Singapore, Sunday 4 May 2008 - The Singapore Business Federation co-organised a business mission with International Enterprise (IE) Singapore to Libya from the 5th to 8th May in conjunction with the visit by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. This is SBF's second visit to Libya following the inaugural mission it led in May 2007.
- SM Goh profiled Singapore's business competence at networking session with Libyan business community
- SBF and others signed MOU/contracts with Libyan counterparts
The 19-member strong business delegation was co-led by Mr. Teng Theng Dar, Chief Executive Officer of SBF and Vice-Chairman of the SBF Middle East Business Group (MEBG), and Mr. Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of IE Singapore. The SBF MEBG is a business platform launched in March 2007 to help Singapore businesses tap into opportunities in the emerging Middle East and North African markets. The delegation comprised senior representatives from diverse industries including trading, oil & gas services, shipping, ICT, engineering & construction, real estate, law and pharmaceuticals.
The objective of the mission was to enable participants to gain a first-hand understanding of the overall market dynamics and emerging sectors in Libya. More importantly, the mission seeks to help Singapore businesses establish useful business and official contacts with their Libyan counterparts.
In addition to business information seminars organised by the relevant ministries and government agencies, industrial visits and business-matching sessions, the highlight of the business mission will be the inaugural Libya-Singapore Networking Dinner (LSND) to be held in Tripoli, with SM Goh as the Guest-of-Honour. The LSND is a joint effort of the Libyan and Singapore governments and business communities, with SBF, IE Singapore and the Libyan Businessmen Council (LBC) fronting it. The LSND aims to profile Singapore's business competence and open doors for possible collaboration between Singapore and Libyan companies.
Attendees of the networking dinner also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SBF and LBC which aims to facilitate exchanges that enhance business cooperation, sharing of information, experiences and exploring of business opportunities, thereby spurring bilateral trade between the countries.
Mr. Teng Theng Dar, Chief Executive Officer of SBF and Vice Chairman of SBF MEBG remarked that "As Singapore's apex business chamber, the SBF has been proactively assisting Singapore companies to venture overseas to seek opportunities in new and emerging markets. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a key focus of the SBF particularly as the region's diversification from the oil and gas sector presents attractive trade and investment opportunities".
SBF plays a pivotal role in facilitating Singapore companies' market development efforts into the emerging MENA region. It has led 14 business missions to 14 countries in the region in the past four year's, and has received 40 visiting delegations from 13 MENA countries to-date. More business-to-business exchanges are being planned to drive further collaboration between business communities in Singapore and the MENA region.
Mr Ted Tan, Deputy CEO, IE Singapore noted that "Singapore businesses are generally less familiar with Africa as compared with popular markets such as China, India or the Middle East. Nevertheless, in recent months, Libya has steadily emerged as a market with fast growing opportunities. For firms seeking high growth and rewards, the region holds immense potential in areas such as infrastructure services, environmental services, oil & gas, marine offshore, transport and logistics, as well as tourism. However, the African region also presents a new and complex environment and companies will need good local partners and patience to break through. IE Singapore recently organised a seminar to highlight the growing opportunities in Libya. We were pleasantly surprised by the better-than-expected turnout of Singapore companies. We will continue to assist companies who are interested to pursue business opportunities in Libya and the African region."
Business Mission to Libya (18-23 May 2007)
SBF with the support of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, organised a business mission to Libya (Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) in May 2007, in conjunction with the official visit by Foreign Minister George Yeo to the country. Libya is an energy-rich market, recently opened to the world after years of sanctions for alleged sponsorship of terrorism activities. This business mission was organised as a market study and exploratory trip for Singaporean businessmen to better understand the business conditions, state of economic development and opportunities within this new market.
The 9-men business delegation primarily from the oil and gas and construction industries was led by Mr. Kuah Kok Kim, Chairman of MTQ Corporation. The delegation visited Tripoli, capital of Libya and the primary commercial centre in Libya. Key highlights of the visit included briefings on the National Economic Strategy Project, meetings with National Planning Council, National Oil company, Libyan Investment Company and business matching at the Libyan Businessmen Council.
Singapore companies' presence in Libya:
The following are some of the Singapore companies which have business presence in Libya.
Boustead Singapore has bagged a S$300 million contract to design and build a township in Libya.
Informatics and Thames Business School opened its first centre in Tripoli in May 2004. This is the first and only legally-approved private University of Libya by the Libyan High Commission of Private Education.
Overall, Libya was Singapore's 101st trading partner in 2007 with a total trade of close to S$93 million.
Exports to Libya represent over 62% of total trade to the tune of S$57 million. Main exports include civil engineering parts, other plastics primary, perfume cosmetics, starches, disinfectants, prefabricated building material, pumps, electrical machinery and parts for tractors.
Imports from Libya increased dramatically from S$99,000 in 2006 to S$35 million in 2007 representing 37% of total trade. This can be attributed largely to the increase in importation of petroleum crude and civil engineering parts.
Singapore's Trade with Libya (Value in S$ Thousand)
Source: IE Singapore
|Total Trade (‘000)
About International Enterprise Singapore
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is the lead agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry spearheading the development of Singapore's external economy wing.
Our mission is to promote the overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises and international trade. With a global network in over 30 locations and our '3C' framework of assistance - Connections, Competency, Capital, we offer services to help enterprises export, develop business capabilities, find overseas partners and enter new markets.
At the same time, we work to position Singapore as a base for foreign businesses to expand into the region in partnership with Singapore-based companies. Our vision is for Singapore to be a thriving business hub with globally competitive enterprises and leading international traders.
For more information, please visit www.iesingapore.com