Singapore, Friday, 22 January 2010 - To help ease the entry of Singapore companies into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and drive Saudi-Singapore business collaboration, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) organised a business mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 15 - 21 Jan 2010 in conjunction with the 3rd Saudi Singapore Business Council (SSBC) meeting held in Riyadh.
- Largest business delegation since first visit in 2006
- SBF co-chairs the Saudi - Singapore Business Council meeting
The mission, led by Mr Tang Kin Fei, Council member of SBF and Singapore Co- Chairman of the SSBC, comprising 35 representatives from 24 companies, was the largest ever delegation to visit the Kingdom. The delegation was made up of both large companies and SMEs from the oil and gas, engineering, construction, ICT, printing, water, education and architectural sectors. The delegation visited both the cities of Riyadh and Jeddah during the mission.
Saudi - Singapore Business Council (SSBC)
The focus of the third SSBC meeting, since its formation in 2006, was to discuss and recommend solutions to address the challenges faced by companies from both countries when doing business in each other's markets. The meeting, was attended by 10 SSBC council members from Singapore, also identified specific sectors of opportunity to develop partnerships.
Apart from visas, customs clearance and the business perceptions held by both side, one of the main recommendations was that the SSBC council will focus on high potential business sectors where Singapore's capabilities can match the requirements of Saudi Arabia. The sectors identified are as followed:
The Council also agreed to the creation of five taskforce groups - four of which will spearhead joint cooperation in the sectors mentioned above, while the final one will focus on identifying general impediments and making the appropriate recommendations to improve the ease of doing business between both the countries.
- Energy and Water
- Info-Communication Technology
- Transportation and Logistics
- Services (Tourism, Healthcare, Education)
It was further agreed that the 4th SSBC meeting will take place in the second half of 2010 in Singapore.
Business Mission to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
In both cities, the delegation had fruitful briefings and meetings with Saudi Arabia's public and private sector organisations such as the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA). They also met up with government linked businesses such as Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and some of the largest private family businesses conglomerates in the kingdom such as the Olayan Group, A AbuNayyan Group, Batterjee and Zuhair Group of companies to learn on their successful story. The group also had the opportunity to visit the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), Saudi Arabia's largest economic city amongst others.
A highlight of the mission was the 'Singapore Day' Business Forum which SBF co-organized with the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) and Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in both Riyadh and Jeddah. The business forum, an initiative under the SSBC, enabled Singapore economic agencies and SBF to showcase the attractiveness of Singapore to the Saudi business community and provided insights about the business and economic conditions in the island state. Both sides shared the potential areas of collaboration between Saudi and Singaporean companies during the networking lunch that followed.
Saudi Arabia is Singapore's largest trading partner in the Middle East. Bilateral trade hit almost S$12 billion in 2009 and Singapore's export to Saudi Arabia was up 43 per cent compared to 2005.