NUCROP – Hybrid Electric Crop Protection, Nufarm and CROP.ZONE Launch New Brand for Alternative Weed Control


Australian crop protection and specialty seed company, Nufarm and German ag-tech start-up, CROP.ZONE are announcing the launch of NUCROP – Hybrid Electric Crop Protection. Through its Early Adopters Program, the competitive and sustainable alternative for weed management is now available to Farmers and Contractors in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Australian crop protection and specialty seed company, Nufarm and German ag-tech start-up, CROP.ZONE are announcing the launch of NUCROP – Hybrid Electric Crop Protection. Through its Early Adopters Program, the competitive and sustainable alternative for weed management is now available to Farmers and Contractors in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The NUCROP solution combines chemical and physical processes to create a compelling and sustainable method of weed control. By pre-treating plants with conductive liquid, acceptable for organic use, and then applying electrical charge, the solution can control weeds with a very high degree of efficiency and lower energy consumption than conventional weeding technologies.

In the Early Adopters program, Nufarm and CROP.ZONE team up with selected channel partners in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands and offer farmers and contractors access to NUCROP technology. The Early Adopters Program will focus on several crops and applications, with a strong focus on potato desiccation in 2021. Other uses are in trailing phase and will be available to farmers shortly. The NUCROP technology offers farmers and contractors a real alternative to chemical solutions at competitive prices, especially for those crops where chemical weed control options have been reduced and where alternative technologies are required.

For more information on the Early Adopters Program, visit us at

With NUCROP, Nufarm and CROP.ZONE offers a safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly alternative to make European agriculture more sustainable.

CROP.ZONE was established in 2019 by a highly experienced team of AgTech experts with decades of experience in the same field. Today, CROP.ZONE’s hybrid herbicide solution is active in the field, demonstrating its efficacy in weed management, cover crop burn-down, and pre-harvest desiccation. CROP.ZONE offers electrophysical solutions to combat weeds and manage pre-harvest desiccation, providing farmers with an alternative tool against the backdrop of increased regulatory requirements and societal expectations. The innovative patented CROP.ZONE solution can replace a significant part of today’s synthetic herbicide use. It provides a competitive alternative for weed management, thus contributing to yield optimization and farm profitability while helping achieve sustainability goals. CROP.ZONE’s solutions give the company a strong footing in the future agriculture market.

About Nufarm
Nufarm Limited is a leading developer and manufacturer of crop protection solutions and seed technologies. Our team of more than 2,500 people make a vital contribution to our reputation for quality products that meet the needs of growers, customer support, and partnership in major agricultural markets in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. Nufarm is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (symbol NUF) and our head office is located in Melbourne, Australia.

Media Contact –
Michiel De Jongh
Strategic Advisor & CCO
+34 658 563 828

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14th Asian Financial Forum attracts 63,000-plus viewers


Survey shows 80% optimistic or neutral on global economy in 2021

Co-organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 14th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) concluded on Tuesday (1/19). Running on the theme “Reshaping the World Economic Landscape”, the two-day virtual event also featured an online poll to gauge participants’ views on the global economy and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various sectors. This year’s AFF attracted more than 63,000 viewers from more than 70 nations and regions. To help facilitate more concrete collaboration between global investors, project owners and start-ups, the online forum included the AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session, with more than 700 one-on-one matchmaking meetings arranged.

Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR, expressed his views on the outlook for Hong Kong on the second morning of the forum. “My optimism for Hong Kong is clear and compelling. It’s built on our distinctive advantages under the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement. I’m talking about Hong Kong’s world-class financial system and the professional services prowess that supports it. To that, add the free flow of information, talent, capital and goods, in and out of Hong Kong. No less vital is our long-standing rule of law and level playing field tied to our transparent and internationally aligned regulatory system, low and simple tax regime and deep market liquidity. Put it all together, and you know why Hong Kong means business. Whatever business you’re in, whatever investment interests you may have.”

68% of respondents believe Mainland China will offer best investment return in 2021
Real-time polling conducted at various sessions during the AFF enhanced interactivity between speakers and participants and gauged their views on subjects such as global economic prospects, the region that offers the best investment return, and the challenges of sustainable development. When asked about the outlook for the global economy in 2021, 32% of respondents were optimistic, 47% were neutral, while 21% of respondents expressed pessimism, reflecting a generally not-so-pessimistic view on the overall economic outlook.

Meanwhile, 68% of respondents believed that Mainland China would be the region with the best investment return, while ASEAN ranked second (18%) and the USA third (7%). This result echoed the sharing of Nobel Laureate economist and policy entrepreneur Paul Romer in the keynote session on the first day of the AFF. Mr Romer pointed out that Asia will likely lead the way in terms of economic contribution to global GDP. He explained that while there may be changes ahead and business travel may decrease, some economic trends are firmly in place that can continue, including urbanisation. And people will want more living space as wealth increases in Asia, helping to make the region a leader in urban development.

55% expect global economic activities to take one year to return normal
While the pandemic is still hindering world economic activities, the forum responded to the theme “Reshaping the World Economic Landscape” and conducted on-site polling to gauge participants’ view on the impact of the pandemic on the global economy. The survey showed that 55% of respondents believed global economic activities would return to normal after one year, 28% believed it would happen within this year, while 17% of respondents said it would take more than two years to return to normal. When asked about their views on governments’ measures to stimulate economic recovery, 24% agreed that unemployment assistance was the most effective, followed by stimulus payments in the form of vouchers to boost local consumption (21%) and tax relief measures such as deferral of corporate income tax payments (21%). When asked about the biggest challenge faced by the banking industry in 2021, 32% of respondents said credit risk and quality, followed by cyber threats due to increasing digital banking interactions (26%).

Shift from technology to traditional businesses in second half of 2021

The impact of the pandemic and evolving international geopolitical issues have created uncertainties in the global economy. More than 60 dialogues and discussion sessions were organised at this year’s AFF, inviting more than 160 distinguished finance policymakers and business leaders to examine the market situation and share insights on the strategies to address the current financial stalemate. Stephen A Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, who last year predicted that the economy of the United States would see a V-shaped recovery, expressed the view that as demand returns in the second half of 2021 there will be higher interest rates due to inflation. He also said that technology is revolutionising the world and has “had a massive run”, after which it may fare less well this year in terms of investment return. “Conventional investing for value-oriented securities has really lagged because those companies are being disrupted, but I think there will be a rotation to some of the more traditional businesses as they recover.”

Two tech trailblazers share insights on innovation technology and business ideas
Innovation and technology are fundamentally impacting financial development and were a key focus at this year’s AFF. Two technology trailblazers – Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit and Seven Seven Six, and Luc Julia, Co-creator of Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant – shared their insights during keynote sessions on the second day of forum. Mr Ohanian said: “There’s an interesting timing opportunity for start-ups in the right place at the right time. Travel is a good example. There is an opportunity right now if you’re building the right kind of travel business to seize a large part of the market quickly, because as the vaccine rollout continues, and as we start to beat COVID, there will be a huge appetite for things that fell to basically zero over the past year.”

700+ meetings arranged through online matchmaking sessions
The AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session ran on a virtual platform this year, helping to arrange 718 one-on-one meetings between project owners and investors and bringing together investors, project owners and start-ups, breaking the record for the number of companies involved. Investment projects covered areas including the Internet of Things, digital technology, healthtech, fintech, education, environment and energy, food and agriculture, infrastructure and real estate services.

This year’s AFF continued to present the Fintech Showcase, FintechHK Startup Salon, InnoVenture Salon and Global Investment Zone. More than 140 local and overseas international financial institutions, technology enterprises, start-ups and investment agencies, including Mox Bank, a start-up group from Cyberport, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks, PAO Bank and Airwallex, came together to give online presentations on the latest trends in fintech innovation and next-generation business ideas, helping industries from different parts of the world to explore investment opportunities. The HKTDC, 500 Startups and FWD Group also jointly presented the inaugural “AFF Accelerate”, an open-innovation challenge with eight start-up finalists devising insurance technology solutions to help the insurance industry recruit agents, engage prospects and solve payment problems. “Open innovation” refers to an innovation management model that promotes collaboration with external parties.

Overview of 2021 Asian Financial Forum participants’ polling results
1. With the government measures and COVID-19 vaccine in place, when do you expect global economic activity to return to normal? – Polling result
– 2Q 2021 3%
– 3Q 2021 25%
– Beyond one year 55%
– Beyond two years 15%
– Beyond five years 2%

2. Governments worldwide have rolled out relief packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In your view, which of the following measures is the most effective in stimulating economic recovery? – Polling result
– Monetary policy measures such as interest rate reductions 19%
– Tax relief measures such as deferral of corporate income tax payment 21%
– Moratorium on delayed debt repayments for enterprises 15%
– Unemployment assistance 24%
– Stimulus payment in form of vouchers to boost local consumption 21%

3. Which of the following would you consider as the most prominent feature of the post-pandemic economy? – Polling result
– Lower flow of global travellers 12%
– Accelerated adoption of technology in businesses 47%
– Persistently low interest rate 10%
– Deglobalisation 9%
– Rising inequality 22%

4. Global economic outlook in 2021 – Polling result
– Optimistic 32%
– Neutral 47%
– Pessimistic 21%

5. Which of the following economies/regions do you think will offer the best investment return in 2021? – Polling result
– Mainland China 68%
– ASEAN 18%
– USA 7%
– India 4%
– Others 3%

6. The biggest challenge faced by the banking industry in 2021 – Polling result
– Credit risk and quality 32%
– Cyber threats due to increasing digital banking interactions 26%
– Workforce management for a more agile and remote way of working 13%
– Customer relationship and loyalty 4%
– Political risks 25%

– Asian Financial Forum:
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The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.

Media enquiries:
HKTDC’s Communications & Public Affairs Department
Angel Tang, Tel: +852 2584 4544, Email:
Sam Ho, Tel: +852 2584 4569, Email:
Clayton Lauw, Tel: +852 2584 4472, Email:

Rocket Vault Finance Partners with Blockpass before Tokensale


The latest in a series of partnerships to be announced, Blockpass is proud to reveal its collaboration with Rocket Vault Finance. Rocket Vaut is integrating Blockpass’ unique KYC Connect solution to enable fast, simple and efficient KYC for users, not only to onboard new customers, but also to verify those wishing to be involved with their upcoming token sale. Starting in February, the Rocket Vault token sale promises to be both exciting and compliant thanks to this new partnership.

Rocket Vault Finance is a Smart Vault powered by advanced Artificial Intelligence predictive analytics and Machine Learning, adopting a data-driven approach to come up with vault strategies to minimize losses and maximize gains to provide the best APY in stable coins. Users deposit funds with Rocket Vault and the platform automatically invests it in the best pools, avoiding risky pools and achieving over 100% APY on average to date. Rocket Vault has two user plans in public beta – a ‘free for retail’ option and a ‘paid for institutions’ option.

Blockpass is a digital identity verification provider which provides a one-click compliance gateway to financial services and other regulated industries. Through Blockpass, users can create, store, and manage a data-secure digital identity that can be used for an entire ecosystem of services, token purchases and access to regulated industries. For businesses and merchants, Blockpass is a comprehensive KYC & AML SaaS that requires no integration and no setup cost. You can set up a service in minutes, test the service for free and start verifying and on-boarding users.

“It’s always great to find others who value compliance as highly as we do,” said Adam Vaziri, CEO of Blockpass. “The team at Rocket Valut have demonstrated their commitment to the highest standards of regulatory compliance and through this partnership we’re excited to enable it. We’re all looking forward to facilitating their successful tokensale next month and working with the team at Rocket Vault to onboard new customers for many years to come.”

“We are excited to work with blockpass for our customer KYC & AML checks,” said Founder and CEO of RVF, Kiran Mannam. “Blockpass addresses a very critical part of the customer onboarding process with ease. The APIs are user-friendly and save a lot of time and effort in automating the whole process.”

Blockpass has grown significantly in size and use since its inception, both in the number and range of users and companies it has partnered with, and the scope of its work. Blockpass continues to develop its digital identity protocol with updates and additions to improve the compliance experience. Blockpass has seen rapidly increasing numbers of users in the past year as its identity verification solution is used for ICOs, STOs and IEOs, including supporting successful fundraisers in the past few months. The recent integration with Matic is already leading to conversations with other companies and businesses around the topic of KYC provision.

With a current 90%+ discount on its services, a fact made possible due to the unique reusable nature of its verification method, and put in place to help as many people as possible access KYC in the current pandemic, there has never been a better time to explore the potential of Blockpass. The Blockpass App is available from the App Store and Google Play.

About Blockpass

Blockpass is a fast, fully comprehensive KYC & AML screening software-as-a-service for blockchains, Crypto, Defi and other regulated industries. With Blockpass, you get an unmatched set of benefits for any compliance service that includes pay-as-you-go, no setup cost, no integration necessary, free testing, immediate launch and at the lowest cost. Blockpass’ KYC Connect(TM) platform enables businesses to select requirements for customer onboarding that can include ID authentication, face-matching, address checking, AML ongoing monitoring and/or screening of sanctions lists, politically exposed persons (PEP), and adverse media. Through Blockpass, end-users easily create a verified portable identity that they can control and re-use to onboard with any service instantly. By integrating with Chainlink Network, a decentralized oracle solution, in early January, Blockpass introduced the first on-chain KYC solution that will service many blockchains in the years to come.

For more information and updates:
Promotional video:

About Rocket Vault Finance

Rocket Vault Finance in a nutshell is the “Intelligent Fund Manager” backed by AI & ML for Crypto Value Investing. Just deposit in the SmartVault, sit back & watch your funds grow! Why lose sleep over crypto investing? RocketVault works hard 24x7x365 days to maximise your gains while you are having a quality time with your family.

Rocket Vault Finance closed token preSale successfully in early January 2021 and the private and public sale are scheduled for February 2021. To participate in the upcoming token sale, please find below the project links:

Telegram channel:
Telegram announcement channel:
Private beta:
Product Demo with LIVE orders:

CropLife Asia: Reaction to UN Report on State of Food Security and Nutrition in Asia


With today’s launch of the United Nations (UN) “Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition”, CropLife Asia released a statement urging more partnership and agricultural technology adoption across the region to help ensure an abundant and accessible supply of safe, nutritious food for all.

“Today’s report confirms a sadly familiar refrain for Asia: our region is failing to deliver food security for far too many – particularly among mothers, children and the more vulnerable parts of society,” said Dr. Siang Hee Tan, CropLife Asia Executive Director.

“The new data shared today is troubling and simply unacceptable. Nearly two billion people in Asia cannot afford a healthy diet. Meanwhile, two-thirds of our region’s children suffer from wasting; and 14 countries in Asia have a prevalence of stunting with children exceeding 30%.

“Ensuring a healthy start for our region’s children is crucial. We owe it to this generation and those that will follow to put aside differences and work together to address Asia’s growing food crisis. From farm to fork, greater cooperation and collaboration across the region’s food supply chain is critically important in helping realize positive nutritional outcomes.

“The innovative technologies of the plant science industry have a key role to play, but it’s only one part of the solution. Making certain an ample supply of affordable and nutritious food reaches those who need it most is not a government, civil society or private sector responsibility – it’s all our responsibility.”

About CropLife Asia

CropLife Asia is a non-profit society and the regional organization of CropLife International, the voice of the global plant science industry. We advocate a safe, secure food supply, and our vision is food security enabled by innovative agriculture. CropLife Asia supports the work of 15 member associations across the continent and is led by six member companies at the forefront of crop protection, seeds and/or biotechnology research and development. For more information, visit us at

For more information please contact:

Duke Hipp
Director, Public Affairs & Strategic Partnerships
CropLife Asia
Tel: +65 6221 1615

Yacht Sentinel & Fountaine Pajot Announce Ground-Breaking Partnership to Equip Boats With Connected Boat Technologies


Sentinel Domotics (R), an innovative big data solution enabling the transmission of any data available on the NMEA network, will be soon installed on new boats manufactured by Fountaine Pajot.

Yacht Sentinel Ltd, a European company specialised in connected boat technologies since 2008, is pleased to announce that it will equip all new boats built by leading catamaran manufacturer Fountaine Pajot from February 2021 onwards.

Sentinel Domotics is a revolutionary solution enabling Fountaine Pajot and its customers to remotely receive any data available on the NMEA network including engine & battery parameters, fluid levels, temperature, humidity & wind data, water depth, speed, GPS coordinates and much more.

A smart switch is also available to turn on the NMEA system remotely for a short period when the NMEA system is switched off.

“We are delighted to partner with Fountaine Pajot and support the company’s transition into the new digital area of connected technologies. Over the last 12 years we have built an entire boating ecosystem with boat owners and shipyards at the centre of our developments. This new milestone is a testament to our vision to be at the heart of the connected boat revolution. Sentinel Domotics creates outstanding value not only for Fountaine Pajot but also for its customers and dealers,” Romain Devismes, CEO of Yacht Sentinel, commented. “This partnership is yet another demonstration that the boat industry is keeping up with connected technologies seen in the smart home and automotive industries.”

Information is displayed on a user-friendly Fountaine Pajot app to give a better experience on the water and added peace of mind. Together with our Partner Platform, our ecosystem sets a new standard for the connected boat sector.

“We are pleased to work with Yacht Sentinel to provide our clients and dealers with this innovative technology solution. Not only can we now offer a customised app with all NMEA data to our customers, but the ‘Partner Platform’ allows us to improve customer support, reduce maintenance costs and better understand the usage of our boats, all critical aspects to continuously manufacture market-leading boats,” explained Romain Motteau, Fountaine Pajot Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

About Yacht Sentinel Ltd
A pioneer in the market, Yacht Sentinel Ltd has been making boat monitoring systems since 2008. The company aims to make boating as easy and relaxing as possible for the user, while creating outstanding value for boat manufacturers, dealers and charter companies.

About Fountaine Pajot
Founded in 1976 by Jean-Francois Fountaine and Yves Pajot, the iconic brand FOUNTAINE PAJOT has been producing cruising catamarans since 1983. Thanks to its unique know-how in the area of designing and building comfortable catamarans, FOUNTAINE PAJOT has released 48 different models and delivered close to 4,000 catamarans to destinations all over the world.

For further information contact

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The Executive Talk: PTT Global Chemical PCL (SET:PTTGC)


PTT Global Chemical PCL (SET:PTTGC) Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Kongkrapan Intarajang discusses the company’s strategy and outlook in The Executive Talk (TET) by

TET: What are GC’s current business execution strategies? What is the rationale behind the expansion towards the downstream industry?

GC’s strategies are based on 3 major strategies. The first is “Step Change”, emphasizing on strengthening our home base by gearing more towards the downstream businesses to enhance the competitiveness and flexibility, being able to capitalize on diverse feedstock, while at the same time ensuring that our costs are globally competitive, with the notion of horizontal and vertical integration applied to the business.

The horizontal and vertical concepts involve our production lines from upstream all the way to downstream businesses, which can be further developed into different types of chemical products, and can serve as fundamental feedstock for various industries such as packaging, garments, communication and electronics devices, automotive, construction, engineering plastic, and agricultural equipment. This also serves to diversify business risks, expand product offerings, and add values to them.

The next strategy “Step Out” capitalizes on GC’s being the largest petrochemical operator in Southeast Asia, with 12 production sites across the globe. Our purpose is to build a genuinely global business. We have begun to invest in the USA more intensively. The Step Out strategy emphasizes on 2 components; merger and acquisition or M&A and the downstream business to secure global footprint, as well as investing in the petrochemical business; our core business, in Ohio, where polymer feedstock cost is very competitive.

The third strategy “Step Up” focuses on Sustainable Development, or SD; the matter that GC takes as an important part of the business, not just as CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities. In this regard, the Step Up strategy is multi-dimensional. In terms of scale, GC has expanded collaboration with our alliances both domestically and internationally in a larger scope, based on the concept of the circular economy to create awareness, from waste collection, management, sorting, transportation, and recycling, which is different from before when it was purely mechanical recycling, but now we are implementing chemical recycling, as part of the ‘Step Up’ initiative both in terms of scale and scope.

TET: Based upon the determination to operate the business in a sustainable manner, what are the tangible outcomes resulting from such endeavor?

GC has recently been ranked the first in the world in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices: DJSI for the second consecutive year in the chemicals sector. We are also in the top 10 ranks of DJSI World and Emerging Markets for the eighth consecutive year, reflecting our determination in our ESG intent. This goes to show the Company’s support and alignment with the global Sustainable Development Goals; SDGs that GC has been abiding by and actively executing for a long time.

Not only that, GC is the first and only Thai company that has been granted A level assessment (Leadership Level), which is the highest level in climate change and water security management, under the assessment of the globally trusted sustainability evaluation institute ‘Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)’ in 2020.

We intend to play a part in solving the problems and alleviate the impact of climate change, transitioning into the low carbon society, following the objective of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the emphasis on maximum effectiveness on the use of water resources, reflecting the environment-conscious operations.

With our goals to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas (scope 1 and 2) by 20% from normal business operations in 2030, compared to the base year (2012). The organization’s greenhouse gas emission account has been developed, with the plan to expand the operational scope to the value chain (scope 3) in an integrated manner. Furthermore, the water management goals have been developed both internally and externally to ensure measurable outcomes and sustainable leadership position in an international arena.

TET: What are GC’s directions in ensuring the organization’s financial health?

We need to increase the quality of earnings. In the past, our major source of income has been from commodity products. GC has intended to increase high value products, performance products and green chemical portfolios by 2030. It is expected that the profit generation from these products will contribute 20% of the Company’s total profits.

However, sustainability is the significant determinant of the Company’s financial strength. If shareholders look at it on a short-term period, this may not be the key objective. We wish for our shareholders to grow together with us, generating capital gain that can pay out dividend and remain competitive in the market. Hence, quality and stability are more important. In this regard, the downstream business is less volatile with around 10% EBITDA margin, which is less likely to drop to a single digit.

TET: What is the outlook of the petrochemical industry?

If we look at the petrochemical industry from the commodity side, there might be a certain extent of oversupply over the next 2-3 years, depending on each product. But from our projection, the situation should be better than in 2020, when things should have already bottomed out in the second and the third quarters of 2020, caused by missing demand. Now we have begun to see signs of improvement in the fourth quarter and we are of the view that the situation in 2021 should be considerably more improved than in 2020.

TET: What are the strengths that differentiate GC from other players, both in the regional and global levels?

Even though our products are more advanced in many aspects, there are certain points that others are doing better than we are. Nevertheless, our number one strength is our sustainability performance, where we have been ranked the world’s number one in the chemicals sector by DJSI. We have been able to reduce costs resulting from the adjustment of business execution processes that allow for energy saving and reduction of greenhouse gas emission, which will be the key component in the cost structure in the future. It might not have yielded tangible benefits today, but when the law becomes effective in the future, we will always be ready. It will also serve to enhance business opportunities, since global partners all place emphasis on this matter, while many competitors may not have this in place yet or may not be as good at this as we are. Meanwhile, sometimes customers will come to us because we have invested so much in sustainability and investors are also very interested in the matter of sustainability as well.

TET: What is the most significant challenge faced by GC and the petrochemical industry?

The challenge is when people are starting to doubt the viability of this industry. Many people might not notice the tangible difference between petroleum and petrochemical businesses. The petroleum business has been viewed by many that the return on capital is on the downside. The petrochemical business, on the other hand, if the portfolio is well-managed, I think that this industry has a promising future because petrochemicals are always part of many people’s lives.

Therefore, the challenge is how to maintain or build the competitiveness, by way of keeping the cost of the commodity market low, while ensuring that new businesses can accommodate several industries, for instance, EV, construction, electronics, depending on the strategies of each company. In this regard, we believe that the challenge is not different from what we faced in the past, the only difference is the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

TET: How do you see GC 5 years from now?

Strength must be borne from within, so we emphasize greatly on transformation. We execute organizational and digital transformation alongside one another. Though we have not been affected by the digital disruption today, I believe we must start now for future growth, for instance, cost reduction, modernization of work processes by adopting the technology. Thus, there should be several changes in our organization such as change of the organizational culture, which has progressed quite a lot because we work fast and get serious. We have initiated the work and will have to meet the desired goals. We also need to adjust and strengthen our product portfolio and enhance the quality of earning, as well as overseas investment, whereby our long-term goal is to increase margin contribution from overseas investment from 10% to 30%.

About The Executive Q&A Series

The Executive Q&A Series is presented by ShareInvestor, Asia’s leading financial internet media and technology company and the largest investor relations network in the region. For more information, email Website:

Singapore online brokerage Tiger Brokers sees strong retail investor growth in Q4 2020 with 108% increase in new user sign ups


Xiaomi-backed online brokerage Tiger Brokers Singapore (Tiger Brokers today announced that they saw 108 per cent growth in the number of new investors in Q4 2020 as compared to Q3 2020, with trading volume increased by 215 per cent also on a quarter on quarter basis. Since February 2020, Tiger Brokers also saw the increase in Gen Z investors on the platform, which made up 30 per cent of Singapore’s customer base.

Tiger Brokers also announced four new strategic partnerships with financial technology provider, Iress, one of the largest and most active online trading communities, TradingView, Global financial market data and infrastructure provider, Refinitiv, and Asia’s leading Financial Group, DBS. These partnerships are aimed at strengthening their online platform, by allowing investors to gain access to best-in-class and up-to-date financial information so that they will be well-informed before making their investing decisions in real time, as well as allowing investors instant fund transfer into the Tiger Trade platform respectively.

In addition, Tiger Brokers also announced the launch of their new product, Fund Mall, a one-stop-shop for investing in global mutual funds that allows investors access to more than 100 renowned funds such as money funds, bond funds and equity funds, based on their requirements – returns, cash liquidity and risk appetite – everything within one portal. This expands the type of investment products available to Tiger Trade users, beyond the six global exchanges that are already available on the platform and other product offerings such as Equities, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), Futures, Stock Options, Warrants, and Callable Bull/Bear Contract (CBBC).

Eng Thiam Choon, CEO of Tiger Brokers Singapore, shared, “The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the trading and investment landscape today. Investors of today are now fully comfortable with investing online – not just Gen Zs, but throughout the investor market. We at Tiger Brokers want to ensure that we offer a seamless investing experience to our investors while strengthening our offerings to keep them engaged. On the other hand, we are looking to be the go-to online brokerage for traditional investors to explore a hybrid investment portfolio.”

“2020 showed us the importance of going digital. As the adoption of technology in everyday life becomes a norm, we need to ensure that we offer sustainable and reliable technology that value-adds to the new lifestyle of investors, providing them with great user experiences,” added Thiam Choon.

“We are excited to expand our business in Asia by working with Tiger Brokers. Over the past few years we’ve seen significant growth in markets like Singapore and Hong Kong, so partnering with leading trading firms in the region like Tiger is the logical next step for us,” said Pierce Crosby, General Manager of TradingView. “While focused on Singapore today, we think Tiger is a great fit for our various communities in the Asia region as well, and we look forward to further expansion in 2021.”

Since last year, Tiger Brokers’ investors have shown positive interests in companies such as APPLE, TESLA, NIO, companies from the Technology and Electronic Vehicles (EV) sectors.

The fintech also uses both traditional and digital communications methods to ensure that investors can contact them easily via landline and social media, respectively. In December last year, Tiger Brokers announced that they aim to increase their platform users by 50 per cent by Q1 of 2021.

The Tiger Trade mobile application is available for download on Apple App store and Google Play store. Those interested in Fund Mall can retrieve more details from here.

Apple App store:
Google Play store:

About Tiger Brokers (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

Tiger Brokers Singapore Pte Ltd (Tiger Brokers Singapore) is a brokerage firm operating with a Capital Markets Services (CMS) Licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Its trading platform, Tiger Trade, offers complimentary real-time stock quotes, dedicated multilingual customer service during trading hours and 24/7 finance news updates. The company launched the mobile version of Tiger Trade in February 2020 – accessible on Google Play Store and the Apple App Store – offering mobile-savvy generation of retail investors similar trading opportunities as their online users, such as Equities, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), Futures, Stock Options, Warrants, and Callable Bull/Bear Contract (CBBC) on their mobile phones. Both online and mobile app allow users to invest across multiple asset classes traded on Australian, U.S., Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia stock markets such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASDAQ, Shanghai/Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) and the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX), Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Tiger Brokers Singapore is the Singapore entity of UP Fintech Holding Limited, known as “Tiger Brokers” in Asia, a leading online brokerage firm focusing on global investors. Founded in 2014, Tiger Brokers became #1 in the U.S. equity trading by volume among trading platforms catered to Global Chinese investors in less than two years. Tiger Brokers was awarded “2017 Fintech 250” by CB Insights and shortlisted for “China Leading Fintech 50” for two years in a row by KPMG China. The company was listed on NASDAQ under “TIGR” in 2019 and has offices in China, United States, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Tiger Brokers has over 1 million customers worldwide currently, with a total trading volume of more than US$62.8 billion in Q3 2020. The company is backed by well-known investors such as Xiaomi, as well as investment guru Jim Rogers. For more information, please visit

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This article has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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Licensing Show and Conference draw to a close

The 19th HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS) drew an attendance of more than 6,200 buyers from 47 countries and regions. About 1,200 virtual business matching meetings were arranged to connect global licensing players with new business opportunities.

The 19th HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), drew to a successful close last Friday. The five-day online event (11 to 15 January) attracted over 250 exhibitors from around the globe and drew an attendance of more than 6,200 buyers from 47 countries and regions. In addition to buyers from Hong Kong and Mainland China, strong participation from key Asia markets including Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam was recorded. About 1,200 online business matching meetings were arranged during the show to connect global licensing players with new business opportunities.

The 10th Asian Licensing Conference (ALC) featured some 40 speakers from top global brands along with renowned industry elites, attracting more than 20,000 viewers to join.

The 10th A Licesiannsing Conference (ALC), which ran concurrently with the HKILS, featured some 40 speakers from top global brands along with renowned industry elites. The conference attracted more than 20,000 viewers to join the event, highlighting how the online format was able to offer networking opportunities spanning the globe. Licensing Academy was among the most popular programme channel in the conference, and participants who were interested in learning the know-how and practical tips in managing IPs and licensing business shared very positive feedback of the programme.

HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said: “Under the impact of the pandemic, the business environment in 2021 remains very challenging. Nevertheless, the Hong Kong International Licensing Show and Asian Licensing Conference were able to attract a wide range of leading international brands and licensing industry elites to participate and explore licensing opportunities with brands, including personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and hygiene products, and stay-at-home products and services, to help create new licensing opportunities amid the current volatility.”

Ms Fong explained that the licensing business can bring high-end value to companies and boost their competitiveness. Global retail sales of licensed merchandise reached US$293 billion in 2019, showing annual growth of 4.4%, and it is expected that the Asian and mainland markets will continue to be growth engines for the licensing industry. She added that the online business matching service offered through HKILS digital platform successfully connected buyers and intellectual property (IP) owners to help forge valuable partnerships.

Art-Zoo is developing content and animations to expand his licensing portfolio and the online platform allowed them to effectively explore licensing opportunities amid the pandemic.

Hong Kong’s homegrown IPs strive for growth amid pandemic

Exhibitors at HKILS Online were pleased to get the chance to reach out to international buyers during the pandemic through the show’s virtual platform. Many individual artists and young brands in Hong Kong who exhibited at the Show managed to meet both local and international buyers and solicit promising leads.

Stella Cheung, General Manager of Art Cycle Group, said she had met a mega retail group and a famous fast-food chain from Hong Kong during the show and hoped to explore further cooperation with both companies. Ms Cheung realised the good potential of her IP, Robot Nick, to be licensed to dramas and musicals for children to cultivate positive values among the new generation. Wing Y. Li, founder of SHIBAINC, was thrilled to meet licensees and licensing agents from various countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia at the Show this time. She also met a number of Hong Kong buyers, including a famous Hong Kong F&B brand, and she expected potential partnership to be concluded after the show.

Among the international participants, Perfect Drink Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian fast-food restaurant, was impressed by Hong Kong’s creativity and had positive discussions with numerous Hong Kong companies exhibited under the Design Licensing and Business (DLAB HK) pavilion to develop its souvenirs and gifts for its customers.

Digital becomes the growth engine for lP licensing

Digital IPs were a popular category sought after during the show despite the ongoing global pandemic. Quillo Entertainment, a first-time DLAB HK exhibitor focusing on gaming production and animation, has recently ventured into licensing to extend its animated adventure game character, Apopia. The company met numerous international licensees at the show and decided to develop more animation content to cater for its expansion of the company’s licensing portfolio sought by the market.

Art and creative IPs show versatility on licensing cooperation

Art licensing remained a hot area for licensing buyers who attended the HKILS this year. Jackson Tan, founder of Art-Zoo, shared that the pandemic had disruptive impact on its fast-growing creative art business. While Art-Zoo Inflatable Parks launched in Singapore, Mainland China, UAE and Taiwan were hit with a significant drop in the number of visitors, Jackson made the best out of the year in developing content and animations to expand his licensing portfolio. It was the second time for Art-Zoo to join HKILS and Jackson remarked that the online platform allowed them to effectively explore licensing opportunities amid the pandemic.

Another exhibitor, Japan’s CATART, used HKILS Online to arrange fruitful meetings with buyers from Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan. The company had already engaged its Taiwan partner to follow up with those buyers interested in merchandising and licensing its art exhibitions and campaigns.

Conference examines market trends and industry outlook

A total of 40 heavyweight speakers addressed viewers during the Asian Licensing Conference. ALC Online offered four video-on-demand viewing channels including “Expert Sharing: Culture and Arts”, “Expert Sharing: Digital Entertainment”, “Entrepreneur Dialogue” and “Licensing Academy”, with participants able to view the full conference programme at their own convenience.

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The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn

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Janet Chan, Tel: +852 2584 4369, Email: to Launch Industry’s First BCH Options

0, the secure and high-performance derivatives exchange by Matrixport, will be launching Bitcoin Cash (BCH) perpetual swaps and options. BCH options trading will go live on 01 Feb 2021, following the launch of BCH perpetual swaps on 20 Jan 2021.’s offering of Bitcoin Cash options is the first of its kind in the industry. Bitcoin Cash has been in the limelight as one of the major cryptocurrencies recognized by institutions, and constantly ranks No. 6 or 7 on the Top 10 list. However, there has been no options market for BCH and the liquidity of the perpetual swaps also has room for improvement.

To put things into perspective, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) derivatives market grew tremendously during the past few years, and so did their relative shares of the underlying spot trading volume. Currently, the cryptocurrency perpetual swaps market is dominated by BTC, which accounts for ~53% of the market share, while ETH attributes to 20%. BCH takes only 1% of the crypto perpetual swap market share, which is disproportionate to the relative market share of the underlying asset. Similar for options market, market is hugely dominated by BTC (accounts for ~90%) while ETH takes up the rest, the options market for other major crypto and/or altcoins are close to non-existent. In short, the BCH derivative market is far from maturity compared to its size and underlying price volatility. With’s product launch, this gap in the market will soon be filled.

About is an institutional-grade derivatives exchange launched by Matrixport, a one-stop financial services company based in Singapore. Since its inception in August 2020, has launched BTC and ETH perpetual swap and options, which are greatly welcomed and actively traded by both institutional and individual users. In the first five months of its launch,’s total transaction volume exceeded USD 6 billion and is on the way to take a bigger market share. At the moment, the exchange records between USD 100-200 million trading volume on a daily basis.

With industry-leading technology, security and risk management, aims to provide users with a superior trading experience and best-in-class liquidity. The platform has strategically positioned itself to serve both institutional and individual users around the world that includes miners/hedgers, prime brokers, proprietary traders and hedge funds. This diverse customer base enables to provide more efficient and representative price discovery, which ensures the most competitive spreads. In terms of security,’s system is built by a world-class team of risk management and IT experts. Furthermore, funds of the platform are backed by a compliant institutional custodian–Cactus Custody, in pursuit of the highest grade of security.

With its first-in-class product offers and performances, has been recognized as one of top cryptocurrency derivative exchanges. According to data from Skew, is the second largest cryptocurrency option exchange in the world in terms of the turnover as well as the open interest.

Why did decide to enter the BCH derivatives market?

As one of the major cryptocurrencies widely traded by institutions, Bitcoin Cash has good potential and huge market demands. Not only does BCH rank among top 10 cryptos in terms of market cap, the number of active addresses has also been growing overtime. More importantly, Bitcoin Cash is one of the major Proof-Of-Work coins that enjoys vast support from miners. Miners, on the other hand, are a key component of’s clientele. The launch of BCH derivatives by enables miners to hedge against risks associated with BCH volatility, which helps make their operation more stable and efficient. More specifically, miners can lock in profits in advance while generating additional cash flow by selling covered calls; or can hedge against downward price moves by buying protective puts. Users can make use of comprehensive derivative trading strategies made possible by liquid perpetual swap and options market to construct various payoff profiles to best serve their interests.

Being the first to launch the product will help take a vantage point in this blue ocean market. The current cryptocurrency derivatives market is far from saturated and has great potential to grow in following years, we will continue to see the new pairs listing and improved liquidity, which leads to further expansion of the market. While trading platforms are playing catch-up, is providing unique value by building an active BCH derivatives marketplaces on top of the current BTC and ETH markets and adding real users to the game.

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Messaging apps Regain Control and Privacy with PunkPanda

PunkPanda’s ecosystem includes PandaChat, PandaPost and PandaMeet, with PandaVault coming soon.

PunkPanda, a UK-based technology startup, has launched a series of products to help Internet users and businesses reduce the risks of digitizing by providing military-grade encryption and all-around security. PunkPanda co-founder Matthew Connelly is creating a platform where people can communicate securely without worrying about privacy or security breaches. The company’s ultimate goal is PunkPanda Universe, a communication ecosystem of commonly used tools to meet the needs of both personal and business users.

Offering military-grade encryption to protect users

For most Internet users, online communication services have been an essential part of our lives since the invention of the Internet and instant messaging. Now, they have become even more important to us, especially in the wake of outbreaks where physical interaction is a high-risk move for everyone.

But online communication can be extremely risky. With any luck, people’s data could end up being mined by large companies. But if unlucky, hackers could lock a user’s passwords, banking information and sensitive files through the applications he or she uses, which is why Internet users should use communication services that are highly secure and respectful of privacy.

If successful, it will be the first technology company in the world to create an all-in-one encrypted communications platform that offers a diverse range of services to meet the needs of individual and corporate users.

PandaChat situates a solid foundation for the ecosystem

Instant messaging services are the most commonly used online communication tool, which is why PunkPanda began developing PandaChat, a messaging application that connects all users. PandaChat is a privacy-centric messaging application built on the XMPP protocol and utilizes 256-bit encryption algorithms to protect users’ privacy.

Unlike some of the most popular social media or chat applications, PandaChat does not monitor user conversations or collect personal data because it uses end-to-end encryption to protect your information. Only the sender and the designated recipient have a digital key to decrypt the message, and not even PunkPanda has a key to decrypt the message. Even PunkPanda does not have the key to decrypt any messages sent by users.

With PandaChat’s ZAP and HIDE/UNHIDE features, users have the ultimate control over their messages. With the ZAP feature, users can erase their messages at any time and leave no trace of them. On the other hand, the HIDE/UNHIDE feature can hide and show messages at any time.

Gaining worldwide traction from its launch

Regarding the progress so far, co-founder Matthew Connelly revealed that the app has received 5,000 downloads in more than 25 countries. Since its launch in October 2020, the app has received 10 major updates to improve the user experience and new features.

“In everything, PunkPanda implements cutting-edge, military-grade encryption. There are so many ways to communicate with friends and colleagues these days, from online chats, video conferencing, audio calls, video calls, email and file transfers, that it is important for PunkPanda to understand how important privacy and security are in communication. the ultimate goal of PunkPanda is to raise the bar for data security on the internet,” Matthew added.

One step away from completing the ecosystem

Since the launch of PandaChat three months ago, its development team has been working to release further products under the PunkPanda ecosystem.

PandaPost, the essential email client, is protected by a high level of security. It allows users to send emails to anyone, even to non-PunkPanda users. Emails sent through PandaPost can only be viewed on PandaPost, giving users full privacy control over their content. PunkPanda’s EMA file encryption and compression tools are also available together on PandaPost, as users can send EMA encrypted files on their email client.

PandaMeet, a video conferencing and webinar tool built with the highest security standards, but designed to be very user-friendly. Launched last month, it allows everyone to understand what they are doing the moment they enter the meeting room. It’s worth mentioning that the PunkPanda team hosted a Christmas celebration on the PandaMeet platform last year.

Completing the final piece of their ecosystem is PandaVault, currently in development, a secure cloud storage platform that will provide basic free storage for all PunkPanda users, with additional storage available in the future at competitive prices. With the official debut of all services, PunkPanda hopes that all users will look forward to their new services and continue to provide them with positive input on how they can build better applications in the future.

PunkPanda is available today on Google Play and the App Store, or the company’s website:

Media contact:
Afshin Rifat, PUNKPANDA
T: +34 60 592 0633