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Bangladesh remains a bright spot for Singapore Companies venturing overseas

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 [Singapore] – In spite of the pandemic’s ongoing disruptions, Singapore companies are keen to expand internationally and execute their growth objectives.  This is according to the latest SBF’s SME International Index 2022, which revealed that more than half of the respondents with business outside of Singapore plan to expand to new markets in the next three years.   

As part of SBF’s FYIstival 2022 South Asia edition, SBF, in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC), Bangladesh Investment and Development Authority (BIDA), Summit Power International, Asia Projects Engineering Pte Ltd (APECO) and Summit Technopolis, held a webinar today titled, “Bangladesh…Reshaping South Asia”, to help companies understand and identify future developments and sectors in Bangladesh that they can venture into.   

During the webinar, which was attended by 70 Singaporean companies and 7 Bangladeshi companies across a range of sectors, Singapore’s High Commissioner to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh His Excellency Derek Loh gave an opening address where he affirmed the strong trade relations between both countries, while High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Singapore, His Excellency Md Tauhedul Islam delivered the closing address. 

The webinar included a panel discussion with Mr Martin Holtmann, Country Manager of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, IFC, Mr Nicholas Padgalskas, Chief Financial Officer, Summit Power International and Mr Rashad Hussain, Director-in-charge, Summit Technopolis, on investment plans, projects and focus sectors for IFC investments and future Special Economic Zone (SEZ) projects. Mr Nicholas Padgalskas and Mr Jaspreet Singh, Country Manager of Asia Projects Engineering Pte Ltd (APECO) also shared their experience doing business in Bangladesh.

Total trade between Singapore and Bangladesh was S$3.75 billion[1] in 2021. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has forecasted the growth of Bangladesh’s economy to be nearly 7% in 2022 and 2023.  

Mr Lam Yi Young, CEO of SBF said, “While borders have reopened and businesses are resuming travel plans, online platforms to help companies internationalise continue to remain relevant. Such online interactions and business matchings are an affordable and convenient options to complement face-to-face interactions. SBF will continue running FYIstival as a digital platform to complement our overseas business missions in supporting Singapore companies to venture overseas.” 

FYIstival was started in 2020 with the aim of sharing overseas market information and hosting virtual cross-border interactions to support companies on their internationalisation journey amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, three FYIstival editions - ASEAN, South Asia and Japan, were held. The various FYIstival webinars were attended by close to 2,200 attendees from 38 countries and achieved a total of 160 business deals. In 2022, there will be three market-focused editions - South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa; and one Cities edition that covers food, infrastructure, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics.  

FYIstival continues to attract strong interest among the business community. Convera is a second time supporter of FYIstival. Mr Sam Fitzpatrick, Regional Vice President, APAC, Convera said, “As FYIstival’s Principal Partner, Convera aims to help SMEs fulfil their internationalisation aspirations through FYIstival by sharing insights to help SMEs in their internationalisation journey. We also work closely with partners, such as Oxford Economics, to analyse data and observe trends so we can provide information that is not always easily accessible to SMEs. SMEs that can embrace agility and pivot their strategies to adapt to market challenges will thrive, not just survive.” 

[1] Statistics obtained from Enterprise Singapore Statlink. 

Annex: Factsheet on FYIstival  

Background to FYIstival 

FYIstival (pronounced as “festival”) was designed by Singapore Business Federation in 2020 to overcome the restrictions of overseas business development during COVID-19 pandemic.  

FYIstival is Singapore Business Federation’s (SBF) premier digital space designed for sharing overseas market information and hosting virtual cross-border interactions for companies on their journey of internationalisation. 

FYIstival is designed to deliver three values to businesses with the following features:

  1. For Your Inspiration – live webinars that aim to inspire participants with opportunities and success stories; 
  2. For Your Information – briefs, articles, and reports that provide visitors with markets-related material for offline reading;  
  3. For Your Interaction – business matching sessions and clinics, group chats with fellow FYInsiders; and 

All strung together For Your Internationalisation – assistance provided by SBF under the [email protected] programme. 

The first edition of FYIstival was the African Edition 2020, held from August to November 2020, which engaged more than 50 speakers, and brought close to 800 unique visitors together across 7 webinars. Our inaugural effort to introduce this concept was also supported by 20 leading organisations, including private firms, trade associations and chambers, embassies and trade promotion boards.  

A Community for Continued Engagements 

Through FYIstival, SBF aims to foster the growth of an international digital community that Singapore businesses can participate in, interact with fellow businesses from the region, and expand their internationalisation horizons.  

For more information, visit https://www.fyistival.com/ 


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