The EU-ASEAN Business Council, the leading regional body for European Businesses in South East Asia, held its 5th Annual General Meeting in Singapore on the 18th of June, Monday at the PARKROYAL on Pickering Hotel, Singapore. During the course of the formal meeting, the members of the EU-ABC re-elected Mr Donald Kanak as its Chairman for a second two-year term.
The Formal Meeting was followed by a Gala Dinner which was attended by around 150 people including representatives of the European and ASEAN Diplomatic Corps in Singapore, leading European Businessmen in Southeast Asia, and senior government officials and other dignitaries from across ASEAN.
Minister Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Minister for Finance, was the guest-of-honour at the dinner and gave a key note address which touched upon:
The close relationships shared between EU and ASEAN as well as EU and Singapore, and Singapore’s priorities as part of its ASEAN chairmanship;
Ongoing work which could benefit both EU and ASEAN such as trade facilitation, disaster risk finance and e-commerce;
Measures to increase investment from Europe; and,
Support from Europe in areas such as infrastructure financing and the ASEAN Smart Cities Network.
Addressing the Gala Dinner, Mr Donald Kanak said, “Europe remains the number one source of FDI for ASEAN and its second largest trading partner. But those statistics, though impressive, are not the most important thing. Most importantly is the durability of the European commitment to the region. European businesses have long and deep rooted connections to ASEAN. Some of the EU-ABC’s members have been operating in the region for close to 100 years or more. We are companies with long traditions, and immense passion for the region and its people. We view ourselves as part of the ASEAN family. The region’s success will be our success.”
He went on to say, “I am confident that for European businesses operating in Southeast Asia, there is a bright future of more growth, more employment and more investment, leading to more prosperity in the countries and communities in which we work.”
He also noted that European business remains committed to the ASEAN region, as shown by the 2017 ASEAN-EU Business Sentiment Survey where an overwhelming majority of European companies reported that they expected to increase trade and investment in the region. The EUABC plans to repeat the survey in 2018, with the survey results to be released in September 2018.
Commenting on the EU-ABC’s AGM and the contribution that the organisation makes to the ASEAN integration process, Minister Heng said: “EU companies account for the largest foreign domestic investment inflow by region to ASEAN. There is tremendous potential for both ASEAN and the EU to collaborate, and to keep our economies relevant and forward-looking. We appreciate the European businesses’ commitment and support to ASEAN.
As ASEAN Chair this year, Singapore is keen to facilitate greater interaction between the EU and ASEAN, particularly in the areas of innovation, digital economy and infrastructure financing through platforms such as the ASEAN Smart Cities Network. Congratulations to the EU-ABC on your 5th AGM, and I look forward to your continued valuable contribution to closer ties between EU and ASEAN businesses.”
The AGM Gala Dinner also had keynote addresses from Gold Sponsors Prudential and SAP, delivered by Wilf Blackburn, Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, and Claus Andresen, President and Managing Director of SAP SEA respectively.
The EU-ABC would also like to thank our Wine Partner, Epicurio, and Beer Partner, Peroni Italy, for contributing to the success of the 5th AGM Gala Dinner.
View more photos from the event on our Facebook page. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further media queries or sponsorship for future events.