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Managing Health Care Costs in the Asia Pacific

The survey results show the cost of health care benefits is projected to increase by 7.9% in 2016

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The 2016 Global Medical Trends Survey draws on responses from 174 leading medical insurers, of which 45% are from Asia Pacific.

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The survey results show the cost of health care benefits is projected to increase by 7.9% in 2016. The increase is driven largely by higher cost of hospital and inpatient services, medical technology and providers overprescribing or recommending too many services.

By Willis Towers Watson

Source : Managing Health Care Costs in the Asia Pacific

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Skin-lightening products market to reach US$31 billion by 2024

In emerging Asian and African economies, the natural aspiration to enhance one’s circumstances has led to rapid growth in the market for skin-lightening products, which is projected to reach US$31 billion by 2024.

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Recent years have seen evolving awareness of systemic inequities including racism, sexism and pro-Western chauvinism.

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

Oxford Business Group

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

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Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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Marijuana could generate up to Bt8 billion for Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry

Last year, Thailand removed cannabis and hemp leaves from its list of banned narcotics (seeds and buds remain banned).

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Marijuana could generate up to Bt8 billion for Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry over the next five years, but farmers stand to make little from growing the herb, experts say.

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