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Daily Archives: November 2, 2018

PSAV® ADDS NIK RUDGE TO ITS GLOBAL LEADERSHIP TEAM

International business strategy to serve as key area of focus

Schiller Park, Ill., Nov. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PSAV, a global leader in event experiences, announced today that Nik Rudge has been named the company’s first managing director, international. Rudge will build upon the international business strategy to best align teams in Europe and the Middle East to continue to improve on ways the company serves customers globally.

“Nik has vast international business experience in the events industry having led teams in fast-moving, complex and multicultural environments,” said Ben Erwin, president of PSAV.  “His general approach and business insight aligns very well with our purpose, mission and customer-centric culture at PSAV.  We are eager to leverage Nik’s experience working with shared customers on important events in key meeting and event destinations.”

Rudge most recently served as CEO of GovNet Communications, a public sector business that operates training, forum, conference and expo events. He has also led multi-country divisions for ITE Group and UBM, two market-leading tradeshow and exhibition companies.

“I am excited to join PSAV in a capacity where I can make an immediate impact by applying my knowledge and industry experience,” commented Rudge.  “PSAV has been a longtime industry leader and it’s clear they are on the right path to grow its global footprint.  I am happy to build on today’s success by further developing its business to join the customers’ journey regardless of where in the world they work with PSAV.” 

 

About PSAV®

PSAV is a global leader in event experiences, providing creative, production, advanced technology and staging services to help meeting professionals deliver more dynamic and impactful experiences at their meetings, trade shows and events. The team consists of more than 9,000 professionals across 1,500 on-site venue locations and 49 branch offices within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. It is the trusted partner and exclusive on-site provider of choice at leading venues worldwide. PSAV was recently named to the Forbes 2018 America’s Best Employer list. The company is headquartered in Schiller Park, Ill.  www.psav.com.

Bob Niersbach
PSAV
847.385.3619
rniersbach@psav.com

Constellation Brands’ $5 Billion CAD ($4 Billion USD) Investment in Canopy Growth Closes Following Shareholder and Canadian Government Approval

VICTOR, N.Y. and SMITHS FALLS, Ontario, Nov. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Constellation Brands, Inc. (Constellation) (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B) and Canopy Growth Corporation (Canopy Growth or the Company) (TSX: WEED, NYSE: CGC) today announced the closing of Constellation’s $5 billion CAD ($4 billion USD) investment in Canopy Growth, which was previously announced on August 15, 2018. The transaction was approved by an overwhelming majority of Canopy Growth shareholders and has been granted all required regulatory approvals, including by the Canadian government under the Investment Canada Act.

This investment provides Canopy Growth with significant funding needed to build scale in the more than 30 countries currently pursuing federally permissible medical cannabis programs, while establishing the foundation needed to supply new recreational adult-use markets as cannabis becomes legal in markets around the world.

“We’re excited to expand our strategic partnership with Canopy Growth and to begin helping them build the global scale needed to win long-term,” said Rob Sands, chief executive officer, Constellation Brands. “The global cannabis market presents a significant growth opportunity and Canopy Growth is well-positioned to establish a strong leadership position in this fast-evolving category.”

With this investment, Constellation Brands increases its ownership interest in Canopy Growth to approximately 37 percent of outstanding common shares of Canopy Growth and has appointed two members of its executive team, as well as two independent directors, to the Board of Directors of Canopy Growth. Constellation estimates the interest expense associated with this transaction to approximate $55 million before tax with an approximate $0.25 impact on fiscal 2019 comparable basis EPS results. Constellation also continues to evaluate the potential equity in earnings impact from the Canopy Growth investment and related items.

“Our cash position opens up a world of opportunity for us,” said Bruce Linton, chairman and co-chief executive officer, Canopy Growth.  “Relative to our valuation, we have never been in a better position to create shareholder value. This investment was a landmark moment for the entire sector when it was announced. Now that the capital is Canopy’s to deploy, we’re going to quickly get to work increasing our lead by adding strategic assets around the world.”

As previously announced, the transaction includes a restructuring of Canopy Growth’s Board of Directors. Canopy Growth management wishes to thank Chris Schnarr and Murray Goldman for their contributions to the company. Mr. Schnarr and Mr. Goldman sat on the Board as it oversaw a transformative period for Canopy Growth from a small start-up to a global, diversified industry leader. Mr. Schnarr will continue with Canopy Growth and transition into a senior leadership role overseeing medical and therapeutic research commercialization. Subsequently, Canopy Growth management welcomes Constellation’s President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Newlands and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Klein, as well as current Constellation Board Members Judy Schmeling, former HSNi LLC chief operating officer, and Robert Hanson, chief executive officer of John Hardy Global Limited, to the Canopy Growth Board. Their leadership and experience will be invaluable as Canopy Growth continues to grow around the world.

About Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a Fortune 500® company, is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Constellation is the No. 3 beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico. The company’s beer portfolio also includes Ballast Point, one of the most awarded craft brewers in the U.S., and Funky Buddha Brewery. In addition, Constellation is the world leader in premium wine, selling great brands that people love, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Black Box, Ruffino and The Prisoner. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila and High West Whiskey.

Based in Victor, N.Y., the company believes that industry leadership involves a commitment to brand building, our trade partners, the environment, our investors and to consumers around the world who choose our products when celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones. Founded in 1945, Constellation has grown to become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio; about 40 wineries, breweries and distilleries; and approximately 10,000 talented employees. We express our company vision: to elevate life with every glass raised. To learn more, follow us on Twitter @cbrands and visit www.cbrands.com.

About Canopy Growth Corporation
Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) is a world-leading diversified cannabis and hemp company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms. From product and process innovation to market execution, Canopy Growth is driven by a passion for leadership and a commitment to building a world-class cannabis company one product, site and country at a time. The Company has operations in 12 countries across five continents. The Company is proudly dedicated to educating healthcare practitioners, conducting robust clinical research, and furthering the public’s understanding of cannabis, and through its wholly owned subsidiary, Canopy Health Innovations, has devoted millions of dollars toward cutting edge, commercializable research and IP development. Through partly owned subsidiary Canopy Rivers Corporation, the Company is providing resources and investment to new market entrants and building a portfolio of stable investments in the sector. From our historic public listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange to our continued international expansion, pride in advancing shareholder value through leadership is engrained in all we do at Canopy Growth. Canopy Growth has established partnerships with leading sector names including cannabis icon Snoop Dogg, breeding legends DNA Genetics and Green House seeds, and Fortune 500 alcohol leader Constellation Brands, to name but a few. Canopy Growth operates ten licensed cannabis production sites with over 4.3 million square feet of production capacity, including over 500,000 square feet of GMP certified production space. For more information visit www.canopygrowth.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward‐looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward‐looking statements. The words “expect,” “intend” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward‐looking statements, although not all forward‐looking statements contain such identifying words. These statements may relate to business strategy, future operations and growth, prospects, plans and objectives of management, as well as information concerning expected actions of third parties. All forward‐looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in, or implied by, such forward‐looking statements. The forward‐looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and should not be construed in any manner as a guarantee that such results will in fact occur. Examples of such statements include but are not limited to those related to the anticipated use of proceeds, future expansion and growth, future success, the realization of Canopy Growth’s long‐term strategic vision, the creation of shareholder value, and estimated interest expense and its impact on EPS results. All forward‐looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release and neither Constellation Brands nor Canopy Growth undertakes any obligation to update or revise any forward‐looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In addition to risks and uncertainties associated with ordinary business operations, the forward‐looking statements contained in this news release are subject to risks and other factors and uncertainties, including that the expected impact and benefits of the transaction may not materialize in the manner expected, or at all; circumstances may warrant that Canopy Growth use the proceeds from the transaction for different purposes than stated above; and other factors and uncertainties disclosed from time‐to‐time in Constellation’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10‐K for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10‐Q for the fiscal quarter ended August 31, 2018, or in Canopy Growth’s filings with the Canadian Securities Administration or with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual information form dated June 28, 2018, which could cause actual future performance to differ from current expectations.

CONTACTS:
Michael McGrew, Constellation Brands, Media (773) 251-4934
Patty Yahn-Urlaub, Constellation Brands, Investor Relations (585) 678-7483
Jordan Sinclair, Canopy Growth, Media (613) 769-4196
Tyler Burns, Canopy Growth, Investor Relations (855) 558-9333 ext. 122

Constellation Brands’ $5 Billion CAD ($4 Billion USD) Investment in Canopy Growth Closes Following Shareholder and Canadian Government Approval

VICTOR, N.Y. and SMITHS FALLS, Ontario, Nov. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Constellation Brands, Inc. (Constellation) (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B) and Canopy Growth Corporation (Canopy Growth or the Company) (TSX: WEED, NYSE: CGC) today announced the closing of Constellation’s $5 billion CAD ($4 billion USD) investment in Canopy Growth, which was previously announced on August 15, 2018. The transaction was approved by an overwhelming majority of Canopy Growth shareholders and has been granted all required regulatory approvals, including by the Canadian government under the Investment Canada Act.

This investment provides Canopy Growth with significant funding needed to build scale in the more than 30 countries currently pursuing federally permissible medical cannabis programs, while establishing the foundation needed to supply new recreational adult-use markets as cannabis becomes legal in markets around the world.

“We’re excited to expand our strategic partnership with Canopy Growth and to begin helping them build the global scale needed to win long-term,” said Rob Sands, chief executive officer, Constellation Brands. “The global cannabis market presents a significant growth opportunity and Canopy Growth is well-positioned to establish a strong leadership position in this fast-evolving category.”

With this investment, Constellation Brands increases its ownership interest in Canopy Growth to approximately 37 percent of outstanding common shares of Canopy Growth and has appointed two members of its executive team, as well as two independent directors, to the Board of Directors of Canopy Growth. Constellation estimates the interest expense associated with this transaction to approximate $55 million before tax with an approximate $0.25 impact on fiscal 2019 comparable basis EPS results. Constellation also continues to evaluate the potential equity in earnings impact from the Canopy Growth investment and related items.

“Our cash position opens up a world of opportunity for us,” said Bruce Linton, chairman and co-chief executive officer, Canopy Growth.  “Relative to our valuation, we have never been in a better position to create shareholder value. This investment was a landmark moment for the entire sector when it was announced. Now that the capital is Canopy’s to deploy, we’re going to quickly get to work increasing our lead by adding strategic assets around the world.”

As previously announced, the transaction includes a restructuring of Canopy Growth’s Board of Directors. Canopy Growth management wishes to thank Chris Schnarr and Murray Goldman for their contributions to the company. Mr. Schnarr and Mr. Goldman sat on the Board as it oversaw a transformative period for Canopy Growth from a small start-up to a global, diversified industry leader. Mr. Schnarr will continue with Canopy Growth and transition into a senior leadership role overseeing medical and therapeutic research commercialization. Subsequently, Canopy Growth management welcomes Constellation’s President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Newlands and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Klein, as well as current Constellation Board Members Judy Schmeling, former HSNi LLC chief operating officer, and Robert Hanson, chief executive officer of John Hardy Global Limited, to the Canopy Growth Board. Their leadership and experience will be invaluable as Canopy Growth continues to grow around the world.

About Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a Fortune 500® company, is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Constellation is the No. 3 beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico. The company’s beer portfolio also includes Ballast Point, one of the most awarded craft brewers in the U.S., and Funky Buddha Brewery. In addition, Constellation is the world leader in premium wine, selling great brands that people love, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Black Box, Ruffino and The Prisoner. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila and High West Whiskey.

Based in Victor, N.Y., the company believes that industry leadership involves a commitment to brand building, our trade partners, the environment, our investors and to consumers around the world who choose our products when celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones. Founded in 1945, Constellation has grown to become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio; about 40 wineries, breweries and distilleries; and approximately 10,000 talented employees. We express our company vision: to elevate life with every glass raised. To learn more, follow us on Twitter @cbrands and visit www.cbrands.com.

About Canopy Growth Corporation
Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) is a world-leading diversified cannabis and hemp company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms. From product and process innovation to market execution, Canopy Growth is driven by a passion for leadership and a commitment to building a world-class cannabis company one product, site and country at a time. The Company has operations in 12 countries across five continents. The Company is proudly dedicated to educating healthcare practitioners, conducting robust clinical research, and furthering the public’s understanding of cannabis, and through its wholly owned subsidiary, Canopy Health Innovations, has devoted millions of dollars toward cutting edge, commercializable research and IP development. Through partly owned subsidiary Canopy Rivers Corporation, the Company is providing resources and investment to new market entrants and building a portfolio of stable investments in the sector. From our historic public listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange to our continued international expansion, pride in advancing shareholder value through leadership is engrained in all we do at Canopy Growth. Canopy Growth has established partnerships with leading sector names including cannabis icon Snoop Dogg, breeding legends DNA Genetics and Green House seeds, and Fortune 500 alcohol leader Constellation Brands, to name but a few. Canopy Growth operates ten licensed cannabis production sites with over 4.3 million square feet of production capacity, including over 500,000 square feet of GMP certified production space. For more information visit www.canopygrowth.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward‐looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward‐looking statements. The words “expect,” “intend” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward‐looking statements, although not all forward‐looking statements contain such identifying words. These statements may relate to business strategy, future operations and growth, prospects, plans and objectives of management, as well as information concerning expected actions of third parties. All forward‐looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in, or implied by, such forward‐looking statements. The forward‐looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and should not be construed in any manner as a guarantee that such results will in fact occur. Examples of such statements include but are not limited to those related to the anticipated use of proceeds, future expansion and growth, future success, the realization of Canopy Growth’s long‐term strategic vision, the creation of shareholder value, and estimated interest expense and its impact on EPS results. All forward‐looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release and neither Constellation Brands nor Canopy Growth undertakes any obligation to update or revise any forward‐looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In addition to risks and uncertainties associated with ordinary business operations, the forward‐looking statements contained in this news release are subject to risks and other factors and uncertainties, including that the expected impact and benefits of the transaction may not materialize in the manner expected, or at all; circumstances may warrant that Canopy Growth use the proceeds from the transaction for different purposes than stated above; and other factors and uncertainties disclosed from time‐to‐time in Constellation’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10‐K for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10‐Q for the fiscal quarter ended August 31, 2018, or in Canopy Growth’s filings with the Canadian Securities Administration or with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual information form dated June 28, 2018, which could cause actual future performance to differ from current expectations.

CONTACTS:
Michael McGrew, Constellation Brands, Media (773) 251-4934
Patty Yahn-Urlaub, Constellation Brands, Investor Relations (585) 678-7483
Jordan Sinclair, Canopy Growth, Media (613) 769-4196
Tyler Burns, Canopy Growth, Investor Relations (855) 558-9333 ext. 122

IHMA ได้ประกาศการร่วมลงทุนครั้งใหม่ในประเทศอินเดียเพื่อการช่วยเหลือของการพัฒนายาต้านการติดเชื้อสำหรับอุตสาหกรรมด้านชีวเภสัชภัณฑ์ทั่วโลก

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Nov. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — International Health Management Associates, Inc./IHMA Europe Sàrl (IHMA) ซึ่งเป็นบริษัทที่ให้บริการด้านการทดลองและการให้คำปรึกษาให้แก่อุตสาหกรรมด้านชีวเภสัช ซึ่งรวมถึงการพัฒนาของผลิตภัณฑ์ต่างๆ สำหรับการป้องกัน การควบคุมและการรักษาโรคที่ติดเชื้อได้ ประกาศการก่อตั้งของบริษัทในเครือในประเทศอินเดีย (IHMA India, LLP)  บริษัทในเครือจะทำให้ความสามารถของ IHMA ง่ายขึ้นเพื่อให้บริการอุตสาหกรรมการต่อต้านการติดเชื้อทั่วโลก

สิ่งนี้เป็นสิ่งที่ต้องการมากที่สุดสำหรับการต่อต้านการติดเชื้อแบบใหม่ ประเทศอินเดียเป็นตลาดที่มีความสำคัญมากและสิ่งมุ่งเน้นที่สำคัญสำหรับบริษัทที่เกี่ยวกับเภสัชกรรมต่างๆ ที่มีการต่อต้านการติดเชื้่อในการพัฒนาขั้นสุดท้าย แม้ว่า IHMA ได้ทำงานร่วมกับบริษัทที่เกี่ยวกับเภสัชกรรมและการทดลองด้านวิชาการในประเทศอินเดียเป็นเวลาหลายปี IHMA India LLP จะให้ IHMA ก่อตั้งด้วยตัวเองในประเทศอินเดียในการประสานงานและการจัดการด้านการศึกษาเพื่อก่อให้เกิดประโยชน์แก่ชุมชนทางการแพทย์ได้ดียิ่งขึ้น

“ผมมีความยินดีเป็นอย่างยิ่งในการเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของการก่อตั้งบริษัท IHMA แห่งใหม่ และผมรอคอยเพื่อที่จะก่อตั้งชุดบริการที่เกี่ยวกับโมเลกุลและจุลชีววิทยาคลินิกของ IHMA ในประเทศอินเดีย” Dr. Tarun Mathur, CEO ของ IHMA India LLP กล่าว

“IHMA มีความตื่นเต้นเป็นอย่างยิ่งเกี่ยวกับการขยายไปยังประเทศอินเดียของเรา บริษัทแห่งใหม่นี้จะให้ความสามารถและความกว้างขวางเพื่อช่วยเหลือด้านการควบคุมดูแลของอุตสาหกรรมด้านชีวเภสัชและความต้องการด้านการทดลองใช้ด้านคลินิคในภูมิภาค” Dr. Ian Morrissey หัวหน้าฝ่ายวิทยาศาสตร์และเจ้าหน้าที่การพัฒนาที่ IHMA Europe Sàrl

“เราทำงานหนักมากในช่วย 26 ปีที่ผ่านมาเพื่อเพิ่มการช่วยเหลือด้านหลอดเทียมสำหรับลูกค้าที่กำลังพัฒนาด้านจุลชีพของเราในตลาดทั่วโลก  สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวกของเราในประเทศอินเดียจะเพิ่มความทุ่มเทและช่วยเหลือลูกค้า ซึ่งคาดว่าจะศึกษาในตลาดที่สำคัญนี้อย่างมาก” Jack L. Johnson ประธาน/CEO ของ IHMA

เกี่ยวกับ IHMA

IHMA มีการทดลองด้านจุลชีววิทยาอยู่ที่ Schaumburg, IL ประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา และ Monthey ประเทศสวิสเซอร์แลนด์ และสำนักงานธุรกิจตั้งอยู่ใน Gurugram ประเทศอินเดีย  IHMA เป็นผู้ให้บริการที่สำคัญของการบริการด้านการพัฒนาของยาต้านจุลชีพมากกว่า 25 ปี อาคารปฏิบัติการของเราทั้งในสหรัฐอเมริกาและยุโรปเป็นพันธมิตรกับลูกค้าในวงการเทคโนโลยีชีวภาพ เภสัชกรรม และการตรวจวินิจฉัยทั่วโลก IHMA คือห้องปฏิบัติการอิสระชั้นนำที่เชี่ยวชาญด้านการศึกษาเชิงเฝ้าระวังและการทดลองเชิงคลินิก เป็นหมุดหมายสำคัญบนเส้นต่อเนื่องที่เชื่อมจากการพัฒนายาไปสู่การพาณิชย์ IHAM ใช้ประโยชน์จากเทคโนโลยีที่ล้ำสมัยเพื่อให้เกิดการทดสอบและข้อมูลชั้นดี พร้อมกับความสามารถในกรอบเศรษฐกิจ การบริการของ IHMA สามารถปรับให้สอดคล้องกับความต้องการการทดสอบที่เฉพาะตัวของลูกค้าได้ นี่คือสิ่งยืนยันเส้นทางความสำเร็จด้านการพัฒนายา การพาณิชย์ และการตรวจสอบหลังออกสู่ท้องตลาด
หากต้องการข้อมูลเพิ่มเติม โปรดเยี่ยมชมเว็บไซต์ของ IHMA ที่ www.ihma.com

ข้อมูลติดต่อ

ติดต่อ
Igael Hamburg 847-303-5003
ihamburg@ihma.com

China to Go On Defensive at ASEAN Summit

TAIPEI Southeast Asian countries are expected to push back gently against Chinese political and economic influence in their region, edging instead toward Western-allied powers, when their leaders gather this month.

Heads of state from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, are due to meet one another as well as leaders and senior officials from China, Japan, Russia and the United States in Singapore at an annual summit November 11-15.

China will use the series of two-way and group meetings to promote new infrastructure projects over the next 15 years in developing Southeast Asia, despite growing international concerns of regional nations becoming indebted to Beijing and resentment of Chinese expansion in a contested sea, analysts predict.

Southeast Asian leaders will engage China at the summit but be more interested in infrastructure projects led by Japan and security offers from Western allies against China’s maritime expansion, they suggest.

China can block a so-called China-unfriendly agenda but that does not necessarily mean that China can push through a pro-China agenda either, said Yun Sun, East Asia Program senior associate at the Washington D.C.-based Stimson Center think tank.

Infrastructure projects

Much of Southeast Asia, with a total population some 630 million, has looked to China over the past half-decade for loans and other aid for building railways and seaports. China, the world’s second largest economy, sees these projects as part of its Belt-and-Road initiative to open trade routes worldwide.

While Chinese investment has buoyed the sagging economy of Brunei and fired up infrastructure renewal in the Philippines, to name two examples, it worries some countries because of debts owed to China by the likes of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

In Malaysia, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad cancelled two Belt-and-Road projects in August: a $20 billion railway link and gas pipelines worth $2.3 billion, to avoid any further debt.

I’m not sure whether he’s going to go so far as to try and impose or persuade other countries to follow suit, but I think he definitely wants ASEAN to be more in tune with the rest of the world as opposed to just China, said Ibrahim Suffian, program director with the Kuala Lumpur-based polling group Merdeka Center.

ASEAN heads will also want to know whether China’s trade disputes with the United States will spill over into their region, analysts believe.

But China may gain favor at the summit over the United States, said Termsak Chalermpalanupap, a fellow with the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. China, he said, can also use the event to push for a regional trade pact, something U.S. President Donald Trump opposes as he seeks bilateral deals. Trump will be skipping the event and send Vice President Mike Pence in his place.

I think China will score and the U.S. will lose because Trump will not come and he will send Pence, who doesn’t know much about ASEAN, Chalermpalanupap said.

South China Sea dispute

Southeast Asian leaders will pay attention to any offers from Japan to help with infrastructure as well as security in the South China Sea, said Stephen Nagy, senior associate politics and international studies professor at International Christian University in Tokyo.

He expects Japanese summit delegates to talk about development aid, high quality infrastructure and transparent lending, the latter in direct contrast with Belt-and-Road deals.

Japan, backed by the United States, will also find enthusiasm at the summit for its effort to keep the South China Sea free and open, Nagy said.

That position goes against China’s, that about 90 percent of the ocean falls under its flag despite competing claims from four Southeast Asian countries. Past Japanese efforts to keep the sea open include naval expeditions and arms sales to Southeast Asian governments.

There’s nothing being really discussed that’s controversial, for example territorial disputes in South China Sea, which means there’s much more likelihood for a consensus on some of the basic principles that free and open Pacific are based on, Nagy said.

ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam claim parts of the South China Sea, overlapping tracts controlled by more militarily powerful China. The 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea is prized for fisheries, fuel reserves and commercial shipping lanes. Over the past 10 years China has landfilled parts of the sea for military infrastructure.

China and ASEAN agreed last year to negotiate a code of conduct for avoiding mishaps at sea, but ASEAN now feels frustrated with the progress since then, Sun said.

Source: Voice of America

UN: 486 Million Still Hungry in Asia, Progress Stalled

BANGKOK Despite rapid economic growth, the Asia-Pacific region has nearly a half billion people who go hungry as progress stalls in improving food security and basic living conditions, a United Nations report said Friday.

Even in relatively well-to-do cities like Bangkok and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, poor families cannot afford enough good food for their children, often with devastating long-term consequences for their health and future productivity, says the report compiled by the Food and Agricultural Organization and three other U.N. agencies.

In Bangkok, more than a third of children were not receiving an adequate diet as of 2017, the report said. In Pakistan only 4 percent of children were getting a minimally acceptable diet, it said, citing a government survey.

To be able to meet a goal of reaching zero hunger in the region by 2030, 110,000 people need to be lifted out of hunger and malnutrition every single day, said the FAO’s regional director-general, Kundhavi Kadiresan.

After all those years of gains in fighting hunger and malnutrition in Asia and the Pacific we now find ourselves at a virtual standstill, she said. We have to pick up the pace.

More malnourished

Meanwhile, the number of malnourished people in the region has begun to rise, especially in East and Southeast Asia, with almost no improvement in the past several years.

In the longer term, rates of malnutrition did fall from nearly 18 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2017, but hunger-related stunting that causes permanent impairment is worsening because of food insecurity and inadequate sanitation, with 79 million children younger than 5 across the region affected, the report said.

The high risks also are reflected in the prevalence in wasting among very young children, a dangerous rapid weight loss related to illness or a lack of food, it said. The condition is seen most often in India and other parts of South Asia but also in Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia, affecting almost 1 in 10 children in Southeast Asia and 15 percent of children in South Asia.

The prevalence of wasting is above the threshold of public health concern in 3 of every 4 countries in the region, it said.

Conversely, even overweight children often are malnourished if their families rely on inexpensive street foods that are oily, starchy and sweet, but unhealthy and sometimes unsafe.

Clean water, sanitation

The report focused on two main factors that often contributed to food insecurity: climate-related disasters and inadequate access to clear water and sanitation.

Its authors said that providing adequate clean drinking water and sanitation were crucial for preventing illnesses that further undermine health, especially among children. It also lauded efforts in some countries to ensure city dwellers have access to fresh food markets.

In Indonesia, for example, a study cited in the report found that the prevalence of stunting correlated very closely with access to improved latrines. Children whose families relied on untreated water were more than thrice as likely to be stunted if their homes lacked such latrines, it said.

While access to drinking water is widespread it has stopped improving and actually decreased in urban areas, the report said.

Many poor living in Southeast Asia rely on bottled water that claims to be suitable for drinking but often is contaminated. A study of samples in Cambodia found 80 percent of such water contained bacteria and nearly all had coliform, or fecal contamination.

Ending the practice of open defecation, seen most widely in India, remains challenging, the report said, partly because of customary factors. In 2014, the country launched a campaign to end the practice by 2019, increasing the coverage of latrines to 65 percent. In the cities, progress has been faster.

Source: Voice of America

UPDATE – New Cisco Study Predicts Dramatic Change in IT Operations as CIOs Embrace Analytics and Automation

88 Percent of Respondents Identify Investing in IT Operations as Key to Driving Preemptive Practices and an Enhanced Customer Experience

SAN JOSE, Calif. , Nov. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Cisco announced the launch of its new IT Operations Readiness Index revealing how data is transforming the way businesses operate their IT. The Index surveyed more than 1,500 senior IT leaders from across the globe to understand where organizations are on their IT operations transformation journey, revealing a four-step model for IT operations maturity, focused on how organizations handle events they face.

Joseph Bradley, Cisco’s Global Vice President, IoT, Blockchain, AI, and Incubation Business says: “Gone are the days of IT leaders relying on past monthly reports and hours upon hours of manual operational tasks to deliver results in the face of growing infrastructure complexity. Instead, fueled by data and empowered by automation, IT can operate in real-time, be predictive, and rely on detailed data to have a true seat at the table, delivering strategic value for their organization and for their customers.”

Introducing the IT Operations Readiness Index

Today IT spends around 78 percent of their budgets simply “running the business” which leaves little room for innovation. However, there’s a way to reallocate budgets to prioritize transformational activities with some organizations already progressing along the IT operations maturity model.

First, it’s important for IT to understand where organizations are on the four-step maturity model and where they would like to be in two years (see an accompanying graphic at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f74720b7-25fb-4428-b90a-bc78d001f199).

Organizations at higher levels of maturity reported collecting data from more areas of their infrastructure, running more analytics and using automation more extensively. To get “preemptive” capabilities, organizations must be more data-driven by utilizing data indicators to predict events (such as, outages) and automation to make continuous changes and maintain optimal health.

“As organizations advance along the model, they use data to look further into the future,” says Joseph Bradley. “Through analytics and automation, CIOs can evolve from blindly reacting to events—such as outages—to continuously monitoring and optimizing their infrastructures based on predictions of future needs. As a result, they can deliver strategic outcomes for their business partners, with change moving from being surprising and threatening to becoming something to control.”

IT Operations Readiness Index Key Findings:

Operations has become a strategic focus for business success

  • 28 percent of survey respondents’ IT budgets are spent optimizing and remediating IT operations. 68 percent of respondents expected to increase that budget over the next 12 months.
  • 40 percent of respondents said they already rely “heavily” on IT operational data for business decision-making.

Investing in operations drives customer benefits and value to the business

  • 88 percent of IT leaders said their investment in IT operations over the past 12 months had improved external customer satisfaction and 89 percent noted improvements in innovation.

The race to a preemptive model is just the beginning

  • Only 14 percent have reached the highest level of IT operations capabilities, which we call “preemptive.” 26 percent are still at the lowest level, where IT events are reacted to as they occur (“reactive” operations). Yet 33 percent expect to have reached preemptive operations within two years.
  • The most advanced, those with “preemptive” operational capabilities, are twice as likely to perform continuous automation than the least advanced organizations, and more than 50 percent more likely to perform organization-wide automated data collection.
  • Only 26 percent collect data on an ongoing basis; 17 percent use real-time automated analysis. Most activities are still periodic.

AI + Talent = Success

  • 42 percent said AI was the emerging technology that will have the biggest impact on their ability to automate. 51 percent said they use AI to some extent today to improve their automation capability.
  • 70 percent of enterprises currently have a Chief Data Officer, a role critical to orchestrating the use of insight to drive improvement in both business and IT operations. Enterprises employed on average more than 40 data scientists.

Outside vendors are critical sources of data

  • 84 percent said it’s “imperative” to have access to data beyond what is collected internally. The most advanced organizations already use outside vendors for more operational activities (e.g. data aggregation); vendors will become a key source of data, too.

Security is the most data-driven of the infrastructures

  • 82 percent of respondents already collect operational and performance data about their security infrastructure, the highest of any area of IT. Security is the clearest use case for getting real-time insight and control, and the “tip of the spear” for investing in data-driven operations.

IoT is the connection from IT to the business edge

  • 74 percent of “preemptive” organizations gathered data from IoT today versus 59 percent of “reactive” organizations. 77 percent of all organizations agreed that IoT was critical to running their IT infrastructure more efficiently.

When IT operations has the right data, the right insights mined from that data, and the ability to automate operational tasks across the infrastructure, they have the opportunity to differentiate themselves. It’s now time for CIO’s to focus on the innovation side of IT operations.

As Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research said, “In the future, the most successful companies are the ones that have the best quality data, AI algorithms to interpret it and a CDO to ensure quality and consistency.”

Want to know where certain organizations are in the four stages of IT operations maturity? Check out the online self-assessment tool that IT leaders can complete to map their organization against the model and benchmark the maturity score against competitors and peer groups.

Supporting Resources
Executive Blog: (Joseph Bradley)
Transforming IT Operations Report 
IT Readiness Self Assessment Tool 
Services Trends 
Follow Cisco Services on Twitter

RSS feed for Cisco: http://newsroom.cisco.com/rss-feeds

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