12 agreements inked at inaugural overseas edition of SRBF

July 07, 2023 | 12:25
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12 MoUs on sustainability, digitalisation, financial services, and human capital development were signed to deepen collaboration opportunities between Singapore, Vietnam, and the wider region at the Singapore Regional Business Forum on July 7.
12 agreements inked at the inaugural overseas edition of the SRBF
12 agreements were signed at the first overseas edition of the SRBF

Earlier today, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) concluded its inaugural overseas edition of the Singapore Regional Business Forum (SRBF) in Hanoi. The event was graced by Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai and Singapore's Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng.

In line with the forum’s theme of Strengthening Regional Collaboration for Sustainable Growth, a total of 12 MoUs were signed between public and private sector organisations from Singapore and Vietnam, including trade associations and business chambers, higher education institutions, and financial entities.

During the forum, the SBF and United Overseas Bank (UOB) also launched a joint corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative to nurture young talent in the fields of finance, technology, and innovation.

In line with the goal of forging a sustainable future for ASEAN and Vietnam, and as part of their CSR commitments, the SBF and UOB will jointly contribute to the local community, benefitting students at the University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City, a leading institution specialising in business.

Under this SBF-UOB joint CSR initiative, more than 1,000 eligible students in Vietnam will have opportunities to acquire skills and gain hands-on experience in business, allowing them to grow their expertise and become future-ready in the digital era.

A key highlight of the forum was the In Conversation with Ministers: Enhancing Regional Collaboration for a Sustainable Future dialogue, moderated by Kok Ping Soon, CEO of the SBF.

The session featured minister Leng and Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, and was joined by executive chairman of Pacific International Lines Teo Siong Seng, chairman of FPT Corporation Truong Gia Binh, and past president of the European Chamber of Commerce Singapore Federico Donato.

During the conversation, they exchanged robust views on topics such as the energy transition, digital interoperability, business development, and the tensions and prospects related to building a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable future for the region.

Special guest speaker, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan, also delivered a luncheon keynote, providing insights into the upcoming developments that can be expected in Vietnam’s enterprise landscape.

Participating companies also met with potential business partners during the business matching session, either virtually or on site. Vietnamese municipal and provincial leaders from Haiphong, Hung Yen, and Nghe An also delivered presentations on the emerging business landscape and investment opportunities in these provinces.

Lim Ming Yan, SBF chairman said, “As the SRBF takes its first steps beyond Singapore's borders, finding its way in the vibrant city of Hanoi, I would like to thank our host country for its warm welcome. The success of today’s event is underscored by the strong bilateral ties between our countries. This momentous occasion also coincides with the 50th anniversary of our cooperative relationship and the 10th anniversary of our strategic partnership.”

Soon said, “The region is ripe for an acceleration of regional collaboration and growth. The agreements signed today are reflective of the keen interest in deeper collaboration to seize regional opportunities and build stronger businesses and economies. The SBF will support our companies to be part of the region’s growth.”

In conjunction with the event, the SBF organised a business mission to Hanoi, which was attended by 28 participants from 24 Singaporean companies from the business services, manufacturing, and lifestyle and consumer industries.

Participants were able to gain valuable insights into the business landscape and cultural nuances of northern Vietnam and network with fellow Singaporean businesses. The delegation will be visiting key economic sites in Quang Ninh province and be briefed by the Investment Promotion Agency of Quang Ninh on the potential opportunities there.

Separately, the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) also led a group of 20 business leaders from 15 member companies to explore potential collaborations with Vietnamese firms.

Phua Boon Huat, president of the SFIC said, "We are honoured to be participating in the prestigious SRBF, promoting business and investment opportunities. We are excited about the forum being held in Vietnam this year, a country of great interest to our members with excellent economic connectivity. The seventh SRBF will empower our members to expand their market presence in Vietnam and across the region, fostering stronger business ties and creating new opportunities in the furniture industry."

21 business chambers and trade associations whose member companies have a strong or increasing presence in Vietnam, Singapore, and the region also supported the event.

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By Nguyen Huong

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