International Advocacy

About International Advocacy

SBF monitors developments in international trade and geopolitics that have potential impact on Singapore businesses and advocates the interests of Singapore businesses by championing free and open trade and other important issues at international forums and platforms.

SBF represents Singapore on the global stage through participation in the following international business platforms: APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), Business20 (B20), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and other international platforms.

SUPPORTED ADVOCACY STATEMENTS

SBF works closely with international organisations to produce policy recommendations to government leaders globally in support of free and open trade.

18 February 2022 1st ABAC Meeting held in Singapore: “Embracing challenges, engaging collectively and enabling opportunities are key to Asia-Pacific success, say business leaders”
October 2021 ABAC Report to APEC Economic Leaders 2021
7 October 2021 B20 Italy Trade and Investment Policy Paper 2021

Business Enquiries/Feedback on Trade & Investment Issues

SBF is intensifying its efforts to provide the necessary support to Singapore-based companies to grow their business into overseas markets. Part of this initiative is to gather business feedback on cross-border trade and investment challenges that they are facing, with a view to promote their interests at various platforms both domestically and internationally.

If your company has encountered/or is currently encountering any issues and challenges when conducting cross-border trade and/or investing into foreign markets, especially with the increasing trade tensions among countries, we encourage you to contact our FTAs & International Relations Department via the enquiry form. All information will be kept strictly private and confidential.

APEC BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL (ABAC)

Established in November 1995 by APEC economic leaders, ABAC is the private-sector arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and comprises senior business leaders appointed by their respective Economic Leaders (heads of governments) to serve as its members. The main mandate of ABAC is to advise Leaders, ministers, and officials on issues of interest to business. ABAC typically presents its recommendations to leaders during ABAC's annual year-end dialogue with Leaders and advises APEC officials on business sector priorities and concerns. ABAC meets four times during the year to develop and refine these recommendations.

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) was appointed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore to perform the role of the national secretariat for ABAC Singapore and SBF CEO was appointed to represent the Singapore business community's interests on trade and investment issues.

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ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC)

Inaugurated in April 2003, the ASEAN-BAC is mandated by ASEAN leaders as the official ASEAN linkage to providing private sector feedback and guidance to boost ASEAN’s efforts on economic integration by identifying priority areas for consideration and making policy recommendations to the ASEAN leaders.

SBF was appointed as the national secretariat for ASEAN-BAC (Singapore) by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to support ASEAN-BAC (Singapore) Council Members' work.

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Business 20 (B20)

The Business 20 (B20) is the official Group of Twenty (G20) dialogue forum with the global business community.

The B20 aims to deliver concrete, actionable policy recommendations on priorities by each rotating presidency to spur economic growth and development. B20 bases its work on Task Forces (TFs), and Action Councils (ACs) entrusted to develop consensus-based policy recommendations to the G20 and to international organisations and institutions.

SBF works with the business community and government agencies to nominate leading industry figures to provide inputs to the B20 recommendations delivered to G20 leaders at the end of each B20 cycle.

SBF's CEO Mr Lam Yi Young is a member of the B20 Indonesia Trade & Investment Task Force, together with other Singapore business leaders on the task forces for Finance & Infrastructure, Future of Work & Education, Digitalisation, Energy, Sustainability & Climate, and the Women in Business Action Council.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

Founded in 1919, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is positioned as the world business organisation representing more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries and spanning every private enterprise sector.

SBF is the ICC National Committee in Singapore (ICC Singapore) and works with the relevant commissions and groups in the ICC to advance the interests of Singapore’s businesses in banking, sustainability, and arbitration and dispute resolution issues.

For more information on ICC Singapore, please contact ICC Singapore using our Enquiry Form.

ICC Singapore Arbitration Group

In June 2019, SBF established the ICC Singapore Arbitration Group to promote ICC arbitration and other dispute resolution services in the region. The Group is chaired by Ms Smitha Menon from WongPartnership LLP. The vice chair is Mr Andrew Yeo from Allen and Gledhill LLP. We welcome arbitrators and Singapore’s legal profession members to join this Group.

ICC Publications

SBF and ICC Singapore members have access to discounted publications and resources via the ICC Store and the ICC Digital Library. SBF and ICC Singapore members are entitled to 20% off all ICC publications if you input the promo code "ICCSIN_20" upon checkout. Click here to purchase.

The ICC Digital Library delivers easy, 24/7 access to its vast collection of essential reference materials to promote innovative research, learning and more. SBF and ICC Singapore members are entitled 20% off all subscriptions to ICC Digital Library. Click here to enjoy the discount.

For more information, please contact the ICC Singapore team via our enquiry form.

ASIAN BUSINESS SUMMIT (ABS)

SBF represents the Singapore business community at the Asian Business Summit, an annual conference co-organised by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) since 2010. The ABS convenes leaders from key national trade associations, chambers of commerce and businesses of Asian economies to discuss issues of common interest for Asian business communities and work out a joint statement to be communicated to international forums, including the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the East Asia Summit and so on, to push for shared outcomes for the economies of the region.

Since 2010, the ABS has been held annually, except for 2021. The Joint Statement from the last summit held in November 2020 (11th Asian Business Summit) can be accessed here.

EAST ASIA BUSINESS COUNCIL (EABC)

SBF provides secretariat support to EABC Singapore in representing Singapore’s business interests on trade and economic cooperation between ASEAN and the +3 countries (China, Japan and South Korea). 

SBF participates in quarterly EABC meetings and related working group meetings, seminars, roundtable discussions and ministerial dialogues. We work with EABC Singapore representatives via these platforms to continuously provide private sector perspectives and feedback to deepen the economic and investment cooperation in East Asia, and to further our region’s economic growth. 

Click here for more details on the EABC, its regional initiatives, calendar of activities, official reports and more. 

GLOBAL SERVICES COALITION (GSC)

SBF is a member of the Global Services Coalition (GSC), a coalition of business organisations, advocating for the services sector in their respective countries on matters of international trade and investment and represents their industries internationally. Services, such as financial services, insurance, professional services, information and communications technology, express delivery and logistics, retail services, education services, electronic security services, and energy and environmental services, tourism and transport services lie at the heart of modern, competitive economies.

In 2020, SBF and other members of the Global Services Coalition (GSC) call on governments to ensure resilience in the global supply of essential services that are critical enablers of trade in goods necessary to combat COVID-19, maintain the supply of food, and enhance social welfare. (More information on the statement can be found here.)

WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO) 

Established in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organisation dealing with the rules of trade between nations. It comprises 164 member countries, including Singapore.

SBF monitors the developments and the reformation of the WTO to provide feedback and input through WTO’s engagement platforms and WTO-related forums.

In October 2019, SBF joined the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) delegation to Geneva to voice our support for WTO’s rules-based multilateral trading system in conjunction with WTO’s public forum. Click here to learn more about the visit.