Connect with us

News

ADB $380 Million Loan to Improve Roads in Mindanao, Philippines

Published

on

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $380 million loan to help the Philippine government strengthen the road network and spur economic development in Mindanao, the country’s second largest island with about 20 million people.

The Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project, ADB’s biggest infrastructure investment in the island region, seeks to improve about 280 kilometers (km) of national roads and bridges in Mindanao.

The project, which is also the first Mindanao-specific loan granted by ADB in 16 years, will help the transport system better deal with the effects of climate change through features such as elevated pavements, enhanced slope protection, and better drainage. It will benefit women by improving their access to basic infrastructure, social services, and economic or financial resources or opportunities. Communities will also benefit from road safety awareness campaigns to be conducted under the project. All project roads will be geotagged with information accessible on the Internet, so the public can monitor road investment projects throughout the project life cycle, including procurement and construction. 

Additionally, the assistance will help finance the detailed design of 300 km of national highways in Mindanao, which will be constructed through other projects. Institutionally, it will help the Department of Public Works and Highways improve the long-term planning, fiscal accountability, and human resource management in the transport sector in Mindanao and the rest of the country.

The total project cost is estimated at $503 million, with the Government of the Philippines contributing $123 million.

“Improving roads in Mindanao will support the development of economic opportunities in areas such as agribusiness, ecotourism, and logistics, and improve access to markets, jobs, education, and health facilities,” said Jeffrey Miller, Principal Transport Specialist at ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

Efficient road transport is crucial for the Philippines’ economic growth, but the sector has not kept up with population growth. About 23% of the national road network is in poor condition, due to various reasons including inadequate funding, lack of maintenance, and the impact of climate change, such as flooding.

Mindanao’s road network is less developed than the national average, with only 70% of the roads paved, compared with 82% in Luzon and 89% in the Visayas. Despite its rich natural resources, Mindanao also has the highest poverty incidence among the Philippines’ three island groups at 32%, largely because of civil conflict and low economic growth.

The “Build, Build, Build” program, the centerpiece of President Rodrigo Duterte’s 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda, aims to increase public investment and accelerate infrastructure delivery. Public spending on infrastructure is expected to reach 7.4% of the country’s gross domestic product by 2022, up from the 5.3% target in 2017.

ADB has been providing comprehensive support to the government to implement and manage sophisticated public works projects. The project will help link the island—economically and physically—to other parts of the Philippines and support the government’s effort to develop Mindanao’s economy, reduce poverty, and achieve high, inclusive, and sustainable growth. The project will also contribute to and benefit from the development of the Greater Sulu Sulawesi Corridor, which encompasses Mindanao, in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Growth Area.

Continue Reading
Comments

Development

Leading Thinkers to Meet in Dubai for Great Narrative Meeting

Published

on

The World Economic Forum and the Government of the United Arab Emirates will host the Great Narrative meeting in Dubai on 11-12 November 2021.

The Great Narrative meeting is a linchpin of the Great Narrative initiative, a collaborative effort of the world’s leading thinkers to fashion longer-term perspectives and co-create a narrative that can help guide the creation of a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable vision for our collective future.

Top thinkers from a variety of geographies and disciplines – including futurists, scientists and philosophers – will contribute fresh ideas for the future. Their reflections will be shared in a forthcoming book, The Great Narrative, expected for publication in January 2022.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said: “The pandemic has revealed the acute need to focus on the future and long-term health of our societies. The Great Narrative initiative and meeting in Dubai will be a powerful catalyst to shape the contours of a more prosperous and inclusive future for humanity that is also more respectful of nature. I thank Minister Gergawi and the Government of the United Arab Emirates for their support of this initiative that addresses the unprecedented challenges facing today’s world.”

H.E. Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, of the United Arab Emirates, said: “This meeting in Dubai is an opportunity to have a global conversation around a future we must envision and craft collectively. The UAE welcomes this conversation and some of the world’s leading thinkers to inspire and spur action towards greater humanism, innovation and a future that is replete with opportunity and shared prosperity.”

The Great Narrative meeting, 11-12 November 2021
The Great Narrative meeting brings together top thinkers from a variety of geographies and disciplines – futurists, geneticists, philosophers and representatives of many other disciplines – to contribute fresh and thoughtful ideas for the future.

Continue Reading

Finance

5 Valuable Reasons Why You Should Care About Your Instagram Audience Engagement to Succeed

Published

on

Have you ever wondered about the connection between successful social networking and audience engagement? If you are trying to impact your business using Instagram, it is time to understand the importance of having a loyal and active target audience demographic. Instagram is a social site that runs on the principles of building virtual communities. Hence among other determiners, the platform’s algorithms consider each user’s interactions and communication habits to determine visibility and reach for their posts.

Often you may need to boost your content visibility and buy Socialboss likes to get on the Explore page or build a positive online reputation. Both the app’s algorithm and social proof will help you grab a wider audience’s attention. Further, it all depends on the quality content and your active participation in building relationships with an interested audience. Audience communication is therefore crucial for the site’s algorithms to work in favor of your business profile. The right kind of audience can do wonders for building your brand presence.

Let us understand how your followers and visitors contribute to your engagement rates on Instagram first.

What Types of Audience Engagement Can You Expect on Instagram?

Audience engagement transforms followers and visitors from being mere spectators into active participants of your content creation. It forged both physical and emotional bonds between clients and companies. One reason why Instagram is a popular choice for brand building is that brands can be reached directly and at the tap of a button by existing and potential clients. While many platforms are available for the mere act of broadcasting and showcasing one’s products and services, few can allow this kind of interactive engagement experience to all its uses. The site is based on two-way communication ideals. Regardless of the nature of your business, engaging with your audience is vital for surviving the highly competitive environment both online and offline. Hence, a company is likely to market itself more successfully on this site if it is willing to:

  • Listen to what the customers have to say.
  • Respond to issues, queries, and ideas.
  • Have conversations with fellow IG users.
  • Be an active participant of communities related to its industry.
  • Humanize itself and be accessible to all on the platform.

With several paid social signal services available, one can have bot engagements and organic engagement with other account holders on Instagram. Engagement that comes from a real audience in real-time is far more effective in yielding the desired results. Basedon how an account presents itself on Instagram, it can generate:

  1. Directly apparent engagement

This is the engagement that you can see in the form of likes, comments, saves, and shares. Comments and DMs that are left on your posts, reels, stories, or IGTV content also count as directly apparent engagement. Most of these are counted by Instagram Insights and you can check these analytics as part of your business profile’s freely accessible features. Often professional accounts invest in paid signals that add to these counters to boost engagement rates. This engagement can improve your overall Instagram presence and even bring in direct conversions and sales.

social-media
Photo: camilo jimenez/Unsplash

This is the engagement that you can see in likes, comments, saves, and shares. Comments and DMs left on your posts, reels, Stories, or IGTV content also count as directly apparent engagement. Most of these are counted by Instagram Insights, and you can check these analytics as part of your business profile’s freely accessible features. Often professional accounts invest in paid signals that add to these counters to boost engagement rates. This engagement can improve your overall Instagram presence and even bring in direct conversions and sales.

  • Engagement directed towards micro-goals

This is the marketing tactic used to deliberately boost engagement rates while creating meaningful relations vital for one’s business. It is crucial to communicate with every follower as a brand, but this may not always be possible. You may have to turn on auto-posting, auto comments, and automated replies to keep the engagement rate of your profile running. However, there are some communication channels that you must keep away from using bots. This includes conversing with influencers and collaborators, members from one’s niche community as well as important clients.

  • Indirect engagement that improves your social score

This is what happens when you find mentions and are reviewed without an actual tag to your account. Although conversations stemming from this kind of engagement reflect more on account of the user making the mention, genuinely interested participants are usually inclined to search view and engage with your profile based on the social proof the said conversation brings to your brand.

The question to ask now is why these types of engagement are essential to your business marketing strategy are? In short, audience engagement is the key to intelligent digital marketing, especially on social media sites like Instagram. It is directly proportional to your ability to broaden your audience pool and visibility rates on the site.

Here Are Five Most Important Reasons Why You Should Care About Your Audience Engagement on Instagram

  1. Audience engagement is a means of enhancing social proof

You can access the acceptance quotient of your brand in the market from the engagement rates your content generates. You understand how your brand is perceived, what the audience expects from your company, and who interacts with your brand’s account the most. You also get to observe what about your business is least accepted by your target audience. This helps you plan future changes and marketing strategies that will work in your favor as a company. When you understand what the audience thinks of your brand, it is easier for you to concentrate on how to build up your brand’s authenticity and reliability quotient. Trust and credibility are crucial for brand building both online and offline. Building audience engagement on Instagram can strengthen your company’s relationships with partners, customers, and casual visitors, increasing their trust in your products and services. The more user and influence social proof you can accumulate, the more likely you will make new visitors trust your brand and its authenticity. When you pay attention to your interactions with your target audience, you will see your social proof being built favorably through:

  • Online reviews.
  • Personal recommendations.

Build social proof by being highly responsive to:

  • Customer queries. Quick turnover in responding to inquiries will help build a clear understanding of your brand.
  • Feedback and opinions. Show your audience you are listening. After all, Instagram is not just about displaying, broadcasting, and selling your ware. It is also about building oneself up as a better brand.
  • Business communication. Be available and responsive to any communication from your associates and allied channels. These could include influencers, content creators, and collaborators, to name just a few.
  • Bad reviews. Good customer relations can help change opinions about your brand as well as its services.

You can build social proof in your favor by asking your audience to:

  • Leave ratings.
  • Mention or tag you if they post about their experiences with your business.
  • Interact with your account for incentives like a discount, giveaways, or any other prize that you can arrange for per your online advertising budgets.
  • Audience engagement helps grow an organic follower count

When your engagement is high, Instagram algorithms tend to increase your content’s reach and impression. Simply increasing vanity metrics by investing in paid signals does not act the same as comments, likes, saves, and real users’ shares. Your reach is likely to be even higher if your posts generate organic audience engagement from a consistent audience pool. The higher your account’s reach, the higher your chances of being noticed by a new audience. This further implies that your chances of having real follower growth are exponentially enhanced, which paves the way for higher audience engagement.

business technology

Having organic growth in one’s follower count is crucial for growing your business presence. Generating meaningful content and forging meaningful communication around them go hand-in-hand for the purpose. You may have a lot of followers but building genuine relationships with them takes time and effort. With natural audience interactions, you can improve your overall engagement rate and share more information of relevance about your business, its ethos, values, products, and services with your audience.

  • Audience engagement builds brand recognition

Audience engagement is all about listening and responding carefully and meaningfully. Having the right conversations with the right audience at the right time matters. Concentrate on improving engagement from your target audience to grow your brand’s identity as intended by your company. Creating great content won’t bring expected attention unless you have the right audience following you, as the content will not genuinely interest your followers. What you need is the right audience demographic to see your account activity and to follow you. Engagement rates typically consider the number of active followers you have, the total followers on your profile, and the various engagement counters associated with each post. Getting real followers to interact with your content can be challenging, but if your company can connect with its target audience, this becomes easier. When you successfully achieve this, your reach increases among the right circles of new audiences as well. This helps organically build reputation and recognition for your brand, which is vital for increasing conversions and sales.

  • Audience engagement helps in determining ineffective followers

This follows from the point above. When you have a considerable number of followers but very little actual engagement in comparison, your engagement rate drops, and your visibility decreases. This becomes detrimental for your business goal as less visibility means fewer conversions and sales. Consistent audience engagement helps identify who your loyal and returning followers are. You can periodically clean out ineffective followers who only add vanity metrics to your account and concentrate on building better relationships with the quality followers you have on your account. This will enable you to make more substantial social proof based on word of mouth and honest user opinions than a large but dormant follower count ever would.

  • Real audience engagement brings profit

When you create shoppable tags or add direct sales CTAs or URLs into your posts, real followers are more likely to follow the links and purchase your products and services. This is because they are interested in being your customers or already have a good experience with your business. You stand to gain:

  • Precise information when you put up polls and questions.
  • Filled responses when you put up links for submitting surveys or emails.
  • Direct sales on merchandise under shoppable tags.

If you want your posts to be visible in the feed of your loyal followers, the best way to ensure this is to maintain an interactive relationship with them. Comment, like, save, and share their posts. DM them, view their videos and Stories, and use hashtags that they are likely to respond to. When the algorithms of Instagram can establish a consistent connection between your accounts, you will find your posts receiving the desired reach and impression. This also ensures they can draw the interactions you calculated. If you maintain irregular interactions with your followers, chances are your visibility on their feeds will drop, and the said audience will soon forget you. It is in the best interest of your business that your account does not fall victim to the out-of-sight-out-of-mind condition most IG users have.  

Conclusion

Paying attention to your audience engagement is a means of maintaining your business account’s overall quality and credibility. You only stand to gain from keeping a healthy audience engagement on your profile. Not only will this help you catch the attention of a loyal and interactive fan base, but it is also the ideal way to build the right social connections necessary to make your brand presence a success on Instagram. Anyone who has an account on Instagram is here with the ultimate end goal of growing their business. For this, your content needs to be able to convince Instagram algorithms of its value. Sustained and quality audience engagement brings that much-needed overall improvement in your account’s performance, making it possible for your content to get noticed above those of your competitors. For a successful brand creating an experience on Instagram, remain active and highly interactive on the platform. Make your followers feel important, and you will see them reciprocate with trust and return visits that will lead to conversions and sales.

Audience engagement holds the key to establishing and growing your business. It is worth all your time and effort to make it an indispensable part of your marketing strategies on Instagram.

Continue Reading

Finance

Cryptocurrency Lending vs. Bank Lending

Published

on

Cryptocurrencies have entered the mainstream, and they are redefining financial transactions. Today, these coins are lent and borrowed. This industry is making waves, partly because the process has many advantages over fiat loans.

Crypto loans, such as the Litecoin loan, have only been available for a couple of years. The only similarity between them and bank loans is that they let people borrow funds. Everything else is drastically different.

Complexities of Bank Loans

You may borrow money from banks for a wide range of purposes, from buying a house to launching a company. The application process is quite lengthy, as the lender must confirm your creditworthiness by looking at your credit score, income, employment situation, assets, etc. To do this, it uses your personal data, such as your Social Security number, bank statements, ID, and proof of employment. Besides,

  • the applicant has little to no control over the terms of the final agreement;
  • the bank decides how much interest to charge you;
  • after the agreement is signed and the funds are received, you have to make monthly payments to pay off the debt gradually.

Centralized Crypto Lending

Crypto coins may be borrowed on centralized and decentralized platforms. The first arrangement is similar to conventional lending, as the platform itself manages the payments.

  • The platform takes responsibility for identity verification, KYC checks, and custody.
  • Usually, a borrower must deposit crypto coins as collateral, and this deposit is returned after the debt is paid off.
  • In case of default, collateral is liquidated.
  • At least one fiat currency is involved.
  • The user must still share personal information, such as a credit card number and postal address.

Decentralized Lending

In this system, borrowing is based on smart contracts and is limited to digital assets. Loans and repayments are distributed automatically. Moreover, no KYC data is collected. All you need to do is to connect your wallet, determine your preferences and wait for a lender who will agree to them. The process is faster and cheaper than centralized lending and bank loans. On the downside, customer support may not be available, so novices feel confused.

The Appeal of Crypto Lending

  • Crypto loans have important advantages over conventional forms of lending.
  • They are more accessible, as you do not need a bank account or a credit score.
  • As lending takes place on cryptocurrency platforms, you may earn interest on your coins.
  • The lending terms are more flexible.
  • The costs are lower than bank fees.
  • Sometimes, borrowers do not have to make monthly installments — instead, they just repay their debt in full at a specified time.

To conclude, although cryptocurrencies are viewed as a risky asset, digital landing is actually very secure. Every reputable platform has rigorous security protocols, and it ensures the protection of collateral. Clearly, the pros outweigh the cons.

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

nato nato
Defense41 mins ago

The Future Role of NATO

Norway Today reported on 27 September 2021, “Norway will sign an agreement on military cooperation with Sweden and Denmark on...

Development5 hours ago

Leading Thinkers to Meet in Dubai for Great Narrative Meeting

The World Economic Forum and the Government of the United Arab Emirates will host the Great Narrative meeting in Dubai...

Reports7 hours ago

Economic Recovery in East Asia and Pacific Faces Setback

The East Asia and Pacific region’s recovery has been undermined by the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, prolonging the...

Arts & Culture9 hours ago

Can democracy save the environment?

In 13 short films, each roughly 5 minutes long, Nicolas introduces us to the individuals behind environmental and community-based groups...

Southeast Asia11 hours ago

Vietnam President Visit to US for UNGA Meeting

Following his visit to Cuba, Vietnam president Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited New York to attend 76th meeting of the UN (United Nations) General Assembly and participated in the deliberations...

Finance12 hours ago

5 Valuable Reasons Why You Should Care About Your Instagram Audience Engagement to Succeed

Have you ever wondered about the connection between successful social networking and audience engagement? If you are trying to impact...

Intelligence13 hours ago

The Curious Case of Russian Cyberattacks in India

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the technological shifts have made working remotely a reality for millions of...

Trending