SBF Leads Business Mission to United Arab Emirates and Inaugural Visit to Kuwait
Singapore, Friday, 4 May 2012 - The Singapore Business Federation's (SBF) Middle East Business Group (MEBG) will be leading a business delegation to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait City, the State of Kuwait from 5 - 11 May 2012 in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Singapore Joint Forum (ADSJF) held in Abu Dhabi this year. This visit also marks SBF's inaugural visit to Kuwait.
- Delegation will be supporting the Abu Dhabi Singapore Joint Forum (ADSJF)
- Business mission co-led by Mr. Zainul Abidin Rasheed, former Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Advisor to SBF's Middle East Business Group (MEBG), and Mr. Shabbir Hassanbhai, SBF Council Member and Vice Chairman of SBF's MEBG
This mission is co-led by Mr. Zainul Abidin Rasheed, former Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Advisor to SBF's MEBG and Mr. Shabbir Hassanbhai, SBF Council Member and Vice Chairman of SBF's MEBG. The business delegation comprises 16 participants from 15 companies representing the oil and gas, process equipment, ICT, logistics, supply chain and freight forwarding, master-planning, architectural and engineering services, financial services and wealth advisory, consultancy and training services, property development, interior furnishing and office furniture and pharmaceutical / healthcare products.
Working together with partners such as the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ADCCI), Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) and KPMG, the delegation is expected to gain first hand insights on the market dynamics, economic landscape and business opportunities available in both countries through the business briefing sessions arranged for the delegation. Participants can also expect to participate in various networking and business matching platforms with the local government and members of the business community to establish useful contacts in the Middle East.
The Middle East has been one of the key regions of interests for the Singapore business community for more than a decade. The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are important economies in the GCC and are Singapore's second and fourth largest trading partners in the region respectively.
The UAE has traditionally been a popular market of choice for Singapore businesses to start their businesses when venturing into the MENA region due to its ease of doing business and their pro-business policies. UAE's economic freedom score stands at 69.3, making its economy the 35th freest according to the 2012 World Index of Economic Freedom and it has one of the highest figures per capita in the region where GDP figures stand at US$48,500 per capita. On the bilateral front, total trade with the UAE increased from S$13.87 billion in 2010 to S$20.37 billion in 2011.
The State of Kuwait, like UAE, possesses significant crude oil reserves. Kuwait itself reportedly holds 102 billion barrels of oil - which is about 9% of the world's reserves. The country's visionary leadership has been managing its oil surplus very strategically and in 2010, the government has passed an economic development plan that pledged to spend up to $104 billion over five years to diversify its economy and to attract more investment and boost private sector participation in the economy. Amidst a dismal backdrop of global recession, the Kuwait economy has also done well in recent years and registered a strong 8.2% of growth last year and is forecasted to grow by 6.6% this year according to the IMF. On the bilateral front, growth in bilateral trade exceeded 20% year-on-year to reach S$4.7 billion in 2011.
The 7 day mission programme will take the delegation to Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates and will conclude in Kuwait City, capital of the State of Kuwait.