Inaugural ‘Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index’

HONG KONG, Jul 23, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Standard Chartered and Hong Kong Trade Development Council ("HKTDC") released the inaugural "Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index" ("GBAI"), the first forward-looking quarterly survey in the market that looks at the business sentiment and synergistic effects across cities and industries in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area ("Greater Bay Area" or "GBA"). The index suggests that respondents expect an evident easing of contractionary pressure in Q3 after a challenging Q2 due to COVID-19 disruptions.





(from left) Kelvin Lau, Senior Economist, Greater China, Standard Chartered and Nicholas Kwan, Director of Research, HKTDC at the online press conference of "Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index".



According to the survey, the GBAI's 'current performance' index for business activity stood at 37.0 for Q2-2020, below the neutral line of 50. This reflects the impact of a COVID-related global recession on the export-oriented region. However, the 'expectations index' stood at a much better 47.0, suggesting an expectation of a broad-based improvement in Q3 versus Q2. In particular, the 'new orders' sub-index stood above the neutral 50 mark, reflecting an optimistic view about the new orders in Q3. Although the GBAI current performance index for credit was at 45.3, the sub-components indicate lower borrowing costs from both banks and non-bank financial institutions as well as improvement in banks' attitude towards lending.

Kelvin Lau, Senior Economist, Greater China, Standard Chartered said: "The survey result indicates that companies in the Greater Bay Area expect a better Q3, likely a reflection of the continued normalisation of activity within China, boosted by aggressive monetary and fiscal policy easing. This pick-up is driven by domestic more than external demand, matching the general perception that China is the first country to begin recovering from COVID-19."

The GBAI also includes industry and city sub-indices – by industry, 'innovation and technology' is expected to improve the fastest, followed by 'financial services'; by city, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are seen to lead the way in the post-COVID rebound, while Hong Kong is seen to lag. Among companies that plan to expand to other GBA cities, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Hong Kong are the top preferred destinations.

"Shenzhen proved the most resilient in Q2 and is expected to return to economic expansion in Q3 along with Guangzhou. These cities' encouraging performance may be because these finance- and technology-centred cities provide a base for larger companies with greater sustainability and more cash flow. For intra-GBA expansion, Shenzhen and Hong Kong are favourable because they are well-established core cities with high spending power, and Zhuhai is the closest city to Macau and well connected to Hong Kong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge," Mr Lau added.

The GBAI is compiled based on a quarterly survey conducted by the HKTDC in collaboration with Standard Chartered. Every quarter, at least 1,000 enterprises in key business sectors across the Greater Bay Area provide valuable feedback on a range of subjects, including their current business situation and credit conditions as well as their outlook on these subjects for the coming quarter. The survey also asks respondents thematic questions about what drives their business decisions and plans, and how this might shape the Greater Bay Area's future.

Nicholas Kwan, Director of Research, HKTDC, said: "We are seeing strong policy support from the central government for turning the Greater Bay Area into a global business and innovation centre, by expediting infrastructure connectivity, building advanced manufacturing and modern services industries, and developing a high-quality 'living circle'."

"We expect demand for information on this region to continue to ramp up and the GBAI seeks to fulfil this need by offering timely and valuable insights into the region's transformation, which will better equip businesses and policy makers for future planning," Mr Kwan added.

To download the report of the "Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index", please visit the website: https://sc.com/hk/gba/gba-index/.

About Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index

Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index (GBAI) is the first forward-looking quarterly survey in the market that looks at the business sentiment and synergistic effects across cities and industries in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). In collaboration with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the GBAI is based on information drawn from quarterly surveys of over 1,000 companies operating in the GBA across different industries, including manufacturing and trading, retail and wholesale, financial services, professional services, and innovation and technology.

The GBAI offers a unique look at a range of subjects in the GBA, including current business situation and credit conditions, and outlooks for the coming quarter. It enables investors and businesses to better understand the current business climate, gauge future performance and formulate their market strategies in the GBA.

About Standard Chartered

We are a leading international banking group, with a presence in 59 of the world's most dynamic markets, and serving clients in a further 85. Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, and our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

The history of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong dates back to 1859. It is currently one of the Hong Kong SAR's three note-issuing banks. Standard Chartered incorporated its Hong Kong business on 1 July 2004, and now operates as a licensed bank in Hong Kong under the name of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC.

For more stories and expert opinions please visit Insights at sc.com. Follow Standard Chartered on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: http://www.hktdc.com/aboutus.

Contact:
Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited Gabriel Kwan / Daniel Ip Tel: +852 2820 3036 / +852 2820 3871 Email: gabriel.kwan@sc.com / daniel.ip@sc.com Hong Kong Trade Development Council Beatrice Lam Tel: +852 2584 4049 Email: Beatrice.hy.lam@hktdc.org



Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Greenbriar Comments on Recent Controversy on Social Media

Newport Beach, California, Jul 23, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – The Greenbriar Capital Corp. (TSXV: GRB) (OTC: GEBRF) ("Greenbriar") CEO has been made aware through many direct phone calls and emails of an ongoing controversy in Social Media channel on YouTube which indicated that there might have been rumors about the company.

To make certain for our shareholders, the company would like to clarify that it has not paid any Youtuber for any type of marketing or promotional program, nor has it involved in any sort of market abuse activities. Yet, as the rumors passing by, it might have negatively affected Greenbriar's integrity and success. If further false rumor and claims continue to circulate on Social Medial channels in the future, the company will consider taking actions against such behavior to protect the truthfulness of Greenbriar.

Meanwhile, through translations made to the Greenbriar CEO from Chinese speaking stakeholders, there is a YouTuber offering his massive 100,000+ subscribers an extremely accurate and non-biased description of Greenbriar that includes our projects and our milestones. From the perspective of the Greenbriar CEO, this clip was 100% correct in his independent research, description, and discussion of the projects currently undertaken by Greenbriar.

Aside from the controversy, Greenbriar is moving ahead to construct the sophisticated 160MWdc/80MWac Montalva solar project in Puerto Rico, which will become the largest solar facility in the Caribbean once completed. Greenbriar is very confident the project will expand to 320MWdc/160MWac in the very near future. A sizeable battery storage facility as part of the solar field will enable 24/7 dispatch which is unique in ultra-large scale solar generation facilities. Montalva will provide Puerto Rican citizens with lower-cost, clean and reliable electricity and replace some of the current expensive and dirty oil generation.

The company is proudly building the $200 Million to $400 Million project with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), a leading world class premier construction and engineering company, forming part of the USD $40 Billion China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach) group of companies.

Greenbriar has been informed by its legal counsel Luis Baco, JD, LLM, that the PREPA Governing Board has approved our project and contract and that the contract has been presented to the US FOMB (US Federal Oversight Management Board) for final approval. In 2018 the US FOMB already recommended Montalva to be deemed a critical project to rebuild Puerto Rico. Montalva will provide over 900 construction jobs, an increased tax base and hundreds of millions of dollars of private funds invested to rebuild a new and resilient electrical grid. Greenbriar is proud of this contribution and its existing 12 year non-stop commitment in Puerto Rico. The delays from the FOMB are not based on any material concerns about the project, but rather related to the amount of bureaucratic consultants between the FOMB and PREPA.

About Greenbriar Capital Corp

Greenbriar is a leading developer of renewable energy and sustainable real estate. With long-term, high impact, contracted sales agreements in key project locations and led by a successful, industry-recognized operating and development team, Greenbriar targets deep valued assets directed at accretive shareholder value. Greenbriar and its advisors have closed over $180 Billion in renewable energy projects since 2003 with previous companies.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
"Jeff Ciachurski"
Jeffrey J. Ciachurski
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Phone: 949.903.5906

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of this release. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, constitute "forward-looking statements" and include any information that addresses activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future including the Company's strategy, plans or future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance.

To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/60366

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Episode Six Secures $7 Million to Accelerate Global Growth as Demand for Digital Transformation Increases

AUSTIN, TX / ACCESSWIRE, Jul 21, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Episode Six, a next-generation financial technology provider, today announced that it has secured $7 million of its Series A funding. The round was led by HSBC and includes investments from Mastercard and SBI Investment Co., Ltd., which first invested in Episode Six through its FinTech Business Innovation Fund in 2017.

"Financial institutions and innovators in other industries like healthcare are beginning to realize the constraints of legacy technology, especially given the increasing demand for new products and streamlined efficiencies," said Episode Six CEO John Mitchell. "We have developed financial technology which, via more than 500 APIs, facilitates that next level of configurability for companies looking to digitize their account and payments infrastructure or launch new products and solutions. We are pleased our investors share the same vision of helping businesses bring their offerings into the future."

In the past year, Episode Six has expanded its footprint in three of the world's largest financial markets – Tokyo, Singapore and London, and rolled out its latest technology enhancements, IONIC and Vertices, which allow for unprecedented flexibility and innovation in creating state-of-the-art, customer-centric financial and payments products. With this new funding, Episode Six will continue to grow and expand globally, delivering enhanced technology that powers digital transformation for companies and institutions in financial services, fintech, health tech and more.

"Episode Six has proven the power of its technology in Asia-Pacific, helping us develop digital wallet propositions to better serve our customers," said Brian McKenney, Chief Innovation Officer of HSBC's Global Liquidity and Cash Management division. "We look forward to exploring opportunities for expanding our product roadmap with Episode Six across other markets in the future."

Jason Lane, Executive Vice President, Market Development Europe at Mastercard noted: "Mastercard is committed to drive the digital economy making lives simple, seamless and secure. Fostering innovative banking services is essential for us to realize this commitment. To that end, we're pleased to support Episode Six in its endeavor to expand its activities in Europe."

Currently, 3 million consumers and businesses use products built using Episode Six technology. DLA Piper, a multinational law firm, served as counsel for the Company's Series A. For more on Episode Six's future-proofed financial technology, visit www.episodesix.com.

About Episode Six

Episode Six provides a next-generation financial technology platform for creating innovative and differentiated financial and payments products for consumers and businesses, enabling financial institutions, fintechs and other innovative companies to serve their customers better. Episode Six was founded by payments pioneers with the mission of redefining what is possible in the financial services and payments industries – industries that are increasingly burdened with inflexible legacy technology, which severely limits product evolution and innovation. Episode Six's proprietary, innovative technology was built from scratch and was architected to be future-proofed. It provides unparalleled product customization and on-demand product management capabilities. It is portable and compatible for use anywhere in the world with easy installation, integration and connection facilitated by an extensive and comprehensive set of APIs. Episode Six makes it possible for companies of all sizes to effortlessly design and manage products that consumers and businesses want and need. For more information, visit www.EpisodeSix.com.

Media Contact:
Michelle Mead
Caliber Corporate Advisers
michelle@calibercorporate.com
(888) 550-6385 ext. 7

SOURCE: Episode Six

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Dr. Burkhard Dick Joins the EuroEyes International Medical Advisory Board

HONG KONG, Jul 15, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – EuroEyes International Eye Clinic Limited ("EuroEyes" or the "Company", stock code: 1846), a well-established leading ophthalmic medical group, is pleased to announce that Dr. Burkhard Dick ("Dr. Dick") has joined The EuroEyes International Medical Advisory Board. In the future. He will strive to promote continued medical education for European staff of the Group, foster innovation in technology and raise the quality and service standard of the refractive field.



Dr. Burkhard Dick



As one of the most influential surgeons who pioneered bladeless laser cataract surgery in Europe, Dr. Dick has a renowned reputation in the global ophthalmology community, serving as a regular lecturer at international meetings, such as the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons, the Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft, the Deutschen Ophthalmochirurgen (DOC), the Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft fur Intraokularlinsen-Implanation und Refraktive Chirurgie, and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He has instructed fellows from 38 different countries in state-of-the-art cataract, refractive, glaucoma, and vitreoretinal surgery. In the "Power List 2018" ranking of the world's most influential ophthalmologists by the publication, The Ophthalmologist, Dr. Dick was listed among the Top 20, and he has been in the Top 50 several times before.

As the most influential ophthalmologist in the world, Dr. Dick joined the eye hospital of the University of Mainz in 1996 where he became a professor in 2003. In 2006, Dr. Dick was appointed as the chair of the department of ophthalmology at the University of Bochum and director of the University Eye Clinic, conducting R&D and promoting the cataract and refractive treatment, and leading the team to establish an internationally renowned ophthalmology clinic with outstanding achievements.

During his 30 years of practice, Dr. Dick persistently pursued more advanced and effective surgical techniques to promote the development of ophthalmology medical education.

Dr. Jorn Slot Jorgensen, executive director, chairman of the board of directors, and chief executive officer of EuroEyes, said: "We are excited that Dr. Burkhard Dick joins the EuroEyes international medical advisory board. EuroEyes plans to introduce more advanced vision correction technologies and equipment in the future. Leveraging Dr. Dick's, one of the pioneers in the industry, excellent and rich experience in surgery and R&D, we are confident to enhance the Group's comprehensive strength, promote technological innovation, and improve medical quality and service standards, as well as provide European and Chinese customers with the world's leading vision correction surgery, brings the best returns to our shareholders and investors."



Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Greenbriar Executes a Master Sales and Marketing Agreement with Keller Willams – Paul Morris Forward Living Inc

Newport Beach, California, Jul 13, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Greenbriar Capital Corp. (TSXV: GRB) (OTC: GEBRF) ("Greenbriar") is very pleased to announce that Greenbriar has executed an initial Master Sales and Marketing Agreement with Keller Williams Forward Living and its CEO to market and sell each unit of its $400 Million, 1,000 unit Sage Ranch sustainable subdivision in Southern California upon approval by the California Department of Real Estate.

The 1,000 unit Sage Ranch sustainable subdivision is located 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles in the scenic Tehachapi Valley, a 40 minute drive from a population base of 1 million people and a 90 minute drive from 20 Million people of the Los Angeles metro area.

Sage Ranch is the most prolific environmentally sustainable residential community in California having a virtual zero carbon footprint. Sage Ranch is immediately adjacent the high school, the elementary school and one block from the middle school, and a five (5) block walk to the historic downtown. Solar panel rooftops will be standard and virtually no automobile traffic is needed to reach all major amenities. The beautiful design has been created by the award winning, world class JZMK Architects of Costa Mesa, California. In addition to the world class design, the Sage Ranch design includes nine (9) parks, sports facilities, walking paths and a major clubhouse.

Sage Ranch will bring $300 million of construction jobs and materials to the Tehachapi Valley economy, add $3 Million of annual land tax revenue, add $1.5 Million per month of new consumer retail expenditures to the downtown, and provide $20 Million of much-needed real estate commissions to the local real estate industry.

The Keller Williams Forward Living team will take over the real estate placement efforts with Edwards Airforce Base, the leading aerospace companies including Northrup, SpaceX and NASA, and will assume client care of the 200 plus parties currently on the Sage Ranch wait list. We expect the project to be oversold by delivering much needed first-class housing opportunities at pricing that produce mortgage payments that will rival and often be less expensive than local rents.

Keller Williams Forward Living brings a dynamic sales team led by its principal, Paul Morris, JD who has a Master's in Management from Oxford, a JD from Cornell Law, formerly worked for a major New York law firm, as Senior Counsel at the US DOJ reporting to Attorney General Janet Reno. Paul's true passion for business with a focus in real estate led him to leave his law firm practice in 2003 and focus solely on real estate brokerage and investing. Recently, he wrote a New York Bestseller "Wealth Can't Wait" and continues to train and speak to real estate professionals including being one of only four mentors in UCLA's Entrepreneur and Leadership Development Program for MBA's.

Both as an investor and brokerage owner, over the past two decades, Paul has expanded his portfolio and influence to be recognized as the 64th most powerful person in real estate (2019 Swanepoel 200). He is co-owner and CEO of Forward Management, the 21st largest real estate brokerage firm in the United States (Real Trends 500) with ownership in 10 Keller Williams' offices with 3,300 realtors, more than $7 billion in annual closed volume and more than 9,000 closed units.

Paul brings his passion for real estate investment, sales, and training to this dynamic project and is proud to be part of the team that will deliver this wonderful product to a community that he fully believes in.

About Greenbriar Capital Corp

Greenbriar is a leading developer of sustainable real estate and renewable energy. With long-term, high impact, contracted sales agreements in key project locations and led by a successful, industry-recognized operating and development team, Greenbriar targets deep valued assets directed at accretive shareholder value. Greenbriar and its advisors have closed over $180 Billion in renewable energy and real estate projects since 2003 with previous companies.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
"Jeff Ciachurski"
Jeffrey J. Ciachurski
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Phone: 949.903.5906

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of this release. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, constitute "forward-looking statements" and include any information that addresses activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future including the Company's strategy, plans or future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance.

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Five Advisors With Focus Partner Firm Escala Partners Named to Australia’s Top 100 Financial Advisers 2020 List

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE, Jul 3, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Focus Financial Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: FOCS) ("Focus"), a leading partnership of fiduciary wealth management firms, announced today that five advisors with Melbourne-based Escala Partners Limited ("Escala"), a Focus partner firm, were named to Australia's Top 100 Financial Advisers List 2020. The list is based on an extensive, national survey conducted by Barron's and The Australian's business magazine The Deal, and is a guide to the country's leading wealth management advisors.

Escala was established with the collective ambition to become the new standard of personalized wealth management in Australia. The firm quickly emerged as a leading fiduciary wealth advisor to individuals, families, foundations and institutional investors across Australia, providing them with customized investment solutions through a collaborative, team-based approach. Escala's client relationships are sustained over time through their dedication to highly personalized service and an ongoing commitment to innovation in defining the standards for excellence in the Australian wealth management industry.

Mason Allamby, Scott Carmichael, Steve Collins, Amanda Fong and Ben James are Partners and members of the original group of Escala founders who started the firm in 2013. They each have deep expertise in multiple areas of wealth management, including financial planning, asset allocation, tax strategy and, in Ms. Fong's case, the not-for-profit space.

"We are honored to have such an impressive group of our advisors named to the Top 100 Financial Advisors list," said Pep Perry, CEO of Escala. "They embody the collaborative approach and dedication to client service that are the foundation of Escala and make our firm uniquely successful."

"We are thrilled for Escala on receiving this important recognition," said Rajini Kodialam, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Focus. "Their team of talented advisors are leaders in their field and have been at the forefront of the evolution of the Australian wealth management industry. Their passion for excellence is at the core of everything that they do for their clients and positions them for strong growth in the years ahead."

About Focus Financial Partners Inc.

Focus Financial Partners Inc. is a leading partnership of fiduciary wealth management firms. Focus provides access to best practices, resources, and continuity planning for its partner firms who serve individuals, families, employers and institutions with comprehensive wealth management services. Focus partner firms maintain their operational autonomy, while they benefit from the synergies, scale, economics and best practices offered by Focus to achieve their business objectives. For more information about Focus, please visit www.focusfinancialpartners.com.

About Escala Partners Limited

Founded in 2013, Escala provides objective advice and investment management solutions to high net worth individuals, families, foundations and institutional investors. Escala serves its clients through a collaborative, team-based approach focused on the client experience, a relationship built on trust and sustained over time by performance in line with evolving investment objectives. For more information about Escala, please visit https://escalapartners.com.au.

About The Australia's Top 100 Financial Advisers List 2020 Rankings

Barron's and The Australian's business magazine The Deal rank investment advisers based on client assets managed by the adviser, fees and revenue generated by their business, and the quality of the adviser's business (as measured by factors including the adviser's experience, credentials, client-service resources, and charitable and philanthropic work).

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect Focus' current views with respect to certain current and future events. These forward-looking statements are and will be, subject to many risks, uncertainties and factors relating to Focus' operations and business environment, including, without limitation, uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic, which may cause future events to be materially different from these forward-looking statements or anything implied therein. Any forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Focus on the date of this release. Focus does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any statements expressed or implied therein will not be realized. Additional information on risk factors that could affect Focus may be found in Focus' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Any services described in this release are not intended for United States persons.

Investor and Media Contact
Tina Madon
Senior Vice President
Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Focus Financial Partners
P: +1-646-813-2909
tmadon@focuspartners.com

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates Say They Want Australian Ban on Liquid Nicotine Aborted, Not Delayed

BANGKOK, Jun 29, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Tobacco harm reduction advocates across Asia-Pacific called on the Parliament of Australia to abort, not delay, the planned ban on imports of liquid nicotine for vaping to provide smokers with alternatives to combustible cigarettes. Factasia, a non-profit regional tobacco harm reduction consumer advocacy, said e-cigarettes or vapes, along with other smoke-free nicotine products such as heat-not-burn tobacco products and snus, have the ability to significantly reduce the health risks of millions of Australian smokers.





"This is a technology that needs to be regulated, not restricted and banned. Adult consumers should be able to access a choice of regulated devices and liquids, including those containing nicotine. Underage use should be effectively and comprehensively banned," Factasia founder Heneage Mitchell said in separate letters sent to Australia's members of parliament.

Mitchell made the statement even as Health Minister Greg Hunt decided to postpone the ban on imports of liquid nicotine by six months amid opposition from vapers, consumer groups, tobacco harm reduction experts and even members of Parliament. This means that the ban will now be delayed to 1 January 2021 from the original plan of 1 July 2020.

Mitchell said MPs should instead push for the regulation of e-cigarettes and other smoke-free nicotine products that can substantially reduce the risks suffered by smokers from the tar – the byproduct of smoke.

"Consumers need to be truthfully and fully informed of the life-saving potential of vaping and granted access to a choice of regulated harm-reduced nicotine products which, at the moment, in Australia, they are not," Mitchell said.

"To be clear, there has never been a recorded death from vaping-regulated nicotine products since the introduction of the e-cigarette in 2001. But over the same period of time, more than 130 million smokers worldwide have died from tobacco-related illnesses and disease. They include many hundreds of thousands of our Australian brothers and sisters," he said.

Ines Hage Nebyl from the Office of Tim Wilson MP acknowledged the receipt of the letter from Factasia and assured that Wilson remains a well-established supporter of allowing people to vape.

"In the last Parliament, he was part of an inquiry into the health impacts and regulation of vaping. The committee opposed legalisation and regulation. Tim was part of a dissenting report arguing the law should change as a regulated product. That was his view then. That is his view now. Tim's views have not changed; he wants people off tobacco. Further to this, Tim has expressed his views to the minister on the recent action, and will continue to do so," Nebyl said.

Wilson is among the politicians who opposed the ban on vaping, which they felt would encourage vapers to return to smoking. Sydney Morning Herald reported that 28 Coalition MPs and senators signed a petition opposing the ban on the importation of vaping products containing nicotine.

In a statement on 26 June 2020, Hunt said the delayed implementation of the ban aimed to help the group of people who have been using e-cigarettes with nicotine as a means to ending their cigarette smoking.

"In order to assist this group in continuing to end that addiction, we will therefore provide further time for implementation of the change by establishing a streamlined process for patients obtaining prescriptions through their GP," the minister said.

Tobacco harm reduction advocates said Hunt's statement provided them an opportunity to advocate for legalization and regulation of nicotine vaping in Australia, which has nearly 500,000 vapers, according to some estimates.

Mitchell said Hunt should review scientific evidence showing that vaping is 95 percent safer than smoking, as shown in the evidence review carried out by Public Health England, and is regarded as the most effective method of smoking cessation available to smokers by a vast number of researchers, medical professionals, genuine tobacco control experts and governments who looked at the evidence, including the U.K., the EU, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, the U.S., and recently, Hong Kong.

"The countries listed above continue to see historic declines in the number of citizens smoking as they switch to these far less harmful technologies," he said.

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) said it is time for MPs to reject the ban.

"In Australia, 21,000 citizens die every year from smoking-related disease. We feel that Australians who have made the informed choice to switch to alternative nicotine consumption, such as e-cigarettes, need to be heard by their elected representatives," said CAPHRA Executive Coordinator Nancy Loucas.

Loucas noted that in neighboring New Zealand, the Ministry of Health concluded that the effects that punitive regulation would have on the people who had chosen to move away from combustible cigarettes would be negative.

Other groups have also expressed their opposition to the ban, including the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA), the Progressive Public Health Alliance (PPHA), Aotearoa Vape Community Advocacy (AVCA) and Legalise Vaping Australia (LVA).

About Factasia

factasia.org is an independent, not-for-profit, consumer-oriented advocate for rational debate about – and sensible regulation of – the rights of adult citizens throughout the Asia-Pacific region to choose to use tobacco or other nicotine-related products.

About CAPHRA

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) is an alliance of consumer organizations from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand that aims to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jena Fetalino, JFPRC jena@jfprc.com, +639178150324

Push for Regulation

MPs should instead push for the regulation of e-cigarettes and other smoke-free nicotine products that can substantially reduce the risks suffered by smokers from the tar – the byproduct of smoke.

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Greenbriar Engages Law Firm for Application to the NASDAQ Market and to Complete the Form 20-F Registration Statement for the US Securities and Exchange Commission

Newport Beach, California, Jun 24, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Greenbriar Capital Corp. (TSXV: GRB) (OTC: GEBRF) ("Greenbriar") is pleased to announce that Greenbriar has engaged a national law firm to perform a listing application for a full listing on the world class NASDAQ Global Market Select and complete a Form 20-F registration statement for the US Securities and Exchange Commission.



CMEC and Greenbriar logos



Further to our updates regarding our massive Montalva solar project, the US Federal Oversight Management Board has approved the privatization of PREPA's transmission, distribution, billing and collections functions enabling Greenbriar to be working with a world class energy consortium as a counter-party.

Greenbriar is moving ahead to construct the sophisticated 160MWdc/80MWac Montalva solar project in Puerto Rico, which will become the largest solar facility in the Caribbean once completed. Greenbriar is very confident the project will expand to 320MWdc/160MWac in the very near future. A sizeable battery storage facility as part of the solar field will enable 24/7 dispatch which is unique in ultra-large scale solar generation facilities. Montalva will provide Puerto Rican citizens with lower-cost, clean and reliable electricity and replace some of the current expensive and dirty oil generation.

The company is proudly building the $200 Million to $400 Million project with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), a leading world class premier construction and engineering company, forming part of the USD $40 Billion China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach) group of companies.

Greenbriar has been informed by its legal counsel Luis Baco, JD, LLM, that the PREPA Governing Board has approved our project and contract and that the contract has been presented to the US FOMB (US Federal Oversight Management Board) for final approval. In 2018 the US FOMB already recommended Montalva to be deemed a critical project to rebuild Puerto Rico. Montalva will provide over 900 construction jobs, an increased tax base and hundreds of millions of dollars of private funds invested to rebuild a new and resilient electrical grid. Greenbriar is proud of this contribution and its existing 12 year non-stop commitment in Puerto Rico.

About Greenbriar Capital Corp

Greenbriar is a leading developer of renewable energy and sustainable real estate. With long-term, high impact, contracted sales agreements in key project locations and led by a successful, industry-recognized operating and development team, Greenbriar targets deep valued assets directed at accretive shareholder value. Greenbriar and its advisors have closed over $180 Billion in renewable energy projects since 2003 with previous companies.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
"Jeff Ciachurski"
Jeffrey J. Ciachurski
Chief Executive Officer and Director

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of this release. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, constitute "forward-looking statements" and include any information that addresses activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future including the Company's strategy, plans or future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance.

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

Standard Chartered and HKTDC Launch “Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index”

HONG KONG, Jun 22, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Standard Chartered and Hong Kong Trade Development Council ("HKTDC") are pleased to announce the launch of the "Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index", the first forward-looking quarterly survey in the market that looks at the business sentiment and synergistic effects across cities and industries in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area ("Greater Bay Area" or "GBA"), to provide the latest business intelligence for those who are keen to grow their presence in the Greater Bay Area.



(from left) Standard Chartered's Kelvin Lau, Senior Economist, Greater China; Rose Kay, Head, Greater Bay Area; Mary Huen, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong; HKTDC's Margaret Fong, Executive Director; Johnny Wan, Director, Publications & E-Commerce; and Nicholas Kwan, Director of Research, at the launch ceremony of "Standard Chartered GBA Business Confidence Index".



The index will be released every quarter and is computed from the analysis of more than 1,000 responses of GBA companies on their overall operations, business environment and expansion plan. The index includes five sub-indices which give indications on the business confidence for each industry, including manufacturing & trading, retail & wholesale, financial services, professional services and innovation & technology. It enables investors and businesses to better understand the current business climate, gauge future performance and formulate their market strategies in the Greater Bay Area.

Mary Huen, CEO, Hong Kong, Standard Chartered, said: "We are very pleased to join forces with the HKTDC to introduce the first GBA business confidence index in the market. We believe that the survey will help the public and companies in the region make appropriate strategic decision with economic insight in today's ever-changing market environment. The Greater Bay Area is one of the biggest growth drivers of the Chinese economy and plays a significant role in the opening of China and gives companies in the region full play to the composite advantages of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. It will also help promote coordinated regional economic development and inject new impetus into the diversified development of Hong Kong economy. Standard Chartered will endeavour to expand our business in the region and would like to leverage its talents and technology in finance to develop our innovative financial products and services."

Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC, said: "We are delighted to collaborate with the Standard Chartered again. By launching the first GBA Business Confidence Index in the market, we can assist businesses to formulate timely development plans and capture new opportunities. The HKTDC has signed agreements with the other 10 Greater Bay Area cities to facilitate companies in the region to expand their businesses through Hong Kong's two-way platform, strengthening the city's position as the region's global investment and business hub. Going forward, we will help businesses tap into Greater Bay Area markets by providing them with intelligence, promotion and business matching opportunities through our exhibitions, conferences, missions and more."

As a leading global bank with extensive branch network in the Greater Bay Area, Standard Chartered has been promoting the local economic development and put it as one of its key strategic priorities. Our unique global footprint and business expertise such as Belt and Road, RMB internationalisation, trade finance, bond market, digital innovation, wealth management and sustainable finance can meet the financial needs in the development of the Greater Bay Area.

About Standard Chartered

We are a leading international banking group, with a presence in 59 of the world's most dynamic markets, and serving clients in a further 85. Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, and our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

The history of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong dates back to 1859. It is currently one of the Hong Kong SAR's three note-issuing banks. Standard Chartered incorporated its Hong Kong business on 1 July 2004, and now operates as a licensed bank in Hong Kong under the name of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC.

For more stories and expert opinions please visit Insights at sc.com. Follow Standard Chartered on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.

For further information, please contact:

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited
Gabriel Kwan / Daniel Ip
Tel: +852 2820 3036 / +852 2820 3871
Email: gabriel.kwan@sc.com / daniel.ip@sc.com

Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Beatrice Lam
Tel: +852 2584 4049
Email: Beatrice.hy.lam@hktdc.org

Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com

HKTDC predicts Hong Kong 2020 exports to fall 10%

HONG KONG, Jun 16, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Uncertainties about the length and depth of the economic downturn brought by COVID-19 and the ongoing threat of trade protectionism have led the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to revise its forecast for Hong Kong's export performance for 2020 to a decline of 10%, down from the previous prediction of a 2% fall.



At a press conference today, HKTDC Director of Research Nicholas Kwan (centre), HKTDC Assistant Principal Economist (Greater China) Alice Tsang (left) and HKTDC Assistant Principal Economist (Global Research) Louis Chan (right) forecast Hong Kong's 2020 exports forecast to decline 10%.



"The revision takes into account the latest HKTDC Export Index survey, which indicated that 82% of the 500 exporters surveyed forecast their total sales will drop 10% or more year-on-year," HKTDC Director of Research Nicholas Kwan said at a press conference today. "The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic (64.6%), weak global demand (19.5%) and the trade tensions between Mainland China and the United States (10.8%) are seen as the biggest threats."

Meanwhile, 97.5% of the respondents – up 3.6 percentage points from last quarter – have experienced adverse shocks to their businesses because of COVID-19. These include buyers purchasing less (57%) or cancelling orders (52.3%), delays in product delivery (55.8%) and logistical disruptions (53.1%). In response to the pandemic, 67.6% of respondents had implemented remote-working arrangements, while more than 41% developed online sales channels to supplement conventional sales operations.

New normal
HKTDC Assistant Principal Economist (Global Research) Louis Chan said the unprecedented and overwhelming nature of the COVID-19 outbreak can be a timely game changer to taper the disconnect between words and actions in challenging the status quo, and encourage a new phase of creativity and sustainability, while preparing the global economy for a more resilient and robust post-COVID-19 future.

"Some businesses – including e-commerce marketplaces, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, logistics solution providers, video-conferencing solution providers and entertainment streaming and online gaming platforms – are likely to thrive in this 'new normal'," Mr Chan said.

He predicted the pandemic will accelerate automation, and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technology will become more mainstream as the global economy and industry reboots and tilts more towards digitalisation and automation. At the same time, business-model innovations that use big-data analytics, contactless solutions and new digital channels would help traditional commercial operations – such as restaurants, last-mile delivery, health, insurance, human resources, marketing and product development – undergo digital transformation and survive the COVID-19 crisis.

Export Index stabilises
The HKTDC Export Index rose a marginal 2.2 points to 18.2 in the second quarter of 2020. "This may indicate that the negative sentiment is now plateauing, yet the reading is still well below the 50-point watershed, indicating that Hong Kong's exports performance is not likely to improve dramatically in the short term," HKTDC Assistant Principal Economist (Greater China) Alice Tsang said.

"In addition, the Procurement Index fell by 4.3 points to a record-low of 10.5, with all major sectors dropping further – jewellery (2.0), clothing (9.4), electronics (10.4), toys (11.3), machinery (14.8) and timepieces (17.3) – showing buyers will source less in the coming months," she said.

"Having said that, demand for electronics items related to computers, webcams, microphones and medical applications, wearable tech and smartwatches with health-monitoring functions, as well as comfortable, multi-purpose and athleisure wear are on the rise, while stylish fashion jewellery and design pieces and wedding items may also perform better," Ms Tsang analysed.

Trade tensions back in focus
Ms Tsang said exporters remained cautious on near-term prospects in Hong Kong's major markets. Japan (46.5) continued to be seen as the most promising, followed by the US (39.3) and Mainland China (39), while the European Union (35.0) was again rated as the least-appealing market.

"The US is the only market that recorded a drop in the index this quarter, this may be attributed to the fact that Hong Kong exporters had again become cautious on Sino-US trade tensions," she said. "A total of 69.8% of respondents, up 20 percentage points from last quarter, were concerned the dispute would damage their exports prospects."

"Smooth implementation of the deal under the current disruptive environment remains highly challenging," Ms Tsang added.

Reference
– HKTDC Research website: http://research.hktdc.com/
– Podcast: https://bit.ly/37G92uJ
– 2020 Mid-Year Export Review: Double-digit decline due to pandemic and protectionism https://bit.ly/2XZlbaF
– Hong Kong Export Index 2Q20: Exporters Pessimistic as COVID-19 Outbreak Persists https://bit.ly/3cWfD56
– Navigating COVID-19: The Economic Shakeup https://bit.ly/2Uwhw2b
– Photo Download: https://bit.ly/2UOhKS8

About HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: http://www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Beatrice Lam, Tel: +852 2584 4049, Email: beatrice.hy.lam@hktdc.org



Copyright 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. http://www.acnnewswire.com