The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) is the apex business chamber championing the interests of the Singapore business community in the areas of trade, investment and industrial relations. It represents 27,000 companies, as well as key local and foreign business chambers.
In July 2001, the Minister for Trade and Industry introduced a Bill in Parliament to establish the SBF Act, which was passed by Parliament and became law on 5 Oct 2001. The Federation was then established on 1 April 2002, with the aim of representing the business community’s interests both locally and overseas. Under the SBF Act, all Singapore-registered companies with share capital of S$0.5 million and above are members of SBF.
Our 3 Key Functions
The federation serves three key functions – all of which are essential for business improvement and expansion.
- We are the bridge between Singapore’s business community and the Government
- We are the business community’s representative in building bilateral, regional and multi-lateral relationships
- We are a key provider of capability-building initiatives and services for Singapore businesses
SBF generates objective research and data for deep constructive engagement with the Government. As the national business voice, the Federation provides deep insight-driven national-level advocacy and follow-up action. The SBF Committees, including our SME Committee, will be at the forefront of our advocacy efforts.
Advocacy initiatives led by SBF include the SBF Position Paper for a Vibrant Singapore, the annual National Business Survey, quarterly SME Sentiment Index surveys as well as post-Budget surveys.
Internationally, SBF champions its members’ needs on the global stage through participation in prominent international business forums. These include the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council, B20 and the International Chamber of Commerce.
To resolve burning issues facing businesses, the Federation is establishing SBF Committees, led by its Council Members, to drive deep insights into business issues and undertake activities for businesses and the economy. These Committees also champion business networking and expansion.
The Committees include the SBF SME Committee, Digitalisation Committee and Infrastructure Committee.
The ASEAN, China-North Asia, Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Europe/Americas Business Groups in SBF serve are networking platforms for the Singapore business community and their counterparts in the respective regions for business exchanges and information sharing. Businesses interested to venture into and learn more about the African business climate can tap on the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies – a think-tank formed in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University.
SBF also offers a broad spectrum of programmes and activities, including Overseas Market Workshops, to build talent and competencies. Likewise, seminars on Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are conducted to enable businesses to make the most of Singapore’s extensive network of FTAs to internationalise.
The Federation also organises national-level events, such as the Singapore Regional Business Forum, to present deep insights on key global and regional developments, for example, the Belt & Road Initiative.
In assisting members to expand overseas, SBF has also availed to member companies various dispute resolution channels to members such as the ICC Court of Arbitration, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, the Singapore International Mediation Centre and the Singapore Mediation Centre.
SBF also serves as the National Committee representative of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and supports ICC initiatives, including the facilitation of ICC Arbitrations, workshops and the sale of ICC publications to SBF members.
Training is an essential part in building organisational capabilities. SBF helps members achieve this by providing training services through the SBF Business Institute (SBI). It leverages professional practitioners, certified trainers and successful Business Mentors to help companies address pertinent business challenges by providing training services tailored to upgrading capabilities and up-skilling the workforce.
Young Business Leaders are encouraged to join the SBF Young Business Leaders Network to harness friendships and tap on business opportunities. SBF YBLN offers invaluable opportunities to meet peers, share experiences, explore partnerships and hone leadership and management capabilities. Members of the Network are envisioned to lead transformation and development as they grow to become business leaders of tomorrow.
The SBF Foundation was set up in 2013 to encourage businesses to be more engaged in corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility so as to build a more inclusive society. The Foundation has been envisioned to be a foundation of the business community for the community of Singapore. It seeks to promote CSR and corporate philanthropy, collaborate with Singapore based companies to assist the underprivileged and disadvantaged workers, as well as support education and training for disadvantaged youth.
Global Compact Network Singapore
As the national agency promoting corporate sustainability, the Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS) aims to assist companies to adopt corporate responsibility principles in their business strategy and practices. It facilitates collaboration between CSR stakeholders in businesses, government and civil society to create long–lasting value for the community. GCNS is a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) network. SBF is one of the principal members of GCNS.