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SBF leads business mission to the Philippines as part of 50th anniversary of Singapore-Philippines bilateral relations

  • Organised in conjunction with the state visit of Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, to the Philippines
  • The Philippines-Singapore Business Dialogue will facilitate closer collaborations and partnerships for businesses from both countries.
Friday, 6 September 2019 [Singapore] The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) is leading a business mission to the Philippines from 9 to 11 September 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary of Singapore-Philippines bilateral relations, as well as to strengthen business relations and explore emerging investment opportunities.

Organised in conjunction with the state visit of Madam Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore, the mission is led by SBF Chairman Mr S.S. Teo. The delegation comprises 20 business leaders from 15 Singapore companies across the shipyard, utilities, logistics, shipping, sustainable urban development, manufacturing, retail, banking and financial services, engineering and construction, general trading and professional services sectors. (Please see Annex A for a list of participating companies.) The mission is supported by Enterprise Singapore.

SBF Chairman Mr S.S. Teo, said, “According to the SBF National Business Survey 2018/19, the Philippines is one of the top 10 markets of interest for the Singapore business community. And with Singapore as the number one trading partner in ASEAN and the top fifth trading partner in the world for the Philippines1, it is evident that relations between both countries have been flourishing.

“This is a milestone year for Philippines and Singapore ties. While many Singapore companies have established operations in the Philippines in various industries such as manufacturing, infrastructure, telecommunications and retail, there are also untapped opportunities in areas such as information technology and professional services.”

Among the fastest-growing economies in Asia, Philippines is projected to grow by 6.5% in 2020 and 2021, according to the World Bank. One of the key initiatives the Philippines government has embarked on is the “Build Build Build” programme in 2017. The programme is expected to accelerate public spending on infrastructure which is targeted to reach between US$157 billion and US$177 billion from 2017 to 2022. According to Enterprise Singapore, this offers business opportunities in infrastructure development and Singapore companies can meet the growing demand for technical solutioning in these infrastructure and utilities projects.

Highlights of the business mission include:
  1. Meeting with the Philippines’ Department of Finance
    The delegation will meet the Philippines’ Secretary of Finance, Mr Carlos G. Dominguez III, on 9 September to discuss the country’s investment opportunities and the investment climate in light of US-China trade tensions.

  2. State Banquet at Malacanang Palace
    On 9 September, the delegation will also attend a State Banquet hosted by the President of the Philippines, His Excellency Rodrigo Duterte, in honour of President Halimah’s state visit to the country. Four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) are expected to be signed at the State Banquet.

  3. Philippines-Singapore Business Dialogue
    On 10 September 2019, the Philippines-Singapore Business Council (PSBC), supported by SBF and the Makati Business Club, will host the Philippines-Singapore Business Dialogue. President Halimah will grace the event.

    Besides showcasing trade and investment opportunities in Philippines, the Dialogue will also highlight Singapore as the Intellectual Property (IP) hub, so Philippine companies can leverage Singapore’s developed IP capabilities to expand into the region.
Co-Chairman of PSBC and SBF Council Member Mr Loh Chin Hua, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Keppel Corporation said, “The Philippines-Singapore Business Dialogue is an invaluable platform for participants to network and gain first-hand insights into the developments and opportunities in the two countries. Through such forums, we can promote closer collaboration between companies from both countries, and further deepen our bilateral economic relations.”

Mr S.S. Teo said, “The Philippines’ GDP growth has been on a steady growth trajectory, expanding by more than 6% each year since 2010. This positive outlook has caught the attention of many Singapore businesses, including start-ups and technology companies.”

Mission participant Adera Global is one such technology company that is keen to expand its operations in the Philippines. One of its businesses is automated banking solutions that can serve both city and rural communities.

Mr Anthony Ong, Group CEO of Adera Global, said, “The Philippines represents great potential for us to assist banks to acquire new bank account users with our omni-channel enrolment solutions, digital identification and digital management services. Through this mission, we hope to foster deeper engagement with the Philippines’ government agencies, banks and other enterprises. We’ve also set up a subsidiary office in Manila to show our commitment to invest and expand in this market.”

Mr Teo added, “With strong growth and a young, educated workforce that is proficient in English, Philippines remains an attractive investment destination for our companies. Through this mission, we hope to further cement the business ties between Singapore and Philippines and also to encourage more businesses from the Philippines to expand into Singapore.”

1 https://sbr.com.sg/economy/commentary/singapore-and-philippines-more-just-trading-partners-0

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