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  • SBF launches BusinessASEAN Network to help companies expand into ASEAN

SBF launches BusinessASEAN Network to help companies expand into ASEAN

  • SBF launches SBF BusinessASEAN Network at the ASEAN Conference 2019.
  • Comprising market-focus business groups, the BusinessASEAN Network will bring together business leaders, market practitioners and other stakeholders to work with SBF, with the objective of helping companies extend their footprint into ASEAN.
  • A market core group will also be formed from each market-focus business group, which will support SBF in strengthening bilateral engagement with business communities and government leaders in target ASEAN countries.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019 [Singapore]As part of its efforts to help businesses expand into ASEAN, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) today launched the SBF BusinessASEAN Network at the ASEAN Conference 2019.

The BusinessASEAN Network comprises market-focus business groups – one for each target country – and will bring together business leaders, market practitioners and other stakeholders to connect, communicate and collaborate. Beginning with BusinessVietnam, BusinessIndonesia, BusinessThailand and BusinessMyanmar, the network will eventually expand to cover the other ASEAN countries as well.

SBF Chairman, Mr S.S. Teo, said, “These market-focus groups will help SBF obtain an in-depth understanding of companies’ needs, so that we know how to best furnish resources, including market knowledge, regulatory requirements and business connections to facilitate their expansion into the wider ASEAN region.

Additionally, we hope to foster collaboration amongst local businesses, so that they can work together to collectively offer more compelling and competitive value propositions. A good example would be companies along the same supply chain coming together to offer an integrated solution, which can realise economies of scale and thereby offer greater value to clients.”

For each market-focus business group, SBF will be co-opting committed business leaders to become part of the group’s market core group. (Please see Annex A for an illustration.)

The respective market core groups will work with SBF in strengthening bilateral engagement with the business community and government leaders in target ASEAN countries.

Mr Teo added, “On top of existing business councils set up in collaboration with Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, SBF is also working with our overseas counterparts to build new bilateral business-to-business platforms to strengthen cross-border business collaboration, identify new opportunities and provide feedback to government leaders. 

Over the next 12 months, we target to launch new bilateral B-B councils with Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, and having the support of business leaders with an intimate understanding of local markets will help parties involved achieve win-win outcomes.”

SBF CEO, Mr Ho Meng Kit, added, “SBF’s recent National Business Survey 2018/19 indicated that among businesses keen to expand overseas, over 79% are looking towards extending their operations into ASEAN, making it the most popular region for expansion. It is therefore important for SBF and other TACs to do our part to help our SMEs establish a foothold in the region. The top four countries of interest – Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia – are all in ASEAN, indicating the importance of the region for the internationalisation of our businesses.”

Anticipated to maintain a robust pace of expansion, with GDP forecast to grow at an annual average of 5.2% from 2019 to 2023, ASEAN remains a bright spot in the global economy. With foreign direct investment flows to ASEAN rising to a record level of $137 billion in 2017, experts have projected that ASEAN is well-poised to become the fourth largest market in the world by 2030.

Themed “Transforming Cities, Transforming Industries”, this year’s event is the fifth edition of the annual ASEAN Conference, and brought together some 520 distinguished leaders and experts to discuss the future of ASEAN against a backdrop of rapid transformation and disruption.

Gracing the event as Guest-of-Honour, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing addressed the participants and engaged in a dialogue session.

Mr Jimmy Koh, Managing Director of UOB’s Group Wholesale Banking/Sector Solutions Group, Business Insights and Analytics, shared his views on how banking has evolved towards the Asian model since the Lehman crisis, while plenary sessions covered topics like how smart cities could address rapid urbanisation and population growth, and how businesses can leverage on Industry 4.0 strategies to transform their business.

The ASEAN Conference 2019 is jointly organised by Singapore Business Federation with conference founding partners United Overseas Bank (UOB), Rajah & Tann LLP and RSM Chio Lim LLP.


Annex A




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