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Appointment of Mr Lee Yi Shyan as Advisor to SBF’s Business Groups

5 November 2015 [Singapore] – To further strengthen the Singapore Business Federation’s (SBF) internationalisation efforts, the Federation has appointed former Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, as Advisor to three of its business groups – the Africa Business Group (AfBG), China Business Group (CBG) and Middle East Business Group (MEBG).

In particular, Mr Lee will be part of a resource panel advising and advocating key business issues affecting economic ties between Singapore and these markets. He will also contribute to strengthening SBF’s in-market reach and business facilitation efforts, given his extensive relationships in the government and business sectors in the three regions.

This announcement was made last evening at an appreciation dinner for Mr Lee. Organised by SBF, the 50 guests who attended the dinner comprised members of the Singapore business community and SBF’s Business Groups. The guests have interacted with Mr Lee during his term with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Mr S.S. Teo, Chairman of SBF, said: “During his years in the civil service, Yi Shyan worked tirelessly to drive Singapore’s economy and champion the growth of our local businesses globally, especially to China, Middle East and Africa. He has also been a strong advocate for the Federation, gracing many of our high-level events. Moreover, he has led several of our overseas business missions to the Middle East, Africa, South America and Far East; thereby paving the way for the business delegations to meet and interact with senior decision makers both in the private and public sector. He has been a true friend to SBF.”

“We are pleased that he has accepted our invitation to be the Advisor to three of our business groups. I am confident that the business groups will benefit immensely from his guidance, extensive network, wealth of experience and knowledge on internationalisation in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and China.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Lee Yi Shyan said: "Surveys have shown that firms with significant overseas revenues are amongst the most profitable, most productive and largest firms in Singapore. Over the decades, I have seen many of our firms grow from startups to SMEs to respectable regional players. Going forward, successful internationalisation is even more important for our firms and economy. Raising top lines with international sales directly raises productivity. It is also the only way to transcend the limitation of our domestic market and to stay relevant amidst intense global competition. I am happy to have joined SBF in some of its numerous overseas trade and investment missions around the globe. We clearly need to build a larger and stronger external economy. SBF and its members can make that happen.”

The SBF Business Groups have been established as platforms to bring together public and private sectors in Singapore and the respective regions for greater synergy, in terms of advocacy, networking and business facilitation, knowledge-building and information-sharing. Much of this is carried out through activities such as out-bound business missions and trade fairs for Singapore companies to meet with their respective counterparts; forums, seminars and workshops in Singapore to update members on pertinent issues and opportunities; business-matching and networking with foreign delegates; and roundtables that provide feedback towards the formulation of policies, amongst others.

These groups are chaired by prominent Singapore businessmen with existing engagements in the markets, who provide insights from the ground and contribute to the Federation’s market-engagement strategies.

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