FutuRaM project to contribute to securing Europe’s supply of important raw materials
World Bank, European Parliament seek insight from Purdue global trade expert on impact of the war in Ukraine
Dusit Thani Public Company Limited expands & strengthens its food business portfolio with upstream investment in baking factory & franchise business
Dukkantek Creates a Digital Ecosystem for SMB Retail Sector as it Rapidly Expands Across MENA
Detection Technology: Organising meeting of the Board of Directors
Fintech and regtech will drive stronger future growth in Islamic Finance
DKSH Accelerates Best Sustainability Practices With Swiss Chamber of Commerce APAC
China Tower (788.HK) Fully Implemented "One Core and Two Wings" Strategy
Gulf Capital accelerates investment pace in Egypt with over EGP5 billion invested in the country to date and announces New Office Opening
Fintech NayaPay secures $13m as it rolls out digital payments revolution in Pakistan
Gulf Capital’s Portfolio Company, CWB Legal, Opens Its New Headquarters in Abu Dhabi Global Markets
Gulf Capital, a leading thematic alternative investment firm in the GCC and Asia, announced today that its portfolio company, Cedar White Bradley (CWB) Legal Limited, has opened its new headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The company was awarded a licence by Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) to operate from one of the most attractive, accessible, and innovative International Financial Centres. CWB Legal is one of the largest intellectual property legal consultancy firms in the region, with footprint in 22 countries. Dr Karim El Solh, co-Founder and CEO of Gulf Capital, said: “ADGM is a world-class financial ecosystem that offers our portfolio company, CWB, the perfect platform for growth across Asia and Emerging Markets. Based in ADGM, CWB is now ideally positioned to expand across neighbouring markets, especially the CIS, Asian and African markets. Gulf Capital has a long track record over the last 15 years of building global leaders out of the UAE and we believe CWB is ideally positioned to become, in its own right, the Emerging Markets leader in Intellectual Property services. Its new home at ADGM is the ideal launchpad for this ambitious global expansion.” Juma Al Hameli, Chief Strategy Officer & Business Development Officer of Abu Dhabi Global Market: “We warmly welcome Gulf Capital’s portfolio company, Cedar White Bradley (CWB) Legal Limited to ADGM and hope it will continue to flourish and add to ADGM’s vibrancy. Through its patent enforcement and commercialisation services, we look forward for CWB to develop pathways for companies and entrepreneurs to achieve their aspirations." ADGM is strategically positioned in the centre of the East and West corridor, linking economies and time zones and providing the ideal location for companies and financial institutions to conduct their global operations and access high-growth opportunities. Mr. Halim Shehadeh, CEO of CWB Legal added: “We are excited to open our headquarters in Abu Dhabi as another step in achieving our international growth plans. This marks a major milestone for us as a firm and happens at an important junction in our growth phase. The UAE is not only the second largest and most advanced economy in the GCC, but also its capital Abu Dhabi is a city at the crossroads of East and West. We intend on leveraging ADGM’s world class infrastructure to enable and facilitate our expansion across emerging markets including the CIS, Asia, and Africa and to bring us so much closer to realising our goal of building the global emerging markets leader in IP. The sweeping legal reforms announced recently in the UAE, including those in the Intellectual Property laws, formed the largest legal reforms in the country’s 50-year history, and further strengthen our case for being domiciled in Abu Dhabi, ADGM, and the UAE.” As the leading financial ecosystem, ADGM is home to more than 4150 registered entities, comprising some of the region’s and the world’s largest financial institutions - banks, investment firms, fund management companies, treasury centres, corporations, energy companies, technology firms, tech start-ups, corporate and professional services and other businesses. CWB serves a long list of global multinational clients, consisting of many of the world’s largest and most famous brand owners, in their intellectual property matters across the MENA region.
Tourism and agriculture; the two leading sectors attracting FDI to Colombia
The figures speak for themselves. Between January and August 2021, ProColombia supported the launch of five new projects in the tourism sector worth 39 million US dollars in the Bolivar, Antioquia, Cundinamarca and Cauca provinces. These initiatives are part of 33 projects supported by ProColombia since President Iván Duque’s government came into play. These include hotels for both leisure and business, ecotourism, residential homes and theme parks. The total investment in this sector is estimated at 481 million US dollars, and according to investors will create around 4,100 jobs. According to calculations by ProColombia based on a Colliers International report, more than 3,865 hotel rooms will be opened in Colombia this year. This is 80% more than in 2020 when only 2,140 rooms were opened. Hotel investment is being bolstered by the return of air travel, since the country has seen international flights return to 60%. "The country's tourism industry continues to revive, grow and establish itself, opening up new business opportunities for travellers and investors. The Tourism Law and the Social Investment Law are key to our promotion efforts as they provide tax incentives that support the construction of new hotels and new theme parks as well as their refurbishment. As part of our strategy, we are actively promoting opportunities to attract investment into the sector by markets such as Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Spain, United Kingdom, France, United States, Mexico, Chile, and Costa Rica. Our recovery is unstoppable," says Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia. At the same time, the agricultural sector, one of the key players in Colombia's economic recovery, is undergoing major diversification with initiatives in precision agriculture, specialty coffee crops, and production of poultry, hass avocados, palm oil, processed foods and medical cannabis. Colombia has many attractive qualities that can interest foreign investors. It has over 40 million hectares of fertile land (only 19% of which is currently being used), an abundance of water, and megadiverse landscapes with highly intricate ecosystems that host almost every type of species. According to the results generated by ProColombia, 19 projects valued at over 300 million US dollars were launched in Colombia between January and September 2021. This figure represents a 32% increase compared to the same period in 2020. Investors anticipate that around 11,800 new jobs will be created with the implementation of projects in Antioquia, Caldas, Meta, Risaralda, Cundinamarca, Magdalena, Huila, Valle del Cauca and Bogota. "With greater development in the country's agricultural sector, we will generate more exports and more jobs, which will in turn boost the competitiveness of our rural areas. In collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, we are continuing our mission to attract export-oriented and sustainable investment," added Flavia Santoro. ***Some of the new hotel projects The Marriott chain recently opened the first Residence Inn branded hotel in Bogota after two years of construction. This block of 131 apartment-style rooms brought in a total investment of over 16 million US dollars. The Sofitel Barú is also expected to be completed at the end of this year or in early 2022. This new 187-room hotel was built by the French company Accor in Cartagena, and is their 20th hotel in Colombia. The total investment generated by this project was 60 million US dollars. The Spanish chain Sirenis is also building a 254-room hotel in San Andres, which is expected to be finished during the first quarter of 2022. Moreover, the Ecuadorian company Metropolitan Touring has just announced that, together with the multinational river cruise company AmaWaterways, they will develop a tourist cruise along the Magdalena River, with operations beginning in December 2023. Caribe Aventura, one of the largest theme parks in Colombia, is also being developed in Piojo, Atlantico. The park is one of many innovative infrastructure projects helping to boost tourism in the region. It is expected to open in late 2021 or early 2022, and is forecast to generate over 1,200 indirect jobs. There are also further investment opportunities in creating centres that specialise in care for the elderly, and offer services such as medical facilities, additional care and comfort, and permanent or temporary residence. Companies such as Acalis have already begun to do so. With vast experience in Europe and Chile, the company has now invested in Senior Living services in Medellin and Bogota. ***Some of the new agricultural projects Several factors were decisive in convincing Brazilian company Solinftec to establish a technological operation to automate agricultural processes and to monitor crops using a software program and artificial intelligence for clients in Latin America in Valle del Cauca, including the potential for the production of sugarcane, citrus fruits, grapes and grains, as well as transport access via air, sea and land. With this precision farming solution, 250,000 hectares of agricultural land in Colombia and other markets such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador and Argentina can be monitored in real time. Solinftec's technology processes a large amount of data (weather, input use, waste, harvested quantities, etc.) and with the use of artificial intelligence helps producers to make important decisions in real time, helping to increase productivity and reduce costs. The multinational PepsiCo, one of the largest buyers of potato in Colombia, is moving forward with the construction of a production plant in Guarne, Antioquia. This new infrastructure will increase the volume of supplies procured from Colombian farmers by around 23,000 tonnes per year. Over the last year, PepsiCo has invested more than 158 million US dollars in Colombia, mostly on the construction of this project. This has generated around 700 jobs, with a female participation rate of 50%. Once operational, the facility will house around 400 workers and is expected to be completed in 2022. Ecuador's Provefruit has also invested in the development of an avocado processing plant for exports to the US market. According to company estimates, approximately 500 jobs have been generated in Antioquia as a result. Moreover, the US poultry and agricultural company Cargill recently opened the Caribbean Incubator in the Bolivar region, considered the most modern and innovative multinational plant in the world. The plant has the capacity to produce 2.8 million hatching eggs, which constitutes 25% of Cargill’s total chick production in the country. According to the company's projections, in the future it could produce 3.8 million eggs, provide chickens across the Colombian Caribbean, and export to markets such as the United States, Europe and the Middle East. According to reports by FDI Markets, in the last five years, Colombia was the fourth country with the highest number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects for the agricultural sector in Latin America, after Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
Cityneon Expands its Presence in Middle East at Qatar Free Zones, Enhancing the Region’s Entertainment Technology Industry
Cityneon Holdings, a global entertainment company based in Singapore that specializes in unique, immersive, and large-scale experiences, signed in Doha a strategic partnership agreement with Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) to establish a facility in Qatar Free Zones. The facility will cater to growing entertainment technology and experience markets in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The agreement was signed during a ceremony at Ras Bufontas Free Zone in the presence of H.E. Ahmad Al-Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA, H.E. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and Secretary-General of Qatar's National Tourism Council and H.E. Jai S Sohan, Singapore’s Ambassador to Qatar, as well as QFZA senior management. It was signed by QFZA CEO Lim Meng Hui and Cityneon General Manager of Middle East Feroz Siddiqui. Cityneon’s senior management team, including Executive Chairman and Group CEO Ron Tan, joined virtually from Singapore. Cityneon’s new facility will be built across 15,000 square meters in Ras Bufontas Free Zone, and will include an international experience and entertainment technology centre, an innovation lab focused on R&D in animatronics and robotics, and a large-scale production workshop. Cityneon will produce large-scale experiences in Qatar as they have done around the world, such as their Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition in Chengdu, China, and their Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibition in Las Vegas and many more. Lim Meng Hui, CEO of QFZA, said, “We are delighted to welcome Cityneon, a leading entertainment technology company that designs and manufactures equipment and robotics for the sector. Cityneon’s decision to open its first such facility in the Middle East at Qatar Free Zones is testament to the strength of our offering and the exciting trajectory of the entertainment technology industry and the tourism sector in Qatar and across the region, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. Qatar Free Zones provide an ideal environment for international and local companies with the skills and innovation to help build a better future.” Cityneon’s Executive Chairman and Group CEO Ron Tan said, “We are pleased to be working closely with QFZA to fast-track our expansion plans in the EMEA region, which is a strategic and important market for the company. We see immense potential for our IP business in the EMEA region and the strategic location of our new facility in Qatar will be pivotal in addressing the markets that we plan to serve, as well as for us to reach out to potential partners and collaborators for the Group.” Feroz Siddiqui, who will lead the new facility as General Manager - Middle East, added, “With this new office we embark on our middle eastern journey in bringing cheer, joy, laughter and smiles to awe our audiences with our large, immersive and technologically advanced entertainment assets to the region.” Singapore’s ambassador to Qatar H.E. Jai S Sohan, who witnessed the ceremony, added, “It is my delight to see Cityneon set up base in Qatar Free Zones, a leading hub for innovation in the region, as the latest of many Singaporean companies with operations in Qatar. The new facility will not only boost tourism across the region but also attract a new talent pool to the developing entertainment technology industry.” The new venture is expected to bring varied benefits to Qatar. Cityneon is a global leader in immersive experiences and will help develop the regional entertainment technology and Intellectual Property (IP) industry to generate new jobs in robotics and animatronics, costume design and fabrication, and sculpting and moulding, among others. Qatar Free Zones’ technology and research ecosystem will enable Cityneon to enhance its IP business operations for the region and benefit from a growing community of like-minded organizations, dedicated research and innovation facilities, and partnership opportunities. The partnership between QFZA and Cityneon will also support Qatar’s National Vision 2030, which aims to create a knowledge-based economy and promote economic diversification. It will expand the significant skilled labour pool in Qatar and support the ongoing digital transformation of the country.
Gulf Capital Issues White Paper Quantifying the Unprecedented Growth Opportunities Across “Ascending Asia”
Gulf Capital, a leading thematic alternative investment firm in Asia, today released a white paper which outlines the significant future growth of the Asian economies and the growth in the intra-regional trade and investment flows between West Asia, including the GCC, and East Asia. With Asia’s GDP expected to grow by US$ 22 trillion by 2050, it will account for 60% of the global GDP, according to the paper “Bridging West and East Asia: The Investment Case for Ascending Asia”. Asia is the largest and most populous continent on earth. The study, jointly published by Gulf Capital and Dr Parag Khanna, Founder and Managing Partner of FutureMap, reveals that the MENA region is expected to increase its GDP by over 3x by 2050, the ASEAN region is expected to grow by 3.7x, and India by 5x. This turbo-charged growth is in sharp contrast to the projected slower growth of the European and US economies at only 1.5x and 1.8x respectively for the same period. Dr Karim El Solh, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, said: “The unprecedented growth opportunities presented by the emergence of ‘Ascending Asia’ have never been greater. The strong macro-economic fundamentals, a growing middle class and youth population, increasing GDP per capita, rapid adoption of technology, and growing intra-regional trade and investment flows will only strengthen the case for the Asian economies. We are fortunate to be investing and operating across Ascending Asia from the GCC to the Near East and Southeast Asia, where we have acquired a large number of companies in the past.” Asia accounts for more than 50% of global GDP in PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) terms, and its growth trajectory far outstrips the West, according to the paper. The region is forecast to deliver 3.5x the growth of Western economies in the decades ahead, accounting for over half the world’s total projected GDP growth through 2050. As growth in the EU and the US slows, their collective share of global GDP will drop from around 30% to less than 20% by 2050. Dr Parag Khanna, co-author of the paper said: “Already, Asia’s exports and imports account for two-thirds of global trade. Its middle class is projected to reach 3 billion by 2030, representing 60% of the world’s total. And by 2040, the Asian middle class is forecast to drive 40% of global consumption.” Within this greater Asia, the GCC and Southeast Asia are two ascending regions with rising youth populations where demographic and technological shifts will generate a significant expansion of the services sectors. Across these societies, rising affluence and consumption will drive business expansion, corporate profits, and higher valuations. Longer-term reforms including capital account liberalization and accelerated privatization will unlock fresh investment inflows into new Asian listings. Additionally, East and West Asia’s deepening trade and investment networks indicate that capital, companies, and consumers will increasingly traverse the Indian Ocean and strengthen ties along the new Silk Roads, stitching the region into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. “As we look to the future, it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine a global portfolio that doesn’t include strong exposure to Ascending Asia,” Dr Parag Khanna asserts. Dr Karim El Solh added: “At Gulf Capital, we are proud of our successful and robust 15-year track record of building global leaders out of the Gulf region. We have developed a particular expertise in investing in market leading companies in West Asia and expanding them rapidly, through bolt-on acquisitions and organic growth, into East Asia. This focus on the West-East Asia corridor allows our companies to operate in the fastest-growing region in the world.” He concluded: “Against the backdrop of the evolving megatrends of deepening trade links, sizable FDI flows, greater political cooperation, and the fastest growing consumer sector, Gulf Capital is ideally poised to capitalize on this once in a generation cross-border opportunity. It is our firm belief that if investors want to capture rapid growth over the next three decades, they need significant exposure to the fastest growing industries across Ascending Asia.”
COP26 and Net Zero: Open Source Breakthrough for Climate Aligned Finance and Investing - Cooperation between Amazon, GLEIF and OS-Climate
At COP26 they demonstrate the power of community-based open collaboration on open data and open source analytic tools to accelerate the transition to Net Zero. Climate risk management and climate-smart finance and investment depend on the development of open data and open source analytics. A collaboration between the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), OS-Climate and Amazon has resulted in GLEIF’s real-time open Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) datasets being made publicly available for the first time in the cloud, via the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) data catalog. This collaboration, announced in the context of COP26, was driven by OS-Climate to enable easier integration of LEI data with its own datasets to support the development of open data and open source analytics for climate risk management and climate smart finance and investment. LEI data combines unique identifiers of companies with verified business reference data, enabling clear and unambiguous identification of legal entities involved in financial transactions. “The science is clear: our world must make rapid progress toward a net-zero carbon future and making critical climate data accessible to everyone will be important to our progress,” said Ana Pinheiro Privette, Lead for ASDI. “Sharing Legal Entity Identifier data alongside other important data assets like carbon emissions and climate projections will help users all over the world streamline processes to support environmentally-friendly investments, make sustainable financial decisions and lead to faster innovation.” GLEIF CEO, Stephan Wolf, comments: “GLEIF fully supports the wider use of the LEI to deliver transparency and accountability in global sustainability use cases. In driving the recruitment of LEI datasets into ASDI, this collaboration not only extends and accelerates the use of LEIs in climate-aligned finance by delivering near term efficiencies to the transformational work being undertaken by OS-Climate." OS-Climate Project Lead, Michael Tiemann, adds: “The world of corporate identities and relationships is dynamic and complex. One of the key goals of the OS-Climate project is to create a “one-stop shop” for data and analytics tools to enable breakthrough innovations in the area of climate-aligned finance. The LEI provides OS-Climate with an elegant and powerful architectural solution to this very challenging problem, and the programmatic availability of the dataset on ASDI simplifies our own data management and platform services model greatly.”
Overbit Releases 2021 Crypto Traders Survey
Overbit.com, a leading Bitcoin trading platform, has published its annual in-depth report on cryptocurrency trader behaviour, trends, and sentiment. Over the course of two weeks in March 2021, Overbit surveyed over 3,000 unique individual cryptocurrency traders across 87 different countries. In addition to assessing trading habits, Overbit asked survey participants their preferences on a variety of topics — including cryptocurrency storage, due diligence techniques, trading strategies, and exchange selection. Even though the crypto asset class posted record-breaking price growth during the first quarter of 2021, 34% of respondents told Overbit they’re expecting valuations to climb even further. Interestingly, optimism was highest (44%) among cryptocurrency users with 1–2 years worth of trading experience. Novices and professional traders were less bullish, but not by much. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) remain the most popular cryptocurrencies among traders, according to Overbit’s report. Ownership figures for the former remained unchanged over the previous year’s survey results, while Ethereum has seen a significant increase. Almost two-thirds (65%) of the survey’s respondents held ETH, up from 2020’s 50% figure. To understand how traders typically store their cryptocurrency, Overbit asked respondents whether they entrust their digital asset holdings to a third party. Nearly two out of every three respondents (65%) said they prefer leaving their tokens on an exchange. On the other end of the spectrum, a mere 25% of traders use a cold wallet for cryptocurrency storage. 9% of surveyed traders told Overbit that they had lost a portion of their cryptocurrency holdings as a result of an exchange hack or security breach in the past. However, 11% of respondents acknowledged losing access to digital assets held in their own private wallets. This suggests a slightly lower likelihood of loss among those that decide to store their cryptocurrency on an exchange. CEO and founder of Overbit Cheh Liu commented, “The cryptocurrency industry has matured significantly over the past few years. Retail traders can now rely on exchanges to be trusted custodians, thus eliminating many of the barriers new traders faced earlier.” Overbit’s latest report also includes key insights into emerging trends in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, by contrasting responses collected in both 2020 and 2021. This year 20% fewer novice investors acknowledged losing cryptocurrency due to a personal error. On the due diligence front, the popularity of Twitter jumped 10% when compared to Overbit’s 2020 survey results. Overbit also found that respondents showed a stronger preference for trading on mobile platforms in 2021, with the popularity of desktops falling by around 8%. These trends show a gradual, but clear shift in trader behaviour. Overbit’s 2021 survey also focused on the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on trader behaviour. 56% of all surveyed individuals acknowledged taking on a higher degree of investment risk over the course of the pandemic. “Awareness of the cryptocurrency market — and even traditional asset classes — are on the rise among retail traders. Meanwhile, in the face of rising inflation and falling interest rates, investors are increasingly looking towards growth assets such as Bitcoin,” Liu explained. “It is therefore no surprise that trader risk appetite has grown significantly over the past year.” 32% of novice traders acknowledged making no investments outside cryptocurrency over the past year. This statistic suggests that cryptocurrency represents many individuals’ first ever exposure to managing personal investments. Still, 35% of respondents across all skill categories made at least one equity trade over the past 12 months. Finally, Overbit asked respondents whether they held any stake in the Decentralised Finance (DeFi) and Non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystems. 66% of surveyed traders did not own a single DeFi-related asset over the past twelve months — suggesting that the $60 billion industry still has a way to go before reaching critical mass.
CCCME new Co-Organizer of CE China
CE China - a global IFA event - is proud to build a new alliance with a further strong partner, China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME). Organized by Berlin Exhibition Guangzhou Co., Ltd., the international innovation show for digital, smart, and connected products and appliances won CCCME as its co-organizer for the upcoming event 16-18 September 2021 in Guangzhou. “CE China brings leading brands of the industry together and enables them to showcase their latest technologies and products at a vibrant platform. We are very much looking forward to co-organize this innovative and international event”, states Mr. Guiqing Wang, Vice President, CCCME. Top brands like Changhong, Galanz, Konka, Whirlpool as well as participants of the German Pavilion like Faytech, Hansecontrol, Miji, OTTO and Severin already confirmed to bring their cutting-edge consumer electronics and home appliances products and services to the grounds of this year’s edition of CE China. CE China will take place 16-18 September 2021 in Guangzhou. Want to be part of CE China? For more information visit the website http://en.cechina-ifa.com/Exhibitors?id=214
German Pavilion at CE China 2021
Renowned companies represent ‘Made in Germany’ at the German Pavilion at CE China in Guangzhou 16 – 18 September 2021 Faytech, Hansecontrol, Miji, OTTO, Severin as well as Berlin Partner, GfK and gfu bringing their latest innovations ‘Made in Germany’ to this year’s edition of the German Pavilion at CE China 16 – 18 September 2021 in Guangzhou. CE China - a global IFA event - is proud to offer German companies an outstanding exhibition opportunity for their cutting-edge consumer electronics and home appliances products and services with another edition of the German Pavilion. Touch device specialist faytech plans on showing its industrial touchscreens, optical bonding technology and customization possibilities. “We are very excited to be joining the German Pavilion as an exhibitor at CE China 2021. We are looking forward to presenting our touch solutions for applications in the industrial, medical, automotive, retail, building automation and digital signage areas”, states Bernard van Strien, Marketing & Communications Manager, faytech. Hansecontrol, a professional testing and certification provider in Germany, joins the German Pavilion for the first time. “We are very pleased to participate in CE China as part of the German Pavilion, with support from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. We look forward to connecting with the industry to discuss testing standards and certification requirements for electrical and electronic products in Germany and the rest of Europe", explains Tony Fu, General Manager, Hansecontrol Shanghai. “We are very glad to participate in the CE China exhibition again. CE China provides MIJI a great opportunity to step on a bigger international stage, more opportunities to connect our consumers and partners, and expands more channels for MIJI to spread the new Chinese kitchen concept. We are looking forward to work with CE China to face the future with science and technology, achieve strategic synergy and seek better development", says Frank Zhou, General Manager, Miji China. One of the world’s largest online retailers, OTTO Group joins the German Pavilion for the first time. “As a leading enterprise of German E-commerce, OTTO Group has a very high interest in participating at the German Pavilion at CE China 2021. We are very much looking forward to showcase our latest products and services”, says Beixi Xu, CEO, OTTO China. After its successful premier in 2019, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy decided to support the official German Pavilion again at the next edition of CE China 2021. This way, products and services ‘Made in Germany’ can be presented perfectly to Chinese consumer as well as international retailers. With the support of leading Chinese retailers like Suning and Alibaba, CE China evolved into a valuable platform for consumer electronics and home appliances.
APAC Energy Buzz: Asian buyers stay cool as US LNG hit by the deep freeze
The Asian LNG buyers’ club is conservative by nature. A flicker of geopolitical risk, supply disruption or price volatility can cause sleepless nights from Tokyo to Singapore as the region’s buyers assess the potential impact. So, when freezing conditions hit the southern US last week, resulting in feedgas into LNG plants collapsing from above 10 bcfd to just below 2 bcfd, and with some Texas price markers soaring north of US$400/mmbtu, anxiety levels should have been rising. But Asian buyers barely blinked, with Northeast Asia spot prices, which had been north of US$30/mmbtu just last month, continuing their descent back to normality. Why was the Asian LNG market so chilled? To understand the muted response to the polar vortex on the region’s gas buyers, I turned to Rob Sims, Global Head of LNG Short-Term Analytics at WoodMac. What has been the impact on US supply? At its worst, our colleagues at Genscape estimated that almost 19 bcfd of gas production was lost last Tuesday due to freeze-offs, as water and other liquids froze and blocked the flow of gas out of the wellhead. This is equivalent to around a fifth of total US output. And with gas prioritised into heating and power generation, available feedgas into LNG export facilities fell sharply. Feedgas dropped to zero at Cameron LNG, which was also reported to have lost power from the grid. Freeport was also completely offline for several days, likely in part due to soaring power prices. Only Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi managed to retain feedgas at around 25% of pre-storm levels. What this means is that an estimated 10-15 cargoes have been taken out of the global market for March delivery, with no cancellations likely for April. But while the ramifications of the storm will be felt for years to come, the immediate crisis was soon over, with the US gas market heading into balance earlier this week. Consequently, day ahead gas prices are pretty much back at pre-crisis levels, and with this the incentive and opportunity to export LNG has returned. How did US LNG producers and tollers react? Clearly there was a major commercial incentive to curtail LNG output. As domestic prices shot up, huge margins from selling previously purchased gas back into the local market trumped exports. Both Cove Point and Elba Island regasified produced LNG for sale back into the grid, while tollers would also have had flexibility to resell gas back into the domestic market due to their commercial structure. With domestic gas and power prices now back to normal, this opportunity has closed, and LNG production has ramped back up as margins into Europe and Asia look more attractive. And I fully expect suppliers to make up lost volumes pretty quickly as feedgas recovers. Why didn’t Asian spot prices react? I think buyers were very rational. We are way past the winter demand buying season and liquidity in the Pacific spot market has improved. This means there’s a much more limited call on Atlantic spot volume into Asia beyond what has already been contracted. Asian buyers appear to have taken a deep breath, looked at the relatively limited number of cargoes likely to have been lost, considered the likely speed of recovery and said, “we can live with this”. In fact, from looking at the market I think less than half of this volume could have gone to Asia. Given current liquidity, these cargoes can be backfilled from elsewhere without much disruption based on our upcoming 2021 Q1 short term outlook. Global LNG prices have now fallen as fast as they have risen from the January highs. Month ahead prices for delivery into Japan for example are about $6.30/mmbtu right now, giving confidence that the market doesn’t see last week’s supply disruption as too painful for Asia. Do you see any longer-term consequences for US LNG in Asia? The disruption of US supply was manageable in APAC due to improved global liquidity, but can you imagine if it had happened a few weeks ago? I think we’d be talking about an even more jittery market as fear would have pushed Asian prices even higher. It’s also likely this would have meant more feedgas finding its way into US liquefaction capacity to take advantage of this. We know how much buyers in Asia value security of supply. Looking forward, these buyers will be asking what regulators and companies in the US will do to avoid a repeat. As my colleague Ed Crooks pointed out in the Energy Pulse last week, ‘temperatures as low as the ones we have seen…are rare in Texas, but not unprecedented.’ Asian buyers will be asking about the winterisation of the power grid and gas supply supporting US LNG. I expect they may also raise questions about the implications of the planned retirements of nuclear and coal plants on future polar vortex events, given their critical role over the past week. The reputation of the US as a reliable LNG supplier could depend on it.
India to overtake China as world’s largest LPG residential market by 2030
India is expected to overtake China as the world’s largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) residential sector market by 2030. LPG demand in the residential sector will continue to see sustainable growth at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3%, reaching 34 million tonnes (Mt) in 2030 as households’ dependence on solid biomass diminishes in the long run supported by rising average household incomes and urban population. Driven by environmental and health concerns, the Indian government has also been implementing schemes to help lower income families cope with the cost of switching from dirtier biomass to LPG. The Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL) gives out subsidies to the vulnerable population, while the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) provides families living below the poverty line access to free LPG stoves. Wood Mackenzie research analyst Qiaoling Chen said: “Although nationwide LPG coverage has reached 98%, up 42% from 2014, usage is still low. Average annual cylinder refills have not kept up with the pace of new connections, with average consumption remaining below the benchmark of 12 cylinders. “Even with subsidy and initial cost of set-up covered by the government, LPG is more expensive than biomass.” Still, the Indian government is committed to roll-out plans to further address affordability and infrastructure challenges in the LPG sector. These include smaller-size LPG cylinders which reduce upfront cash payment required for each refill, more LPG distributors as well as the ‘Give it Up’ campaign where households can voluntarily give up their LPG subsidies from the DBTL scheme to benefit lower income families. Chen said: “Assuming the government continues to subsidise residential LPG throughout the decade, total subsidy for LPG could reach US$5.7 billion annually by 2030. By then, it will overtake China as the world’s largest LPG demand centre for the residential sector.” However, the lack of infrastructure continues to restrain piped natural gas (PNG) penetration in areas outside of top tier cities and retail PNG prices continues to be at a premium to subsidised LPG prices, making PNG a less attractive alternative to LPG before 2030. Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Vidur Singhal said: “Between 2020 and 2030, PNG demand will primarily be from urban households in tier I and tier II cities awarded under CGD bidding rounds. City gas companies will increase PNG connections and its related infrastructure, which typically takes five to eight years to construct and commercialise fully. “In addition, growing LPG demand in the residential sector requires more subsidies, which will increasingly become a huge burden for the government. It is likely that subsidies will taper off over time, as growing income allows more households to pay the unsubsidised price. The combination of ready PNG infrastructure and less policy support for LPG help to support PNG demand growth post-2030. “We expect PNG demand in India’s residential sector to grow at a CAGR of 12.7%, reaching 2.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) by 2030 from 0.8 bcm currently.” By the end of 2030, India’s LPG demand in the residential sector will account for 82% of the country’s total LPG demand while natural gas demand in the same sector will only account for 3% of total natural gas demand in India.
IBA launches new guidebook on doing business in Asia Pacific
The International Bar Association (IBA) Asia Pacific Regional Forum has published the first edition of a comprehensive, innovative guide on conducting business in the Asia Pacific region; an area accounting for almost two-thirds of global growth according to the International Monetary Fund. Titled Doing Business in Asia Pacific, the 535-page guidebook provides regional and international companies with consolidated knowledge and practical insights from expert lawyers in respect of 11 jurisdictions – Australia, China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, The Philippines, and Vietnam. A useful tool for both investors and legal professionals alike, the guidebook can also be downloaded from the IBA website as individual country-specific handbooks. IBA Asia Pacific Regional Forum Co-Chairs, Clare Corke and Sky Yang, and Vice Chair and project lead, Hideaki Roy Umetsu, commented in the guidebook’s preface: ‘We sincerely hope that this guidebook will be of great assistance to everybody doing business in this region, or to those who simply wish to deepen their legal understanding of this huge market, which, by all indications, is poised for even greater growth in the coming years.’ As cross-border transactions increase, foreign investors in the Asia Pacific region are encountering multiple challenges due to cultural diversity, and a lack of familiarity with local legal systems and implementation of local legislation. The expert lawyers’ information in this guidebook is aimed at assisting investors to lessen or avoid such challenges. Doing Business in Asia Pacific covers a number of wide-ranging topics, including: • business environment; • business and corporate structures; • takeovers (friendly M&A); • foreign investment; • restructuring and insolvency; • employment; • industrial relations, and work health and safety; • tax law; • intellectual property; • financing; • privacy laws and data protection; • competition law; and • dispute resolution. Some jurisdictions contain additional topics that are unique to them, as well as the common pitfalls sometimes experienced when undertaking business transactions. Doing Business in Asia Pacific represents the culmination of a year-long project for the IBA Asia Pacific Regional Forum, which intends to update the publication periodically and to include more Asia Pacific jurisdictions in future editions.
China Exports Hit $237.6bn Value in July, a 7.2% Jump Year-on-year
Chinese trade was severely hit after the coronavirus outbreak as the authorities locked down major cities to slow the virus spread. However, with more and more countries lifting COVID-19 restrictions, China exports have witnessed unexpected growth rates in the last few months. According to data presented by BuyShares.co.nz, China exports hit $237.6bn value in July, a 7.2% jump year-on-year. Record Shipments of Medical Supplies and Surge in Demand for Electronic Products China's economic development has largely profited from its export-led growth strategy. In 2013, the country overtook the United States as the world's largest trading nation, with more than $2.2trn export value of goods that year, revealed the World Trade Organization data. The increasing trend continued in the next twelve months, with the combined value of exported goods jumping over $2.3trn by the end of 2014. In 2016, China exports plunged 25%, falling to $2.09trn, the sharpest drop since the 2008 financial crisis. However, during the next year, the export demand recovered, reaching over $2.2trn value. Statistics show the total export value continued rising, reaching over $2.4trn in 2018, a 10% jump year-on-year. The World Trade data showed that in 2019, China exported nearly $2.5trn worth of goods. However, this was only a 0.5% increase year-on-year, mostly due to the sharp fall in sales in the US market amid ongoing trade tensions. Nevertheless, the US and the EU remained China's most significant export partners, with a 17% market share each. Hong Kong ranked as the third-largest destination for China's shipments with an 11% share. Statistics also showed automatic data processing machines, textiles and mobile phones were among China's top export goods last year. In January 2020, the total value of monthly exports from China hit nearly $292.5bn value, revealed the China Customs data. However, due to the coronavirus lockdown, this figure stumbled to $185.1bn in March, almost a 37% plunge in two months. With the global demand improving and more countries lifting COVID-19 related restrictions, China exports recovered to $206.8bn in May. The increasing trend continued by the end of July, with the combined value of monthly exports rising to $237.6bn, a $37.4bn increase in two months. The country's exports have been boosted by record shipments of medical supplies and surge in demand for electronic products. Statistics show that in July, exports to Australia jumped 15.8%. The ASEAN countries and the United States followed with 14.1% and 12.1% increase, respectively. However, sales to Japan fell 2% last month. China's Monthly Trade Surplus Jumped to $62.3bn in July As the world's largest importer, China has witnessed a surge in the import demand in the first two months of 2020, with the combined value of imported goods rising to almost $300bn, a $108bn jump since December 2019. However, statistics show this figure dropped by 44% in the next 30 days, falling to $165.2bn in March. In July, the total value of imports to China amounted to around $175.3bn, a 0.6% increase year-on-year. The China Customs data show the monthly trade surplus, as a major growth factor for an economy, also recovered after a sharp fall in the first two months of the year. In early 2020, China reported a monthly trade deficit of $7.1bn, the first time since March 2018. However, statistics show that in March, the monthly trade balance of goods recovered to $19.9bn, and continued rising ever since. In July, the trade surplus in China amounted to $62.3bn, a 41% increase year-on-year.
VisiConsult earns the Grand Prize for Medium-Sized Enterprises in Germany
At the end of September, the developer and manufacturer of X-ray solutions, VisiConsult, was awarded the German Grand Prize for medium-sized businesses. This was sufficient reason for a visit of local politicians to personally congratulate the innovative family business. This renowned competition is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and remains Germany's most coveted business award in the SME sector. This year's theme for the competition was "Sustainable Business". Hajo Schulenburg, Managing Director of VisiConsult, explains: "Sustainability has a high priority in family businesses such as VisiConsult. By that we mean healthy and joint growth. We attribute that success to our employees, reliable partners and local government that we indefinitely continue. "Furthermore, the company is ISO 14001 (environment) certified, the office building is a passive house and there are solar cells on every building roof. Environmental protection was very important here even before ‘Fridays for Future’”. During the press conference at VisiConsult, the management and Mayor Samtleben were in agreement: the Stockelsdorf location is an attractive business location and will remain home to the company. From here, the world market leader in its field delivers over 60% of their products globally. This year almost 30 new jobs have been created, from marketing to production, and everywhere you can see new faces – coming also from Stockelsdorf. VisiConsult also applies their sustainability strategy to workforce education and employment, engaging 10% of employees as apprentices. Hamerich who is a member of Parliament remarks, "We are glad that VisiConsult will continue to offer apprenticeships in Stockelsdorf to young people as a medium-sized enterprise next year." Many trainees were also hired on as permanent employees. The team is the decisive success factor In general, the VisiConsult team is the decisive factor for success. "Our engineering and passion of our team is highly respected worldwide", explains Hajo Schulenburg. The company’s success has driven strong growth, and as a result space is now quite scarce. A move from Stockelsdorf was considered for a short time, but a local solution is now within reach. The construction of a new office building and production areas have been planned. Lennart Schulenburg as Commercial Director provides some insight, "The municipality was able to offer us a solution in the immediate vicinity of our current location, so for now we will have to manage in our current premises, but by the end of 2020 it is planned to open the new company headquarters. This is a significant milestone that will enable even further growth." The first blueprints have been drafted, and details are being discussed with Mayor Samtleben for submission to the licensing authorities when complete. Despite times of uncertainty regarding the course of the global and German economy, VisiConsult continues to invest in Germany / Stockelsdorf, further securing its market position and jobs in Schleswig-Holstein which is consistent with the HanseBelt mission. Sustainable innovation via the exchange of ideas During the company tour, the facilities were proudly presented. A variety of systems and machines were shown, including: -Electronics counting systems, -Mobile solutions for the security sector, -A variety of larger and more complex solutions for “Non-Destructive Materials Testing” As typical end-users of VisiConsult solutions, renowned German car manufacturers rely on fully automated systems for inline testing of critical automobile parts. For example, when it comes to e-Mobility, x-ray inspection ensures their competitive edge while still maintaining quality. With regard to 3D printing, computed tomography (CT) is also highly relevant because this technology provides the only way possible of meeting the highest safety standards in critical applications like aerospace. Today, the company is also intensely involved with the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize the fully automatic image analysis. These modern technology topics are discussed not only with customers, but also via cooperation with universities, technical institutes and international professional organizations. Dr. Rohlfs, secretary of state of Schleswig-Holstein, sums it up, "VisiConsult is a worthy recipient of the Grand Prize for the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, especially with regard to this year's motto 'Sustainable Business'. I am pleased that the company appreciates the performance of its employees as well as the “Real North” – in reference to a regional theme. Following the press conference there was a company meeting to celebrate the award as well as the announcement of the new headquarters project.
CE China 2019: How to implement successful e-commerce strategies?
On the second day of CE China, a global IFA event, hundreds of visitors actively made use of the E-Commerce Forum to learn about how to implement successful strategies for marketing and selling products online. Manufacturers, distributors and service providers shared their experience on the stage in Guangzhou. The Forum additionally offered a Matchmaking Conference which brought together manufacturing enterprises and purchasers. Both, presentations and matchmaking, will continue tomorrow on the third day of CE China. The E-Commerce Forum is divided into three sections. Part 1 is called Experience Sharing of Global Consumer Electrics and Home Appliance Purchasers. Its key topic: How China’s consumer electrics and home appliance manufacturers expand the global market by leveraging the purchasers. This section includes talks by Purchasing Director of Light In The Box: Liao Bo, Purchasing Manager of Banggood Technology: Cui Jiwen and Supply Chain Director of Shenzhen TecSync Technology Co Ltd: Zhao Shaoge. There is also input from Taiwanese purchasers (Senao International; PChome), Indian purchasers (Croma-In niti Retail; Kohinoor; Amazon), and a Japanese purchaser (Tsutaya Kaden Enterprise Co. Ltd). Part 2 is called Sharing Plate of Global Consumer Electrics and Home Appliance e-commerce Platform. Its key topic is: How China’s consumer electrics and home appliance manufacturers expand the international market through the global e-commerce platform. In this section there are presentations by Marketing Director of DHgate: Ye Huanghaung, Marketing Manager of eBay Greater China: Li Xuerong, Marketing Manager of Jumia: Zhang Qian, Amanbo business development department business director: Xiao Junming, Marketing Manager of VOVA: Wu Wenjun and Vice President of Passfeed: Hu Yan Hannah. Part 3 is called Sharing Plate of China’s Consumer Electrics and Home Appliance Producers. A series of talks include: Sustainable Development of Consumer Electronics Enterprises in China by Managing Director of Shenzhen Yongchao Time Technology Co., Ltd: Tong Guoqiang; Creality 3D’s New Road of Overseas Expansion in the Field of 3D Printing y COO of Shenzhen Creality 3D Technology Co., Ltd: Hu Xiaojuan; Experience Sharing on CE China Fair 2018 by Vice President of Shenzhen Carvoo Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd: Zhao Lanzi; Pitfalls and Shortcuts of Transition from Traditional Manufacturing Plants to Cross-border E-commerce Supplier by CEO of Dingcheng Technology: Zhu Xianpeng; Intelligent Robot as New Family Member by CEO of Shenzhen Cityeasy Technology Co., Ltd: Li Zheng; Precise Product Selection Schemes of Cross- border E-commerce Suppliers Based on Supply Chain by Co-founder of Shenzhen Zhong-Min-Dian Technology Co., Ltd: Chen Cheng. At the matchmaking meeting, manufacturers can establish contacts with overseas buyers. After favourable feedback last year, the scale of the event is being expanded to help parties consolidate and expand domestic and foreign markets.
BITBOX Launches Rewards Festival
LINE Corporation today launched the BITBOX Rewards Festival, a promotional event that rewards user participation in LINE’s digital asset exchange BITBOX with the crypto asset LINK (LN). Users can get LINK rewards through participating in a referral program or by paying trading fees with LINK. All BITBOX users will get a referral code, which can be used to invite friends to join BITBOX. If the invited person joins using the referral code and makes a trade within 30 days, both the recommender and the new joiner will get LINK rewards. Also, users who pay trading fees with LINK when trading in (LN/BTC/ETH/BCH/XRP/LTC) trading pairs will be rewarded with LINK, based on BITBOX’s point-ranking system. With that point-ranking system, BITBOX will use LINK to reward the people who are highly ranked each day. Users can earn up to 50% more points based on the trading amounts made by new referrals and based on payments that have trading fees paid with LINK. The percentage of points for the ranking system gets higher with the greater the number of people joining through referral codes, and the more referrals trading adds up to a better ranking. The total reward amount and total number of people rewarded will be updated daily on the promotion page. Through these reward events, BITBOX, as the key digital exchange in LINE’s token economy, seeks to become another LINK reward platform, rewarding users based on their participation in trading. Details and updates on these events can be found on the BITBOX website (www.bitbox.me/notice). BITBOX is also looking to enhance the LINK trading experience for users by providing a “LINK Info” section on the main page of the BITBOX website. The LINK Info section will contain a range of information about LINK, including price trends, the latest LINK news, and information about promotions and events. ■ LINK Overview ● Definition: Crypto asset (or digital token) for use within the LINE ecosystem ● Official website: link.network ● Name: LINK (or “LINK Point” in Japan) ● Issuer: LINE Tech Plus (based in Singapore) ● Total amount issued: 1 billion (user rewards 800 million; LINE Tech Plus reserves 200 million), to be gradually issued based on how the ecosystem develops ● Issuing method: Issued as a reward for service contributors ● Units: The basic unit is the LINK, and the smallest unit is the cony (1,000,000 cony = 1 LINK) ● Types of LINK usage by service category: 1) Content: Payment for music, videos, and webtoons 2) Commerce: Payment for products/services, discount benefits, and payback 3) Social: In-app payment systems and wire transfers between individuals 4) Gaming: In-game trading and character improvements 5) Exchange: Payment of commissions, fee discounts and cryptocurrency trading at BITBOX ■ BITBOX Overview ● Service type: Cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency exchange (no fiat currency trading available) ● Opened: July 16, 2018 ● Available regions: Global (except Japan and the United States) ● Available languages: 15 (including English, Korean, and Chinese) ● Official channels: - Official website: bitbox.me - LINE Official Account: @bitbox - Telegram: @bitbox_official, @bitboxkorean, @bitboxchinese - Twitter: @bitbox_official - Facebook Page: fb.com/bitbox.official/
DECENT Updates Wallet Ecosystem, Reduces Transaction Fees by 80%
DECENT, the international company behind the DCore blockchain technology, today releases the first major update to its wallet ecosystem since launch. The highlights include a massive reduction in the fees paid for transactions, the capability to make payments with custom tokens, account creation via mobile devices, several UI improvements, bug fixes, and other changes. The general wallet ecosystem has received an 80% fee reduction for all performed transactions, with a downturn from 0.005 DCT (~$0.0005) to 0.001 DCT (~$0.0001) per transaction. In addition to DCT, this small fee can now be paid with DCore’s custom tokens (e.g. ALX), depending on the user’s preference. The web wallet, introduced as the original component in DECENT’s wallet ecosystem, gains an improved UI and reworked coding for faster navigation and enhanced user experience as well as the option to use custom tokens to pay for transaction fees. Similarly to the mobile version, the web wallet also carries numerous bug fixes and improvements. The beta version for DECENT’s Android wallet was released on December 18, 2018. With the wallet already out of beta, the application has been well-received by users and holds the user rating of 4.9/5 stars on Google Play Store. With this update, users can now conveniently create new wallet accounts directly in the application, without the need to activate their wallet via the web interface. Existing wallets can be activated with either the users’ brain key or their private key. As for additional features, users can forthwith pay for all transaction fees with user-generated tokens, known as custom tokens, in addition to DCT. The iOS wallet was released only recently – on March 24, 2019 – with features coinciding with its Android counterpart. Similarly to the Android version, the new major update adds custom token support and enables users to scan QR codes as a more convenient means of sending funds. The update also includes important bug fixes for improved user experience. DECENT’s CEO and Founder, Matej Michalko, gave his observation on the major update: “Since launch, our wallet ecosystem has grown tremendously thanks to our team of dedicated specialists. This growth can also be perceived in the way our users give us appreciation through the company’s public channels. Our plans remain to update our DECENT Wallet across all platforms concurrently and to continuously bring in new features to ensure high quality and security for all of our users.” With DECENT having released an update to its new roadmap, users can expect several features in the upcoming months such as the inclusion of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and new software development kits to make their proprietary blockchain technology, DCore, even easier to adopt and use.
Austria’s First 100% Transparent Charity Project Token4Hope Holds First Public Event After Helping More Than 45 Households
Token4Hope held a public event on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Vienna, Austria to showcase the project’s successes to date. The high-profile event, hosted by Blockchain Austria, endorsed Humanity Token and Token4Hope’s overall achievements up to date, the technology used behind the project and its plans for future participation in the global market. The event was attended by numerous influential journalists and industry experts, including Matteo Landi from UNIDO, CFO Simon Blatzer from Wiener Hilfswerk, CEO Christoph Zinganell from Collective Energy, and Matej Michalko, Founder and CEO of DECENT. Token4Hope is a joint-project developed in cooperation with DECENT, Collective Energy and HumanVenture, aimed at helping indigent individuals and families in Vienna, Austria. The project runs on DECENT’s DCore blockchain technology, which helps the donations to be stored transparently and securely – allowing donors to track their contributions and observe the actual usage of their donated money. Its users – specifically, individuals living in impoverished conditions – are not required to have any prior knowledge about the technology the application runs on, and are only obliged to carry a [SOMA] card containing T4H tokens, through which they can redeem the tokens for goods. Token4Hope is also the winner of the prestigious eAward 2019. Instituted only last year, the Token4Hope initiative has been able to collect more than 10,000 EUR which were distributed amongst 47 families, consisting of 35 single parents, 12 families and 85 children in Vienna alone. According to Matteo Landi, Project Manager at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), using blockchain in charity projects seems like an excellent solution to boost trust in charities: “UNIDO is planning on starting to launch projects using blockchain technology, as it can easily be perceived as the biggest revolution of our time. With this project as living proof of blockchain’s success, we, at UNIDO, consider it a tremendous technological breakthrough that can positively disrupt the way charities work today.” As part of the event program, Matej Michalko, CEO and Founder of DECENT, expressed his hopes and ideas for the project during the panel discussion: “Token4Hope is a perfect example of blockchain’s positive impact on community projects. At DECENT, we’re looking forward to investing our time and money into such verticals. Basically, the impact investing and the donation part of this project is what drives us forward, for the sole purpose of it being one of the first end-to-end applications of our technology that has actual customers – families – receiving the donations.”