SpirE-Journal 2015 Q1

Spire E-Newsletter Q1 2015

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Spire E-Newsletter Q1 2015

Spire appointed as Official Research Partner to the BMW Malaysian Open for the fourth time

28 February – 8 March 2015

Spire was honored to be appointed as the Official Research Partner of the BMW Malaysian Open for the fourth consecutive year. The 2015 BMW Malaysian Open – the sixth edition of the Malaysian Open – was held from 28 February to 8 March 2015 at the Royal Selangor Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event gathered 13,815 spectators from across the region.

Together with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour and the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM), Spire was thrilled to be a part of this prestigious event, which played host to talented sportspersons such as Caroline Wozniacki and Alexandra Dulgheru.

As the Official Research Partner, Spire’s Malaysia team conducted a total of 500 survey interviews with the spectators and generated fact-based research insights aimed at improving the event arrangements in the coming years. Spire’s long-standing association with this world-class event attests to the quality of the research it has provided.

Jokowi wins praise within first 100 days of rule in Indonesia

4 February 2015

With 100 days in power for Joko Widodo – the newly elected President of Indonesia – what does the business community have to say about his leadership? Jeffrey Bahar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, shared his insights on Bloomberg Businessweek Indonesia.

Indonesia – the world’s fourth most populous country – held its latest direct Presidential elections on 20th October 2014. Elected President Joko Widodo – popularly known as Jokowi – completed his first 100 days this January. Most in the business community have been all praises for the government’s performance so far.

It is difficult to evaluate a government’s performance based on its first 100 days in power but Bahar opined that Jokowi’s government has taken initiatives to improve certain industries directly, especially fisheries and marine. The new government’s current focus lies on fixing transportation and revamping the climate for investment issues using one door licensing.

It remains to be seen if the newly elected government will continue to meet the expectations of the Indonesian masses.

Spire is featured in Japan’s Nikkei newspaper

1 January 2015

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) aims for regional economic integration this year. What implications will it have on the burgeoning ASEAN business environment? Leon Perera, Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, shared his insights in the Asian version of Japan’s Nikkei newspaper.

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) countries liberalize trade in line with AEC goals, the ASEAN economic landscape is changing. Many of the goals of the AEC in terms of liberalizing trade in goods have already been realized ahead of the 2015 deadline. This has helped to build up a positive momentum for the AEC project. This will also stimulate some restructuring of manufacturing activities in the region going forward.

However the progress towards AEC goals in terms of freeing up human resources and services is lagging. It will take some years after 2015 before these are realized, due to the greater sensitivity of changes in these spheres.

However, Perera cautioned that we should not expect the AEC to transform ASEAN into another European Union (EU). The AEC is far from being like the EU’s Maastricht treaty of 1992. Deeper economic integration will take more time due to the differences in culture, history, politics and economic development among ASEAN countries, which, unlike Europe, have never been unified as a single political entity in their entire history.

Spire’s report on Market assessment for Mobile Payments in Agriculture is published by Mercy Corps

11 March 2014

Spire Research and Consulting was appointed by Mercy Corps – a global aid agency – to assess the potential for migrating Indonesian agricultural value-chain payments to mobile technology to improve the livelihoods of farmers. Mercy Corps published the results of this study on their corporate website.

Spire’s study was conducted among farmers and value-chain actors consisting of buyers, sellers and financial institutions as well as other payment actors. The study assessed the agricultural market for five types of crops in Indonesia: maize, rice, chili, potato and palm oil. The study assessed the potential for introducing mobile value-chain payments and the implications of such a move for farmers and value-chain actors.

The findings revealed that Indonesia’s agricultural value-chain eco-system is a complex one. It varies in accordance with the type of crop and region in question. Moreover, farmers still predominantly use cash for value-chain payments such as to purchase fertilizers, seeds and other input supplies. However, most of the actors involved in the marketing and distribution system in Indonesia prefer bank transfers.

According to the Spire study, if mobile-value payments take off, this would spur investments within the value chain, enhancing business opportunities for buyers, traders, input dealers and financial service providers. Mobile payments would help make high volume and low-value transaction more convenient, as well as providing a more traceable, efficient, economical and transparent payment method.

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