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Why Samsung solving ‘first world problems’ matters

As someone who lives and breathes technology every single day I’m skeptical whenever a new company says its new thing(s) will change our lives in meaningful ways.

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Cheesy. Corny. Dorky. All of these words typically describe a Samsung press conference where it announces a slew of new products.

But at the IFA tech show in Berlin this year, Samsung’s message — “your new normal” — was anything but cheesy because it reminded me how convenient technology has made life. Most of us will never admit it, but we all take technology for granted.

As someone who lives and breathes technology every single day, is one of the first to see the latest and greatest innovations before everyone else does, and reviews new tech products for a living, I’m skeptical whenever a new company says its new thing(s) will change our lives in meaningful ways.

Samsung’s IFA press conference is not what I would have called exciting. If you’re looking for spectacle, that’s what its Unpacked events are for.

The company announced a bunch of handful of new products like a new flatscreen QLED TV, a 49-inch QLED gaming monitor with 1-millisecond response time, an improved smart washing machine, and better connectivity for its smart fridges.

Samsung also dedicated a chunk to the new fitness-focused Gear Sport smartwatch, Gear Fit2 Pro…

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Ecommerce

Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?
PAKORN PEETATHAWATCHAI:

PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point. 

As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.

In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?

PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.
 

 

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Asean

China Sustains Huge Ecommerce Development Investment Flows into ASEAN

What Asia Investment Research showed us that there were China outbound investments into several ASEAN markets, led by Singapore, and followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Collectively, these markets saw circa 30 investments n Q3, or about 15 percent of total Chinese outbound volume. 

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ASEAN Inbound Investments from China show strong trends in developing digital trade infrastructure.

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