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Singapore SMEs to create 15,000 new jobs by 2015

But despite this government-supported growth SMEs still face short-term hardships, says trade minister Teo Ser Luck.

The Singapore government handed out $98 million last year on upgrade projects for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and these will create a torrent of new jobs, yet the current business environment poses many pitfalls for failure.

Technip awarded an engineering contract for PETRONAS’ RAPID project in Malaysia

Technip has been awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by PETRONAS for its proposed Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project located in the state of Johor, Malaysia.

RAPID aims at building a world-scale integrated refinery and petrochemical complex to answer the growing need for specialty chemicals and to meet the demand for petroleum and commodity petrochemical products in the Asia Pacific region by 2016.

S'pore retains triple-A rating from Moody's

Singapore has retained its triple-A rating from Moody's.

According to a statement from the credit agency, Singapore's Aaa rating is supported by a high level of economic resiliency that is derived from rapid economic growth, rising per-capita income, and strong institutions.

Nestle to invest more than S$5.5m to strengthen R&D base in S'pore

Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle celebrates its 100th year in Singapore.

A century on, 95 per cent of of all Singaporean households still have at least one Nestle product in their homes.

Brands such as Milo, Nescafe and Maggie continue to be staples in many Singaporean households, but Nestle said it has to keep up with customers through innovation.

The company plans to invest more than S$5.5 million to strengthen its R&D base in Singapore.

Singapore, Seventh Destination for Air France’s A380 this Summer

On 1 April 2012, Air France will start operating an Airbus A380 on the Paris-Charles de Gaulle-Singapore route for the first time. This first commercial flight will be followed by regular services three times a week from June to the end of October 2012.

On departure from Singapore, Air France is offering 38 weekly code-share connecting flights with Qantas to five destinations in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaïde. 

Supply of hotel rooms in Singapore to increase by 20%

The supply of hotel rooms in Singapore is expected to increase by 20 per cent by 2016, according to a report by real estate consultancy CBRE.

CBRE said the ramping up of room supply is underpinned by healthy outlook for the hospitality sector.

In 2011, over 1,900 hotel rooms have been added in Singapore, with the bulk of them coming from V Hotel with 888 rooms and Oasia Hotel with 428 rooms.

ICT sector to benefit from S$46m initiative to boost productivity

The information and communication technology sector (ICT) in Singapore looks set to benefit from a S$46 million initiative to boost productivity over the next five years.

Speaking at an industry event, Minister for Transport and second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lui Tuck Yew said the Infocomm Industry Productivity Roadmap will help companies acquire new capabilities and resources to remodel their business.

Goyard store to open at Takashimaya next year

Singapore-listed fashion and lifestyle group F J Benjamin Holdings plans to open Goyard, a French luxury brand, at Takashimaya Shopping Centre along Orchard Road next year.

In a filing with the Singapore Exchange, F J Benjamin said the opening of the standalone flagship store in Singapore is slated for the fourth quarter of 2013.

This comes on the heels of the successful launch of the brand's Hong Kong store at The Peninsula in February 2011.

Experts see big jump in Internet advertising for online marketing

Higher use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are expected to drive digital marketing in Asia over the next two years.

Experts say advertising spend for online marketing may increase as much as 25 percent of the total pie.

Currently, less than 10 percent of Singapore's total advertising spend is used for online marketing.

They add that display ads, search engines and social media will be among the prominent digital advertising platforms.

Singapore ranked most competitive city in Asia: EIU report

Singapore has been ranked the most competitive city in Asia, according to a report by the Economic Intelligence Unit.

The "Hot Spots: Benchmarking Global City Competitiveness" report also identified Singapore as the third most competitive city in the world, after economic and financial hubs New York and London.

The report covered a total of 120 global markets, assessed on the basis of 21 qualitative and 10 quantitative indicators.

HSBC sells general insurance businesses

SBC Holdings has entered into agreements to sell its general insurance businesses in Asia and Latin America to AXA Group and QBE Insurance Group for US$914 million.

This divestment by HSBC, Europe's largest bank by market value, is the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures by HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver.

French insurer AXA will fork out US$494 million to acquire HSBC's general insurance businesses in Singapore, Hong Kong and Mexico, which had a net asset value of US$48 million as at Dec 31, 2011.

Going green may earn companies a premium for their products

Going green may allow companies to charge a premium for their products and raise profitability.

However, experts say many companies in Asia are still finding it hard to embrace sustainability.

On Friday, Channel NewsAsia will honour the best and brightest in business in its annual Luminary Awards.

Two of the awards will recognise companies for their innovation and green initiatives.

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