Grab participated in the latest $15 million financing round of Drive.ai, an autonomous-car tech startup from SV, and will assist it in bringing autonomous vehicles in Singapore.
1. Grab invests in Silicon Valley’s Drive.ai with plans to expand into Singapore
Drive.ai has raised the total of $77 million since it was founded, it recently announced the plan to supply self-driving vehicles for Lyft’s ride-hailing network.
Drive.ai isn’t the first autonomous tech developer to take an interest in Singapore. Grab already has a pilot program there with nuTonomy.
Read the full story here.
2. Lazada is betting on logistics to win Southeast Asia
Delivery and partnerships will go on to become Lazada’s competitive advantage to ace the logistics side of the growing ecommerce demand in Southeast Asia.
The marketplace has partnered with numerous companies like Ninjavan and Go-Jek for delivery. It currently has 130 distribution centers and 14 warehouses across the region, with plans to open 6 more.
Lazada claims to be the only one to have an open-network approach combining infrastructure and partners.
Last November, Lazada bought Singapore online grocer Redmart, with the hope that it will help to crack cold storage and expand groceries into the rest of the region.
Read the full story here.
3. Following China, South Korea announced the ban on ICO
South Korea becomes the second nation in Asia after China to prohibit Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the country due to the potential for financial scams.
Regulations imposed in China have led to Korea representing an increasing portion of global cryptocurrency trading. The value of bitcoin went down 3% within 24 hours after Korea’s announcement.
Regulators across the world, including the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK, have warned companies contemplating an ICO that they may violate securities laws; and the investors to lose money.
Read the full story here.
Will Covid-19 unleash a new generation of digital nomads?
– Covid-19 has facilitated the widespread adoption of remote working
– Despite travel restrictions, countries are seeking to attract digital nomads
– Dubai and Mexico have emerged as key destinations for foreign remote workers
– As travel resumes, many anticipate a new wave of roaming digital nomads
With Covid-19 facilitating the widespread adoption of remote working practices, some emerging markets are seeking to attract digital nomads through a series of incentives and special visas.
Despite border closures and travel restrictions resulting from the virus, various countries are stepping up efforts to incentivise the movement of so-called digital nomads – people who work remotely and relocate relatively freely.
For example, in October the Dubai government launched its virtual working programme, an initiative that gives foreign professionals the opportunity to move to the emirate and continue to work remotely in their current jobs.
The one-year programme, launched after Dubai reopened its borders to international tourists in July last year, is designed is attract professionals, entrepreneurs and those working in start-ups.
Given its strong ICT infrastructure and healthy start-up scene, Dubai has been seen as an increasingly attractive option for digital nomads in recent years, with officials marketing the emirate as a place where people can live and work by the beach.
As a further incentive, in January officials began offering free vaccines to those on the programme.
Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?
– Before the pandemic, medical tourism was a major growth area
– Dubai was a world leader among emerging market destinations
– Covid-19 travel bans and lockdowns seriously dented growth
– Increased emphasis on safety has enabled a gradual re-opening
Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, medical tourism was a significant growth industry in many emerging economies. While the pandemic represented a major setback for the segment, there are signs that it may be recovering in several markets.
The last decade saw a boom in medical tourism. By 2018 the global market was generating $58.6bn annually and in 2019 it was forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% – reaching more than $142.2bn by 2026.
The segment’s growth was largely spurred by increased awareness – particularly among citizens of higher-income countries – of the quality and relatively affordable health care options on offer in many emerging economies. The appeal was further enhanced by the possibility of combining medical treatment with a holiday in an attractive location.
Asia has been a popular region for medical tourism for some time. In Thailand, for example, guided by the Ministry of Public Health’s 2016-25 strategic plan entitled ‘Thailand: A Hub of Wellness and Medical Services’, stakeholders have been working to cement the country’s position as a regional leader in medical tourism.
Elsewhere in Asia, in 2017 the Indian government began offering a medical visa aimed at bringing in more foreign patients.
Governments in other regions similarly moved to capitalise on this growing segment. In 2015, for example, Turkish Airlines announced a 50% discount on flights for people coming to Turkey for medical treatment.
Thailand’s Stock Exchange (SET) welcomes cosmetic and skincare marketer KISS
KISS develops, contract manufactures and markets beauty and healthcare related products in both local and overseas markets
BANGKOK, February 18, 2021 – The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) will list Rojukiss International PLC, a leading developer, contract manufacturer, and marketer of skincare, color cosmetic, food supplement products, on February 19 under the ticker symbol “KISS”.(more…)
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