Limkokwing University of Creative Technology scooped the Readers Digest Trusted Brand Gold Award for the best private university in country beating over 20 universities at a glittering ceremony held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Readers Digest Trusted Brand Awards now in their 19th year, are conducted annually, with winners voted entirely by Malaysian consumers, providing a genuine market endorsement for topping the polls. Over eight thousand consumers across five market areas in Asia being Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Philippines were surveyed. Consumers were asked to rate the brands they nominated in a six qualitative criteria comprising of Quality, Value, Innovation, Social Responsibility, Trustworthiness & Credibility and Understanding of Customer Needs.
Winning brands in Malaysia are a mix of local and international names such as Samsung, Bank Islam, Limkokwing University, Blackmores, Top & Spritzer. The Gold Trusted Brands Awards were given to products and services that led the polls in their fields, while Platinum Trusted Brands Awards recognise brands that vastly outpolled their competition.
Receiving the most converted award at the ceremony Nermina Serhatic, from the Founder President of Limkokwing’s office highlighted that the University was humbled to be receiving this award for the third time in a row, which was testament that the University strives to be a centre for excellence in all aspects, hence the consumers prestigious recognition.
Tan Sri Limkokwing and the University that bears his name changed the face of private education through creative approaches that fuse industry experience with academic learning. Thousands of young people from around the world have gained a global tertiary education by virtue of the University’s pioneering and innovative education philosophy which is creativity oriented.
More the 30,000 students study at Limkokwing University’s 12 campuses in Asia, Africa and Europe. Its main campus in KL’s tech-city, Cyberjaya alone holds close to 10,000 students, 80 percent of them from foreign countries and is the nation’s ground breaking University with unrivalled emphasis upon innovation and creativity. The University has changed the tertiary education landscape not only in Malaysia but in every country the University has established itself.
Its inspirational ecosystems and global strategic outlook produces 21st century graduates who are leading social and economic transformational across the globe. The University has played a pivotal role in globalizing Malaysian education and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri Dr Mohd Najib Tun Razak, has designated the University as The Global University of Malaysia.
Tan Sri Limkokwing is credited with spearheading the process of reforming many of the world’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector, a vital sub sector of many a country’s education system. His pioneering endeavours in building a strong TVET workforce with high-tech, skill-based training has created generations of young entrepreneurs who are contributing to transforming their nations.
His contributions has been recognised and he has been awarded: Global TVET Leadership for Economic Transformation by the United Kingdom’s globally recognised authority on accreditation of higher education institutions worldwide, ASIC and IVETA (International Vocational Education & Training Association, UK) – TVET UK’s International President – Limkokwing University was declared ‘Global TVET Model University.
In 2016 AISC (Accreditation Service For International Colleges) the United Kingdom based globally recognized authority on accreditation of higher education institutions worldwide, has designated Limkokwing University as the Global T.V.E.T. (Tertiary Vocational Education Training) Model University and awarded the President/Founder of the University, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Panduka Dr. Limkokwing, Transformational Leadership in Global T.V.E.T. Education.
The University is also recognised as Malaysia’s University of Edu-Tourism in recognition of its achievement attracting youths to the country. QS Apple (Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education) designated the University as the University of the Future, the Ministry of Higher Education awarded the accolade University of Innovation and the Malaysian government recognizes Limkokwing University and the University of Transformation. In addition, the University has won more than 200 awards for creativity and innovation in education from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Africa over the last few years.
The University’s award winning website attracts 300 million ‘hits’ a year from 229 countries and territories and the University is now among the Top Ten of the world’s most popular universities on Facebook and Twitter(3rd). ASIC recognizes the University’s successful systematic delivery of industry-relevant programmes across the globe as well as its Founder and President’s pioneering efforts in education.
Readers Digest is one of the best loved global magazines. Since its inception in 1922, the magazine has continued to grow and expand. Each month it is published in multiple languages around the world, with a global readership of over 40million people.
Marcian Concepts have been contracted by Selibe Phikwe Economic Unit (SPEDU) in a P230 million project to raise the town from its ghost status. The project is in the design and building phase of building an industrial hub for Phikwe; putting together an infrastructure in Bolelanoto and Senwelo industrial sites.
This project comes as a life-raft for Selibe Phikwe, a town which was turned into a ghost town when the area’s economic mainstay, BCL mine, closed four years ago. In that catastrophe, 5000 people lost their livelihoods as the town’s life sunk into a gloomy horizon. Businesses were closed and some migrated to better places as industrial places and malls became almost empty.
However, SPEDU has now started plans to breathe life into the town. Information reaching this publication is that Marcian Concepts is now on the ground at Bolelanoto and Senwelo and works have commenced. Marcian as a contractor already promises to hire Phikwe locals only, even subcontract only companies from the area as a way to empower the place’s economy.
The procurement method for the tender is Open Domestic bidding which means Joint Ventures with foreign companies is not allowed. According to Marcian Concepts General Manager, Andre Strydom, in an interview with this publication, the project will come with 150 to 200 jobs. The project is expected to take 15 months at a tune of P230 531 402. 76. Marcian will put together construction of roadworks, storm-water drains, water reticulation, street lighting and telecommunication infrastructure. This tender was flouted last year August, but was awarded in June this year. This project is seen as the beginning of Phikwe’s revival and investors will be targeted to the area after the town has worn the ghost city status for almost half a decade.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed its outlook the world economy projecting a significantly deeper recession and slower recovery than it anticipated just two months ago.
On Wednesday when delivering its World Economic Outlook report titled “A long difficult Ascent” the Washington Based global lender said it now expects global gross domestic product to shrink 4.9% this year, more than the 3% predicted in April. For 2021, IMF experts have projected growth of 5.4%, down from 5.8%. “We are projecting a somewhat less severe though still deep recession in 2020, relative to our June forecast,” said Gita Gopinath Economic Counsellor and Director of Research.
The struggle of humanity is now how to dribble past the ‘Great Pandemic’ in order to salvage a lean economic score. Botswana is already working on dwindling fiscal accounts, budget deficit, threatened foreign reserves and the GDP data that is screaming recession.
Latest data by think tank and renowned rating agency, Moody’s Investor Service, is that Botswana’s fiscal status is on the red and it is mostly because of its mineral-dependency garment and tourism-related taxation. Botswana decided to close borders as one of the containment measures of Covid-19; trade and travellers have been locked out of the country. Moody’s also acknowledges that closing borders by countries like Botswana results in the collapse of tourism which will also indirectly weigh on revenue through lower import duties, VAT receipts and other taxes.
Latest economic data shows that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2020 with a decrease of 27 percent. One of the factors that led to contraction of the local economy is the suspension of air travel occasioned by COVID-19 containment measures impacted on the number of tourists entering through the country’s borders and hence affecting the output of the hotels and restaurants industry. This will also be weighed down by, according to Moody’s, emerging markets which will see government losing average revenue worth 2.1 percentage points (pps) of GDP in 2020, exceeding the 1.0 pps loss in advanced economies (AEs).
“Fiscal revenue in emerging markets is particularly vulnerable to this current crisis because of concentrated revenue structures and less sophisticated tax administrations than those in AEs. Oil exporters will see the largest falls but revenue volatility is a common feature of their credit profiles historically,” says Moody’s. The domino effects of containment measures could be seen cracking all sectors of the local economy as taxes from outside were locked out by the closure of borders hence dwindling tax revenue.
Moody’s has placed Botswana among oil importers, small, tourism-reliant economies which will see the largest fall in revenue. Botswana is in the top 10 of that pecking order where Moody’s pointed out recently that other resource-rich countries like Botswana (A2 negative) will also face a large drop in fiscal revenue.
This situation of countries’ revenue on the red is going to stay stubborn for a long run. Moody’s predicts that the spending pressures faced by governments across the globe are unlikely to ease in the short term, particularly because this crisis has emphasized the social role governments perform in areas like healthcare and labour markets.
For countries like Botswana, these spending pressures are generally exacerbated by a range of other factors like a higher interest burden, infrastructure deficiencies, weaker broader public sector, higher subsidies, lower incomes and more precarious employment. As a result, most of the burden for any fiscal consolidation is likely to fall on the revenue side, says Moody’s.
Moody’s then moves to the revenue spin of taxation. The rating agency looked at the likelihood and probability of sovereigns to raise up revenue by increasing tax to offset what was lost in mineral revenue and tourism-related tax revenue. Moody’s said the capacity to raise tax revenue distinguishes governments from other debt issuers. “In theory, governments can change a given tax system as they wish, subject to the relevant legislative process and within the constraints of international law. In practice, however, there are material constraints,” says Moody’s.
‘‘The coronavirus crisis will lead to long-lasting revenue losses for emerging market sovereigns because their ability to implement and enforce effective revenue-raising measures in response will be an important credit driver over the next few years because of their sizeable spending pressures and the subdued recovery in the global economy we expect next year.’’
According to Moody’s, together with a rise in stimulus and healthcare spending related to the crisis, the think tank expects this drop in revenue will trigger a sizeable fiscal deterioration across emerging market sovereigns. Most countries, including Botswana, are under pressure of widening their tax bases, Moody’s says that this will be challenging. “Even if governments reversed or do not extend tax-easing measures implemented in 2020 to support the economy through the coronavirus shock, which would be politically challenging, this would only provide a modest boost to revenue, especially as these measures were relatively modest in most emerging markets,” says Moody’s.
Botswana has been seen internationally as a ‘tax ease’ country and its taxes are seen as lower when compared to its regional counterparts. This country’s name has also been mentioned in various international investigative journalism tax evasion reports. In recent years there was a division of opinions over whether this country can stretch its tax base. But like other sovereigns who have tried but struggled to increase or even maintain their tax intake before the crisis, Botswana will face additional challenges, according to Moody’s.
“Additional measures to reduce tax evasion and cutting tax expenditure should support the recovery in government revenue, albeit from low levels,” advised Moody’s. Botswana’s tax revenue to the percentage of the GDP was 27 percent in 2008, dropped to 23 percent in 2010 to 23 percent before rising to 27 percent again in 2012. In years 2013 and 2014 the percentage went to 25 percent before it took a slip to decline in respective years of 2015 up to now where it is at 19.8 percent.