SINGAPORE CASHES IN ON WORLD TENSIONS

During World War II, Switzerland’s neutrality made it a safe haven for diplomacy and commerce. Fast forward 75 years and the same trends are being borne out in Singapore — the Switzerland of Asia — as tensions between the U.S. and China rise and the world picks sides. Nowhere is this more evident than in the technology sector. Singapore’s drive to become the tech capital of Asia has been given an extraordinary boost by the rivalry playing out between the world’s two biggest economies. Not only are Chinese tech titans and U.S. unicorns expanding and setting up new offices in the city-state of 5.6 million people, Singapore is benefiting as the launch pad for the two superpowers’ Southeast Asia ambitions. SOURCE: nikkei.com

EUROPEAN MBAs MORE ATTRACTIVE

Business schools outside the US are enjoying a soar in MBA applications from international students as top MBA programmes in the US take a tumble. According to the Wall Street Journal, international MBA programmes, especially those in Europe and Canada, are seeing an increase in interest from prospective students who want to stay closer to home and from students in Asia and Latin America who want to avoid US business schools. Schools and admissions coaches attribute the rise in international student interest to COVID-19 travel restrictions, higher tuition costs in the US and an American political climate marked by increased US-China tensions and disruptive immigration policies. SOURCE: studyinternational.com

MAJOR DISRUPTION WITH OR WITHOUT A DEAL

Billions of pounds worth of trade with the EU will face “significant disruption” on 1 January, regardless of whether a trade deal is agreed, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has concluded. The UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) said crucial IT systems have yet to be tested and transit areas for lorries are not ready as the government attempts to prepare new border controls for the end of the Brexit transition period. The planned controls, which had already been rated “high risk”, have been further hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released on Friday. SOURCE: theguardian.com

TOYOTA PROFIT UP SHARPLY

Toyota Motor Corp more than doubled its full-year operating profit forecast on Friday, as vehicle sales rebound in China from a coronavirus pandemic squeeze earlier this year that contributed to a 24% slide in second-quarter earnings. Japan’s top automaker said it now expects an operating profit of 1.3 trillion yen (9.6 billion pounds) for the year through March, 2021, up from the 500 billion it predicted previously. Operating profit for the previous financial year was 2.47 trillion yen. SOURCE: Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Singapore Reuters