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  • Tony Chew completes six year tenure as SBF Chairman, succeeded by Teo Siong Seng

Tony Chew completes six year tenure as SBF Chairman, succeeded by Teo Siong Seng

  • In-coming 2014-2016 Council announced

27 June 2014 [Singapore] - At today's 12th Annual General Meeting of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Mr Tony Chew stepped down as SBF Chairman after six years. Eight new candidates were appointed to the 21-strong SBF Council for a two-year term from 2014 to 2016. Mr Teo Siong Seng was elected by Council to be SBF Chairman.

Mr Chew informed the over 200 members present that as he had completed three consecutive two-year terms as Chairman (as provided for under the SBF Constitution), he was stepping down after today's AGM. Prior to his chairmanship, he served as Council Member from 2002-2008, and was a member of the Pro-tem Committee set up in 2001 to help conceive the Federation.

Farewell Remarks by Outgoing SBF Chairman, Tony Chew

In his farewell remarks, Mr Chew warmly recounted how SBF has worked collectively to build the capability of its members and improve the business operating environment, both at home and abroad. "Businesses are spurred to build resilience and competitiveness through our programmes, whilst we contribute to shaping government policies for a more business friendly environment" he said.

Reflecting on the SBF's growth, Mr Chew said the Federation had made steady progress since its inauguration. Its membership has grown from 15,000 to 21,000 today. "Over the last several years, we have achieved major milestones. SBF has seen a steady rise in activities, missions and delegations. It has become a major voice of the business community."

The International Relations Committee set up in 2002 to help members network and venture overseas has spawned five business groups covering ASEAN, North & South Asia, Middle East and Africa and a Sustainable Development Business Group, each chaired by prominent business leaders. To-date, SBF has inked 155 MOUs with business chambers and government agencies across 63 countries. At ASEAN and APEC, SBF continued to advocate for greater regional integration to allow our members better access to a larger and more efficient market.

He reminisced how in December 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis, SBF initiated an important dialogue between leaders of the business community and Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade and Industry to discuss the impact of the crisis on businesses and their concerns over cash flow and business costs. The $20.5 billion Resilience Package unveiled in Budget 2009 helped to alleviate some of the concerns of businesses.

In 2010, he was appointed to the 25-member Economic Strategies Committee aimed at achieving sustained and inclusive growth for Singapore.

The formation of the SBF-led SME Committee in 2011 has provided members, particularly SMEs, with a stronger voice to Government. The SBF has become an effective advocate of business. The Singapore Government has recognised SBF's wide representations, good data research and careful deliberations. The SME Committee's contributions to business policy have been appreciated by Government as well as the business community.

"The Federation broke new ground in 2013 with the launch of several important initiatives. We launched theSBF Foundation, established the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies and inaugurated the SBF Business Institute. A significant proportion of the 33 recommendations to the Minister for Finance by the SBF-led SME Committee were included in the Singapore Budget 2013. Another milestone would be the opening of SBF's permanent home in late 2016 at a prime downtown development, named the "SBF Center", he added.

Over the years, SBF has seen a steady rise in members' activities, missions and visiting delegations. In 2013, the Federation engaged some 74,500 participants in 550 events and activities it organised and supported, and is receiving more positive feedback from its members of the benefits they have received.
"As I wrap up my six-year term as SBF Chairman, I am leaving the Federation on a high note and in good hands."
"SBF is still a young organisation. The foundations have been laid for the continuous service to Singapore's business sector, and its 21,000 members. Our services - both at home and abroad - have a strong foundation. SBF must continuously grow and re-invent itself, looking far ahead into the future. Singapore must remain a few steps ahead of rising economic and market challenges. SBF will play a critical role in this process" he said.

Mr Chew took the opportunity to thank the Board of Trustees, fellow Council Members, the SBF Secretariat, business partners and SBF Members, for their strong commitment, dedication and support. "It has been an immense honour and privilege to work with all of you, and to have played a part in building SBF as Singapore's apex business chamber," he added.

Vote of Thanks

SBF Vice President and Group President & CEO of Sembcorp Industries Ltd, Mr Tang Kin Fei, moved a vote of thanks to Mr Tony Chew for his leadership and commitment to the formation and development of the Singapore Business Federation.

"During his tenure as Chairman, Tony has built on the foundation of SBF to bring it to the next level. Today, SBF is widely acknowledged locally and internationally as Singapore's apex business chamber. He has given selflessly of his time to shape the Federation's activities, direction and influence. He has worked tirelessly to bridge the private sector and government for a more conducive business environment. His strong member-centric focus has resulted in an increase in participation in SBF activities at home and abroad, including helping members to explore overseas markets. Tony's presence and "can do" attitude will be dearly missed".

New SBF Council (2014-2016)

At today's AGM, 21 members of the 2014-2016 SBF Council were announced. They represent major business chambers, trade associations and businesses that contribute significantly to the Singapore economy.

Among the new Council Members are Mr Magnus Bocker, CEO, Singapore Exchange Ltd; Mr Andrew Tjioe, President, Restaurant Association of Singapore; and Mr Pek Lian Guan, Chief Executive Officer, Tiong Seng Holdings Ltd.

New representatives of the major trade associations and chambers include:

  • Mr Thomas Chua, President
    Singapore Chinese Chamber Of Commerce & Industry
  • Mr Zahidi Abdul Rahman, President
    Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Dr R. Theyvendran, Chairman
    Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Dr James Andrade, Chairman
    American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore
  • Mr Junichi Sasaki, President
    Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Singapore
  • Mr Samuel Tsien, Chairman
    The Association of Banks in Singapore
Election of New SBF Chairman

Separately, at the first meeting of the 2014 - 2016 SBF Council held later that evening, Mr Teo Siong Seng was elected as the in-coming SBF Chairman. He said "I am delighted to accept the chairmanship of SBF. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Tony Chew for his visionary leadership and passion in building a stronger SBF. I would also like to commend the SBF Secretariat, led by Mr Ho Meng Kit, for their dedication and hard work in delivering the numerous activities and initiatives in support of the varied needs and interests of SBF members". 

I will work closely with my fellow Council Members and the SBF Secretariat to build on the good work achieved to-date and take the Federation to its next phase of development as Singapore's apex business chamber".

"I aim to focus on increasing our members' reach to external markets, particularly ASEAN, China, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. SBF will continue to advocate for SMEs and help them through restructuring. Importantly, the Federation will work closely with trade associations and business chambers to achieve these key objectives", he added.

"I aim to focus on increasing our members' reach to external markets, particularly ASEAN, China, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. SBF will continue to advocate for SMEs and help them through restructuring. Importantly, the Federation will work closely with trade associations and business chambers to achieve these key objectives", he added.

Lim Hng Kiang shows appreciation to outgoing chairman and congratulates incoming chairman 

SBF Council 2014-2016 

Teo Siong Seng's CV

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