Latest ASEAN news

Laos Announces Travel Conditions for 2022 Reopening

Laos has officially announced it will reopen for tourism on 1 January 2022, providing more information on travel conditions during a press conference held at the Lao National Convention Center today.

According to the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism, the reopening will be implemented in three phases.

The first phase will be from 1 January to 30 March 2022, the second phase from 1 April 2022 to 30 June 2022, and the third phase from 1 July 2022 onward.

According to the ministry, tourists from an initial list of countries will be allowed to travel to the country during the first phase.

The list of countries includes China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, France, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, United States, Canada, and Australia.

Tourism will be restricted to group tours at first, with tours arranged by authorized tour operators under the Lao Travel Green Zone Plan.

Tourists will be required to have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no less than 14 days prior to arrival. Other conditions include a health insurance policy with coverage no less than USD 50,000 and a negative RT-PCR test taken within the last 72 hours.

Arrivals will be tested for Covid-19 and placed in a 24-hour quarantine in their hotel until a negative result is found.

Tourists will be required to download and register via the LaoKYC and the LaoStaySafe mobile applications prior to arriving in the country, as well as uploading their relevant vaccination certification and Covid-19 test results...

Source: Laotian Times

cr: laotiantimes. 

Business roadmap to innovation

Cyberview Sdn Bhd, the Tech Hub Developer of Cyberjaya recently hosted its fourth Tech Talk Webinar series for 2021, themed ‘Maximising Return on Innovation for Business Growth’. The panel session focused on the importance of measuring Return on Innovation and how businesses can realise their innovation goals through the Cyberjaya ecosystem. The panellists were Angel Low, Principal, The HIVE Southeast Asia; Dr. Afnizanfaizal Abdullah, Chief Technology Officer of Aerodyne and cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Synapse Innovation; and Karamjit Singh, founder, Digital News Asia.
During the session, Angel highlighted “Despite businesses turning towards digital transformation, they are not innovating to the extent that encompasses a wide range of areas. They are innovating [to fulfill] the change in consumer demands, which shows that they are merely being reactive instead of realising the true potential of innovation. Businesses need to look into incorporating innovation to improve operational efficiency, which will enable them to enhance their value chains and ultimately increase market share.”
After completing their first close in May 2021, The Hive Southeast Asia, one of eight VCs selected by the Ministry of Finance under its Dana Penjana National Programme to manage a co-creation and seed fund on a 1:1 matching, is targeting to raise and deploy a total of US$11.8 million (RM50 million) or more to facilitate the growth of startups with strategic corporate partners and create an enabling environment to scale and expand their reach on the global stage.
Artificial intelligence and big data expert, Afnizanfaizal discussed the pivotal role of innovation for businesses to gain a competitive edge. “Under the current economic landscape, being a pioneer does not guarantee market survival, but [being an] innovator enables you to shift and meet the demands. At Synapse Innovation, technology adoption by customers is used as a metric to measure the success of innovation investments. The fundamental aspect of innovation is establishing a clear roadmap, which is one of the key learnings that our company gained from the Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator (CLLA) programme. Having a roadmap enables progress when it comes to the development of innovative solutions while also building business resiliency.”
Meanwhile, Karamjit zoomed in on the significance of having senior leadership that values innovation and uses it to seize opportunities in the market. “Innovation is more than just a buzzword. Innovation is about making things better, and it requires time, patience support as well as a collective effort. Businesses need to cultivate a mindset that innovation will make a difference for a better future. The Covid-19 pandemic has fostered a potent environment for innovation that business leaders should seize.” He urges companies to be proactive to take advantage of the programs and incentives that the government has provided for accessing funding, expertise and other benefits.
“Don’t sit back and wait for government to come knock on your door to help you. Help yourself to the various programs in the market.” Karamjit believes that with the government’s digital strategy, as encapsulated by MyDigital and the objectives set in the 12th Malaysia Plan, underpinned by a robust fibre broadband infrastructure and with 5G to rapidly start rolling out soon, Malaysia has the right ingredients – from a policy and infrastructure perspective, to encourage and spur an innovation-led economy.

SEBA 2021: SME And Entrepreneurs Business Awards (SEBA) Is Back To Honour And Celebrate Outstanding SMES And Entrepreneurs

KUALA LUMPUR, December 11 – SME and Entrepreneurs Business Awards (SEBA), an annual initiative organised by Yayasan Usahawan Malaysia that aims to recognise Malaysia’s most notable companies and entrepreneurs, is back once again. In partnership with Celcom Business, Yayasan Usahawan Malaysian hosted their 6th Grand Awards Gala Evening on the 9th of December 2021, at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Over 350 guests attended the event to witness the unveiling of this year’s most outstanding entrepreneurs, SMEs and businesses. Among the many that attended the gala dinner were Tan Sri Noh Haji Omar, Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC), Dato’ Suriani Ahmad, Secretary General of MEDAC, and all the Board of Advisors of SEBA 2021. A total of 42 prestigious awards were presented to various SMEs and entrepreneurs hailing from numerous industries.

In line with the external challenges that many businesses have had to experience recently, this year’s event was themed, ‘Thriving the Waves’. SEBA believes this period of emergence from the pandemic is the best time to recognise businesses that have thriving despite the many obstacles. Among the award recipients at the Gala Evening, Dato’ Sri Hajah Siti Nurhaliza Binti Tajuddin was awarded the Entrepreneur of The Year Award, Mr. Shahrul Anuar Bin Zain was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Music Industry, and Mr. Leslie Gomez, from the Olive Tree Group was awarded with the title Excellence in Leadership. 

In his welcoming speech, Tan Sri Noh Haji Omar, Minister of MEDAC said, “Yayasan Usahawan Malaysia recognises entrepreneurs who have succeeded in cementing their names within their respective industries and simultaneously elevating Malaysia in the global arena. This is a commendable effort and must be collectively supported.” He further added, “I believe this is a good starting point for entrepreneurs who are bravely facing the challenges on the road to success.

MEDAC is confident that the vision and mission of achieving an entrepreneurial nation will succeed with the cooperation and teamwork from various backgrounds in line with the concept of Keluarga Malaysia. On behalf of the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, I call on all Malaysian families to unite with a concerted effort to restore the Malaysian economy which has been impacted by COVID-19. Hopefully, the efforts made by Yayasan Usahawan Malaysia, will continue to be a catalyst for other entrepreneurs to successfully navigate the efforts that have been carried out.

During SEBA 2021, Yayasan Usahawan Malaysia also officially launched their e-magazine, “Asia Connects”. The publication aims to create an enhanced platform for further regional growth prospects as we move towards a post pandemic recovery. This year, SEBA added several new categories, starting with the Halal-preneur Award and the Young Entrepreneur Award. Aiming to adapt and evolve with the times, and as the halal sector is a rising segment within the industry, for the first time, SEBA will be honouring entrepreneurs who have successfully empowered their community in general, within the Halal sector. On the other hand, the Young Entrepreneur Award is designed to empower the youths of today and encourage early entrepreneurship in the community. 


Vietnam Digital Awards 2021

On 9th December 2021, the Vietnam Digital Awards 2021 was jointly held by Vietnam Digital Communication Association and  eMagazine VietTimes  . The Agency for Enterprise Development – Ministry of Planning and Investment has been honored “ Outstanding digital transformation state agencies, public units  ” with the Business Portal at