” The A350 is designed to be more fuel-efficient and is a direct competitor to U.S. rival Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, which has been hit by safety and technical issues in recent months. JAL and Airbus aim for entry into service from 2019, with the airline’s A350 XWBs gradually replacing its ageing fleet approximately over a six year period.

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Japanese car parts firms fined by U.S. regulators Nine Japan-based companies and two executives have agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix the price of car parts sold to U.S. car manufacturers and will pay a combined $740 million in criminal fines to U.S. authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced. In separate conspiracies, the parties fixed the prices of more than 30 different products sold to U.S. car manufacturers and installed in cars sold in the U.S. and elsewhere. More than $5 billion worth of parts were then sold to U.S. manufacturers like Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, while the U.S. subsidiaries of Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Subaru were all also subject to higher prices for parts. Hitachi Automotive Systems agreed to pay a $195 million fine, the largest among the penalties under the plea agreements, which require court approval. Tr a ve l

Airbus in landmark deal with Japan Airlines Aircraft manufacturing giant Airbus has announced its first deal with Japanese carrier Japan Airlines (JAL). JAL signed a purchase agreement for 31 A350 XWBs (18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s), plus options for a further 25 aircraft. It is JAL’s first ever order for Airbus aircraft and is also the first order Airbus has received from Japan for the A350 XWB.

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B u s i ne s s

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to buy stake in Chinese appliance firm U.S. investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has agreed to buy a ten percent share in China’s biggest appliance maker Qingdao Haier. It is KKR’s biggest investment in China. “We welcome the world-class investment firm KKR to become our long-term strategic partner which will help us effectively execute our growth strategies,” Qingdao Haier Chairman Mr Liang Haishan said in a statement. “KKR’s investment is a strong endorsement of our past achievements and future potential. We believe KKR’s global resources, operational expertise and experienced local team will help Qingdao Haier to further strength its market leadership position on a global basis.” KKR will pay $556 million for the stake, which the two companies say will establish a long-term strategic partnership. “We look forward to fully utilising KKR’s global resources and local expertise to assist Qingdao Haier in its next phase of growth by capitalising on the opportunities created by China’s continued urbanisation and increasing consumer income trend, while also accelerating its international expansion,” said David Liu, Member of KKR and CEO of KKR Greater China. KKR is a leading global investment firm with $83.5 billion in assets under management. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Finance

India’s central bank raises repo rate India’s new central bank governor has raised the benchmark repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, for a second consecutive month by a quarter of one percent to 7.75 percent. “Wholesale Price Index inflation is expected to remain higher than current levels through most of the remaining part of the year, warranting an appropriate police response,” Raghuram Rajan said in a statement following a monetary policy meeting in the financial capital Mumbai. The move is a bid to fight inflation, which hit a sevenmonth-high annual rate of 6.46 percent in September.

B u s i ne s s

Nippon Steel reports first half profit Japan steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, the world’s second-biggest steelmaker, has reported a profit in its fiscal first half on the back of increasing demand for steel products on the government’s economic stimulus measures, known as “Abenomics.”

“It is important to break the spiral of rising price pressures in order to curb the erosion of financial saving and strengthen the foundations of growth,” Rajan - who had warned he was prepared to take unpopular steps to bring the economy back on track - added. The cash reserve ratio has been kept unchanged.

The company, created through the merger of Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal last year, said net profit was 115.58 billion yen for the six months to September, reversing a 176.66 billion yen net loss a year ago. Sales rose 39.4 percent to 2.67 trillion yen, it said. “Domestic steel demand was supported by sustained strong demand for civil engineering and construction projects underpinned by ongoing reconstruction demand and the effects of economic policies,” Nippon Steel said. It warned however that it faced headwinds as heavy production by Chinese mills was pushing down global steel prices.

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China Mobile quarterly profit falls on tougher competition

Toyota to launch self-drive cars Toyota has unveiled the next generation of cars featuring an autopilot system that will swerve to avoid collisions and also keep to the middle of the road, all without drivers touching the wheel – and the technology could be available on the market in a few years’ time. “These advanced driving support technologies prevent human errors, reduce driving stress and help drivers avert accidents, which has a big potential to reduce the number of traffic deaths,” Toyota managing director Moritaka Yoshida said at a presentation in Tokyo. Toyota said that while Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) lets drivers put the vehicle on auto-pilot, leaving most of the work to the computer system, they would still need to be alert and take part in the driving process. “Toyota recognises the importance of the driver being in Finance

ultimate control of a vehicle and is therefore aiming to introduce AHDA and other advanced driving support systems where the driver maintains control and the funto-drive aspect of controlling a vehicle is not compromised,” it said in a statement. AHDA lets vehicles communicate wirelessly to avoid running into each other while keeping the car in the middle of the road lane. The company plans to install the system in its commercial models over the next few years. B u s i ne s s

Chinese inflation rises to 3.1%

Samsung issues China apology

Consumer prices in China rose by 3.1 percent in September, a sevenmonth high, fuelled mainly by a surge in food prices. The National Bureau of Statistics said that food prices rose 6.1 percent from a year ago due to the impact of national holidays, as well as droughts and floods in some regions.

Samsung Electronics has said it “sincerely apologises” to Chinese consumers following a broadcast on Chinese Central Television (CCTV) claimed that several models of its phones – including Galaxy S3 and Note2 - were malfunctioning. “As far as management problems caused inconvenience to our customers, we offer our sincere apologies,” the company said in a notice on its Chinese website. CCTV’s 25-minute programme claimed that Samsung’s phones were crashing due to faulty

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Quarterly profit at the world’s largest phone company, China Mobile, has fallen due to tougher competition, the company has announced. In a statement China Mobile said it “experienced experienced severe difficulties and challenges arising from increasingly complex competition in the information and communications industry, greater impact from Over The Top (OTT) products on the traditional communications industry and more intense horizontal competition due to the continued increase in mobile penetration”. The company said it expects new opportunities and further competitive pressure when Beijing begins to roll-out 4G services.

memory chips and also criticised its repair policies. The South Korean smartphone giant, which is the world’s largest smartphone maker and generates nearly 14 percent of its overall revenue from China, said it would provide free repairs for the models mentioned in CCTV’s report.

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B u s i ne s s

Rio Tinto, Chinalco announce technology partnership

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto and Aluminium Corp Of China, known as Chinalco, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on developing new mining technology. In a statement, Rio Tinto said the pair “will explore a partnership to bring forward the next era of mining technology aimed at delivering significant value and re-shaping industry best practice” adding that “the parties aim to draw on their respective strengths to expedite the development of new mining technology and further develop

News

Hong Kong threatens substantial economic sanctions against Philippines Hong Kong has threatened to impose substantial economic sanctions on the Philippines unless progress is made within a month in talks demanding the country’s apology and compensation for the Manila hostage tragedy three years ago. Chief executive Leung Chun-ying urged the Philippine government for a “concrete and timely response”. “We will take substantial actions unless progress is made within one month,” he warned. Hong Kong and the Philippines have close economic ties but tensions remain high following the 2010 tragedy where several Hong Kong tourists died following a bungled – and televised – attempt

Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future programme.” CEO Sam Walsh said “Together with Chinalco, we have the potential to deliver even more value for shareholders, by fully realising our pipeline of technology and innovation projects and taking next generation to rescue them after they had been taken hostage by disgruntled former policeman, Rolando Mendoza. In October, Manila mayor Joseph Estrada offered to issue an apology for the hostage-taking incident but Philippine President Benigno Aquino reportedly refused to make an apology on behalf of the country, insisting that the Philippines would not apologise for the crimes of one person. It has offered compensation of $75,000 to each family of the deceased and up to $150,000 to those injured, according to reports. The families say the amount is too low.

technologies through to full commercialisation and deployment”. Rio’s statement added that the aim “is to develop and deploy leading-edge technology to create safer working operations, improve environmental performance and increase the productivity of mining operations.” “The technical cooperation is of great significance for improving efficiency, reducing resource and energy consumption, developing green and safe mines, achieving sustainable development of resources and introducing innovation into economic growth. I hope this commercial cooperation approach of sincerity and mutual benefit can be widely applied into newtype partnerships among major international companies,” said Chinalco chairman Xiong Weiping.

News

India launches Mars mission India has successfully launched a spacecraft to Mars - with the aim of becoming only the fourth nation or space agency to land a probe on the red planet, after Russia, the U.S. and the European Space Agency. The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Mission took off at 2:38pm local time on November 5 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on India’s east coast. The voyage is scheduled to take 11 months and cost the country about 4.5 billion rupees.

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Asia’s next

hot markets Recent forecasts have cast doubt over Asia’s growth markets. Writer Ian Armitage

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sia is considered a key strategic growth market in various fields and it is easy to see its appeal – not only are many of its markets centres for low-cost labour but they also centres of global consumer demand. According to a report by researcher Business Monitor International (BMI), Mongolia is among five Asian nations in the top 15 economies expected to show the fastest growth over the next ten years, with forecast cumulative real GDP growth of 114.5 percent through to 2022. Southeast Asia is expected to host some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, helped by its growing population of 600 million and proximity to major markets. Myanmar is forecast to nearly double in size, while Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Vietnam are set to expand by around 90 percent during a period in which emerging economies become a dominant global force. Indeed, by 2022, BMI expects emerging economies to hold nearly 55 percent of global GDP, up from 25 percent in 2000. But BMI’s forecast, while rosy, isn’t the only one to consider and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has highlighted the effects of the slowdown in China and India by cutting its growth forecasts for the region to the slowest pace in four years, amid “jitters” over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy. Revising down its growth forecast for the region to six percent for 2013, from 6.6 percent, it said that growth in Southeast Asia will also be hampered by weak performances in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, due to weak exports, and that the slowing growth “highlights the need to push ahead with overdue reforms in areas like foreign direct investment, infrastructure development, fiscal consolidation and social protection.”

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Growth in East Asia is expected to reach 6.6 percent in 2013 and 2014, while Southeast Asia is forecast to slow to 4.9 percent, with only the Philippines still tipped to perform strongly. “Asia and the Pacific 2013 growth will come in below earlier projections due to more moderate activity in the region’s two largest economies and effects of quantitative easing nervousness,” said Changyong Rhee, chief economist of the ADB. “While economic activity will edge back up in 2014, current conditions highlight the need for the region to exercise vigilance to safeguard financial stability in the short term while accelerating structural reforms to sustain economic growth in the longer term.” The World Bank too warned that East Asia is expanding at “a slower pace” as China shifts from an exportoriented economy and focuses on domestic demand. And despite its East Asia Pacific Economic Update forecasting growth for developing countries in the region to be 7.1 percent for 2013 and 7.2 percent for 2014 – a slight downward revision from World Bank projections in April 2013 – it said developing East Asia is leading other regions. “East Asia Pacific continues to be the engine driving the global economy, contributing 40 percent of the world’s GDP growth - more than any other region. With overall global growth accelerating, now is the time for developing economies to make structural and policy reforms to sustain growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank East Asia and Pacific Regional Vice President. Growth in China is expected to meet the official indicative target of 7.5 percent this year and growth in 2014 is projected to be 7.7 percent. Excluding China, the region is expected to grow at 5.2 percent in 2013 and 5.3 percent in 2014.

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“While domestic demand continues to drive growth, investment growth is moderating in the larger economies of ASEAN, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia,” the World Bank said. “Consumption and resilient remittances helped boost the Philippine economy. Growth in the region’s smaller economies was more encouraging: Cambodia benefited from expansion in garment exports and tourism.” In the long term, as higher global interest rates are likely to affect investment, accelerating growth and poverty reduction depends critically on advancing structural reforms. “Countries need to improve their investment climate and invest more in infrastructure, while making public investment more efficient. Firmer global growth prospects can help developing countries pursue reforms enabling them to benefit from the recovery and put their own growth on a more solid footing,” the World Bank said. “Governments need to address fiscal risks and create space to support long-term growth, with measures including reducing energy subsidies.”

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On the subject of energy, Southeast Asia’s energy demand will increase by more than 80 percent in the period to 2035, a rise equivalent to current demand in Japan, according the International Energy Agency (IEA), consuming more than five million barrels of oil per day - double current levels of consumption - to fuel its economic growth. “Southeast Asia is, along with China and India, shifting the centre of gravity of the global energy system to Asia,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said at the launch of a World Energy Outlook Special Report, Southeast Asia Energy Outlook, which provides a comprehensive picture of the region’s energy future. The report says Southeast Asian Nations will need to invest a total of about $1.7 trillion in energy-supply infrastructure between now and 2035 and that the region will become the world’s fourth-largest oil importer, after China, India and the European Union. “Increasing reliance on oil imports will impose high costs on Southeast Asian economies and leave them more


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vulnerable to potential disruptions,” the IEA said. In terms of investment, our hot pick would be Vietnam, which over the past decade has seen massive foreign investment and is now the favourite location of companies setting up overseas manufacturing hubs, owing to its open economic policies, geographical position, political and economic stability, and abundant and cheap labour resources. South Korean electronics giant Samsung is among the many companies investing in the country and has plans to raise its investment in the northern Vietnamese province of Bac Ninh by two thirds, to $2.5 billion, according the Vietnam News Service, and is also building a $2 billion-plus factory in Thai Nguyen province near Hanoi to make mobile phones, cameras, and laptops – the first of two plants that

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will eventually make up a $3.2 billion manufacturing complex. Samsung opened its first plant in Vietnam in Bac Ninh in 2009 with an initial investment of $670 million and is moving much of its manufacturing to the country predominantly because of increasing labour costs in China, which is pricing itself out of lowcost electronics assembly. Previously China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were known for their cheap labour, and many foreign companies chose to manufacture their products in these countries. Vietnam’s government is targeting 5.5 percent GDP growth for this year after a 5.03 percent pace last year, the slowest since 1999. To learn more about investing in Vietnam visit www.investinvietnam.vn.

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Laos

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Asia Outlook takes a closer look at Laos’s business and investment potential. Writer Ian Armitage

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aos is a socialist state and one of East Asia’s poorest countries – indeed it is the Association of South East Asian Nations’ (Asean) smallest economy. But don’t let that fool you. The government of Laos, one of the few remaining one-party communist states, began decentralising control and encouraging private enterprise in 1986 and the results, admittedly starting from an extremely low base, have been impressive. Growth averaged six percent per year from 1988 to 2008, excluding a shortlived drop caused by the Asian financial crisis that began in 1997, and growth exceeded seven percent per year from 2008 to 2012. Despite this, Laos remains a country with an underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, and that means it is very much still a popular investment destination, especially amongst the Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Koreans – to name a few. In 2011, Laos achieved 8.3 percent growth according to the World Bank, with much of the country’s growth attributable to mining, hydroelectric power and construction. Things it seems are looking good and they are likely to get even better with Laos recently accepted into the WTO. The move will result in trade facilitation and an improved investment climate as the land-locked country looks to shed its Least Developed Country status. “By acceding to the WTO, Laos is showing its commitment to operating a rules based system of economic governance,” said Keiko Miwa, the World Bank’s Country Manager for Lao PDR. “It’s sending a strong signal that it is now open for business.” So where are the opportunities? For one, the Laotian government is actively seeking foreign investment in metallurgy.

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The country’s land is rich in mineral resources, with vast deposits of coal, gold, bauxite, tin and copper. It also has substantial water reserves and its mountainous terrain allows for the production and export of hydroelectric energy to neighbours Thailand and Vietnam. These industries are unaffected by the instability in Europe and the fall in export activity that is punishing other Southeast Asian nations. Tourism is another fastest-growing industry and the Chinese are investing heavily in real-estate.

Mining future

In September it was revealed that the Lao government expected to accept new mining investment proposals in 2015 – it suspended new investment projects a few years

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It also has substantial water reserves and its mountainous terrain allows for the production and export of hydroelectric energy to neighbours Thailand and Vietnam”

ago to review the approved mining projects and policy. The Ministry of Energy and Mines said it was still working with the Ministries of Planning and Investment and Natural Resources and Environment to monitor the approved mining projects but that it was close to completion. Their checks of 67 projects were now 95 percent complete, Minister Soulivong Daravong said, speaking on the sidelines of the annual government meeting with provincial governors taking place in Vientiane from September 16 to 20. He said 29 of the 67 projects are factories but have not begun excavations yet. “After carrying out our inspections, we estimate that 22.8 percent of these mining projects are of a high grade, 45.6 percent are medium and 26.3 percent


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The country’s land is rich in mineral resources, with vast deposits of coal, gold, bauxite, tin and copper”

are low grade,” Soulivong said. “We are now inviting the developers of low grade projects for talks so we can urge them to carry out their ventures in line with the agreement they signed. We want them to improve the way they are managing these projects for the benefit of everyone concerned.” The Laotian government is trying to ensure that all mining projects comply with agreements drawn up to regulate their operation. The goal is to maximise the sector’s contribution to socio-economic development and boost incomes in Laos by creating more job opportunities. It’s definitely a sector to watch.

Energy for investment As good an investment mining looks, the energy sector looks even better. It is one of Laos’s top performers, with total investment values far exceeding that of any other industry. And it is hydropower leading the way - Economists say that it will become a major driving force of the Lao economy in future years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has been working with the Laotian government to develop

draft laws that would help govern hydroelectric power development. According to the IFC, the country is one of the richest nations in Southeast Asia in terms of natural resources. Through the past decade, investments have led to the development of about 20 hydropower projects, with up to 50 expected to be operational by 2025. This boom in hydro construction has been essential in boosting the country’s socioeconomic growth, though it also increases competition among water users, making revisions to Laos’ 17-year old water laws essential. Currently, hydropower developers are granted water rights through concession agreements. Under the revised law, rights would be granted using a formal, long-term, permit-based system that would be easier to enforce. “This law provides principles and measures necessary for the management, exploitation, use, development and protection of water resources, aiming to promote legal rights to use water resources that ensure balance and sustainability of socio-economic development and environmental protection,” the draft law says. A final draft bill will be submitted to the Laotian National Assembly by the end of the year.

Constructing a nation

Of course there are opportunities too in the construction sector such is the state of Laos’s infrastructure. Shanghai Wanfeng Group has begun building its $1.6 billion property project in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, after it reached agreement with the Lao government in December last year to develop 365 hectares around That Luang Lake into a commercial, residential and tourist complex. That’s just one example. Chinese firms, from dam builders to mall developers, are boosting investment in Laos, which has a rudimentary, but improving, road system, and limited external and internal land-line telecommunications. Vietnam however is top, pumping in a total of $5 billion in 449 projects, while Thailand is second, and all three compete for projects in Laos’s energy, mining, construction and agriculture sectors. Thailand has some 760 projects amounting to more than $4.8 billion and China has more than 800 projects in Laos with a value of about $4 billion. And as these industries develop others will follow. To learn more visit www.investlaos.gov.la.

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Alibaba The rise of

Asia Outlook takes a look at China’s biggest e-commerce group. Writer Ian Armitage

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libaba is China’s biggest e-commerce group and its profits the envy of companies around the globe. According to Forbes the $40 billion company is set to list before 2015 and its rise is nothing short of meteoric given it took just ten years for the firm to become the number one e-commerce brand in China. Alibaba’s story began in 1999 when it was founded by onetime English teacher Jack Ma who has overseen its spectacular transformation from online-listings service to e-commerce powerhouse. He is one of China’s most celebrated entrepreneurs and an icon of the country’s internet success, building a phenomenal business, which has

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created tremendous value for its shareholders over the years. Ma, who has an estimated wealth of $3.4 billion, however shocked many by declaring in January that he would step aside at the age of 48 from dayto-day operations. He insisted that he was getting too old to do the job properly and gave up the chief executive post in May, ceding the role to Jonathan Lu. “I have this chance to take over Alibaba’s culture, fight for our dream,” said Lu. “This is really an honour. Alibaba been through a lot and our mission and values are what we need to uphold. We insist that customers are our number one priority. In the future, we will continue to uphold and pass on our values and mission.”


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“I hope you can trust the new team and Lu just like you trusted me,” Ma said. “Ten years of being an entrepreneur has made me understand hardship, persistence and responsibility.” The company is the biggest player in China’s fast-growing e-commerce market and operates online platforms Alibaba.com, Taobao (which means “searching for treasure” in Chinese and is China’s most popular e-shopping platform with more than 90 percent of the country’s online market for consumer-to-consumer transactions) and Tmall, which connect small sellers and major companies with consumers and business partners. Its revenues come from advertisements on the websites and customer fees. Yahoo, of course, has a 24 percent stake in the firm, after the e-commerce company bought back some of its shares last year, and included in the terms of that buyback were incentives for Alibaba to list its shares before the end of 2015. The future is bright. Lu has taken charge of a company whose sales equal two percent of China’s GDP and is refocusing on mobile platforms to replicate its dominance with desktop computer users. Alibaba is currently rolling out a smartphone operating system, buying a stake in China’s biggest Twitter-like service and getting $8 billion in loans. It makes the likes of eBay and Amazon look small by comparison and boasts more than 24 million members in 200 countries, facilitating more than $5 billion in import/export transactions each year – everything from sleeping bags to cement mixers. Through the Alibaba website, you can meet qualified suppliers (manufacturers and other sellers) and reach agreements on pricing, delivery, insurance, and even storage (if necessary). Then you can re-sell their products online.

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stake in China’s dominant microblog provider Sina Weibo for $586 million. It is positioning itself for good reason. China is set to become the world’s biggest online market with online sales forecast to exceed $420 billion annually by 2020. According to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co, online sales are expected to reach between $420 billion and $650 billion, driven by a growing consumer class and the world’s largest population of internet users, now more than 500 million people. “China is poised to become the world’s largest e-tailing market,” McKinsey said, adding sales in 2020 would match the current size of the Jack Ma U.S., Japanese, British, German and French markets combined. China’s online retail sales reached Alibaba has achieved success where $120 billion in 2011 and surged further so many others have failed. Thousands to an estimated $190 billion to $210 of internet companies popped up in billion last year. That put China second 2000 and Alibaba survived by focusing in the global ‘e-tail’ market, close to on customers instead of chasing the U.S., the current world leader, investors, taking a long-term view. which had estimated online retail sales It is the last man standing and of $220 billion to $230 billion in 2012, recently invested 1.18 billion yuan to buy the McKinsey report said. fund management company Tianhong Online retail sales now account for Asset Management Co, giving it a 51 five to six percent of total Chinese percent controlling stake in Tianhong, consumer transactions, the report which is already in a partnership with called China’s e-tail revolution: Alibaba’s online payment affiliate Alipay. Online shopping as a catalyst for It also made a “strategic investment” growth added. “China could forgo in China’s Qyer, which offers an the national expansion of physical online platform for users to exchange stores commonly seen in Western information and make bookings, with a nations and move directly to a focus on international travel. more digital retail environment,” it “We are confident that Qyer will predicted, stating that “China may be able to complement our travel have largely sat out the 19th-century platform, Taobao Travel, by providing Industrial Revolution, but as the our users with high quality travelexplosion of its new consuming related services and content,” Alibaba class continues to reshape 21stspokeswoman Florence Shih said in a century economic life, e-tailing statement to AFP. and the Internet revolution have Earlier this year Alibaba said it would important roles to play.” pay $294 million for a 28 percent stake in China’s leading digital map provider, To learn more about Alibaba visit AutoNavi, and it bought an 18 percent www.alibaba.com.

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T R E L L E B O R G

AHEAD O F T H E

field Trelleborg Group’s offshore operation is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of polymer-engineered solutions for the offshore oil and gas industry. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Ben Weaver

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relleborg holds a long and successful track record in the offshore industry and has a strong reputation for quality, making it a first choice supplier to many key industry OEM’s, contractors and operators. The secret behind its success is a “commitment to service from first enquiry to final delivery,” says Ben Wait, Offshore Construction Customer Group Manager, Trelleborg Offshore and Construction. “Trelleborg is a world leader in engineering polymer solutions,” he says. “We develop high-performance solutions that seal, damp and protect critical applications in demanding environments. “We provide innovative engineered solutions accelerate performance for customers in a sustainable way.” Companies that in the past have been acquired by Trelleborg were rebranded Trelleborg in 2006, replacing the well-known industry names of CRP, OCP, Emerson & Cuming and Viking. Wait continues: “They were strategically acquired by Trelleborg in 2006 and the businesses merged. Trelleborg saw a gap in the portfolio and an opportunity within the market, so aimed to expand. Today Trelleborg’s offshore operation is recognised as the market leader for providing engineered products manufactured from polymers and composites for the most demanding of applications. We’re known for our reliable supply to all the major oil and gas fields around the world.” Trelleborg is committed to innovation, pushing the boundaries of material science while focusing on sound project delivery. Customers also benefit from wider access to advanced polymer research and application development within the global Trelleborg Group, providing

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a rich resource of experience from diverse industries worldwide. And it is eager to expand and grow. The goal is to supply the offshore industry with enhanced safety in the ever-more challenging extraction of oil and gas in deep-sea environments. Trelleborg delivers advanced solutions that protect customers’ investments One area where growth is expected is in Asia, where upstream producers have traditionally paid less attention to the region’s deepwater potential, preferring to tap lesschallenging deposits closer to shore. According to Wait, there are several reasons for this preference, such as high deepwater drilling costs. Consultancy firm DouglasWestwood, though, expects this to change significantly by the end of the decade. In its latest yearly report it said it expected deepwater production to account for 17 percent of the region’s offshore output by 2020, up from just seven percent at present. This, it said, would involve both the decline of shallow-water production and investment in deepwater drilling climbing from $400 million in 2012 to more than $2 billion by 2017. As a result, Asia-Pacific, it said, will account for 20 percent of the global spend on deepwater projects in the next five years. “The industry has certainly been booming and we have been in a really strong position, which has enabled us to capitalise on the growth. We have expanded the business quite quickly and had a lot of internal investment, which has allowed us to reinvest in a lot of new equipment and machinery,” says Wait. “This investment coupled with others in Brazil and Houston has meant that we have been able to increase our manufacturing capacity. Global coverage has also

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enabled us to compete in many new and existing markets. “And the future is looking good. Southeast Asia and Brazil are emerging markets for deepwater and to help us capitalise in Brazil and improve our service locally we have opened up a new facility in Macae, near Rio de Janerio. With teams already based in Kuala Lumpur we are beginning to grow our presence in the region. Singapore is also an interesting region where Trelleborg already has a presence. “The Southeast Asia deepwater market is still in its infancy, which

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presents us with lots of opportunity. This, plus increased requests from our customer base for a local presence in this area, means that we have made it our focus. Similarly, having our own local manufacturing base would give us a cost benefit over some of our competitors who don’t manufacture in the region.” Trelleborg’s offshore operation is currently involved in a landmark subsea Mediterranean pipeline transporting fresh water from Turkey to northern Cyprus. The 107 kilometre pipeline will cost about $841 million and run from

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Alakopru dam near Anamur on the Turkish coast, to a dam to be built in Gecitkoy in northern Cyprus. The subsea section of the pipeline is 81 kilometres long and instead of placing the pipeline along the bed, some 1,400 metres below the surface, engineers have opted to use a more innovative solution – a suspended pipe held up by huge buoys manufactured by Trelleborg to keep the line afloat at a depth of 250 metres. To learn more visit www.trelleborg.com/en/offshore.

For additional information on Trelleborg Offshore solutions for all offshore and subsea markets, please call Ruth Clay, Direct: +18324568308 Mobile: +12817405755 Email: ruth.clay@trelleborg.com.

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H O L D I N G S

The

flow success

Asia Outlook proďŹ les Swiber Holdings Limited, a Singapore-based integrated construction and support services provider to the oshore oil and gas industry. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Sheridan Halls

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ingapore-based Swiber Holdings enjoyed quite the start to the current fiscal year, announcing that profits for the period ended June 30, 2013 rose 11.8 percent to $37.4 million from $33.5 million in the same period last year. Revenue also jumped 30.1 percent to $551.8 million up from $424.0 million in HY2012. “The first half of this year has seen Swiber making strides in several ways. Notably, Swiber won several quality projects,” says Mr Francis Wong, Group Chief Executive Officer and President of Swiber. “Our recently issued $150 million 6.5 percent fixed rate certificates under a newly established sukuk programme was met with warm investor response; a strong endorsement of our good financial standing. This will provide us with headroom for further expansion and growth. These achievements demonstrate Swiber’s strong fundamentals and innovative streak, which will continue to be Swiber’s competitive edge at project tenders at regional and international arenas.” Recent contract wins include $330 million won by Swiber Group, while a joint venture company bagged a $105 million. The contracts are expected to be completed by 2015. Swiber reported in February that its first offshore contract wins for 2013, which involve the transportation and installation of pipeline and offshore structures in Southeast Asia, were valued at $153 million. “The offshore segment remains exciting and this round of sizeable contract wins bear witness to the industry’s recognition of Swiber’s leading edge solutions,” Mr Wong said in a release announcing the contract wins. “With our strong familiarity of this segment, established international networks and successful execution of complex offshore projects in regions

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such as Asia, Middle East and Latin America, we have a clear competitive edge over our peers.” Things are obviously going well for the firm and its August newsletter makes interesting reading, especially the chairman’s message. Mr Raymond Goh, who founded the Swiber Group in 1996, said he was keen to see the company continue its momentum and even better itself. “In our quest to achieve operational excellence, we must be committed to the concept of continuous improvement,” he wrote. “It is a nobrainer that we will keep getting the same results if we keep on doing the same things.” One of the crowning achievements of the year to date was the successful completion of Swiber’s first floatover operation with the B-193 Field Development project in India for the country’s national oil company, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, in February. The scope of work for the project involved floatover installation of a 13,000 metric tonnes process platform and an 8,000 metric tonnes living quarter platform, as well as installation of bridges and flares. Fabrication of the topsides, jackets and other structures was undertaken by a consortium partner at their yard in Malaysia. “The successful execution and completion of B-193, which marks the first time that any company has used floatover methods for offshore field development in India, is a testament to Swiber’s excellent engineering capabilities and asset strength. It is noteworthy that for a project of this size and complexity, we have been able to use most of our in-house assets fully. We remain committed to delivering quality services that epitomises world-class excellence, safety, innovation and value for our global customers,” Mr Goh said in a statement.

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KTL Offshore Pte Ltd

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TL Offshore was established as a provision store in Singapore under the name of Kim Teck Leong, with a history unrivalled by other similar businesses in the region, and a track record of over 100 years of trading. It also has sales & manufacturing office in the Middle East and a service center in Batam (Indonesia). We are one of the world’s premium wire rope and rigging businesses and listing on the Singapore stock exchange on 14 December 2007 under the holding company name of KTL Global Ltd. At the Singapore head office, KTLO operate one of the industry’s largest rigging and sling manufacturing facilities. This facility covers a massive 28,000 square metres and maintains an inventory of over 7,000 tonnes of steel wire rope and manufactures heavy slings of up to 24” diameter – the largest wire rope slings in the world. The facility is designed to handle the largest and heaviest slings, anchors, anchor chains or wire rope reels that the industry can produce. Overhead cranes, gantry cranes, huge test machines, sling manufacturing equipment for cable-laid and braided slings, and spooling equipment have all been custom designed and made for the sole purpose of succeeding in our mission and realising our vision – to be the biggest and the best in the business.

Tel +65 6543 8888 Email ktlads@ktlsg.com.sg

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“ONGC joins Swiber in celebrating the success of the first-of-its-kind floatover installation in offshore Indian waters for the B-193 Field Development Project. This is a noteworthy milestone for offshore exploration and development, as it is the first time that floatover installation methods have been used in India,” added ONGC’s Chairman and Managing Director Mr Shri Sudhir Vasudeva. Swiber Holdings Limited is an integrated construction and support services provider that offers a range of offshore engineering, procurement, installation and construction (EPIC) services and marine support solutions across the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America. On the firm’s website, Mr Goh describes the firm as “a world class company to the Offshore industry, offering our geographically-diverse customers integrated services classified under four main business

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In our quest to achieve operational excellence, we must be committed to the concept of continuous improvement”

units: Offshore Construction Services, Offshore Marine Services, Offshore Subsea Services and Offshore Engineering Services,” adding that, “Since our foundation in 1996, Swiber has dedicated itself to transforming our company into a success in the offshore industry. Today, Swiber holds a prominent position amongst major offshore oil and gas companies. With close to 3,200 employees in over 40 different nationalities in strategically located offices worldwide, the Swiber brand name is synonymous with a track record for excellence, safety and value among our customers. Swiber’s established track record in the Offshore industry; our extensive and modern fleet of construction and support vessels; the strong and diverse capabilities of our human talent; and our overarching commitment to “Cause No Harm” as part of our corporate governance principles are our assets. These,


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combined with our other competitive strengths, strongly positions Swiber to capitalise on the world’s growing energy demands.” The group, which includes Swiber Offshore Construction Services, Vallianz Offshore Marine Services, Kreuz Offshore Subsea Services and PAPE Offshore Engineering Services has achieved what it calls “an eminent position amongst global offshore oil and gas industry players” and continues to set “a blazing trail” with an extensive and growing operating fleet of 65 vessels, comprising 49 offshore vessels and 16 construction vessels. It was featured on Forbes Asia’s “Best under a Billion” list in 2008 and ranked fourth in the Top 10 Fastest Growing Internationalising Companies in 2010. Swiber was also featured in Brand Finance’s “100 Top Brands: Singapore’s Intangible Assets and Brands” from 2010 to 2013 and in 2012 emerged a winner in the Singapore Corporate Governance Award of the Securities Investors Association. Such accolades reaffirm Swiber’s rapid growth as an EPIC player that is well-positioned to capitalise on the upswings of the offshore oil and gas sphere. To learn more visit www.swiber.com.

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A league

of their own

Asia Outlook speaks to APT Showfreight about airshows and working across different time zones. It’s all in a day’s work for one of Asia’s largest exhibitions logistics companies. Writer Hannah Eiseman-Reynard Project manager James Mitchell

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PT Showfreight & Logistics Group is a culmination of five different companies coming together to offer a comprehensive package of niche logistics in specialty transport and logistics to the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry in Asia and the world. The companies are APT Showfreight Hong Kong, APT Showfreight Shanghai (with five offices in China), APT Showfreight Singapore, APT Showfreight Vietnam and APT Showfreight Thailand. This combination has enabled the APT Showfreight Group to offer a seamless service to customers in Asia, leveraging on the regional expertise of each office to offer bespoke services to meet the demands of customers together. Managing Director Danny Khor is the man charged with charting APT Showfreight’s business course. He says the business came into being in 2008 to offer specialised exhibition and events logistics service to tradeshow and event organisers and customers in Asia. Notwithstanding the global financial crisis, the company persevered and with persistency in overcoming obstacles, it hasn’t looked back. One of the biggest challenges was securing show appointments and in 2008 APT Showfreight was appointed as joint official forwarder and on-site handler for the Singapore Airshow (the third largest airshow in the world) in 2010 and 2012. Since then, they have proven their capability to handle mega logistics operations of this kind and have now been appointed as sole official forwarder and on-site handling agent for the next two editions in 2014 and 2016. The work includes co-ordination of all land, sea and air freight forwarding, special import

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and re-export handling, packing and unpacking, on-site installation and other auxiliary pre-show and postshow logistical work. It takes a lot of people and a lot of expertise to run a mega show of this size. “Whilst APT Showfreight is now a brand name known for specialised exhibitions and events logistics, the people are the pillars that drive the company,” says Khor. APT Showfreight’s people are highly experienced with ten to 40 years of logistical knowledge, thus assuring customers of the highest possible standard of service. To ensure their continued excellence in service, its workers are sent for regular training, to sharpen their generic skills as well to be updated on new trends in logistics and business. “This is a necessity to keep one updated and to enable APT Showfreight to provide customers with the best and relevant solutions for their needs,” says Khor.

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We Offer Solutions and We Deliver Promises!”


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GES International Logistics GES has developed a unique, international trade show door-to-booth and back again transportation product which includes document preparation and assistance, all export and import customs formalities, air, ocean or surface transportation, and on-site material handling. We’ve maintained a 99.8 percent on-time and in-good-condition delivery record since 2002.. Our staff has more than 35 years combined experience in handling all aspects of international trade show shipping. Our staff and worldwide network of agents have expertise in US Customs regulations and procedures as they pertain to inbound trade show goods.

We are growing and as part of our growth strategies we will need young graduates to join us”

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And while the company tends to hire experienced staff, he is very aware of the shortage and the need to attract young people into the logistics industry. To ensure on-going vitality and to draw young people in this industry, Khor says, “APT Showfreight is open to internships from Universities and Polytechnics. We are growing and as part of our growth strategies we will need young graduates to join us in this fast moving and time sensitive industry – not just in Singapore but regionally across our Asian offices.” APT Showfreight’s logistics business is divided into two key areas, which Khor refers to “home and away games”.

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Our staff and network of agents have extensive experience with export and import formalities governing trade show goods in over 70 countries. We can assist with establishing a trade fair bond for any event. We provide a seamless door-tobooth and back again service which is unmatched in the US trade show industry. As the official contractor we are able to offer priority and expedited service throughout the marshalling yard process, the offloading and loading process, and delivery to the booth process. Tel + 949.305.8063 Email mkovac@ges.com www.ges.com/logistics


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For home games, the company focuses on its Asian strength and knowledge to be appointed as official forwarders and on-site handling Agents for tradeshows and events in Asia. For away games, the company offers comprehensive ‘door to booth’ logistics services to customers participating in overseas tradeshows and events. Here, the APT Showfreight Group is closely networked to an international group of likeminded partners in Europe, the U.S., the Middle East, Africa, South America and Australia to name a few. These strong business links enables the firm to offer niche seamless logistics solution to customers in the MICE industry, says Khor. “In addition to securing the appointment for being the sole freight forwarder and on-site handling for the next two editions of Singapore Airshow in 2014 and 2016, APT Showfreight has been appointed for many other tradeshows and events in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and China including Myanmar, Laos and the Philippines,” he adds. Tradeshows and events have grown rapidly in dynamic Asia. With more venues for staging more exhibitions and countries competing for similar shows across the continent, the demand for a “reliable and dependable exhibition freight forwarder” has become all the more important. APT Showfreight is “glad to be counted as one of those organisers o tradeshow and events can count on,” Khor explains. So what challenges has APT Showfreight faced during its stellar rise? In a climate of global financial uncertainly, every company is becoming careful about pricing. Against this difficult background, the company has nonetheless managed to carve out its niche by differentiating their service deliverables. “We are competitive in pricing but we may not be the cheapest in bidding,” Khor

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30 years experience 140 destinations 24/7 operation

We deliver

Get in Touch. Telephone: (+65) 6542 5266 Email: marc.ong@aspac-aircargo.com.sg

www.aspac-aircargo.com.sg

ASPAC AIRCARGO SERVICES Office: 05-03/04

APT Showfreight has been appointed for many other tradeshows and events in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and China”

says. “Our clients know our service deliverables, especially when it comes to time sensitive delivery where you cannot afford to miss an exhibition or event. As our slogan says, ‘We Offer Solutions & We Deliver Promises!” Where APT Showfreight is already providing logistical support for the third largest airshow in the world, it is possible to go further. Khor tell us they are looking at greater expansion in Asia. “Despite the APT Showfreight Group being already present in key exhibition cities in Asia, there are still plenty of opportunities to grow in Asia - like Indonesia and the opening up of Myanmar,” he concludes. Given the company’s impressive rise from forming in 2008 to running some of the biggest, boldest events in Asia, we’re confident APT Showfreight is one to watch out for. To learn more visit www.aptshowfreightlogistics.com.

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Preventionand

Cure

Aetna International delivers comprehensive global health insurance and health management solutions for mobile employees worldwide. Writer Chris Farnell Project manager Sheridan Halls

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ith an aging global population facing constantly changing circumstances, the healthcare industry is sitting on a demographic ticking time bomb, and is going to have to significantly change the way it does things if it’s going to adapt to this new world. Nobody knows this better than Derek Goldberg, Managing Director: Southeast Asia, at Fortune 100 health insurance firm Aetna. “All healthcare companies are facing some daunting demographics and trends,” says he. “Obesity has

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more than doubled between 1980 and 2013 while changes in diet and lifestyle are contributing to a rise in chronic diseases. We also have elderly populations rising around the world and one alarming statistic I’ve heard is that the global percentage of elderly people is expected to triple by 2050. The Southeast Asia region is no exception: Singapore, for instance, has one of the three or four most rapidly aging populations in the world. Even more concerning is that these trends are projected to continue for the foreseeable future. This drives healthcare costs up, making it less


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affordable for people to obtain quality care. We aim to contain costs by better managing the health of patients who have chronic conditions while also focusing on prevention and wellness.” It’s a mission that that Aetna takes incredibly seriously. The company’s approach to the issue is a forwardlooking and multi-pronged attack. “Our mission is to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible,” Golderg explains. “We’re best known for health insurance and that is a key part of what we do. Our international insurance business is primarily focused on meeting the healthcare needs

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of customers with cross border requirements, including expatriates on overseas assignments, and local nationals who travel a great deal or require access to private hospital systems that would not be covered under a typical local health insurance policy. Our insurance plans are designed for the unique needs of these ‘globally mobile’ people, with features like worldwide networks of healthcare providers, 24-hour customer service, and electronic claims filing. In addition to our insurance programmes, we also offer prevention and wellness services to individuals, employers, and governments, which empower people to lead healthier lives. The wellness features are offered both as part of our insurance products and on a standalone basis.” To take on such a global problem requires work on an absolutely massive scale, but Aetna has the size to deal with these issues, Goldberg tells us. “One of our advantages is our size and stability. We bring global resources to our mission, with 50,000 employees looking after our 44 million members worldwide; 800 of those employees are focused exclusively on the international needs of our 500,000 cross border customers. We have more than a million healthcare providers in our worldwide network. That scale and experience translates into a nuanced understanding of the healthcare needs of our customers.” Aetna’s sole focus on health and wellness brings invaluable knowledge to the table. “Our reputation is built on unparalleled expertise. Many insurers do health insurance as a sideline, but for us it’s in our DNA, it’s everything we do,” Goldberg says proudly. “As a result we are the experts in healthcare and this presents many benefits to our customers. We know how to price and manage risks to keep rates stable over time. We can combine our insurance

with other health and wellness related features. We can analyse vast amounts of data from our customers’ claims alongside data gathered from health checkups or online health risk assessments to identify risks. We can then target at risk members with prevention programmes to reduce the prevalence of disease and help our members with existing conditions better manage their illnesses.” But medical expertise isn’t enough either. Working across international borders means working within a wide variety of different legal systems and regulations, and with the health of large populations being a particularly salient issue right now, things are changing fast. Fortunately, Aetna is able to keep up. “We devote significant resource to making sure our plans are compliant with local regulation and requirements wherever we operate in the world. As a U.S.-based company we can also offer insurance plans compliant with the healthcare reform act popularly known as Obamacare,” Goldberg says. The company’s approach is one that has proven hugely successful. It has seen very strong growth over the last year, both in Southeast Asia and globally, and new opportunities are opening up all the time. “There are a number of rapidly growing economies in the Southeast Asia region, like Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, which are expected to continuing growing for quite some time,” Goldberg explains. “The middle class is expanding in these countries, creating an increased demand for quality healthcare. At the same time, multinationals from outside the region are being drawn in by the growing markets, sending expatriates in to work here, which falls directly within our area of expertise. So these trends are a positive opportunity for us.”

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A etna

Inte r nat i onal

Aetna is more than a business. It’s made up of people, and for the company as a whole to achieve the things that it does it needs to be made up of the very best people. They need professionals who not only have strong technical and medical knowledge but also insights into the cultures and markets in which the company does business. “We believe in hiring locally as we need staff who understand the markets that we’re in, but we also look for people who can grow with the company,” Goldberg says. “We take our time to find the right candidates. It can be tempting to get someone in quickly when we’re growing fast, but it’s important to us to find the right person for the role rather than simply filling a gap as soon as possible. Once people are on board we invest heavily in their training through internal and webbased training as well as using expert training resources from outside.” Once they’ve located the right people, they like to hold onto them. “The time we put into recruitment pays off because we get people who want to make a career here and stay with us,” Goldberg says. “We have a stable and experienced team. While we have quite a few new team members because we’ve grown so much, there are still a large number of people who were here from the early days of our setting up in this region.” But this is only the beginning. Aetna still has big plans for the future.

“Geographic expansion is a big part of our growth strategy. Our philosophy is to bring our healthcare offerings to more potential customers in more markets while adding more features and options to our products. We also expect growth from our international population health solutions business, which works with governments to build effective healthcare systems. One example from our Middle East region is the government of Qatar. We’re helping to build a new national health insurance system that will provide access to healthcare for its entire population of citizens and foreign residents.” Aetna is eager to take on the challenge of broadening its reach. And it’s a good thing too, because the issues Aetna is grappling with are becoming more pressing than ever, and the entire industry is going to have to change the way it thinks. Goldberg concludes, “Healthcare around the world is changing, from a system that’s focused on treating disease to a system that’s focused on keeping people healthy. Aetna is at the forefront of that change, with our technological innovations, population health solutions, corporate health and wellness programmes and care and disease management programmes. We are a company that can connect people, employers, healthcare providers and healthcare systems in ways that translate into quality care, better outcomes, and contained costs.”

Our mission is to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible”

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Fullerton Healthcare Group

F

ullerton Healthcare Group was established with the purpose of providing FULLER health to our customers through innovation and partnership. We are the leader in corporate healthcare solutions in Asia Pacific. Fullerton Healthcare is the region’s premier and preferred partner for corporate healthcare. With more than 100 fully-owned medical centers and four call-centers in the Asia Pacific region, clients value the geographical reach and convenience of working with us. With wide recognition, Fullerton Healthcare’s preferred network of medical providers now brings access to over 2,200 clinics and 700 hospitals throughout the Asia Pacific region. To date, Fullerton Healthcare Group has seen over 12 million patient visits across our clinics and health screening centers, serves over 12,000 businesses and has cared for seven million lives. In its relentless pursuit of excellence and service, Fullerton Healthcare has won over the trust to care for three million employees’ healthcare benefits. More importantly, whether partners are Multinational Corporations, Large Local Companies, Small Medium Enterprises or Government Organisations, they can be assured of Fullerton’s commitment to a strategic and long-term partnership. Tel +65-6333-3636 Email corporateservices@fullertonhealthcare.com

www.fullertonhealthcare.com


featu r e

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Q&A: The quality of healthcare is high in Malaysia, no more so than in its capital Kuala Lumpur which can boast of high-end hospitals that provide excellent services. In this unique Q&A we learn more about Tung Shin Hospital, an unassuming private hospital with humble origins as a traditional medicine dispensary and hospice called Pooi Shin Thong. It is a place where east meets west. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eddie Clinton

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Give me a brief introduction to Tung Shin. Who are you? Tung Shin Hospital is a non-profit community hospital established in 1881 and we will celebrate our 132nd anniversary on December 1, 2013. The hospital is unique in the sense that this is the only hospital in Malaysia and also Southeast Asia that practices dual-treatment - modern medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. What are your key strengths and what makes you unique? It is rare any organisation can celebrate its 132 years anniversary but this hospital has been serving the people for that entire period, irrespective of race, creed or religion. Everyone is entitled to the best care and we live by that mantra. What has the hospital been doing over the last year? We have been undergoing a bit of a revamp in recent years. The Western Division, which started almost 40 years ago, has seen some refurbishment especially at the old wards and the process has seen us invest in new equipment and upgrades at the Radiology and Imaging Department. In 2011, we invested in a Philips Ingenuity 128 Slice Ct Scanner, for example. We’ve been doing a lot within our Chinese Medical Division too and started the ‘Mobile Charity Clinic’ providing free treatment and services especially in traditional Chinese medicine at seven places in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. It is a daily service we launched last year. The Chinese Medical Division shows a tremendous growth with almost 800 outpatients daily. Tung Shin Hospital will be better with years to come too as we continue to invest. We are proud of what we are doing and we continuously will provide the services as per our hospital objectives.

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What issues have been affecting you and the industry as a whole? The Malaysian private healthcare industry has undergone tremendous change over the last decade. Our Government is establishing Malaysia as a medical tourism hub and we need to really focus on what our strengths are in order to provide a better service to the world. We have top-notch surgeons and a world-class medical school here, rivalling anything in the West. Of course, we also provide traditional Chinese medicine in our healthcare delivery and we are expecting the Government to support the traditional and complementary medicine in Malaysia. Patients should get the choice for modern and complementary medicine. They should have the wide access. Nowadays, people start to ‘trust’ traditional or complimentary medicine in getting their treatment beside the modern medicine. We are looking to build on that. What are the biggest challenges the hospital has faced? The biggest challenge is the daily one of delivering high quality healthcare services with limited resources. As an NGO, this is the biggest challenge we face – we are reliant on public donations and government assistance in our healthcare delivery services. How would you sum up the current state of the industry? Currently, the private healthcare industry in Malaysia is getting more demanding. Patients nowadays are more intelligent and more open to information. Most healthcare issues and even treatment plans are available through the internet now. There are lots of opportunities for all within the changing landscape and we believe Tung Shin can be the pioneer in clinical research that comprises of complimentary and modern medicine.

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We want to broaden access to healthcare, providing quality services to more and more people”

Please tell me about your aims, targets and projections for 2013/14 and beyond? We want to broaden access to healthcare, providing quality services to more and more people. The future will see us launch new clinics and continue with the upgrading of our hospital equipment, as well as much, much more. Tung Shin is not like others corporate hospitals and, as a non-profit, we depend on the generosity of the public – especially from the Chinese community – for funds for development. The Malaysia government did assist with some grants for Tung Shin development too, especially the Western Division. How would you like to see the hospital develop? Of course we would like to see a modern style hospital building with niche decors plus high class healthcare technology. Tung Shin is committed to delivering high levels of healthcare in a country that is fortunate to have a very comprehensive range of healthcare services and a Government committed to its principles of universal access to high-quality healthcare. If you met a Genie who offered to have all of your dreams come true, in order of priority, what would they be? We would like a modern concept hospital set-up with current services and practices. And what’s the secret to the hospital’s success? I think the top quality of healthcare delivery services especially from our directors, senior management team, all doctors and practitioners, nurses plus all our staff. We would like to see more dual-treatment hospital like Tung Shin Hospital in the future. To learn more about Tung Shin visit www.tungshin.com.my.

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CHINA MINING 2013 - The 15th CHINA MINING Conference and Exhibition 2013

CTE 2013 - Macau International Car Tuning Expo 2013

The 10th Investment and Financing Expo of 2013 (Shanghai)

Tianjin Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Centre No.18 Youyi South Road, Xiqing District, Tianjin, China

The Venetian Macao / The Venetian Macao Convention & Exhibition Centre Estrada da Baía de N. Senhora da Esperança, Taipa, Macao SAR, P.R. China

Shanghai Everbright Convention & Exhibition Center (SECEC) No.88, Caobao Road, Shanghai

2 - 5 N o v e m be r 2 0 1 3

1 4 - 1 6 N o v e m be r 2 0 1 3

http://www.china-mining.org/en

FBIE CHINA 2013 - 2nd Shanghai International Import And Export Food & Beverages Exhibition Shanghai International Exhibition Centre (Intex Shanghai) 88 Lou shanguan Road (77 Xingyi Road), Changning District, Shanghai, 200336, China

6 - 8 N o v e m be r 2 0 1 3

http://www.importfoodfair.com/en/ aboutzs.asp

BIO Convention in China 2013 China National Convention Cente (CNCC) No.7 Tianchen East Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

1 1 - 1 3 N o v e m be r 2 0 1 3 http://www.bio.org

http://www.cartuning-expo.com/en/ news_show.asp?id=333

Asia Pacific Food Expo 2013 Singapore Expo (Hall 4) 1 Expo Dr, Singapore 486150

2 1 - 2 5 N o v e m be r 2 0 1 3 http://www.asiapacificfoodexpo.org.sg/

http://www.jinrongzhan.com/en/ info/678.html

AFF 2014 - The 7th Asian Financial Forum Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai North, Hong Kong Island

1 3 - 1 4 J anua r y 2 0 1 4

AgriPro Asia 2013

http://www.asianfinancialforum.com/ en/index.htm

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre 1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai North Hong Kong Island

PetShow 2014 - The 9th Hong Kong Pet Show 2014

5 - 7 Dece m be r 2 0 1 3

http://www.verticalexpo.com/eeditor/ index.php?expo_id=8

Hong Kong International Travel Fair (HKITF) Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre 1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai North Hong Kong Island

1 3 - 1 5 Dece m be r 2 0 1 3 http://www.hkitf.com.hk/

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2 7 - 2 9 Dece m be r 2 0 1 3

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Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai North, Hong Kong Island

7 - 9 F eb r ua r y 2 0 1 4 http://www.petshow.com.hk/en/


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Asia Outlook Issue 4  

All the latest business news, features and reviews from Asia

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