Singapore’s Liho Tea debuts in Brunei
Singapore’s own bubble tea brand, Liho, opens its first outlet in Brunei at the Times Square Brunei Darussalam. The company expects to expand to 10-12 outlets within 2 years. Liho bubble is popular in Singapore and has 93 branches across the island.
Coastal provinces drew an estimated 4.4 million tourists in 2018
Coastal provinces in Cambodia are forecast to attract more than 4.4 million tourists in 2018. The Ministry of Tourism projected that the total tourist traffic will consist of 3.5 million domestic tourists and 920,000 foreign tourists.Cambodia implemented double taxation accord with 3 countries.
Cambodia double taxation agreement with Brunei, China, and Vietnam came into effect from 1 st January 2019, according to the media release from the General Department of Taxation (GDT). Cambodia signed the agreement with Vietnam in 2018, Brunei in 2017, and China in 2016. The agreements will protect the citizens of the stated countries fromdouble taxation and help prevent income tax evasion.
Government up prisoner meals budget by 37%
The food budget for prisoners in Indonesia is increased to Rp1.79 trillion (US$126.5 million) this year, from Rp1.3 trillion (US$91.9 million) in 2018. The 37% increase in the budget is due to the sharp increase in number of prisoners. Each Indonesian prisoner is allocated a food budget of Rp20,000 (US$1.41) a day.
Consumer goods tariff hike failed to significantly reduce imports
The government implemented a higher import tariffs policy on 1,147 consumer products in October 2018. The policy was introduced help narrow the country’s trade deficit by curbing imports of consumer goods. Figures from Statistics Indonesia (BSP) showed an average monthly value of imports of US$31.1 million before the introduction of the policy. The figure declined less than 10% to US$28.1 million after the policy was implemented.
Local convenience store chain rebrands as Mini Big C
M Point Mart, a known local convenience store chain, rebrands itself as Mini Big C as Thai retailer Big C took over its management. Big C’s Thai website places Mini Big C as a 24-hour convenience store that offers over 3,500 daily products. Mini Big C will differentiate itself from other small convenience stores by offering a selection of fresh meat and vegetables.
Laos turns to historical sites and natural attractions to boost tourism
The government plans to convert more areas of natural attractions, historical sites, and other places of cultural interests, into appealing tourist destinations, the Deputy Prime Minister said during his speech at the National Assembly. The government also plans to apply to the Unesco to list the Plains of Jars as a world heritage site. Laos currently has two Unesco world heritage sites: Luang Prabang and Wat Phu Champsak.
Mercure Hotel to cease operations in Vientiane
Mercure Vientiane announced on 26th December 2018 via its webpage that it would cease operations in Vientiane. The hotel will close its doors on 1st March 2019.
Jollibee launched first Malaysian outlet in December last year
Jollibee launched its first outlet in Malaysia in Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah. Jollibee is the largest food chain in the Philippines and has embarked on an aggressive international expansion plan in the recent years. The brand is well-loved in the Philippines for its Chickenjoy fried chicken and its burgers. The company plans to launch more outlets in major cities across Malaysia.
Malaysia bans exports of 4 species of fish in January and February
Malaysia will ban export of mackerel, trevally, Indian mackerel, and pomfret, as well as shrimp, in order to stabilize prices and supply in the home market. The ban will be in place for January and February 2019.
Mini-mart chain Alfamart to add 200 new outlets this year Alfamart, an Indonesian mini-mart chain, plans to open 200 new outlets in the Philippines in 2019, according to a Fitch Ratings report. Alfamart currently has 400 outlets in the Philippines.
AVA award 2 tenders for quail eggs farms
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has awarded two land parcels for quail egg farming at Lim Chu Kang. The tender was launched using the Fixed Price tender method in June last year and closed on 4th September 2018.
EU lifts “yellow card” imposed on Thailand
The European Union (EU) has lifted the “yellow card” it has in place for Thailand sinceApril 2015 in recognition for the country’s progress in addressing illegal unregulated fishing and other human rights abuses in the fishing sector. The decision is also the first
step towards revoking the complete ban of Thai seafood exports into the EU.
Low-income earners’ New Year festivities spending to drop
The Government Savings Bank expects low-income earners New Year festivities spending to plunge to B30.2 billion (US$946 million) this year, from B57 billion (US$1.78 billion) in 2018. The bank forecast average spending per person to drop to B2,150
(US$67.33), down from B3,765 (US$117.91) last year. According to the bank’s nationwide survey, the three top spending categories for the holiday season are foodand snacks, clothing, and health drinks.
BJC plans massive expansion for new acquisition Wawee Coffee
Berli Jucker Group (BJC) acquired a local 22-outlet coffee chain Wawee Coffee mid-2018 and plans massive expansion strategy nationwide. Wawee coffee pricing starts at B35 (US$1.10), about 30% cheaper than Starbucks Coffee Thailand. The company plans to allocate a total of B2 billion to open new outlets over the next 5 years. There are 3 planned shop formats: flagship stores (at 100 square meters) mid-size branches (40-80 square meters) and kiosks (20 square meters).
Vietnamese consumers willing to spend more for quality
As income increases, Vietnamese consumers are increasingly willing to spend on quality products, according to a survey conducted by market research company Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam. Fresh foods and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) accounts for 26.8% of total spending in urban areas, and 25.9% of total spending in rural areas.