From 26 July through 15 August 2021, the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) was proud to host productive dialogues between senior officials in the Singaporean Government and American business leaders during its 2021 Virtual Singapore Business Mission. This year’s delegation of 31 U.S. firms was co-led by US-ABC President & CEO Alexander Feldman, US-ABC Senior Vice President & Regional Managing Director Amb. Michael Michalak, and US-ABC’s Singapore Committee Chair Oracle, represented by CHUA Horng Shya Managing Director for Singapore.
“Our delegation comes at an important time as COVID-19 cases surge in the region and senior-level U.S. government officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Vice President Kamala Harris, make their first official trips to Singapore. The Council is leading efforts to support Singapore and ASEAN at this difficult time through our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force and as a member of the Global Task Force on Pandemic Response led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. As we celebrate 55 years of U.S.-Singapore diplomatic relations, the strong friendship and partnership between our countries continues to grow, especially as more and more American firms make Singapore their home base in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific. We look forward to greater engagement between the Biden administration and Singapore and between the U.S. and ASEAN,” Feldman stated.
The business delegation met with key members of the Singapore Cabinet, many of whom started new portfolios since the April Cabinet reshuffle. Sustainability and Environment Minister Grace Fu Hai Yien; Health Minister Ong Ye Kung; Finance Minister Lawrence Wong; Education Minister Chan Chun Sing; Trade Minister Gan Kim Yong; Foreign Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan; Manpower Minister Tan See Leng; Dr. Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for MCI, MOH, & GovTech; Communications & Information Minister Josephine Teo who is also Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity. The delegation also initiated dialogues with the CEOs/Chairpersons of several statutory boards and agencies, including Workforce Singapore (WSG), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), and Enterprise Singapore (ESG). U.S. companies discussed priorities in the immediate term such as supporting Singapore’s COVID-19 response, accelerating digital transformation, and safely reopening travel and tourism as well as long-term strategic goals of supply chain resilience, workforce development, and sustainability.
“Singapore has long championed public-private partnership and free trade to drive innovation and build a sustainable and resilient future economy. This mission presented an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming priorities for Singapore and highlighted areas where Oracle and the US-ASEAN Business Council members could further deepen and expand our long-term partnership,” said Chua. “In the ongoing fight against COVID-19, Singapore’s response has been watched closely as an example to emulate across the region. As we move from pandemic to endemic, data will continue to play a critical role and we look forward to supporting Singapore as it focuses on improving lives and strengthening communities”, stated Chua.
The delegation of 31 US-ABC member companies also met with Mr. Rafik Mansour, Chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore. US-ABC Committee Chair Oracle and Vice-Chairs Kimberly-Clark and Visa, 3M, Adobe, Agoda, AIG, Airbnb, Amazon, Amgen, Apple, Autodesk, BowerGroupAsia, Citi, Dell, Facebook, Google, Herbalife Nutrition, IBM, Kimberly-Clark, Mastercard, MSD, Netflix, Pfizer, Qualcomm, Roche, Salesforce, Seagate, Stripe, UPS, and VMWare joined the mission.
“American firms are committed to supporting Singapore’s hub status, especially as the country rolls out its resilience and sustainability plans and implements its innovation policy. Our meeting with Health Minister Ong Ye Kung and our innovation panel featuring senior officials of the National Research Foundation (NRF), A*STAR, and Defence, Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) underscored the importance of public-private sector dialogue and industry input to government programs. We hope to increase our partnership in achieving positive health outcomes, enriching Singapore innovation ecosystem, developing the workforce for a Resilient Future Economy, and helping SMEs navigate global trade”, said Ambassador Michalak.
The 2021 Singapore Business Mission was held virtually due to COVID-19-related challenges. Restrictions apply to travel to and from Singapore. This is the Council’s second country mission for 2021 following the Philippines Business Mission last May.