Apple unveils plans for flagship store in Melbourne’s Federation Square
US technology giant Apple has revealed plans for a brand-new store in Federation Square, Melbourne in what it says will be a transformation of the entire precinct.
The creation of Apple Federation Square will mean the demolition of the current building, which has stood for around 15 years, with Apple working in tandem with the Government of Victoria to deliver the project.
Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s Senior Vice President, Retail, said: “We’re thrilled to move forward in the planning process for our new home in Melbourne’s Federation Square and would be honoured to call the world-class galleries and museums of Melbourne our neighbours.”
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The whole site will be powered by renewable energy and is set to offer over 200 new Apple positions and several hundred construction jobs.
The store itself is a two-level pavilion design, and Apple is referring to it as its most significant store in the Southern Hemisphere. It will also offer free sessions across photography, music creation, app development, visual arts and more on a daily basis.
Ahrendts added: "Apple Federation Square respects the original vision for the plaza, with a bespoke design concept and extensive landscaping bringing increased opportunities for the community to enjoy this renowned cultural hub.”
Construction on the store is expected to begin in the middle of 2019. It is not yet clear how much Apple is investing into the project.
DBS Bank expands digital trade finance on Contour platform
DBS Bank has boosted its digitalisation extending its offerings on trade finance network Contour to corporate customers in four key Asia-Pacific markets – Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Singapore-based DBS was the first bank to sign up to Contour’s beta network and completed the first fully digital Letter of Credit (LC) transaction on Contour last year. The bank has moved to Contour’s production network to offer streamlined digital LC transactions for customers, to help digitise global trade.
Contour’s network focuses on digitising paper-based trade finance processes which can be expensive and time-consuming.
APAC is seen as a key region for digitisation of trade finance as banks and corporates seek to mitigate risk and enhance cost efficiency, including moving away from traditional paper-based LC processes.
Via Contour, which is also based in Singapore, DBS will be able to provide a fully digital end-to-end LC settlement process for customers in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, including the transfer of electronic trade and title documents – increasing efficiency in the process by up to 90%.
Digitised trade finance builds resilient ecosystem
“Our partnership with Contour aligns with DBS’ ongoing efforts to drive greater efficiencies in trade and unlock strategic value for our corporate customers,” said Sriram Muthukrishnan, Group Head of Trade Product Management, DBS Bank.
“We recognise that digitisation is a powerful enabler to simplify the highly complex nature of trade finance, especially for processes relating to letters of credit. Digitising trade processes is also an increasingly relevant and heightened priority for corporates to survive and thrive in the new normal and will form an integral component for resilient trade ecosystems of the future.”
Contour’s decentralised network increases security as it validates all identities and leverages technology partners to match trade documents to real-time data. Contour also offers a sustainable way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
“The addition of another major Asian bank to our production network highlights Contour’s growing presence in APAC as an industry standard for digitising trade finance documentation,” said Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour.
“DBS has been an important partner for Contour in our work to support Singapore’s position as a key trading hub and has already participated in a number of successful transactions on our network. We’re delighted to facilitate its transition to offering live services to customers in these four markets. This is another important step on our journey to becoming the new digital end-to-end infrastructure for global trade.”