EC Healthcare Opens New Multi-Service Flagship Medical Centre at Central and Advanced Imaging Centre at Taikoo

EC Healthcare (the “Company”, which together with its subsidiaries is referred to as the “Group”, SEHK stock code: 2138), the largest non-hospital medical group in Hong Kong*, is pleased to announce that the Group’s new multi-service flagship medical centre (“New Flagship Centre”) located in Central and its new advanced imaging centre located in Tai Koo have commenced operations on 31 March 2022 and 1 April 2022 respectively, thus further expanding the Group’s market share in the medical market.

The New Flagship Centre is located at Fung House in Central, Hong Kong Island, with seven new floors with an aggregate gross floor area of approximately 22,000 square feet. The upper five floors of the New Flagship Centre offer services including but not limited to general medical, orthopedics, ophthalmology, chiropractic, physiotherapy and pain management and service centres have commenced operations. The other two floors will be an advanced imaging centre serving as a one-stop medical imaging service hub, which is expected to commence operation in the fourth quarter of 2022.

In addition, the gross floor area of another new advanced imaging centre is located on 6/F of Cityplaza in Tai Koo, Hong Kong Island is approximately 3,400 square feet. After this expansion, the Group operates six advanced imaging centres across the New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, thereby further improving its service network.

Mr. Eddy Tang, Chairman, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of EC Healthcare said, “EC Healthcare has been developing preventive and precision medicine as its core businesses. To fulfill the strong demand for medical services, the Group has established the related service centres through organic growth in an effort to further exploit business synergy among its diversified medical and healthcare businesses. The Group will remain committed to building up an enclosed healthcare ecosystem focused on satisfaction of customers in order to provide quality one-stop services to the customers and consolidate the Group’s industry leadership as a one-stop comprehensive healthcare and medical service provider.”

About EC Healthcare
EC Healthcare is Hong Kong’s largest non-hospital medical service provider*, leveraging its core businesses of preventive and precision medicine, and committed to developing medical artificial intelligence by integrating its multi-disciplinary medical services. The move, which is supported by the Group’s high-end branding and quality customer services, is aimed at offering customers safe and effective healthcare and medical services with professionalism. The Group is a constituent stock of the MSCI Small Cap Index and the Hang Seng Composite Index.

The Group principally engages in the provision of one-stop medical and health care services in Greater China. The Group provides a full range of services and products under its well-known brands, including those of its one-stop aesthetic medical solutions provider DR REBORN which has ranked first in Hong Kong by sales for years, primary care clinics jointly established with Tencent Doctorwork, chiropractic services centre SPINE Central, New York Spine and Physiotherapy Center NYMG, health management centre re:HEALTH, a vaccine centre Hong Kong Professional Vaccine HKPV, a comprehensive dental centre UMH DENTAL CARE, a diagnostic and imaging centre HKAI, an oncology treatment centre reVIVE, a day procedure centre HKMED, a specialty clinic SPECIALISTS CENTRAL and NEW MEDICAL CENTER, obstetrics and gynaecology specialist ZENITH MEDICAL CENTER AND PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS CENTRE, specialists central, a paediatric center PRIME CARE, cardiology center HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL CARDIOLOGY CENTER, PathLab Medical Laboratories, a professional hair care center HAIR FOREST, Ophthalmology Center VIVID EYE and EC Veterinary Hospital and Imaging Center.

*According to independent research conducted by Frost and Sullivan in terms of revenue in 2019 and 2020

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Centre stands committed to buy the excess stocks as per quality standards from Telangana: Shri Goyal reassures farmers

Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Commerce and Industry and Textiles has said that the Centre stands committed to buy the excess stocks as per quality standards from Telangana. Speaking on the side-lines of the ongoing Parliament Session, Shri Goyal said that the Telangana Government was misleading farmers of Telengana on the rice procurement issue. 

The minister pointed out that in 2014-15, Rs 3391 crore was paid as MSP of paddy to farmers of Telangana. However, in KMS 2020-21, the Union government paid Rs 26,610 crores as paddy MSP to the farmers of Telangana.

“The Central Government stands committed to buy whatever excess stocks are there in Telangana, after their own consumption, in the form of raw rice and as per the quality specified by Food Corporation of India (FCI), as per the MoU with the Centre, as was committed by the state government in writing to the union government,” he said.

He also underlined the fact that the Telangana Government that has not yet shared the amount of raw rice that will be provided to the Central Pool during current Rabi crop.

Shri Goyal said, “I feel sorry to inform you that the Centre has been asking Telangana to come forward on this issue and inform how much raw rice they will be giving to the Central Pool. They have not provided any details in this regard.”

Shri Goyal also briefed about the rice procurement process. He said that the Centre procures the rice based on the consumption pattern and demand of various states. The states after procuring the rice, keep stock for domestic consumption of the state and the balance is taken by the Centre.

He showed the copy of the MoU with all the states including Telangana wherein he highlighted that if the stocks of the rice procured by the state government exceeds its allocation and the TPDS and other welfare schemes, such excess stocks shall be handed over to FCI by the state government. FCI shall have the option to specify whether such excess rice that would be handed over to FCI for Central Pool by the State shall be in the form of raw rice or Parboiled Rice. To meet the overall consumption requirement of the country under TPDS, OWS and type of rice is decided clearly based on the consumption pattern. This information has been given to all the states and accordingly the Telangana Government has written a letter to the Centre confirming that they will provide the Centre raw rice as per the demand in the whole country.’

He mentioned that a meeting was convened by the Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) on 25th February, 2022 to discuss rice procurement. All states were asked to fill a particular format. But, Telangana never submitted the form. The minister also informed about another meeting that was chaired by the Joint Secretary (JS) DFPD on 8th March, 2022 wherein Telangana was reminded again to share the details. 



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Centre focusses on promoting exports of GI-tagged niche agricultural products

In a bid to promote exports of locally sourced Geographical Indications (GI) tagged agricultural products, Centre has been striving to identify new products and new export destinations. 

While Darjeeling Tea and Basmati Rice are the two popular GI-tagged agricultural products of India, which have ready markets across the globe, there is a host of GI-tagged products in various corners of the country which have niche but loyal customers and need to be marketed properly to reach more potential buyers. 

In line with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s call for ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the Centre, through Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been facilitating trial shipments into new markets world wide for products such as Kala Namak rice, Naga Mircha, Assam Kaji Nemu, Bangalore Rose Onion, Nagpur Oranges, GI varieties of Mangoes, GI-tagged Shahi Litchi, Bhalia wheat, Madurai Malli, BardhamanMihidana and Sitabhog, Dahanu Gholvad Sapota, Jalgaon Banana, Vazhakulam Pineapple, Marayoor Jaggery, etc. 

Notable shipments of GI products in 2021 included export of Naga Mircha (King Chilli) from Nagaland to UK, Black Rice from Manipur and Assam to the United Kingdom, Assam Lemon to the United Kingdom and Italy, three GI varieties of Mango (Fazli, Khirsapati, and Laxmanbhog) from West Bengal and one GI variety of Mango (Zardalu) from Bihar to Bahrain and Qatar. Around 30 kgs of a sample shipment of Joynagar Moa, a sweetmeat delicacy from South 24 Pargana district of West Bengal was sent via Kolkata airport to Bahrain.

 Subsequent to the sample shipment, further orders for Joynagar Moa were received from Bahrain. 

In a major thrust to exports of GI-tagged products from Bihar, the first shipment of 524 Kg GI tagged Shahi Litchi was exported from Muzaffarpur district of Bihar to London in May 2021. The year also witnessed the export of GI tagged Banaganapalle Mango from Andhra Pradesh to South Korea.

The Government has placed great emphasis on connecting farmer producer organisations (FPOs), food producer companies (FPCs) and exporters with international business communities to create an export hub in Varanasi, especially for GI-tagged agricultural products. 

To ensure GI tagged product promotion, a prime location has been identified at the departure area of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi. In June 2021, the season’s first shipment of 1048 kg GI Tagged Malihabadi Dusseheri Mango was exported from Lucknow to the United Kingdom and UAE.

To promote the unique GI Products from the North Eastern Region such as Manipur Black Rice (Chak-Hao), Manipur Kachai Lemon, Mizo Chilli, Arunachal Orange, Meghalaya Khasi Mandarin, Assam Kaji Nemu, Karbi Anglong Ginger, Joha Rice, and Tripura Queen Pineapple, Centre through APEDA has been organising buyer-seller meets, conducting awareness and capacity building workshops with the participation of representatives of the NER States, FPOs/FPCs, Exporters, Associations, and Government Departments such as Indian Railways, AAICLAS, NAFED, DGFT, IIFPT etc.

GI products from other regions included Sangli raisins, Nagpur Orange, Dahanu Gholvad Chikoo, Marathwada Kesar Mango, Jalgaon Banana from Maharashtra, Kandhamal Turmeric from Odisha and Bangalore Rose Onion from Karnataka, Allahabad Surkha Guava, Kalanamak Rice from Uttar Pradesh, Madurai Malli from Tamil Nadu etc.

In 2020, virtual buyer-seller meets were organized with UAE and USA, two of the largest export markets for APEDA scheduled products, in association with the Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi and the Embassy of India in Washington DC. 

The meet on GI products provided a platform for interaction between Indian exporters and importers of USA and UAE. The exporters were informed about the potential GI products for exports such as Basmati Rice, Mango, Pomegranates, Bangalore Rose Onions, SangliGrapes/Raisin, Banana and products of North-Eastern Region such as Joha Rice of Assam, Black Rice (Chak-Hao), Naga Mircha, and their derived processed products. During April 2020 to March 2021, VBSMs were held with potential importing countries such as UAE, Indonesia, Kuwait Iran, Thailand, Bhutan, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, etc., for the promotion of APEDA scheduled products. Special focus was given on export of GI-tagged products. 

APEDA also organized in-store promotional programmes in importing countries in association with foreign retailers such as Al-Zajira Group of Bahrain and Family Food Center of Doha, Qatar. Dispatch of samples of GI-tagged Nanjangud Banana from Karnataka to LuLu Group, UAE was also facilitated to enhance exports.

As on date, there are 417 registered GI products and of them, around 150 GI tagged products are agricultural and food products, out of which more than 100 registered GI products fall under the category of APEDA scheduled products (Cereals, Fresh Fruits and vegetables, processed products, etc).



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BT seals data centre deal with BAI Communications to help deliver high speed mobile connectivity across the London Underground


BT announced the signing of a multi-million pound contract with BAI Communications (BAI), to deliver a core part of the company’s data centre requirements as it works with Transport for London (TfL) to enable high-speed mobile and Wi-Fi coverage on the London Underground.

BAI has been awarded a 20-year concession with TfL to deliver a backbone of full mobile and digital connectivity across London, giving customers uninterrupted coverage whilst on the Tube and within stations. It will also deliver a new full-fibre network to provide London’s homes and businesses with faster internet and better connectivity.

Today’s deal closely follows BAI’s announcement that Three and  EE, BT Group’s mobile arm, are the first to join its ‘neutral host’ network.[i] This will be available for use by all mobile operators and will provide 4G and 5G-ready mobile infrastructure, allowing for seamless upgrades in the future. The infrastructure will also be made available to the Emergency Services Network (ESN), which uses EE’s award winning 4G network.

To help BAI deliver this neutral host infrastructure for mobile operators, BT Wholesale will provide the company with premium data centre space in London, along with high-bandwidth connectivity, whilst using 100 per cent renewable power for all sites. As part of the solution that BAI is building, all UK mobile operators will be able to co-locate their equipment within these data centres, with BT Wholesale operating and managing these sites as a neutral party on behalf of EE and all other UK mobile operators.

BT’s data centres and network are powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, with the Group bringing its Net Zero target forward by 15 years to 2030 for its own emissions and 2040 for its supply chain and customer emissions. This will help BAI contribute to meeting the UK Government’s objective of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Alex Tempest, Managing Director for BT Wholesale, said: “Today’s deal is further evidence of BT’s commitment to boost the capital’s digital infrastructure – helping London maintain its status as a great place to live, work, and do business. We’re busy doing that through the expansion of the Openreach fibre and EE mobile networks, together with our leading wholesale capabilities.

“We’re really proud to be playing a key role in enabling the delivery of this critical digital infrastructure project for BAI and look forward to our relationship building further from here.”

Billy D’Arcy, CEO of BAI Communications UK, said: “This deal marks a significant step in our progress towards delivering high-speed mobile coverage across the London Underground network, with BT’s data centres playing an essential role in helping London leapfrog other major cities in terms of connectivity. BT Wholesale’s services will support our neutral host infrastructure in transforming the experience of customers with all UK mobile operators, providing seamless, 5G-ready coverage that will allow passengers to move around the capital more smartly, safely, and securely.”

The deal forms part of BT Wholesale’s wider Edge Computing strategy, which is focused on bringing new customer experiences to market by harnessing the power of edge compute, BT’s leading 5G network and its innovation and partnering capabilities.

[i] Starting with the Elizabeth Line, opening late summer, as well as some of the capital’s busiest stations, EE’s network will grow across the system, promising continuous, reliable coverage for customers throughout the underground by the end of 2024, and building on the pilot of coverage in some Jubilee Line tunnels, first launched in 2019.

About BT

BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.

For the year ended 31 March 2021, BT Group’s reported revenue was £21,331m with reported profit before taxation of £1,804m.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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Centre secures approval for export of Indian mangoes to USA this season

The Central Government has secured the approval of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for export of Indian mangoes to USA in the new season. Consumers in the United States (US) would now have access to excellent quality mangoes from India.

The export of Indian mangoes has been restricted by the USA since 2020 as USDA inspectors were unable to visit India for inspection of irradiation facility due restrictions imposed on international travel because of Covid-19 pandemic.

Recently, in pursuant to the 12th India – USA Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting held on November 23, 2021, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have signed a framework agreement for implementing the 2 Vs 2 Agri market access issues.

Under the agreement, India and the US would follow joint protocol on irradiation for India’s mango exports and pomegranate exports to the US and import of cherries and Alfalfa hay from the US.

A revised work plan has been worked out, including phase-wise transfer of oversight of preclearance of Irradiation treatment to India as agreed upon between both the countries.

As part of the mutual agreement, India will be able to export mangoes to the USA in the mango season commencing with the Alphonso variety of mangoes by March onwards. Notably, there is a huge acceptance and consumer preference of Indian mangoes in the USA as India had exported 800 Metric Tonnes (MTs) of mangoes to the USA in 2017-18 and the export value of the fruit was USD 2.75 Million.

Similarly, in 2018-19, 951 MT mangoes of USD 3.63 Million were exported to USA and 1,095 MT of USD 4.35 Million of mangoes were export to USA in 2019-20.

As per estimates received from the exporters, the export of mangoes in 2022, may surpass the figures of 2019-20.

The USDA approval would pave the way for exports from traditional mango production belts such as Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) said that this would also provide an opportunity for the export of other delicious varieties of mangoes from North and East India such as Langra, Chausa, Dushehri, Fazli, etc from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.

The pomegranate exports from April 2022. Exports of Alfalfa hay and cherries from the USA will begin in April 2022.



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