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Ikea to close US furniture factory, cutting 300 jobs

WASHINGTON, July 16 — Ikea said it will close its only US factory at the end of the year, cutting 300 jobs, as it will be more cost effective to make the products in Europe and import them. The global big-box furniture store, known for its Swedish…


Slowing economy in Q2: What it means for jobs, General Election and long-term growth in Singapore

SINGAPORE, July 13 — The government is “not expecting a full-year recession at this point”, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday, but economists are warning that there is a high likelihood of a technical recession ahead. Heng,…


Slowing economy in Q2: What it means for jobs, General Election and long-term growth in Singapore

SINGAPORE, July 13 — The government is “not expecting a full-year recession at this point”, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday, but economists are warning that there is a high likelihood of a technical recession ahead. Heng,…


ECER 2.0 to attract RM70b private investments

PETALING JAYA: The East Coast Economic Region Master Plan 2.0 (2018-2025) (EMP 2.0) aims to attract RM70 billion in new private investments, and create 120,000 new jobs and 60,000 entrepreneurial opportunities for Malaysians.

The master plan, which was launched by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) yesterday, aims to accelerate the next leap of the region’s socio-economic transformation, narrowing the regional imbalance and enhancing the well-being of the people.

Themed “The Next Leap”, it outlines key strategies, high-impact projects and inclusive people-centric programmes to be implemented in the region to sustain its transformation into a distinctive, dynamic and competitive region by 2025.

“The launch of the EMP 2.0 is indeed a historic milestone. Capitalising on the solid foundation built on the back of the region’s socio-economic successes over the last 10 years, the EMP 2.0 was developed with the rakyat’s well-being at its heart.

“Through the delivery of high-impact projects and programmes, the Rakyat will continue to benefit through the inclusive and equitable opportunities to uplift their quality of life through the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities created in the Region,” ECERDC CEO Baidzawi Che Mat said in a statement today.

EMP 2.0 will emphasise on six strategic initiatives namely increasing labour productivity; diversifying economic bases; facilitating economies of scale; mobilising the labour force; leveraging connectivity; and enhancing enabling infrastructure such as ICT broadband connectivity.

Greater emphasis will be given to accelerate the region’s readiness for Industry 4.0, given the importance of the digital platform in shaping economies and driving innovations worldwide.

To kick start this initiative, ECERDC has partnered with Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) to establish the Asia Center of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES) at the Pahang Technology Park (PTP)’s Cybercentre.

Meanwhile, the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the expansion of Kuantan Port in Pahang are expected to facilitate further investments and improve mobility of goods and people.

ECERDC has also identified a new key driver namely logistics and trade facilitation, which will enhance the region’s overall competitiveness by identifying, aggregating and addressing supply chain issues for the region’s existing economic drivers including manufacturing; oil, gas and petrochemicals; tourism and agribusiness sectors.

The ECER has undergone a socio-economic transformation over the last 10 years and achieved its 2020 investment target of RM110 billion three years ahead of schedule.

To date, the total private investment in ECER stands at RM115.6 billion with 164,500 job opportunities created and around 38,000 entrepreneurs developed.


Axiata-Telenor merger still at proposal stage, says minister

CYBERJAYA, June 17 — The merger plan between Axiata Group Bhd of Malaysia and Norway’s Telenor Group is still at the proposal stage, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo. He said the ministry views the merger proposal…


US auto workers at VW plant reject bid to unionise

DETROIT, June 15 ― The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has suffered a fresh defeat at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, with workers narrowly voting down a move to organise the factory for a second time. The UAW has never managed to fully organise…


German supermarket Lidl to increase London presence

LONDON, June 12 — German supermarket group Lidl today said it will open more than 40 new stores in and around London over the next five years, creating 1,500 jobs. The discount chain will open a supermarket in Tottenham Court Road in London’s…


US hiring slows sharply in May; unemployment steady

WASHINGTON, June 7 — Against the backdrop of worsening trade conflicts, US job creation slowed sharply in May, with hiring drying up in major industries and wage growth stagnating, the Labour Department reported today. The unexpectedly steep…


US stocks extend rally after more dovish Fed tilt

WASHINGTON, June 5 — Wall Street stocks rose early today, shrugging off weak private-sector hiring data and extending a rally following more dovish Federal Reserve statements. Comments from Fed officials this week have opened the door to a…


GE to cut over 1,000 jobs in French power operations

PARIS, May 28 — US industrial conglomerate General Electric said today that it would cut more than 1,000 jobs mainly at its gas turbine operations in eastern France, part of a wave of European layoffs as it tries to stem losses in its power…