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SBF and IE Singapore lead business mission to the Philippines to explore opportunities in Manila and Davao City

1 August 2017 [Singapore] - The Singapore Business Federation (SBF), supported by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Philippine Trade and Investment Centre - Singapore, will be leading a 22-member delegation to Manila and Davao City from 1 to 4 August 2017. This mission comes on the back of the Philippines’ strong economic performance in recent years, reigniting interest among Singapore companies to explore the Philippine market.

A promising market, the Philippines’ real GDP is projected by the World Bank to grow at a rate of 6.9 percent in 2017 and 2018. Trade statistics indicate Singapore as the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner and its top trading partner in ASEAN in 2016. Total trade between the two countries amounted to S$15.5 billion in 2016. According to the 2016-2017 SBF National Business Survey, the Philippines was ranked seventh by Singapore businesses in terms of prospects for overseas business expansion.

Leading this mission is SBF Council Member and CEO of Keppel Corporation Limited Mr Loh Chin Hua. He also serves as Co-Chairman of the Philippines-Singapore Business Council (PSBC). The Singapore delegation will be exploring new business and networking opportunities in the capital Manila and Davao City. According to the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines, which publishes the annual Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI), Manila was the second most competitive city in the Philippines. Ranked fifth on the CMCI, Davao City is the largest local economy in Southern Philippines.

A PSBC forum in Manila and a Davao-Mindanao Singapore Business Forum in Davao City, Mindanao will be held to enable the delegation to gain insights into the business climate and investment opportunities under the Philippines’ new political leadership. Delegates will also have networking opportunities with government officials and business leaders from various sectors.

Delegates will also meet business, government and community representatives as well as members of the Makati Business Club (MBC), which comprises 200 of the largest and most dynamic corporations in the Philippines.

Commenting on the mission, Mr Loh said, “Leading the mission in my capacity as Co-Chairman of the PSBC, I am pleased to see the success which many Singapore companies have achieved in the Philippines. Through this mission, we hope to further strengthen the close economic ties between the two countries and to encourage more Singapore companies to explore new business opportunities in the Philippines.”

Mr Ivan Tan, Group Director, Southeast Asia and Oceania Group of IE Singapore said, “The Philippines presents tremendous opportunities especially in consumerism and infrastructure. Since April this year, IE Singapore has stepped up our presence in Manila to better facilitate partnerships between Singapore and Philippine companies. We encourage Singapore companies to look beyond Manila as the current administration has put regional development as one of its priorities. This SBF-IE Singapore exploratory trip to Davao is a timely one; we will continue to work with SBF and the PSBC to help Singapore companies access business opportunities in the Philippines’ fast-growing regions.”

“The Philippines welcomes the SBF-IE Mission to the country as this will further deepen the longstanding commercial ties between the Philippines and Singapore. The visit offers an opportune time for Singapore companies to see several new prospects not only in Manila but also in Davao, in infrastructure, logistics, information technology, property development and agribusiness,” said Mr. Glenn Peñaranda, Commercial Counsellor of Philippine Trade & Investment Centre-Singapore.

This business mission to Manila and Davao City is one of the Philippine market engagement activities planned by SBF. This is supported by IE Singapore through its Local Enterprise and Association Development Programme (LEAD), which promotes industry development through elevating industry competence and internationalisation.

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