Reliance Industries Limited to Acquire Stake in Eros International PLC
Feb 20, 2018

Announces Joint Partnership with Eros India to set-up a $150 million fund to co-produce and consolidate content
Jyoti Deshpande to head RIL’s media and entertainment business as President of the Chairman’s Office

MUMBAI, India--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Reliance Industries Limited (“RIL”) and Eros International PLC (“Eros”) announced today that RIL, through a subsidiary, has agreed to subscribe to a 5% equity stake in NYSE listed Eros at a price of $15.00 per share, which represents an 18% premium to last closing price. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals.

Furthermore, RIL and Eros International Media Limited (“Eros India”) announced that they have agreed to partner in India to jointly produce and consolidate content from across India. The parties will equally invest up to approximately $150 million to produce and acquire Indian films and digital originals across all languages.

In addition, it was announced that Ms. Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO and MD of Eros will be stepping down from her Executive role after more than 17 years in Eros and move on to head the Media and Entertainment business at RIL as President of the Chairman’s Office. Ms. Deshpande will start her role at RIL from April 2018, but will continue to remain as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Eros. Mr. Kishore Lulla will resume his position of Group Chairman and CEO of Eros.

In her new role at RIL, Ms. Deshpande will lead the company’s initiatives in Media and Entertainment to organically build and grow businesses around the content ecosystem such as Broadcasting, Films, Sports, Music, Digital, Gaming, Animation etc., as well as integrate RIL’s existing media investments such as Viacom and Balaji Telefilms with a view to build, scale and consolidate the fragmented $20 billion Indian M&E sector.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, RIL commented, “We are pleased to join hands with Eros, as it will bring further synergies into our plans, making for a win-win partnership. We are delighted to welcome Ms. Jyoti Deshpande into the Reliance family and believe that she will not only give wings to our plans but also play a pivotal role in transforming the sector.”

Commenting on the development Mr. Kishore Lulla said, “I am very pleased that Eros is partnering with RIL in its entertainment journey with several synergies across technology, content and digital with Eros Now. We look forward to collaborating and growing as we continue to make new strides on the digital and content forefronts. I am confident that together, we can make a meaningful difference. Jyoti Deshpande has been an invaluable part of the incredible Eros growth journey and I am confident that she will make a positive impact on the industry in her new role at RIL. I wish her the very best of luck.”

Ms. Jyoti Deshpande commented, “Having worked and associated with Eros group since 1998, it has been an integral part of my professional career and I extend my heartfelt thanks to Kishore Lulla and the Eros family for the opportunity to build an amazing company together. I am delighted that RIL has strategically aligned with Eros, so the association continues. My new assignment at RIL will allow me to push boundaries, set new standards of excellence, assemble a world-class young leadership team and adopt a collaborative approach to architect and execute this ambition in true RIL tradition. I am genuinely honored and humbled to have been granted this opportunity but more than anything I cannot wait to roll up my sleeves.”

About RIL

RIL is India’s largest private sector company, with a consolidated turnover of INR 330,180 crore (USD 50.9 billion), cash profit of INR 42,800 crore (USD 6.6 billion), and net profit of INR 29,901 crore (USD 4.6 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2017.

RIL is the first private sector company from India to feature in Fortune’s Global 500 list of ‘World’s Largest Corporations’ – currently ranking 203rd in terms of revenues, and 110th in terms of profits. The company stands 106th in the ‘Forbes Global 2000’ rankings for 2017 – the top-most among Indian companies. It ranks 10th in LinkedIn’s ‘Top Companies Where India Wants to Work Now’ (2017). RIL’s activities span hydrocarbon exploration and production, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail and 4G digital services.

About Eros International Plc

Eros International Plc (NYSE: EROS) is a leading global company in the Indian film entertainment industry that acquires, co-produces and distributes Indian films across all available formats such as cinema, television and digital new media. Eros International Plc became the first Indian media company to list on the New York Stock Exchange. Eros International has experience of over three decades in establishing a global platform for Indian cinema. The Company has an extensive and growing movie library comprising of over 3,000 films, which include Hindi, Tamil, and other regional language films. The company also owns the rapidly growing OTT platform Eros Now. For further information please visit:

About Jyoti Deshpande

Ms. Jyoti Deshpande has over 25 years of experience in media and entertainment across advertising, media consulting, television and film. She has been part of the leadership team of Eros International Plc since 2001 and as Group CEO & MD she has spearheaded Eros’s growth as a global leader in Indian filmed entertainment. Prior to joining Eros in 2001, Ms Deshpande has worked for 7 years in the field of advertising, media consulting and television with companies such as J Walter Thompson India, Mindshare, Zee Television and B4U Television. Ms. Deshpande has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and Economics from Mumbai University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from SPJIMR, Mumbai University.

Ms. Deshpande was featured in the prestigious Fortune India magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business (2017/2015) which celebrates the journeys and triumphs of women who not only impact their organizations but are also thought leaders in their industry. Ms. Deshpande was also featured in the list of Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Business Today (2015). She was also recently awarded as one of the Women of the Decade for Innovation and Leadership by Women Economic Forum.

Eros International Plc
Mark Carbeck, +44 207 258 9909
Chief Corporate and Strategy Officer
Sloane & Company
Erica Bartsch, +1 212 446 1875

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Speaking More Than One Language Can Boost Economic Growth
Feb 19, 2018

Multilingualism is good for the economy, researchers have found. Countries that actively nurture different languages reap a range of rewards, from more successful exports to a more innovative workforce.

“Language matters on a large-scale national level and at the level of smaller businesses,” says Gabrielle Hogan-Brun, a research fellow in Language Studies at the University of Bristol, citing data that links economic growth to linguistic diversity.

Switzerland, for example, attributes 10% of its GDP to its multilingual heritage. The country has four national languages: German, French, Italian and an ancient Latin-based language called Romansh.

Britain, on the other hand, is estimated to lose out on the equivalent of 3.5% of its GDP every year, because of its population’s relatively poor language skills.

This may be partly because languages can help build trade relations. A study of small and medium-size companies in Sweden, Germany, Denmark and France found that those which invested more in languages were able to export more goods. German companies that invested heavily in multilingual staff added 10 export countries to their market. Companies that invested less said they missed out on contracts.

Researchers have also long highlighted the individual benefits of speaking more than one language. For those who find languages difficult, the good news is that you do not have to be fluent to feel a positive impact.

Several studies show that languages boost earning power. In Florida, workers who speak both Spanish and English earn $7,000 per year more than those who only speak English. According to a Canadian study, bilingual men earn 3.6% and bilingual women earn 6.6% more than their English-only peers. The twist: this was true even if they didn’t use their second language for work.

“It seems you don’t have to actually speak a second language on the job to reap the financial rewards of being bilingual,” says economics professor Louis Christofides, one of the authors of the study. The authors speculated that this was because knowing a second language was seen a sign of cognitive power, perseverance and a good education.

Beyond these immediate economic rewards, languages can help a country’s workforce in more subtle, long-term ways. Multilingualism has for example been shown to be good for brain health, delaying the onset of dementia. It has also been associated with a better ability to concentrate and process information. The effects are strongest in people who were multilingual from a young age, but acquiring languages later still made a difference.

“Even a one-week intensive language course improved attention and this effect remained stable nine months later in those who practised five hours a week or more,” say Thomas Bak, reader in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and Dina Mehmedbegovic, lecturer in Education at UCL, in a paper on the value of linguistic diversity.

So how can countries boost their linguistic capital? Bak and Mehmedbegovic use the term “healthy linguistic diet” to describe a positive approach to languages across a lifespan.

“As well as using every opportunity to say: ‘It's good for you to eat fruit and vegetables every day’, schools should also say: ‘It's good for you to speak, read and write in different languages’,” they suggest.

This is especially important since many countries already possess a vast, untapped linguistic resource in the form of migrant families. But while many monolingual parents push their children to take language classes, migrant parents may feel discouraged from passing on their own language for fear of discrimination, or because they think multilingualism is harmful. The result? "The size and richness of language at home is compromised,” says Viorica Marian, Professor of Communication Sciences at Northwestern University.

Given that linguistic diversity has such a powerful economic impact, it’s alarming that many languages face a serious risk of extinction. The most vulnerable are languages spoken by small communities in mountainous areas. The main drivers for their decline, according to the researchers’ data, are globalization and high economic growth.

By Sophie Hardach

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What Makes S. Korea and Sweden the Most Innovative Countries in the World
Feb 19, 2018

South Korea and Sweden are the most innovative countries in the world, according to a league table covering everything from the concentration of tech companies to the number of science and engineering graduates.

The index on innovative countries highlights South Korea’s position as the economy whose companies filed the most patents in 2017.

Bloomberg, which compiles the index based on data from sources including the World Bank, IMF and OECD, credits South Korea’s top ranking to Samsung.

The electronics giant is South Korea’s most valuable company and has received more US patents than any company other than IBM since the start of the millennium. This innovation trickles down the supply chain and throughout South Korea’s economy.

Sweden in second place is fast gaining a reputation as Europe’s tech start-up capital.

The Scandinavian country is home to Europe’s largest tech companies and its capital is second only to Silicon Valley when it comes to the number of “unicorns” – billion-dollar tech companies – that it produces per capita.

Education Hinders the US

The US dropped out of the top 10 in the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index, for the first time in the six years the gauge has been compiled.

Bloomberg attributed its fall to 11th place from ninth last year largely to an eight-spot slump in the rating of its tertiary education, which includes an assessment of the share of new science and engineering graduates in the labour force. The US is now ranked 43 out of 50 nations for “tertiary efficiency”. Singapore and Iran take the top two spots.

The US’ ranking marks another setback for its higher education sector’s global standing in recent months: in September it was revealed neither of the world’s top two universities were considered to be American. Those honours went to the UK’s Oxford and Cambridge universities respectively.

In addition to the US’ education slump in the innovation index, Bloomberg claims the country also lost ground when it came to value-added manufacturing. The country is now ranked in 23rd place, while Ireland and South Korea take the top two spots.

Despite these setbacks, the Bloomberg Innovation Index still ranks the US as number 1 when it comes to its density of tech companies. The US is also second only to South Korea for patent activity.

These rankings may explain the disparity between Bloomberg’s list of innovative countries and the World Economic Forum’s own list of the 10 most innovative economies.

Under this ranking, compiled as part of The Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, the US is listed as the second most innovative country in the world after Switzerland.

The US’ inclusion in this league table, and South Korea’s exclusion, are the two most notable differences between the different rankings.

Other than these nations, the majority of countries included in the top 10s are the same in both lists.

Tech Titan Israel

One nation to feature prominently in both innovation rankings is Israel.

Taking third spot in the Global Competitiveness Report’s innovation league table, Israel is ranked 10th best country in the world for innovation overall by Bloomberg. However, its index also ranks Israel as number 1 for two categories of innovation: R&D intensity and concentration of researchers.

Israel’s talent for research and development is illustrated by some of the major tech innovations to come out of the country. These include the USB flash drive, the first Intel PC processor and Google’s Suggest function, to name just three.

Despite being smaller than the US state of New Jersey with fewer people, Israel punches well above its weight on the global tech stage.

It has about 4000 startups, and raises venture capital per capita at two-and-a-half times the rate of the US and 30 times that of Europe.

When it comes to being a world leader at innovation, it may simply be the case that you get out what you put in: according to OECD figures, Israel spends more money on research and development as a proportion of its economy than any other country – 4.3% of GDP against second-placed Korea's 4.2%.

Switzerland is in third place spending 3.4% of its GDP on R&D, while Sweden spends 3.3%. The US spends just 2.8%.

By John Mckenna

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Malaysia truly Asia Announced Collaborative Initiatives to Drive Growth of 2.5 Million European Visitors by 2020 at Fitur 2018
Feb 14, 2018

At the recent 38th edition of FITUR 2018, a travel fair exhibition in Madrid, targeting Spanish countries in Spain and Latin America, country brand Malaysia Truly Asia received overwhelming response from trade buyers, medias and visitors.

The 15-member Malaysian delegation was led by YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture, accompanied by Deputy Secretary General (Tourism), Puan Haslina Abdul Hamid; Deputy Director General (Promotion) Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud; and Senior Director of Tourism Malaysia for International Promotions - America, Europe and Oceania, Dato’ Mohmed Razip Hasan.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri reaffirmed that collaborative partnerships and alliances with European trade partners will be one of the key drivers to spur growth of visitors to Malaysia in the run up to the Visit Malaysia Year campaign 2020. The delegation also included Tourism Selangor led by the Chief Minister, YAB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. The state tourism council participated for the first time at FITUR Madrid and aims at exploring more opportunities to promote Selangor to the Spanish travellers. The Chief Minister of Selangor was accompanied by the State Exco for Tourism, YB Ms Elizabeth Wong and General Manager of Tourism Selangor, Puan Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din.

At a press media briefing held on the 2nd day of FITUR, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri highlighted a list of significant marketing collaborations and developments for Malaysia in the European market, among them partnership with ECTAA (Confederation of European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association) for Malaysia as its Preferred Destination Partner 2018; partnership with CEAV (Confederation of Spanish Travel Agents in Spain), represented by its President, Mr Rafael Gallego, and Mr Pedro Ferreira, President of Portuguese Travel Agent Association; Malaysia as Official ITB Country Partner 2019 in Berlin; marketing collaboration between Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airports Berhad Holdings with German-based Condor Airlines to commence three weekly flights from Frankfurt to Kuala Lumpur starting November 2018 and a new cruise programme with TUI (UK) Cruises 2018/2019, with potential capacity to welcome 7,200 passengers.

The PATA Travel Mart (Pacific Area Travel Association) 2018 which will see participation by about 2,000 global trade professionals will take place in Langkawi from 12 to 14 September. The event is jointly hosted by Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) and Tourism Malaysia.

In 2016, tourist arrivals to Malaysia was 26.8 million, a growth of +4% and contributed about RM82.1 billion (17.8 billion euros) in tourism receipts, a phenomenal growth of 18.8% in revenue. Target arrivals for 2018 is 33.1 million with tourism receipts expected around RM134 billion (29 billion euros).

“Spain is an important market having reached an incremental growth of 28.4% with more than 40,000 arrivals in 2017. With the commencement of Qatar Airways’ three weekly flights from Doha to Penang commencing 6 February, Spanish travellers can now visit Penang direct from Madrid or Barcelona with a stopover in Doha, with opportunity to combine with other destinations in the country,” says Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri.

A special 11 nights/12 days travel package to Penang/Kuala Lumpur with extensions to other parts of Malaysia was launched at FITUR by Qatar Airways, Dimensiones Club, Penang Global Tourism and Tourism Malaysia. Tourism Selangor also launched #DiscoverSelangor latest video campaign with a tagline #TakeMeAnywhere.

A presentation seminar attended by select top Spanish travel agents was also organised by Tourism Malaysia and Qatar Airways. Also scheduled were one-to-one meetings with key decision makers from airline companies, confederations of tour operators and travel agencies and media interviews with travel trade magazines.

Among them were with Mr Michel de Blust, Secretary General of ECTAA; Mr Pedro Costa Ferreira, President of Portuguese Travel Agent Association; Mr Rafael Gallego, President of Confederation of Spanish Travel Agents (CEAV); Mr Gerardo Manzano of EuropAir; and Mr Neil Chernoff, Iberia’s Senior Vice President for Network and Alliances.

“All these developments are timely, especially in the run-up to our Visit Malaysia Year campaign in 2020 – a significant year in which Malaysia hopes to attract 36 million tourists worldwide,” the Minister said.

After the meeting with Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri, Mr Pedro Costa Ferreira, President of Portuguese Travel Agent Association and Mr Rafael Gallego, President of Confederation of Spanish Travel Agents (CEAV) agreed to organise their Annual General Meetings (AGM) in Kuala Lumpur next year.

Focusing on further strengthening the long haul European markets, Tourism Malaysia also organised a meeting attended by Tourism Malaysia’s overseas directors and marketing managers from stations from Almaty, The Hague, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Moscow, Paris, Istanbul and marketing representatives for Italian and the Scandinavian markets to strategise market action plans and directions for 2018-2020.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri also paid courtesy calls to the new Secretary General of UNWTO, Mr Zurab Pololikashvili at the UNWTO office in Madrid, accompanied by HE Ambassador of Malaysia to Spain, Mr Zainal Abidin Bakar, MOTAC’s Deputy Secretary General, Puan Haslina Abdul Hamid, Deputy Director General (Promotion) Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud and tourism senior officials.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri reiterated Malaysia’s strong support towards UNWTO and shall continue to assume active role by participating in UNWTO’s programmes and activities. As Malaysia will soon announce its Visit Malaysia Year campaign 2020, the Minister thanked UNWTO for giving Malaysia the permission to incorporate UNWTO’s tagline #TravelEnjoyRespect into the VMY 2020 branding campaign, in line with Malaysia’s continuous efforts to promote sustainable tourism.

Malaysia is set to achieve its goals to welcome 36 million visitors by 2020 with tourism receipts of RM168 billion (approx. 38 billion euros).


For more media releases, media info and media features on Malaysia’s tourism industry, kindly visit the Media Centre of Tourism Malaysia’s website at

MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene in 2016, Malaysia registered 26.8 million tourist arrivals, placing it among the major tourism destinations of the world.

Press contact:

Media Relations Unit:

Aliza Mansor, Senior Assistant Director, Corporate Communication Division
Tel: +603-8891 8789

Editorial Unit:

Anis Rozalina Ramli (Ms), Senior Editor, Corporate Communication Division
Tel: +603-8891 8759

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Vietnam To Cooperate With Qatar In Food Security
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Feb 14, 2018

Vietnam and Qatar have decided to work closer in the field of food security as the Middle East country is looking for new import sources and food trading partners in the wake of continued tensions with other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

According to Vietnam’s ambassador in Qatar, Nguyen Dinh Thao, Vietnam has made significant advancement in food exports over the past decade and also made progress in cooperation with large food importers in the Middle East under their food security programmes.

“Vietnam plays an important role in global food security as it has made progress in food security and increased production for international markets,” Thao said, adding that “Vietnam is ready to cooperate with Qatar especially in the field of food security. High-tech agriculture is also a development focus for Vietnam in maintaining food security in the future and it is an area which Qatar and Vietnam can work together.”

Vietnam is a net exporter of agri-food, seafood, rice and many other agricultural products. In 2016, exports of agriculture and forestry products reached $18.1 billion, an increase of 6.5 per cent year-on-year and accounting for 10.3 per cent of the country’s total exports. Seafood exports were valued at $7 billion, an increase of 6.8 per cent as compared to the previous year and accounting for four percent of total export value.

Vietnam also wants to increase export of tropical fruits to the Middle East, starting with Qatar, with the main types of fruit being bananas, grapefruit, dragon fruit, mango, coconut and also durian.

Vietnam could fully meet Qatar’s demand for tropical fruits, Vietnam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Xuan Cuong, said. According to him, Vietnam had 1.8 million hectares of cultivation area for fruits and vegetables with an annual output of 20 million tonnes, and this figure would double in the future if demand increases.

Besides seafood, other food exports to Qatar would include Vietnam’s top agriculture products such as vegetables, coffee, cashew nuts and pepper.

Vietnam and Qatar are looking back at many years of close relations and business ties. As early as in 2008, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority set up a $1-billion fund to invest in agricultural development, as well as cattle and lamb farming in Vietnam.

Qatar is also investing in the real estate, tourism, banking and petroleum sector in Vietnam, and the Gulf country’s national airline Qatar Airways operates direct flights from Doha to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Currently, there are around 1,400 Vietnamese citizens residing in Qatar, namely researchers, students, engineers and workers in the construction and service industry.

Photo by Peter Wendt on Unsplash

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Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique
Vietnam Going Solar After Nuclear Power Plants Shelved
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Feb 05, 2018

The Vietnam government decided to embark on a number of projects to build large solar power facilities in the country and encouraged large companies to invest in the sector in order to prevent anticipated power shortages due to the recent cancellation of nuclear power plant construction projects.

Originally, it was planned to build two nuclear power plants with Russia and Japan in the southern province of Ninh Thuan, but the plan was cancelled in November 2016 due to hefty up-front costs of several billion dollars per reactor and because of security fears.

Thien Tan Group, a large construction and energy conglomerate and one of Vietnam’s largest solar power company, now said it will spend $2 billion to build five large solar power plants by 2020 in Ninh Thuan. A 50 megawatts solar plant will start operating this year, followed by four plants generating 200-300 megawatt each. The five solar plants will generate an estimated one gigawatts, equivalent to the total power output of a nuclear reactor.

Ninh Thuan Province – which is blessed with ample sunshine and abundant idle land – is highly suitable for solar power generation. The province is trying to attract solar power plants as an alternative to nuclear. The province plans to attract 4.85 gigawatt worth of large solar power plants by 2030.

TTC Group is another large enterprise that decided to tap into the solar power generation business. By 2020, the sugar, energy, real estate and tourism conglomerate said it will build 20 large solar power plants in southern provinces with ample sunshine, including a 320 megawatt plant in Tay Ninh province and a 300 megawatt facility in Binh Thuan Province.

The government in Hanoi is trying to nurture solar power generation as one of the country’s main sources of electrical power. Currently solar power only accounts for 0.01 per cent of total power generation capacity in Vietnam, but the government plans to increase the ratio to 3.3 per cent by 2030 and 20 per cent by 2050.

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Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique
Revamp Your Brand - 5 Ways to Promote Your Business without Breaking the Bank
Feb 05, 2018

Large or small, all businesses must promote themselves to be successful. Unfortunately, marketing is not always cheap, especially if yours is a small business with a limited budget. When cash-flow is tight, your first inclination might be to cut your marketing funds, but that would be a mistake.

Small businesses have more inexpensive marketing resources today than ever before. The digital world is full of trackable, cost-effective tools, and all you need to do is take advantage. Here are five ways to promote your business without breaking the bank.

1. Promotional Products

Everyone loves getting free stuff, so why not give prospective clients and potential partners something by which to remember you? One way to promote your brand and place your company at the forefront of everyone’s minds is by giving away promotional products.

Promotional products can take pretty much any form; from a ballpoint pen to an ice bucket emblazoned with your company’s logo or advertising message. This type of promotion is very cost-effective, and it adds a personal touch to your marketing strategy.

2. Social Media

Social media is potentially the fastest way to reach millions of people without spending a great deal of money. In fact, it is free to promote your business on social media, and you can do it yourself with a bit of research and practice. Paid advertising on social media, if done expertly, can be incredibly cost-effective.

Sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, and Instagram all allow companies to market to the masses, and since these platforms are where most people go to find the things they’re looking for, it makes sense you should be there, too. The secret to successfully promoting yourself on social media is to provide high quality, helpful content your customers can use and enjoy.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is the use of email to promote products and services, as well as to build relationships with potential customers and clients. The secret to creating a successful email marketing campaign is to grow a robust, organized list of email addresses of people you already do business with and prospective future clients. Email marketing is another low-cost promotional tool you can do yourself. Mastering email marketing gives you a leg up on the competition because you can customize it to fit each client persona.

4. Networking Events

Networking is a process of meeting new people, collaborating, and building and fostering relationships to further grow your business. Attending networking events is perhaps the lowest-cost, most effective way to market your business in person.

Networking events can take place over the phone, through email interaction, at casual and formal social events, networking sites such as LinkedIn or in face-to-face meetings. All these methods are highly effective, and the cost factor is minimal compared to the return on investment they deliver.

5. Go Local

Your local community is a veritable wealth of cost-effective marketing opportunities. For example, your company could sponsor a little league team or host a charity fundraising event. Even printing up bookmarks to place at the public library gets your company’s name out for local customers to see and remember. Once you’ve established your organisation as a local hotspot, you can continue to figure out where and when to target even more current and future prospects.

These five ways to promote your business without breaking the bank will help you find new customers, build upon those relationships, and ultimately, keep your brand in the forefront of everyone’s minds. Marketing doesn’t have to be a race to see who can spend the most. Rather, it’s about how much time and effort you put forth to make it relevant to your customers’ needs.

Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

Small Investment Bringing Great Results: Aquaculture Taiwan Expo & Forum to Return Taipei World Trade Center on July 26
Feb 01, 2018

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Jan. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Aquaculture Taiwan Expo & Forum will return to Taipei World Trade Center in the upcoming summer, featuring the latest technologies and equipment, and serving as an one-stop platform for professionals in the industry.

The ocean covers 70 percent of the surface of our planet and its natural resources redeem the land's insufficiency of the food products. However, over exploitation of fishing resources has resulted in a decline of fishing volume and an increasing amount of endangered species. In order to relieve the pressures in the ocean, aquaculture is urged to help the ecological sustainability and to supply good fish to every one.

There are 500 aquaculture species being farmed nowadays and it is the first time that the farming volume surpassed wild fishing in 2017. Aquaculture is seen as one of the solutions for the future food production systems, and its new technologies and studies advancing as well. Hsu Huang Chou, the Chairman of Taiwan Aquaculture Development Association observed that information and biological technology involved in the aquaculture industry will make aquaculture more promising.

Although the aquaculture market is expanding, there are several issues to be settled. For example, excessive use of chemicals, aquatic animal diseases and infections, ecological pollution and invasive species effects all must be dealt with. As a result, UBM Taiwan and Malaysia collectively organised "Aquaculture Taiwan Expo & Forum" to provide aquatic farmers a total solution at a one-stop platform. Themed as "Innovative, Eco-friendly, and Sustainable," the trade show focuses on state-of-the-art technologies and equipment that enable farmers to improve productivity and optimize products. The organisers are now recruiting manufacturers from around the world to showcase feed additives, farming equipment and smart farming systems that benefit the entire ecological systems and the industry.

Ms. Sabine Liu, General Manager of UBM Taiwan remarked that Taiwan has marvellous energy and talent to meet the aquaculture demand and the farming species are similar to most Asia-Pacific countries. "Aquaculture Taiwan Expo & Forum" is undoubtedly a perfect option to expand business opportunity. The exhibitor, BactiWay, an environmental probiotic manufacturing company, agreed that Asia-Pacific countries are now launching circular economy strategies which will drive more manufacturers to develop innovative products. "It is a great chance to show aquatic supply chains' ability to achieve environmental sustainability and provide good fish for consumers. I believe a new vision could be to brought in the future and it's our mission to ensure human health," said Chen Chia-Chen, General Manager of Shiuh Ger.

The "Aquaculture Taiwan Expo & Forum" is held concurrently with "Livestock Taiwan Expo & Forum" and "Asia Agri-Tech Expo & Forum" at Taipei World Trade Center. Manufacturers who supply smart farming equipment, circular economy machinery and feed and feed additives are highly encouraged to book a booth now. The triple exhibition contains a series of conferences and business match making programmes from July 26-28. This one-and-only annual trade show represents Taiwan's premier, international and professional B2B trading platform that focuses on the advanced technologies for the field of livestock, aquaculture and agriculture. For more exhibition information and details, please refer to the official website or contact Sophia Lu (TEL: +886-2-2738-3898; FAX: +886-2-2738-4886; Email:

About news release, please contact

UBM Asia Ltd., Taiwan Branch
Ms. Joy Chou
TEL: +886-2-2738-3898
FAX: +886-2-2738-4886

For exhibitor inquiry, please contact

Ms. Sophia Lu

For visitor inquiry, please contact
Ms. Natasha Chiang

Source: UBM Asia Ltd., Taiwan Branch

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Risen Energy Deepens Expansion in Europe
Jan 30, 2018

The Chinese solar panel maker provides Spanish PV power station with 6 MW of modules

NINGBO, China, Jan. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Risen Energy Co., Ltd., a leading China-based PV solutions provider that's traded as an A-share on China's Shenzhen Stock Exchange, recently announced that a 12MW ground PV power station in Requena, Spain has been connected to the grid, with Risen Energy having contributed 50% of the required high-efficiency solar modules to the project. This is a clear testament that the Chinese PV leader has received recognition outside of its home market, thanks to the excellent reputation that the firm has gained worldwide, most notably in Europe, and the strong and continuous growth in shipments going back many years.

The 12MW power station, developed by a Chile-based firm, is backed by an investment of approximately 100 million euros, including loans worth 7.68 million euros from Banco Santander. Risen Energy, one of the world's leading PV power solutions providers, supplied 6MW of the necessary 325W high-efficiency modules to the project.

The Chinese provider embarked on its globalization strategy several years ago and become an active participant of the Chinese government's One Belt, One Road initiative. The firm has leveraged its strengths in power expertise, project development and after-sales services to provide best-of-class professional PV power solutions, by taking part in the development of thousands of power station projects in Italy, Germany, India and Australia as well as in several African countries.

Risen Energy president Wang Hong said: "In terms of PV development, compared with emerging Asian and African PV markets, Europe has reached a high level of maturity that includes government policies supporting the industry and project financing. To enhance the proportion of renewable energy-based power generation, European markets including Spain have rolled out a series of incentives. Given the rosy prospects for European markets, we plan to continue deepening our cooperation on the development of power station projects with European firms and to provide partners with high-efficacy products and outstanding services."

Source: Risen Energy Co., Ltd

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Decoding the ‘Private Message’ Culture
Jan 29, 2018

E-commerce vendors expanding into Southeast Asia need a unique sales model for each country. Increasingly, Southeast Asians living in Taiwan and Southeast Asian online celebrities are emerging as the key to social media-based e-commerce.

E-commerce is still in the fledgling stage in Southeast Asia. Most consumers still habitually shop in brick-and-mortar stores where they can see and touch the products. Many harbor doubts about the security and trustworthiness of online shopping platforms.

Aside from trust issues, internet infrastructure is still relatively undeveloped in some Southeast Asian countries. Little bandwidth and slow internet speeds make browsing on mobile devices a tedious affair as images downloads are slow or full of errors, hampering local e-commerce development.

A survey by international consulting firm PwC indicated that consumers in Southeast Asia favor shopping via mobile phone and social media apps more than consumers in other countries.

If consumers don’t trust e-commerce platforms, finding the right product online is as difficult as looking for a needle in a haystack. However, since mobile phone use is widespread, Southeast Asian consumers are much more open to shopping in the social media world through apps such as Instagram, Facebook or Line.

“The biggest obstacle to online shopping for Southeast Asian consumers is [the lack of] trust,” observes Tai Fan-chen, deputy head of the Commerce Technology Application Research Division of the Commerce Development Research Institute (CDRI).

Although each country has a distinct culture and background, Tai says, Southeast Asian nations have one point in common - they all greatly value personal contact.

Therefore, social media platforms that provide such a “human touch” are very popular and an important channel for reaching out to potential customers. Comparable to direct selling, this type of e-commerce model exploits interpersonal relationships to generate profits or entice people into making a purchase.

When you ask Taiwanese and Malaysian e-commerce companies what is indispensable to know when one wants to be successful in the Southeast Asian market, they will inevitably tell you: Private message or chat room economy.

What is Meant by Private Message Culture?

Private message culture means that customers use social media platforms and messaging apps to ask all kinds of questions about a product before they decide to place an order.

They inquire about product features such as size, measurements and price, or want to know how to place an order: how to navigate the site, make a money transfer, accept a delivery, and so on. While online shoppers in Taiwan are used to these logistics processes from order to delivery, inexplicable problems can crop up anywhere along the way in Southeast Asia.

“What occurs most often is that people ask you how to place an order; people here are used to letting you help them order,” explains Zhi Qing Wong, a customer representative at the Malaysian subsidiary of Taiwanese cosmetics company All Young.

“Many people are lazy,” remarks Ng Shern Yau, co-founder and COO of Hong Kong-based Logistics Worldwide Express (LWE), which uses Malaysia as its logistics and customer service hub. Ng points out that some people get in touch not to ask the price, but rather to haggle about the price, which would not be possible if they order through a website. “Malaysians like to haggle,” notes Ng.

Consumers in different markets also differ. Shoppers in the Philippines tend to be impulse buyers, whereas Malaysian consumers tend to hesitate and think over purchase decisions for some time.

“They love chatting; I once spent an hour answering a customer's questions, but he waited a month before placing his order,” recalls Eng Sin Yee, customer representative at Taiwanese online cosmetics and body care retailer Shopping99.

Hsu Yi-chih, general manager of Vacanza Accessory, a jewelry vendor who is also active in Malaysia and Vietnam, points out that communication with new customers is time-consuming and therefore costly. Consumers expect an exchange of several private messages, and even after all their questions have been answered, they do not necessarily make a purchase. “They want to chat with you to confirm that you are a real person,” Hsu points out. (Read: Appealing to Southeast Asian Markets with Taiwanese Quality)

In Taiwan, online vendors often use endorsements by Internet stars or manage social media communities because this has proven the most effective approach for building reputation and trustworthiness in Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asian Graduates in Taiwan Manage Social Media Communities

Shopping99 counts among the Taiwanese online vendors who expanded into overseas markets at an early date. Last summer, the company made a second attempt to win the Malaysian market, relying on Malaysians living in Taiwan to manage social media communities in their home country from Taiwan.

Shopping99 co-founder and chief marketing manager Sharon Peng has hired Malaysians who graduated from universities in Taiwan and put them in charge of marketing, social media, customer service and promotional live broadcasts because they know best how to communicate with Malaysian consumers.

A mobile phone, two hosts, three products and four spotlights are all it takes to get rolling for a live broadcast on the latest must-have beauty products sold on Shopping99.

“You definitely won’t find this in Malaysia…,” the two Malaysian hosts, Fang Wan-yi and Huang Hsin-yi, tell their live audience. The pair, who speak Mandarin, English and Cantonese aside from their mother tongue Malay, smoothly switch from one language to another when introducing products. During the broadcast, they occasionally respond to online messages from viewers.

The live broadcasts take place two to three times per week lasting 20 minutes to half an hour. During the program, Fang and Huang not only advertise the products but also present life in Taiwan. They once did a live broadcast from an Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodles outlet, and also filmed an episode comparing different bubble milk teas.

“We don’t do live broadcasts only to sell stuff; sometimes it is to build brand recognition and intimacy,” notes Peng. The broadcasts help convince customers that Shopping99 is a legitimate shopping website and enlivens the fan community so that people ask questions when they consider a purchase.

Aside from managing their own social media communities, the fastest way for companies to boost their brands is to directly partner with online influencers who take advantage of their popularity and their fans’ trust to feature products in their videos.

Teaming Up with Internet Celebrities

“Online celebrities and online models are not the same. Online celebrities must have their own ideals. What we are doing now is steering online celebrities’ focus away from simply viewer numbers to gaining their viewers’ trust,” explains Kokee Lau, general manager Greater China for Malaysian online artist management agency Red People. Taiwanese online cosmetics retailer 86shop collaborates with Red People to boost the site’s popularity in Malaysia through online influencers.

Shopping99 also once invited Philippine online celebrity Sachzna Laparan, who has more than a million followers, to Taiwan. During the four-days, three-night trip she not only promoted products in live broadcasts but also food and fun activities in Taiwan, which greatly boosted interaction with her fans.

Marketing by Compatriots Engenders More Trust

Another trend that has recently emerged is Taiwanese companies collaborating with Southeast Asian social media influencers who live in Taiwan to promote their products among migrant workers and immigrants from Southeast Asia.

Indonesian national Anny Ting has lived in Taiwan for 16 years. She is well-known among Taiwan’s Indonesian community as the host of an award-winning radio program. Ting also works as a translator, voice-over artist and, most recently, in a new capacity as live broadcast celebrity.

As a Muslim, Ting often wears a headscarf. She is known for her acute fashion sense and ability to pick the right colors, and is often asked where she buys her headscarves.

“Sister, I want to buy the same scarf as yours,” is a request Ting often hears from migrant workers.

Last October, a Taiwanese headscarf maker asked Ting to present their products. So she launched live broadcasts on social media such as Facebook and Line promoting cosmetics, health and body care, make-up brushes and wireless karaoke microphones, eliciting an overwhelming response from her audience.

Ting reveals that of all the products she has endorsed, the headscarves have so far proven most popular, while clothing and body care are also selling well. On average, customers spend between NT$1,000 and NT$2,000 per purchase. Clearly, this is a previously overlooked market segment.

Ting is convinced that “trust” is the key reason why her live broadcasts became a success. “Because I used to be a migrant worker, the Indonesians in Taiwan feel that I am one of them,” she notes.

Evidently, understanding the market, localizing marketing and building trust among consumers are the keys to e-commerce success in Southeast Asia.

Translated from the Chinese article by Susanne Ganz

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