Tourism Operators On A Mission To Promote NSW In China

SYDNEY, March 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Tourism operators from across NSW will travel to China this week to sell the State as a destination of choice to key Chinese travel partners.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said more than 30 NSW tourism operators will take part in the mission, which runs from 22-28 March in Wuhan and Guangzhou, two cities identified as target markets in NSW’s China Tourism Strategy 2012-2020.

“This initiative helps us take advantage of the growing demand from China, with NSW operators showcasing experiences on offer in our State to key Chinese trade partners, increasing their knowledge and awareness of our destinations and products,” Ms. Chipchase said.

“It will also assist NSW suppliers to build and strengthen their relationships with Chinese product managers, and provide opportunities to contract with wholesalers.

China is our State’s top inbound visitor market. In the year ending September, more than 443,000 Chinese visitors stayed 12.1 million nights in NSW, spending more than $1.5 billion, so it’s important we continue to work with the Chinese travel trade industry to further increase the number of Chinese visitors to NSW and ensure NSW remains the most popular destination,” she said.

Destination NSW has invited participating operators to extend their stay in China to take part in a roadshow being run as part of a campaign with China Travel International Guangdong.

“Operators attending the mission have been invited to take part in the Guilin leg of this roadshow, which will visit six key cities within South China to promote Sydney and NSW itineraries and further develop emerging markets,” Ms. Chipchase said.

“This is another great opportunity to show why NSW is Australia’s number one destination, highlighting some of the great tours, activities, accommodation options and spectacular locations that make us a perfect destination for Chinese travellers,” she said.

The NSW tourism operators participating in the Greater China Mission have received support from the NSW Government’s International Business Development Program, delivered by Destination NSW. The mission has been organised by Destination NSW in conjunction with Tourism and Events Queensland.

Participating NSW tourism operators include:

  • AAT Kings
  • Australian Cruise Group
  • Balloon Aloft
  • BridgeClimb Sydney
  • Captain Cook Cruises
  • Choice Hotels Australasia
  • Discover Jervis Bay – Dolphin Watch
  • Destination Tweed
  • Fantasea Adventure Cruising
  • Featherdale Wildlife Park
  • Four Seasons Sydney
  • Grand Pacific Drive
  • Hunter Valley Resort
  • Instyle Chauffeured Limousines
  • JJ Travel Service and Benz Luxury Coach & Tour
  • Lets Go Surfing
  • Merlin Entertainments Group
  • Moonshadow Cruises & Port Stephens 4WD Tours
  • Mowbray Park Farm Holidays
  • Nicks Restaurant & Bar Group
  • Oaks Hotels & Resorts
  • Shangri-la Hotel, Sydney
  • Starwood Australia Hotels
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Sydney Seaplanes
  • Tamboi Queen Cruises
  • TFE Hotels
  • The Grace Hotel
  • The Legendary Pacific Coast
  • The Star
  • Taronga Zoo
  • Trippas White Group
  • YHA Australia

UNICEF Calls for Further Investment in Rural Early Childhood Care Services

Survey shows gap between kindergarten teachers’ level in rural and urban areas

BEIJING, March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — With two-thirds of China’s 90 million children aged 0-6 living in rural areas, findings of a survey on early childhood development, released at a UNICEF briefing, illustrate that increasing investment in the quality of services will be critical to meet the Government of China’s target of rolling out universal pre-school education by 2020. The findings, along with the latest global evidence on neuroscience linked to a child’s brain development, were presented at an event showcasing how important the first few years of life are for a child’s physical, social and emotional development.

Recent global scientific evidence on neuroscience and brain development has indicated that in the first year of life the brain grows at the pace of 700 neural connections per second — a pace which is never achieved again.  By 3 years of age, a child brain is twice as active as an adult brain and fifty to seventy five percent of energy consumption in the first few years of life is allocated to brain development.

In light of these findings, UNICEF globally is advocating for investing in an integrated approach to early childhood development from 0 to 6 years old to make sure that this critical window in life is not missed, especially for the poorest and most disadvantaged children. For a child’s brain to develop, a multi prong approach is needed that provides health, nutrition, education and protection. 

“Early brain development and function is the foundation for learning, behavior and capabilities later in life,” said Professor Pia Britto, UNICEF’s Senior Global Advisor on ECD.  “Investing in early interventions for the most disadvantaged children is the most effective and cost-effective way for societies to ensure all children develop their full potential.”

Elements include: Good nutrition at the right time to feed and nourish the architecture of the brain during the sensitive periods of development. Stimulation and enrichment to spark neural connections across multiple regions of the brain to increase the brain’s capacity and function. Safety and protection to buffer against stress and allow absorption of nutrition and growth of brains cells.

Since the China’s State Council landmark decision in 2010, which called for expansion of early childhood development, national coverage for earlyc childhood are has increased from 35 percent in 2000 to 67.5 per cent in 2013.  This rapid expansion of services has been boosted by the central Government’s commitment of 50 billion RMB to expand pre-primary education in the poorest and remotest part of the country.

“These commitments made by the Government of China demonstrate how important this investment in early childhood care is for the country’s long term development,” said Dr. Xuefeng Chen, UNICEF China’s Education Specialist. “To reach these ambitious targets, and make sure all children in the country benefit, we need to make sure we continue to give priority to building the skills, knowledge and understanding of teachers, health workers as well as parents and grandparents on why these first few years of life are so vital for a child’s longer term development and how through new types of interventions, they can be part of this investment.”

The recent survey on early child care in kindergartens targeting children aged 3-6 years old, conducted in five disadvantaged counties in China revealed the gap between rural and urban areas for young children is likely to expand unless more is done to invest in teacher training and improving standards of care.  Led by the National Institute of Education Sciences and Peking University, the baseline data from UNICEF-supported child-friendly kindergartens surveyed children’s development outcomes and teacher’s competence levels. 

The recent survey on early child care in kindergartens targeting children aged 3-6 years old, conducted in five disadvantaged counties in China revealed the gap between rural and urban areas for young children is likely to expand unless more is done to invest in teacher training and improving standards of care.  Led by the National Institute of Education Sciences and Peking University, the baseline data from UNICEF-supported child-friendly kindergartens surveyed children’s development outcomes and teacher’s competence levels. 



  • To learn more about UNICEF’s work in early childhood development and also to get the latest science on a child bran’s development, please go to and download our new publication Building Better Brains. 
  • To help build parenting skills for caregivers on ways to stimulate, engage and take care of children from the ages of 0-6, the Ministry of Education with UNICEF have launched a parenting APP.  To download it, please go to
  • As part of focus on the first 1000 days of life, UNICEF has launched a new animated video on how important this period is in a child’s life. To watch it, please go to

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

Visit UNICEF China website:

Follow us: Sina Weibo Tecent Weibo

Wechat: unicefchina

For further information, please contact: Shantha Bloemen, UNICEF China, +8610 85312610, or Liu Li, UNICEF China, +8610 85312612,

Hong Kong and Singapore Join Hands in Promoting Autism Partnership Foundation Dress Blue Day to Raise Awareness for Autism

Autism Partnership Foundation dedicates to protecting the rights of children with autism to obtain quality and appropriate education and treatment

The aim of Autism Partnership Foundation Dress Blue Day is to raise social awareness and funding for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Interactive iPAD apps designed for children with ASD are available for free download at the Apple Store during the month of April, starting from April 2, 2015

HONG KONG, March 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Autism is a neural disorder that impairs the communications development in early stage of life.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is affecting one out of every 68 children.  There is no solid data in Hong Kong for the actual number of children with autism.  In Hong Kong, a lot of parents are not aware of their children’s ASD related behavioral problems, hence the delay in diagnosis of ASD.  Some of the parents even choose to deny or cover up the disorders.

April 2 of each year is the World Autism Awareness Day, designated by United Nations General Assembly, to raise awareness for Autism. To support this initiative, Autism Partnership Foundation (APF) launches “APF Dress Blue Day” with aims to raise the awareness about autism, and to raise funding through donations to support all age groups of the affected children and their families in Hong Kong as well as in Asia.  This year, APF will join hands with the Hong Kong and Singapore offices of Autism Partnership to support and promote this Dress Blue Day campaign. 

Autism Partnership Foundation‘s target is to raise two million Hong Kong Dollars this year to achieve its mission in supporting the ASD community.  The donations received from this campaign will help promote public awareness and acceptance towards individuals with autism.

Autism Partnership Foundation would like to invite various corporations and schools to participate in “Autism Partnership Foundation Dress Blue Day” to raise funds for the Foundation.  Individual and group participants are welcome to join us on April 2, 2015 by dressing in blue. The participant who can raise the highest amount of donations for this campaign will be acknowledged and posted on APF‘s Facebook.  Participants are also encouraged to post their “Dress Blue Outfit Photo” on  Facebook page. The photo receiving the most “Like” will be named as the “Best Blue Dress-up Person” and will win a special prize.  To join and support this campaign, please visit Facebook/APF Hong Kong to download the sponsorship form.

To further support the World Autism Awareness Day, Autism Partnership will offer free downloads of two iPad apps – Token Economy and Receptive Colours.  These autism-specific interactive technologies are designed to improve the learning behavior and attention span for the children.

Ms. Rachel Ho, Development Director of APF said, “Due to the limited resources and lack of support from the government and community, children with ASD have encountered immense difficulties in their schooling and daily lives.  We hope the APF Dress Blue Day can optimize the awareness of the public for the needs of people with autism.  Please participate in this meaningful event by dressing in blue on April 2, your donations will be able to help many children with ASD.”

About Autism Partnership Foundation:

Autism Partnership Foundation (APF), a registered charity body (qualified for the exemption from tax under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance) in Hong Kong, is committed to improving the lives of the children with autism.  Through various fundraising initiatives, APF raises funds to generate public awareness and knowledge about autisms and provide support and help for individuals with ASD and their families in Asia. APF is devoted to advocate Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatments and intervention for autisms through community programs of education and research.

About Autism Partnership

Autism Partnership (AP) is a worldwide authority and one of the largest and most established Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) service providers for the autism. Established since 1994 in the United States, AP is run by professional clinicians and specializes in providing one-on-one therapy, group intervention and overseas consultation for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families. We also provide customized school-based training and social group to meet different needs of schools in the region.

Drawing on over 40 years of experience in ABA and treatment of ASD, our premium service is highly recognized by local and international service agencies and government bodies. Dedicated in research and scientific studies, AP has involved in all aspects of seminal projects including development of curriculum and behavioral intervention strategies, implementing and supervising treatment, training therapists, teachers, parents and helping professionals.

AP has over 250 top-notch staff working throughout our international offices in USA, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines, Singapore and United Kingdom.

QT Vascular Announces Acquisition of Novel Technology for Interventional Treatment

— First product will be an aortic valvuloplasty balloon based on Java, a novel technology platform developed in Israel

— Acquisition of Java technology, a strong fit with QT Vascular’s core expertise in minimally invasive angioplasty, will allow Group to capitalize on new market opportunities

— Aligned with QT Vascular’s growth strategy of advancing pipeline products via both organic (in-house) and inorganic (licensing and acquisition) efforts

SINGAPORE, Oct. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Catalist-listed QT Vascular Ltd. (“QT Vascular” or together with its subsidiaries, “the Group”), a developer and manufacturer of minimally invasive medical devices for the treatment of vascular diseases, is pleased to announce that the Group has acquired a novel technology platform called Java, and all associated intellectual property, which was developed independently in Israel.

Our first product in the Java product line is an aortic valvuloplasty balloon for use as a pre-dilatation device prior to a TAVR (Transcatheter Valve Replacement) procedure or a stand-alone treatment in select patients where TAVR is not appropriate. It is designed to be a highly deliverable, puncture resistant device that has proprietary tines which aid in stability and reduce the need for peri-procedural cardiac pacing. Minimally invasive angioplasty is the core expertise of QT Vascular today, and the Java aortic valvuloplasty balloon is a natural extension of the Group’s technology offering to a new therapeutic indication.

Dr. Eitan Konstantino, the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The acquisition of the Java technology will open new market opportunities for us and is consistent with our corporate strategy of maintaining a strong pipeline of high value and differentiated products. With the advent of TAVR, there is now a resurgence of interest in valvuloplasty as a means of optimizing the outcomes in these very expensive procedures. We believe Java’s revolutionary design will allow it to play a unique role as the number of TAVR procedures continues to grow.”

The acquisition of this novel technology platform is in line with QT Vascular’s efforts to grow its new product pipeline in recent months. The acquisition of this technology is not expected to have a material financial impact on the Group’s earnings per share and net tangible assets per share for the current financial year ending 31 December 2014.On 15 September 2014, QT Vascular announced that it has enrolled the first European patient in the ENDURE Trial in Germany. Patients’ enrollment in Germany and New Zealand is progressing rapidly and is consistent with the group’s expectations. The Group previously announced on 24 July 2014, that it has applied for CE marking approval with respect to the Chocolate® Touch, its advanced drug coated peripheral balloon. On 5 June 2014, QT Vascular also disclosed that its wholly owned US subsidiary, TriReme Medical LLC, received notification from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of 510(K) clearance to market the Chocolate® Percutaneous Transluminal

Coronary Angioplasty Balloon Catheter (“Chocolate PTCA”) in the United States, for the treatment of blocked arteries for coronary vascular diseases.

About Aortic Valvular Disease

Aortic valvular stenosis is a narrowing in the heart’s aortic valve. It is sometimes caused by the build-up of calcium on the valve’s leaflets. Over time, the leaflets become stiff, thus reducing their ability to open and close. When the leaflets don’t fully open, the heart must work harder to push blood through the aortic valve and into the rest of the body. Eventually, as a result, the heart gets weaker which can increase the risk of heart failure. In such cases, patients may need dilatation of the aortic valve (valvuloplasty) or an aortic valve replacement that can be performed surgically or through a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure known as TAVR. Aortic valvular stenosis is present in 1 in 8 people over 75 years old(1).

About QT Vascular Ltd.

QT Vascular Ltd. (QT Vascular) is an emerging leader in the development and commercialization of next generation minimally invasive products for the treatment of complex vascular disease. The Company works closely with leading physicians and scientists from around the world to create differentiated devices that improve procedural and clinical outcomes. QT Vascular is based in Singapore with a US subsidiary, TriReme Medical LLC, in Pleasanton, California. The Company was listed on the Catalist Board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited on 29 April 2014.

For more information, please refer to:


(1) Nkomo VT, Gardin JM, Skelton TN, et al. Burden of valvular heart diseases: a population-based study. Lancet 2006;368:1005-11.

Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement are or may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include but are not limited to those using words such as “expect”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “intend”, “project”, “plan”, “strategy”, “forecast” and similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as “if”, “will”, “would”, “should”, “could”, “may” and “might”. These statements reflect the Company’s current expectations, beliefs, hopes, intentions or strategies regarding the future and assumptions in light of currently available information. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, actual results may differ materially from those described in such forward-looking statements. Shareholders should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, and the Company undertakes any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements, subject to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and/or the rules of the SGX-ST and/or any other regulatory or supervisory body or agency.

The Company was listed on Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (the “SGX-ST”) on 29 April 2014. The initial public offering of the Company was sponsored by PrimePartners Corporate Finance Pte. Ltd. (the “Sponsor”).

This press release has been prepared by the Company and its contents have been reviewed by the Sponsor for compliance with the relevant rules of the SGX-ST. The Sponsor has not independently verified the contents of this press release.

This press release has not been examined or approved by the SGX-ST and the SGX-ST assumes no responsibility for the contents of this press release including the correctness of any of the statements or opinions made or reports contained in this press release.

NSA Uses Private Sector Data Collection for Public Sector Purposes: Impacts on Big Data and Commerce

— Frost & Sullivan finds “Trolling” communication highways in the interest of information threatens personal privacy

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The National Security Agency (NSA) now has access to virtually all online and mobile communications, as well as most credit card transactions, conducted in or through the U.S. The NSA is also tapping into the most popular smartphone applications, including Angry Birds, Google Maps, and Twitter. However, the NSA is far from the only entity treading on personal privacy to achieve its objectives; the private sector is teeming with examples of companies obtaining personal user data through questionable means and deploying it in even more questionable ways.

Frost & Sullivan’s new analysis, Stratecast Confidential: The Impact of the NSA on the Big Data Market – and Global Communications, finds that the NSA obtains information related to 99 percent of the calls placed within or outside the U.S. This is because even when calls originate with another operator, they are carried, at least in part, over equipment owned by the U.S.-based carriers whose data the NSA obtains. The research goes on to analyze the issues and impacts resulting from the actions of the NSA, as well as commercial and research entities, both on the populace at large and particularly on the Big Data market.

For complimentary access to more information on this research, please visit:

“Since electronic communications are the lifeblood of commercial activities, the fact that the NSA is collecting data from companies in the private sector may begin to have a chilling effect on the U.S. economy,” said the report’s author, Jeff Cotrupe, Industry Director, Big Data & Analytics, Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan. “Also, by figuratively placing all relevant communications in the U.S. on a dashboard for at-a-glance monitoring, the NSA is creating a scenario where an outside entity that gained control of NSA systems could conceivably and swiftly do a great deal of damage.”

Stratecast’s research, however, finds that all is not lost, as pending legislation and research advancements from several places, including Harvard’s Center for Research on Computation & Society, provide definitional, political, and ethical answers for a growing controversy that is no longer just technological.

“Initiatives in the private sector and academia may preserve personal privacy,” noted Cotrupe. “If successful, this could persuade data hunter-gatherers across law enforcement, public policy, and private commerce to use applied technology to support things like a healthier population–while ensuring things like the U.S. Constitution are still breathing, too.”

Stratecast Confidential: The Impact of the NSA on the Big Data Market – and Global Communications is available as part of Stratecast’s ( Big Data and Analytics Growth Partnership Service program. All research included in subscriptions evaluates market opportunities and industry trends following extensive interviews with market participants.

* Want to Learn More? – Sign-up for the Live Webinar*

On Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET, Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan will host a complimentary live webinar discussing the impact and issues arising from NSA involvement on the Big Data market.

The brief presentation will be followed by a live audience Q&A.

Click the following link for complimentary registration:

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

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Peabody Energy: Australia’s Repeal of the Carbon Tax Rejects Policy That Makes Energy Scarce and Expensive

ST. LOUIS, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) today praised the action of Australia’s Parliament and Prime Minister in repealing the carbon tax, which has hurt consumers via high electricity costs and damaged the economy.

“The Australia Government’s reversal of the carbon tax is a lesson in leadership for the modern world,” said Peabody Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce.  “We encourage U.S. policymakers to take the same path and reject the Administration’s costly proposed rules on power plants.  Technology, not caps and taxes, is the key to long-term improvement in carbon emissions.”

In turning around the carbon tax, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: “Today, the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone. A useless, destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living and which didn’t actually help the environment is finally gone.”  The government has estimated that the repeal would save families A$550 per year.

Australia elected a new government last year with a mandate to repeal the carbon tax, which has caused an estimated $15 billion in economic impact in its first two years of implementation, according to government estimates.

Nations continue to push back against onerous carbon legislation and renewable mandates that exacerbate energy inequality, raise electricity costs and reduce economic growth.  Europe’s renewable strategy is being pared back, the continent is threatened by Russia’s energy security challenge, nations such as Japan are using significantly more coal, and multiple nations lead the world in economic growth using coal-fueled electricity.

Peabody believes that U.S. leaders can learn valuable lessons in rejecting defacto carbon taxes and onerous renewable standards. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the Administration’s proposed U.S. carbon regulations would cost the economy $50 billion per year.

The proposed rules would significantly increase power prices, costing each American household thousands of dollars over time. A Heritage Foundation study reports the cost to an average family of four at $1,200 per year of lower income and spending power. Low-cost electricity is essential at a time when a record 115 million Americans qualify for energy assistance and 48 million live in energy poverty.

Coal fuels the lowest cost electricity in the United States: The states that don’t use coal wrestle with electricity costs that are nearly twice as much as the states that predominantly use coal for electricity. Coal is the world’s fastest-growing major fuel set to surpass oil as the world’s largest global energy source in coming years.

Peabody Energy is the world’s largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal solutions. For further information, visit and

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Beth Sutton