The UAE Singapore Business Council and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) collaborated in our first joint project last week on 22nd October by co-organising a webinar under the theme of "Business Opportunities in the UAE - Impact of COVID19". The objective of the event was to encourage Singapore companies, particularly SCCCI members, to connect and explore trade and investment opportunities in the UAE. It is the first collaboration between the two organisations as a precursor to a potential joint business delegation to the UAE in conjunction with EXPO2020 that has now been postponed to October 2021.
The event was graced by His Excellency Kamal Vaswani, Singapore Ambassador to the UAE, and Mr Lee Yi Shyan, UAESBC Patron and Chairman of Business China. In his Welcome Address, Ambassador Vaswani highlighted that even in the current challenging climate "Singapore companies have.. continued to choose the UAE as an investment destination, with around S$3.6 billion of Direct Investment Abroad from Singapore to the UAE."
The speakers of the webinar included representatives of the UAE-Singapore agencies and businesses from both the UAE and in Singapore namely:
Dr Brian Shegar, President, UAE Singapore Business Council who gave an overview of the UAESBC as a Business Nexus Between the UAE and Singapore. He included in his presentation the support and platforms available both in Singapore and the UAE that Singapore companies can benefit from.
Mr Shady Elborno, Head of Macro Strategy Research, Emirates NBD bank who shared their team's projections on the UAE economy in the coming years including the outlook for major sectors namely: Travel & Tourism, Transport & Logistics, Wholesale & Retail Trade and Real Estate & Construction.
Mr Leonard Thangavelu, Country Manager for the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry IRO Singapore, whose presentation included incentives rolled out by the Abu Dhabi government to attract foreign businesses and investments into the UAE such as the USD13.6 Billion allocated for the Ghadan 21 vision.
Mr Hassan Alhashemi, Vice President of International Relations for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, shared with attendees Dubai companies' contingency strategies in facing challenges of the Pandemic as well as the prospects that have opened up for foreign businesses in Dubai due to the "new normals" evolved in this era.
After the four speakers presented, the floor was opened for a Q&A panel discussion moderated by Dr Brian Shegar where attendees had a chance to ask questions specific to their line of businesses. The representative for Abu Dhabi Chamber for the Q&A Panel was Mr Sourour Sawan, Specialist in their International Affairs department. Most of the questions were submitted beforehand in the registration forms and were addressed to the relevant speakers. Questions which were not abled to be answered in the webinar due to lack of time, were responded to via personal emails.
The webinar ended with Closing Remarks given by Mr Lee Yi Shyan who highlighted key points presented in the webinar and drew similarities between how Singapore and UAE have had to re-strategize to maintain resilience in our economies.
The UAESBC and SCCCI received substantive positive feedback of the event from participants. This include Ambassador Vaswani who expressed his appreciation for UAESBC's "tremendous efforts in advancing Singapore-UAE ties". The webinar is one effort in a string of collaborative projects between the UAESBC and various local chambers that will culminate in business delegations to the UAE in conjunction with EXPO2020 (October 2021 to March 2022).
A video recording of the webinar can be viewed below:
You can also browse through screenshots of the webinar below: