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Singapore Businesses Keen on Exploring Business Opportunities in Cambodia and the Wider ASEAN Region
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Singapore Businesses Keen on Exploring Business Opportunities in Cambodia and the Wider ASEAN Region
  • Multi-sectoral representation from Singapore companies in business mission reflect keen interest in Cambodia
  • Delegates participate in the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit
Singapore, Wednesday, 14th November 2012 - The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) will lead 21 members from 17 Singapore-based companies on a five-day business mission to Cambodia from 14 - 18 November 2012 to explore business opportunities and participate in the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

Led by mission leader, Ms Low Sin Leng, Executive Chairman of Sembcorp Development Limited, the companies cover a broad range of sectors, including hospitality, real estate, logistics, venture capital finance, oil & gas, events management and specialist consultancy services. The delegation will visit the capital city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's political and business centre.


ASEAN Business and Investment Summit
A highlight of the mission is the delegation's participation in the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN-BIS), inclusive of networking opportunities with business and government officials from the region. The Summit will be attended by political and business leaders from the region, including:
  • Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Cambodia;
  • H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister & Minister of Commerce, Kingdom of Cambodia;
  • H.E. Thein Sein, President, Union of Myanmar; and
  • H.E. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General, ASEAN.
Topics of discussion will include ASEAN connectivity, ASEAN as a competitive investment hub, its renewable energy potential and the expansion of markets into East Asia.

Organised annually by the ASEAN-Business and Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) for the past nine years, ASEAN-BIS continues to serve as a prime platform for knowledge exchange and networking between the regional business community and ASEAN's political leaders, and is a major driving force for ASEAN integration.

Commenting on the region's economic potential, Dr Robert Yap, Chairman and CEO of YCH Group, Vice Chairman of SBF and Singapore's representative to the ASEAN-BAC said: "Cambodia's strong and stable economic growth performance for the past decade has been one of the reasons for the increasing attraction of Indochina as a foreign investment destination. With the combined strong economic growth of Indochina - Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and now Myanmar, this presents a positive and encouraging value proposition for the success of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015."

"In particular, Singapore businesses can look forward to greater connectivity to and within the Indochina - Mekong region. As part of the Asian Development Bank's Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) programme, Laos, together with China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, aims to turn itself from a 'land-locked' to 'land-linked' country, capitalising on its advantageous location within the heart of Southeast Asia. The strong Indochina economic growth potential and the onset of AEC will offer many new and exciting business opportunities for our Singapore companies which will now need to focus or re-focus their business strategies for Cambodia and Indochina in general."

Participants will also be visiting the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ), a pioneering SEZ in Cambodia.


Business Opportunities for Singapore Companies
Ms Low noted: "There is healthy interest among Singapore companies in exploring new and emerging markets in the Southeast Asia region - specifically Cambodia and Myanmar. Both countries offer varying types of business opportunities. While Myanmar recently has attracted intense interest, Cambodia has an advantageous head start in the area of tariff-free GSP treatment for Cambodia's exports to the EU. Singapore companies seeking a quick start-up of their business overseas should look at Cambodia which has already reformed its economic and investment policies, and liberalised trade."

Added Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of the SBF: "ASEAN is emerging and is a region with much untapped potential. As we move towards a single market, Singapore businesses have a role to play in helping put the building blocks in place. A first-hand glimpse of the economic environment and business opportunities in the region will help them better contribute to regional growth. This Cambodia business mission is a good example. Site visits and meetings with Cambodian and regional businessmen and government officials at the ASEAN-BIS will provide useful insights for our companies on the prospects for collaboration in the longer-term."

Said Mr Tan Soon Kim, Group Director for Southeast Asia, International Enterprise Singapore: "Cambodia has been attracting manufacturers in recent years, emerging as an alternative production base for manufacturers across different industries. Many Singapore textile manufacturers already have operations there. Cambodia's abundant natural resources could also present a variety of business opportunities for Singapore companies. For instance, agriculture growth is expected to accelerate, in line with the government's plans to boost the export of milled rice. This could also lead to the growth of biomass applications to supplement the growing energy needs of Cambodia."


Singapore-Cambodia Economic Relations
Interest by Singapore companies in the Cambodia market has been strong in the past few years. Cambodia's economy grew at almost 10% each year between 1998 and 2008, and despite being interrupted by the global economic downturn in 2008-09, Cambodia staged a strong recovery in 2010 and 2011, with GDP growth of 6.0%. This growth momentum is expected to further increase 6.7% in 2013, driven by strong exports, private investment, and a solid macroeconomic position.

The Asian Development Bank has forecasted Cambodia's GDP growth rate at 6.8% in 2013, which is above the regional Southeast Asian average growth rate of 5.5% for 2013.

In 2011, Singapore ranked as Cambodia's 6th largest trading partner and 9th in terms of cumulative direct investments. Singapore companies in Cambodia are active in a wide range of sectors, such as NOL, RCL, APL and Bok Seng in the logistics cluster; Ocean Sky and Ramatex Group in the textiles and garments sector; Himawari in the hospitality sector; HLH Group Limited and Singapore Agri-Tech in the agri-commodities cluster; and Goodhill Enterprise and Asia-Pacific Breweries Ltd in the food and beverages sector.


About Singapore Business Federation (SBF)
As the apex business chamber, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) champions the interests of the business community in Singapore, in trade, investment and industrial relations. Nationally, SBF acts as the bridge between the government and businesses in Singapore to create a conducive business environment. Internationally, SBF represents the business community in bilateral, regional and multilateral fora for the purpose of trade expansion and business networking. For more information, please visit our website: www.sbf.org.sg

ASEAN-Business and Advisory Council
The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) was established by the ASEAN Heads of State and Government (HOSGs) at the 7th ASEAN Summit in November 2001 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Inaugurated at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia in April 2003, ASEAN-BAC's primary mission is to promote public-private sector partnership to achieving the integration for the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). ASEAN-BAC provides private sector feedback on the implementation of ASEAN economic cooperation and identifies priority areas for the consideration of the ASEAN Leaders.

ASEAN-BAC members are appointed by their respective Governments comprising high-level CEOs of companies from each member country and represented by 3 members per member country, with one representing the interest of small and medium size enterprises.

The activities of ASEAN-BAC are to:
  • Review/identify issues to facilitate and promote economic cooperation and integration;
  • Submit annual recommendations for the consideration of the ASEAN HOSGs; and
  • Organise the annual ASEAN Business & Investment Summit (ASEAN-BIS) to coincide with the annual      ASEAN Summits.


    For media enquiries please contact:
    Gerald De Cotta
    Singapore Business Federation
    DID: 65-6827 6896
    Email: gerald@sbf.org.sg

    Eileen Lee
    Singapore Business Federation
    DID: 65-6827 6874
    Email: eileen.lee@sbf.org.sg







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