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UAE Investment Workshop 2020: Opportunities in F&B Production, Distribution & Franchising, 8 Dec

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

In conjunction with the 49th National Day of the United Arab Emirates, the UAE Singapore Business Council is proud to present the third serving of our flagship event the Annual UAE Investment Workshop. This year we are joining forces with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry in presenting the event virtually via a webinar that features renowned agencies and companies from both the UAE and Singapore. Details of this year's workshop are as follows:

Theme: Opportunities in F&B Production, Distribution and Franchising

Date: Tuesday, 8th December 2020

Time: 1.45pm to 4.10pm, Singapore Time / 9.45am to 12.10pm Abu Dhabi, UAE Time

Registration: CLICK HERE to access Zoom registration form


The Food and Beverage Sector is an important area of activity in the UAE Economy and accounts for 5.7 per cent for the country’s non-oil foreign trade with imports of USD 17 Billion and exports of USD 4 Billion with re-exports of another USD 4 Billion. UAE ranks No. 1 in the overall Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for F&B trade accounting for 18 per cent of MENA’s total food products and 26 per cent of its total global food exports. UAE has an estimated of 650 factories involved in manufacturing and processing food products with a combined investment of USD 13.5 Billion. Singapore F&B companies have already made their presence felt in the country. The objective of this investment workshop is to encourage more investments from Singapore F&B companies in the lucrative UAE Market.


1.45pm SG / 9.45 am UAE E-Registration and Video Interlude

2.00pm SG / 10.00am UAE Welcome and UAESBC Introduction by Emcee,

Mr. Abdulwahab Ismail, Vice President Sales,

South East Asia and Australasia, Borouge and

Chair, UAESBC Workshops & Seminars Sub-Committee

2.02pm SG / 10.02am UAE Opening Address by

His Excellency Sheikh Saleh Al Sharqi

Charge D'affaires (Ad Interim)

UAE Embassy in Singapore

2.10pm SG / 10.10am UAE Presentation by Ms. Carmen James

Financial Services and ICT Sector Lead

Abu Dhabi Investment Office

Challenges and Opportunities in the Abu Dhabi, UAE

Food Sector in the COVID19 Era

2.35pm SG / 10.35am UAE Presentation by Mr. Yousef Mohamed Al Marzooqi Head, Regulations and Systems,

Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA)

The Role of ESMA in the F&B Sector and the Halal

Certification Process

3.00pm SG / 11.00am UAE Presentation by Mr. Essam Al Tamimi,

Chairman, Al Tamimi & Co

Food & Beverages Ventures in the UAE: Legal and

Regulatory Considerations

3.25pm SG / 11.25am UAE Panel Q&A Session with Singapore F&B companies

with UAE experience namely:

Mr. P. R. Thakore, CEO, IFFCO Singapore Pte Ltd

Ms. Helene Raudaschl, Founder-Chairman, Indoguna Productions FZCO

Ms. Evan Tay, Director, SMH Food Group of Companies

Mr. Ricky Chew, Executive Chairman, Fish & Co Restaurants

Moderator: Dr Brian Shegar, President, UAESBC

4.05pm SG / 12.05am UAE Closing Remarks by

His Excellency Mohamed Musabbeh Alnuaimi

UAESBC Patron and Chairman of Ras Al Khaimah Chamber

4.10pm SG / 12.10pm UAE END


Special Guests:

His Excellency Sheikh Saleh Al Sharqi

Charge d'Affaires (Ad Interim)

UAE Embassy in Singapore

His Excellency Mohamed Ali Musabbeh Al Nuaimi

Patron of UAE Singapore Business Council and

Chairman of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Panel Discussion Moderator:

Dr Brian Shegar

President, UAE Singapore Business Council and

CEO, ME-Asia Consultancy

Brian Shegar's career covers 40 years of leadership in international banking experience with focus on South East and South Asia, Asia Pacific and Middle East. He successfully established and led the operations of Midland, NedBank and Emirates NBD in various locations in the Asia Pacific region including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Dr Shegar's involvement in the GCC began in 2006. He established and ran one of the Middle East’s largest banks, Emirates NBD, in Asia Pacific including the regional branch in Singapore and Rep Offices in China and Jakarta.

Upon retirement from Emirates NBD in 2018, Dr Shegar established ME Asia Pte Ltd as a consultancy to assist Singapore and Asian companies in their business development aspirations in UAE and the Middle East. That same year, he was instrumental in establishing the UAE Singapore Business Council to promote greater business connectivity between UAE and Singapore and was elected President. He is also a member of the Global Advisory Board of CASS Business School (covering UAE and Singapore), Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Gulf Economics, Trade and Finance and a Past Honorary Fellow of the NUS Middle East Institute.

Dr Shegar holds a BSc Degree in Banking and International Finance and an MSc Finance from the CASS Business School of City, University of London. He also has a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Western Australia Business School. He has also presented papers and spoken at numerous seminars and conferences.


Ms Carmen James

Financial Services & IT Sector Lead

Abu Dhabi Investment Office

Carmen James is the Financial Services and ICT Sector Lead at the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, and works with innovative companies worldwide looking to grow in the Emirate. An investment professional with a background in strategy and communications, investment advisory and private placement, she leads FDI origination and attraction in areas such as Asset Management, Commodity Trading, Fintech, Mobility, Media and more.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) from the University of Technology Sydney and is a Fellow of the RSA (UK) and a Member of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers (UK).

Mr Yousef Al Marzooqi

Head, Regulations and Systems

Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA)

Yousef is the Head of Regulations and Systems at ESMA. He has 23 years of experience in the field of petroleum and gas industry and government and semi-government sectors. He has bachelor degree in chemistry science (VCU-USA). In his career, Yousef was involved in establishing department for Hazardous control section in Dubai Customs and implementation UAE cabinet resolutions under Conformity affairs department (ESMA). He worked and supervised the development of different of UAE standards and Technical regulations such as Petroleum Products Scheme, Food contact materials and other industry related products. He represents UAE in different regional associations chair of GSO TC12 and chair of SMIIC halal issues. He is a team leader of Excellency Project management criteria.

Mr Essam Al Tamimi

Chairman, Al Tamimi & Co (UAE)

Essam Al Tamimi is the Chairman of Al Tamimi & Company, the largest law firm in the Middle East, with offices in 9 countries and 17 cities staffed by over 300 lawyers. Essam has 35 years of experience in the UAE and the GCC covering almost all fields of law.

A specialist in corporate, commercial and litigation matters, he has advised various governmental authorities to draft laws (Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Dubai Internet and Media City free zones, the Abu Dhabi government, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry), and is a member of multiple institutions (Chairman of the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre, Founder and Patron of the UAE Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, member of the Arab Arbitration Group of the ICC, and member of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre Users Council, and served as Vice-Chair of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR – Paris).

Essam holds an LLM from Harvard University and an LLB from Al Ain University. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Financial Law Review, and the Gulf Legal Lifetime Achievement Award. Al Tamimi & Company is consistently ranked Band 1 across a variety of practice areas in Chambers & Partners as well as Legal 500.

Mr P R Thakore

CEO, IFFCO Singapore Pte Ltd

Established in 1975, IFFCO is an international group based in the United Arab Emirates which manufactures and markets a well-integrated range of mass-market food products, related derivatives, intermediates, and services. IFFCO runs 80 operations in 33 countries around the world and employs more than 12,000 people.

Mr Thakore is the CEO of IFFCO Singapore Pte Ltd and has been with the IFFCO Group in various capacities since 2007. He is responsible for global procurement, trading, risk management and supply chain management for IFFCO’s Oils & Fats business. Prior to joining IFFCO, he was Senior Vice President (Marketing) with Pan Century Edible Oils Sdn. Bhd, Malaysia. He has over 30 years’ experience in the Edible Oils Industry and has been actively associated with various industries and trade bodies. Mr Thakore hold an MBA from National University of Singapore, a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from University of Calcutta and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Ms Helene Raudaschl

Founder and Chairman,

Indoguna Productions FZCO

Helene Raudaschl, Hong Kong entrepreneur who played a key role in the growth and expansion as Co-Founder and Director of Indoguna Singapore Pte Ltd (since 1993), Indoguna Dubai LLC (since 2005), and Maxzi (since 2018); food and beverage wholesalers and manufacturers that operate in Singapore and UAE. Today these group of companies is part of FoodService APME (FSAPME), a part of Siam Makro Public Company Ltd. She is also the Founder and Chairman of Indoguna Productions FZCO (since 2012), a state-of-the-art Halal food manufacturing plant based in UAE.

While still at a young age in high school, Ms Raudaschl has developed a passion for quality food products and accumulated knowledge with the constant training that her mother, a seasoned businesswoman in the food industry. Her entrepreneurial spirit together with her dedication to the food business is vouched through the awards that she has won:

* EY Entrepreneur of the Year – Food and Beverage Distribution (2016),

* KPMG / Singapore Business Times Enterprise 50 Awards (2012-2016),

* World Gourmet Summit Awards - Gourmet Distributor of the Year (2016, 2013 and 2011),

* Influential Brands Top Brand 2015 -Premium Food Provider,

* Promising SME 500 award (2012),

* World Gourmet Summit Awards - Wine Distributor of the Year (2012),

* Successful Entrepreneur Award (2011)

Mr Ricky Chew

Founder and Executive Chairman,

Fish & Co Restaurants Pte Ltd

Mr Ricky Chew is the founder and Executive Chairman of Fish & Co. Restaurants Pte Ltd and the man behind this reputable group of restaurants located worldwide. Known for his keen entrepreneurial spirit, Mr. Chew has embarked on a journey, fueled by his passion and vision, for the food and service industry since December 1998.

Fish & Co. now has a total of 10 restaurants in Singapore to date and has franchises over 45 restaurants across the region such as Kuwait, Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia and am looking into further expansion in the future. In April 2002, he started a subsidiary company called Oceana Seafood Pte Ltd which acts as the trading arm of the family of companies, focusing on procurement of seafood items. This strategic move puts in place a synergistic business integration for the organization’s growth.

Mr. Chew has earned the title for Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003 and has been awarded the Enterprise 50 Award in 2002, 2003, and 2004.

Ms Evan Tay

Business Development Director,

SMH Food Group of Companies

Evan Tay is the youngest of four siblings who make up the 2nd generation of SMH, a Singapore family-owned Dim Sum business that will celebrate its 60th Anniversary next year. Evan was attached to a multinational upon graduation. Armed with this invaluable corporate experience, she joined her father and siblings to help expand SMH’s reach to 16 countries and counting. Together, they have grown SMH to become Singapore's premier manufacturer, distributor and exporter of dim-sum products. SMH's overseas clientele list includes 6-star hotels, prestigious restaurants and is found in supermarkets worldwide. SMH first commenced exporting its ware to the Middle-East in 2005. The initial years were not without its own unique set of problems. However, with perseverance and patience, the Middle-East is now established as one of SMH's anchor markets.

Master of Ceremonies:

Mr Abdulwahab Ismail

Vice President Sales,

South East Asia and Australasia, Borouge and

Chair, UAESBC Workshops & Seminars Sub-Committee

Mr Abdulwahab Ismail is responsible for managing the growth of Borouge’s business in this region by defining and implementing a long-term regional strategy, developing strategic plans for the countries within the region and creating new opportunities within the entire value chain.

Prior to this role, Mr Ismail was the Vice President of Asia South, Regional Supply Chain for four years, where he spearheaded regional transformational strategic projects spanning 14 countries. He also worked to enhance supply chain and fulfilment efficiencies, and lead various change management and quality improvement initiatives aimed at streamlining systems and processes in the organisation and embedding a culture of quality and operational excellence.

Mr Ismail is a citizen of UAE and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Petroleum Institute, Khalifa University, UAE.

Co-organised by:

Supported by:

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