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  • SBF to lead inaugural business mission to Bangladesh to explore opportunities in infrastructure and consumer sectors

SBF leads inaugural business mission to Bangladesh to explore opportunities in infrastructure and consumer sectors

  • Delegates will explore opportunities in FMCG and general trade, construction, real estate, energy, oil and gas and education
  • MOUs to be signed with FBCCI and BIDA to facilitate information exchange, and trade and investment opportunities
  • SBF to organise inaugural business forum in Dhaka

7 July 2017 [Singapore] - The Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), Bangladesh Business Chamber of Singapore (BDCham) and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore will jointly organise an inaugural business delegation to Dhaka and Chittagong from 8 to 14 July 2017.

Led by Mr SS Teo, Chairman of SBF, with Dr R. Theyvendran, Vice Chairman of SBF & Chairman of SICCI, and Mr Mirza Golam Sabur, President of BDCham as deputy mission leaders, the delegation comprises 38 senior representatives from government organisations and 32 companies (of which 90 per cent are SMEs) from sectors including urban planning and consultancy, engineering and construction, construction equipment and supplies, logistics, agro business, education, professional services and general trading. More than 50 per cent of the delegates are new to the market.

Bangladesh is the third-largest South Asian economy and has shown consistent annual growth of 6-7% for the past three years1. With a GDP of over US$600 billion, Bangladesh is a significant trading partner of Singapore, with bilateral trade amounting to S$3.9 billion in 2016. In the same year, Bangladesh was Singapore’s 28th largest trading partner and 22nd largest export destination. Singapore’s top exports include fuel oils, automotive diesel fuel, jewellery of other precious metals and non-monetary gold in semi-manufactured forms2. Singapore is a major business hub with an estimated 150 Bangladeshi companies based here. Singapore also serves as a medical, education and travel destination.

Commenting on the mission, Mr Teo said: “Bangladesh is a highly promising market that has not been getting the attention it deserves, and has established both economic and political stability for a number of years. Bangladeshi businesses are familiar with Singapore and attach a premium to our brand name, and it is opportune for our companies to explore emerging opportunities there. From the feedback of Singaporean enterprises with businesses in multiple South Asian countries, Bangladesh is considered as an easier destination to conduct profitable business.”

Mission participants will obtain first-hand understanding of the business environment and will be able to tap on emerging opportunities in their sector of interest. The delegation will also meet with government officials and representatives of prominent businesses such as Partex Group and PHP Group of Companies.

A key highlight of the business mission will be the inaugural Bangladesh-Singapore Business Forum organised by SBF in partnership with The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) in Dhaka. The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Industries, Mr Alhaz Amir Hossain Amu, will grace the event on 10 July as Guest-of-Honour. 

The Forum will see the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between SBF, FBCCI and BDCham. The first MoU formalises the partnership between SBF and FBCCI. A second MoU, between SBF and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), aims to facilitate information exchange, trade and investment opportunities and promote Singapore’s business interests in Bangladesh. 

SBF jointly organised a business forum with BDCham in Singapore in March 2017, which was graced by H.E. Mr Tofail Ahmed, Honorable Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The event was attended by more than 150 participants, many of whom were market entrants seeking export and investment opportunities. A MoU was also inked between SBF and BDCham to better represent and organise the business community in Singapore for more effective cross-border partnerships.

Mr Sabur said: “Bangladesh is one of the youngest independent nations in South Asia. Over the years, a large number of Bangladeshi companies have established regional headquarters in Singapore, cultivating a rich social and business network between the two countries. Bangladesh has a unique culture and business environment, which the Singapore business community will find useful when working with Bangladeshi-owned companies to access emerging opportunities in this country.”

1 Source: Central Intelligence Agency
2 Source: Statlink, accessed April 2017

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